|Tuesday, December 3
Remlinger agrees to $10.65 million deal with Cubs
CHICAGO -- Mike Remlinger doesn't see why his string of playoff appearances has to end with the Chicago Cubs.
The left-handed reliever finalized a $10.65 million, three-year contract with Chicago on Tuesday and will bolster a Cubs' bullpen that blew numerous leads last season and squandered 25 saves.
''I've had the luxury of going to the playoffs for four straight years with Atlanta, and I don't look at this as anything other than a chance to keep that winning tradition going,'' Remlinger said Tuesday.
History suggests otherwise.
The Cubs haven't had back-to-back winning season in 30 years and haven't appeared in a World Series since 1945.
Remlinger was 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA in 73 games with the Braves last season, his fourth year with Atlanta. He came up to the major leagues with the Giants in 1991 when new Cubs manager Dusty Baker was San Francisco's hitting coach.
Remlinger expects Baker to have an immediate impact in Chicago.
''I don't think we're too far away here as far as what we need to win. We've got great young pitching and a lot of talent,'' he said. ''Dusty's a guy who's really good at putting those pieces together and pulling the right strings to make it all work.''
He has appeared in 440 major leagues games -- all but 59 as a reliever -- with a 44-41 record and a 3.80 ERA.
Remlinger, who struggled with the decision to leave Atlanta, said the fan support at Wrigley Field and a chance to mentor some of the Cubs' young pitchers ended up steering him to the Cubs.
''It probably could have been done maybe a week or so ago, but every time we turned the corner it point us back to Chicago,'' he said. ''The bottom line was I wanted to be in a place where the fans were going to be excited about the team they have on the field.''
The signing of Remlinger is one of several offseason moves for the Cubs.
They hired Baker as their new manager, less than a month after he took the Giants to the World Series. And they have also acquired catchers Damian Miller from Arizona and Paul Bako of Milwaukee in trades.
Also on Tuesday, they reached a tentative agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers to trade first baseman Eric Karros and second baseman Mark Grudzielanek to Chicago for catcher Todd Hundley. The sides were given 72 hours to complete the deal, which hinges on whether Grudzielanek and Hundley will restructure their contracts.
''We're certainly not done addressing the bullpen,'' Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. ''Mike, obviously, was the key to get things rolling, but we still have some work to do.''