Cubs Signing Pujols And La Russa? The Most Terrible Idea Of Terrible Ideas... Ever

Essssspiin columnist, Johnette Howard had this brilliant idea:

Epstein has to figure out how to get Pujols and La Russa to the Cubs.
...
There's not a better package deal or way for Epstein to jump-start the franchise than bringing La Russa and Pujols to Wrigley Field.
I am not a big supporter of signing Pujols. Not because I don't think he's a great player, he most definitely is. But because of the rationality involved:

Wins Above Replacement
Carlos Pena was worth 2.6 wins (according wins above replacement or WAR) in 2011. Albert Pujols on the other hand had a 5.1 WAR. This would only net the Cubs 2.5 WAR, which would still leave the Cubs at "bad team" status. This would only bring them to 74 wins — still not good enough to win the division.

The Cubs could possibly be paying Pujols $30m per year. That's $5.8m per win. BUT because the Cubs only net 2.5 wins signing him, this number balloons to: $12m per win. In my opinion, this is a bad move financially for the Cubs. Mostly because they are not even close to being contenders.

For them to win the NL Central next year, a combination of things would have to happen:
  • Pujols would have to be singed by the Cubs
  • Fielder would have to leave the NL Central
  • Cincinnati would have to have a bad year (hey, we saw what happened to the White Sox this year)
  • Third base would need to be figured out (no Aramis, please)
  • A commitment to defense and baserunning? Yes, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • An extreme amount of luck

The Cubs Are Still Bad
And they're bad at almost every level of the organization. Signing Pujols (and La Russa, which is just crazy talk that I won't address) is a familiar step in the wrong direction. The Cubs should use their monies, effort, and brainpower to strengthen their farm system, scouting (analytical and traditional), process, and technology.

An idea should not be what the Cubs sell but rather its process, execution, and output. Fans are investors and, at some point, we will want a return on our investment.

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