Jason Schmidt to the Chicago Cubs?

The Tribune, er, Chicago Cubs just keep on spending. So far this off-season, the Cubs have dropped a staggering $239 million on free agents (including $10 million on Lou Pinella, their new manager), according to published reports.

Now, Sports Illustrated reports that the Cubs have bid about $45 million (over three years) for San Francisco Giants pitcher Jason Schmidt. The Cubs have confirmed that they're interested in Schmidt, but they deny that they've offered him that amount. (The Dodgers are also reportedly interested in Schmidt.)

Still, if the published reports are true –- and if Schmidt indeed signs for that amount with the Cubs -- we're talking about a $285 million spending spree by Tribune.

It's as if Tribune has chosen home runs and stolen bases over reporters and editors. And, it makes you wonder: just how many bureau chiefs and staff writers/editors/photographers could the L.A. Times hire/retain for $285 million?

Just to rub it in, the Associated Press reports that the $136 million contract that Alfonso Soriano signed with the Cubs includes a clause that guarantees Soriano a hotel suite on all road trips and six premium tickets for all home games during spring training, the regular season, and the post-season. As if he couldn't afford to buy the damn tickets himself….

November 30, 2006 2:06 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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