This was a big surprise. A very good big surprise.
I really didn't think the Cubs were really even in the hunt. And yet they sign the guy for less than what either the Cardinals or Nationals offered. Again, wow.
Several random thoughts about signing:
- Not only do the Cubs have a serious upgrade in center field, but the Cardinals now have a hole to fill. Adding to your team while taking away from a division rival, win, win!
- Hayward is just 26. He's the same age as Anthony Rizzo. As good as he's been, he can still get better, for several years.
- The lineup got younger and stronger.
- Players want to play for the Cubs, good players. I think they see the team as one on the rise. I also think Joe Maddon is a big factor. Players want to be on his team.
- I'm still nervous about the starting pitching. While the starting lineup is pretty young, the starters are not. I'm worried about an old arm or two blowing out during the season. With Hayward, the Cubs can trade Soler or Baez for a young arm.
- The 2016 season should be very interesting!