Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

New contract: $4.9 million. Cards as rival: priceless

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Aaron Miles might not make Cubs fans forget about one of their favorites, Mark DeRosa, anytime soon. But the fact Miles doesn't figure to ever forget about perceived snubs by the St. Louis Cardinals could make him one of the most motivated Cubs in another season of high expectations in 2009.



Miles, who signed a two-year, $4.9 million deal with the Cubs Wednesday, made no secret of how irked he is at the Cardinals after three productive seasons for St. Louis that resulted in face-slapping refusals to offer him arbitration after each of those seasons - including non-tenders (releases) after the past two seasons.

``I'm excited to be a Cubbie,'' he said. ``Being a Cardinal was great, and that part's over now. Now I'm ready to be a Cubbie and play the game the right way and show St. Louis that they let somebody go that maybe they shouldn't have.''

Miles, a favorite of Cards manager Tony LaRussa, typically started the season on the bench for the Cardinals only to play his way into a starting role by the end of the season - much as Cubs manager Lou Piniella has described his Yankees playing career.

But the Cardinal front office's refusal to reward him with job security along the way, during a three-year run that included a 2006 World Series championship and 2007-8 seasons of .290 and .317 averages, made the rival Cubs a poetically ideal landing spot in his eyes.

``Financially, I understand why they did it, but it was still kind of shocking because I figured I had a place over there,'' Miles said. ``In the end they non-tendered me two years in a row, and I felt the attraction to me being there wasn't as big as it was before.''

Even when the Cards came calling late in the process of his free agent negotiations.

``It was a feeling where maybe I wasn't wanted by everybody,'' he said. ``The non-tendering of me two years in a row kind of makes you feel like you're not wanted as much. There was a little bit of that in my head. In the end, I'm really excited to be on this Chicago Cubs team.

``I'd pretty much already said my goodbyes to [the Cardinals] in my head when they jumped back in. The thought of playing for the Cubs is exciting, and I'm pumped up about it.''

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14 Comments

I CAN'T BELIVE THE CARDS LET MILES GO. WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE THEY THINKING, OH WAIT THEY AREN'T THINKING THATS WHY THEY LET HIM GO. MILES SLAPPED THEM BACK IN THE FACE BY SIGNING WITH THE CUBS, GOOD FOR YOU MILES. YOU KNOW THE FANS LOVED YOU AND YOU WILL BE MISSED TILL WE SEE YOU BACK IN ST. LOUIS. MILES WAS A GREAT UTILITY PLAYER, HECK HE EVEN WAS ALOT BETTER PITCHING THAN SOME OF THE SO CALLED PITCHERS WE HAD IN 08. GOOD LUCK WITH THE CUBS.

While I loved DeRosa's attitude and production, I believe the Cubs will be more versatile and stronger with a combination of Miles and the pitchers they received from Cleveland. Whether these pitchers stay or not is really immaterial from the standpoint of the depth/bargaining chips they offer for other potential acquisitions. What the Cubs achieve is flexibility and salary relief, which, in turn, will enable them to pursue and strengthen, should they so choose, other areas of the team.

How are the Cubs more flexible getting rid of Mark DeRosa, who can play 2B, OF, 3B, SS, and 1B if needed??

If they don't land Jake Peavy as a result of this trade, it is a stinker. Oh...and Aaron Miles? There is a reason he was non-tenndered after hitting a career high .317...that's all he can do. No power...no speed, and no ability to take a walk.

I'm mad at my cards for that.good luck miles we'll miss you

To Jason H,

Did you not read the part that said Miles played three of the four infield positions AND all three outfield spots too last season?

Oh, and he can take a pitch better than anybody on the team, except maybe Fukudome.

Derosa can play a lot of positions its true but was not a very good GLOVE . LETS NOT FORGET THE PLAYOFFS

To Jaason H,
Miles does not have as much pop as DeRosa. But that is DeRosa's only advantage. Miles is faster, better hitter, better glove, and can play more positions. Oh, and can hit left handed and leads off too. The cardinal fans are ticked they didn't resign Miles and are stuck with Kennedy at second. He didnt get offered a contract by the cardinals because they are cheap and didn't want to commit money to him and Kennedy. And lets not forget, 1 of the pitchers we got for DeRosa was considered the BEST amateur closer in the united states 3 years ago. Which means more depth in our bullpen. So thank you for your production DeRosa. Good luck in Cleveland. Hello Aaron Miles!

does anyone want to tell me who is gonna play 3rd base when ramirez gets hurt like he always does

i will be interested to see if you guys overpaid for him...i don't like seeing him go.

When in doubt, sign YET ANOTHER middle infielder. Sure, we're down from our average of signing five second basemen a year, but still - I don't see the point in replacing a guy at a position where had a glut of players anyway. A few years ago, I used to be convinced we were either signing every middle infielder available to force other teams to trade with us, then I guessed that we were just trying to field the world's first all 2B-team. I gave up on all that, but now what I really want to know is what Hendry is going to do between September and July once Brian Roberts, the Holy Grail of All Second Basemen of All-Time, retires.

Ask the Bulls or the Bears. Picking up a bunch of not-quite-starters at whatever position, not playing the young guys who might be your future starters and hoping it all works out - doesn't. You either build a championship team through the minor leagues, some smart trades and the occasional big free-agent signing...or settle for pretender status.

CARDS LET MILES GO. WE MIGHT SEE SOMETHING. MAYBE HE CAN FIND HIS NEW "LEVEL"/
Smith

Some people on here are unbelievable! We have won 3 of the last 6 division titles! Think about that. Ask any Cub fan 50 and over about the 50's, 60's and 70's. Even the 2 play off appearances in the 80's werent enough to make up for a mediocredecade. And the 90's? Come on! We sucked! 1 play off appearance. Now we are winning consistently, putting money in to our team, and making good moves. Reading some comments you would think we were the pittsburgh pirates! Come on people! Stop being so negative! Its gonna be ok! We HAVE improved. Who else in the central can say that? No one. Is winning the central the ultimate goal? No. But you cant win the lottery without buying a ticket.

With the signing of Miles where does this leave Mike Fontenot. Look for the cubs to ship Fontenot and Pie to the Orioles for Brian Roberts. I belive the Peavy is still on but the Cubs are not willing to part ways with Sean Marshall. Sign Theriot to a multi year deal & backup catcher Henry Blanco to a one year pact. Ronnie Cedeno's days are numbered in Chicago. With the signing of Peavy & Roberts to go along with Milton Bradley the Cubs can finally make it to the World Series. Mark Derosa will be missed.

Cubs 09 projected lineup
2b Roberts starting 5
ss Theriot Zambrano
1b Lee Dempster
3b Ramirez Harden
Lf Soriano Lilly
Rf Bradley Peavy
Cf Fukodome
c Soto

Miles instead of Derossa as a Cardinals fan I will take that trade any day. Derosa had 3 less rbis than Lee last year in 118 less at bats. Miles had 31. He is a decent player but the Cubs are already loaded with tiny little infielders with no power.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on December 31, 2008 8:43 PM.

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