As the Temperture Drops, MLB Free Agency Heats Up

Fitz Robling, Staff Reporter

Last year both the Cubs and the Sox had disappointing seasons.  The Cubs finished below .500 for the first time since Lou Pinella took over for Dusty Baker in 2007. The White Sox finished with an 88-74 record, six games behind the Minnesota Twins. 

Going into the offseason, both teams have different goals.  The White Sox are looking to improve their mostly lackluster offense and improve their struggling bull-pen.  The Cubs are also trying to improve their offense and their pitching staff which was a major disappointment.  The Cubs also have multiple long term contracts that they must deal with, most notably Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. 

The White Sox made their first big splash of the offseason by signing the highly sought after Adam Dunn to a four year, $56 million dollar contract.  Dunn will provide the White Sox with lots of home runs.  Last year he finished the season with 38 homeruns and 103 RBI’s. Dunn also finished the season with 199 strike outs the most of his career. 

The White Sox also resigned catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a two year, $8 million dollar deal.  They also resigned Paul Konerko to a three year $37.5 million dollar deal that will keep the fan favorite first basemen on the south side through the 2014 season.  Looking forward the White Sox are still searching for more depth in their bull-pen.

The Cubs are still looking for ways to improve their offense without spending a lot of money.  The Cubs are specifically looking for a starter, a first base man, and a right handed reliever.  GM Jim Henrdy will be looking for any way to pick up these pieces at the Winter Meetings which started today.  The cubs just filled one of these holes by signing former Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena to a one year $10 million dollar deal. This signing provides a nice righty-lefty, three-four combo with Aramis Ramierez.  It also replaces the defensive hole at first that was created when Derek Lee was traded to the Braves. Now that the Cubs have a legit first baseman, they can focus on improving their pitching staff.

It looks to be an interesting offseason for both clubs as they try and rebuild for an exciting 2011 season.