Cubs open checkbook, raise expectations

After spending nearly $300 million on free agents this offseason, expectations have greatly increased for the Cubs.

Originally Published: February 5, 2007
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

Was there any event that summed up baseball's wacko winter better than this:

A general manager's signing a free-agent pitcher to a $40-million contract while hooked up to an EKG machine?

This actually happened, you know. In real life. And of course, this occasion could have involved only one team -- the Cubs.

This was a winter in which the insane number of dollars (all 1.65 billion of them) bestowed on a stunningly run-of-the-mill free-agent class gave lots of baseball men a near-coronary. ...

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