The Cubs surprised the sports world today, signing 35-year-old DH Travis Hafner to a 10-year, $125 million contract. The oft-injured former Cleveland Indian hasn’t played more than 150 games in a season since 2007, but team president Theo Epstein said he finally couldn’t resist the urge to frivolously spend his club’s money on an aging veteran who does nothing to improve the team.
“Sure, signing Travis to a huge deal that will expire when he’s 45 doesn’t fit into our long-term plans and will limit us from making other moves for the next decade, but I’ve been running this team for well over a year now and have yet to get all buck wild with that huge pile of money the Ricketts family is sitting on,” said Epstein. “They’ve got billions. With a ‘b.’ And I’ve just had to sit there and pretend the money doesn’t exist all this time. Do you know how hard it is to practice that kind of restraint?”
The Cubs swooped in and outbid the Yankees, who were reportedly close to a one-year, $2 million deal for Hafner.
“See, when you’re sitting on billions of dollars you can do this kind of insane stuff,” said Epstein. “We outbid the Yankees for an aging veteran who’s always hurt. How many other front offices can lay that claim to fame? Just one. And it’s us.”
Epstein also added that with Alfonso Soriano’s seemingly never-ending contract finally expiring after last season that Hafner will slide in nicely to the role of team scapegoat.
“There’s always an excuse for the Cubs’ ineptitude,” said Epstein, “and as long as we can blame it on the players with crazy contracts rather than the people who signed them to those deals, I’m a happy camper.”