On Friday over 100 big league ballplayers filed for arbitration. Included amongst that list were three Chicago Cubs. One should have the Cubs concerned. One isn't a big deal. And one they should laugh at. The three were Carlos Zambrano (the concerning one), Will Ohman (not a big deal), and Mark Prior (the laugher).
This page has spent a bunch of time talking about the Cubs ace. With the monster money Barry Zito pulled from the Giants, the Cubs are coming closer to a day of reckoning with Zambrano. Unlike many of you, I don't see a real easy solution for Zambrano. This is a complicated issue for the Cubs. I understand that you hate to see a pitcher like him leave (like most of you it killed me to watch Greg Maddux win Cy Youngs for the Atlanta Braves). I hate to even consider the fact that the Cubs could down the road make the same mistake with Zambrano. On the other hand, I also understand that giving pitchers long term/dollar filled contracts doesn't make the most financial sense. I don't envy Jim Hendry or the Cubs for the position they are in. They will be criticized regardless of what they do with Big Z.
Now on to the one that is much more fun. The USC graduate Mark "Mr. Reliable" Prior has filed for arbitration. Are you kidding me? I laughed when I saw the kids name. Take your 2006 stats to the arbitrator Mark: 9 games, 1-6 record, a 7.21 ERA, in 43.2 IP, you walked 28, struckout 38, and gaveup 9 HR's. LMAO. He did this damage for $3.65 million! Prior should be paying the Cubs back! Common sense would tell you that Prior should be happy with an invitation to spring training and a chance to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. But as we know baseball and common sense don't swim in the same waters. I understand that this is nothing but business. Still if I were Prior, I'd be happy with the league minimum. Once again, I'm confusing common sense and baseball.
I'm rooting for this one to wind up in front of the arbitrator. It will be a good laugh!