As far as historians can tell, the Ex-Cub Factor curse was broken in 2001 by the Diamondbacks. If you’re not familiar, the Ex-Cub Factor says that a team with three or more ex-Cubs cannot win the World Series. Regardless, the Indians are in decent shape as they have only two (Joe Borowski and Kenny Lofton). I think the Rockies only have LaTroy Hawkins.
The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan recently noted that the Orioles are stocking up on ex-Cubs, the latest being nondescript reliever Roberto Novoa. Former Cubs president and GM Andy MacPhail has already added three to the four that were previously on the roster.
I mention all of this because of Sullivan’s last line, that MacPhail might take a look at free agents Kerry Wood and Michael Barrett this winter. Wood I can see – he fits in with most teams at the right price as an intriguing yet high-risk swingman. As for Barrett – perhaps the O’s would pursue him on a bargain one-year deal if they manage to trade Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez makes $7.5MM in ’08, $8MM in ’09, and probably a $1MM buyout in ’10. So, $16.5MM over the next two years. If the O’s pay $5MM or so, teams like the Mets, Yankees, Rockies, or Marlins could be interested.