Chicago Cubs’ offseason signings show what baseball truly is about
When it comes to professional athletes these days, it seems that they only look for the biggest contract when deciding which team to sign with. However, it also seems that the Chicago Cubs’ players are an exception to this.
This offseason, the Cubs signed four key free agents to play prominent roles in 2016, all for less money than other teams were offering on the free agent market. Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, John Lackey and Ben Zobrist all chose Chicago because it was the best fit, not the best dollar amount.
Just for the sake of it, Fowler was offered $33-$35 million from the Baltimore Orioles, instead signing with the Cubs for $8 million because it is “where his heart is.” Heyward was offered more that $200 million to stay with the archrival St. Louis Cardinals, but instead chose the Cubs because their core players are younger than the Cardinals’.
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In addition, Lackey signed for just $32 million, a bargain compared to what other starting pitchers signed this offseason. Zobrist was offered more than $60 million by the New York Mets but decided on the Cubs because of his familiarity with Joe Maddon, who he played for in Tampa Bay from 2006-2014.
The fact that the Cubs were able to sign four premier players for less money than what other teams offered is impressive alone. However, what is more, impressive is the fact that these players were willing to take less money to potentially win a championship with the Cubs, which would be their first since 1908.
Baseball is a great game, but many forget that it is exactly that: a game. Yes, players are paid to play baseball as a job, but many forget what the true meaning of the sport is. Baseball is all about having fun with your friends doing something you love. Money is important in life, but it should definitely come second to enjoying playing.
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Seeing such talented players sign with the Cubs for less money to hopefully win a World Series is a breath of fresh air for sports fans. We all have grown to love the game of baseball dearly, but for reasons other than the money it pays. It is nice to see that there are still athletes who are motivated for reasons other than the cash, especially since they signed with the Cubs.
Hopefully, a World Series championship comes to Chicago in 2016, proving what the real goal of professional athletes should be.