Bears and Cubs Refuse to Hibernate – Take Action to Fill Holes

Getting Stomped by Albert Haynesworth in 2006

The Chicago Bears’ O-Line has been fairly criticized all year for its atrocious play, and its weakness has been compounded by recent injruires to RG Lance Louis and LG Chris Spencer.  So the Bears have reacted by acquiring C Andre Gurode.  Gurode – who most recently played for the Ravens – gained some notoriety as a Cowboy when he was stomped on by Albert Haynesworth in an incident that started the eventual decline of the one-time dominant defensive player from Tennessee. Gurode is a 12-year pro who has made 5 Pro Bowls appearances in his career.  He has evolved into a solid all-around player who can help the Bears as they enter their playoff-run stretch.  To make room on the roster for Gurode, the Bears waived Amobi Okoye.

The injuries have been piling up for the Bears recently, but with another home game this week and having their quarterback back it’s safe to say Gurode’s signing is simply for depth. The Bears have 2 winnable games in front of them, even noting that their next 3 opponents have winning records.  First up are the Seahawks at home in Soldier Field, which is the third home game in the last 4 weeks.  You can expect to see Gurode in the lineup to protect Cutler inside.

On the north side, the Cubs signed former Texas Rangers RHP Scott Feldman to a 1-year deal worth an estimated $6 Million that could go to $7 Million with incentives. Last year Feldman went 6-11 with a 5.09 ERA and a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Feldman was the Rangers’ opening day starter in 2010 after a pretty good 2009 campaign that saw him go 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 31 starts. However injuries intervened to derail his career, as he was relegated back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen. This is the second starting pitcher signed by the Cubs this offseason; they have also signed former Twins starter Scott Baker.  Expect Hoyer and Epstein to continue to tinker with this rotation and bullpen until spring training.