The first piece of Cubs news since "the Cubs got swept by the Dodgers" and "the Cubs suck" was released today, not even a week after the schedule for Cubs' players looked like more than just tee times.
Rich Harden will rejoin the Cubs in 2009 after the team picked up his $7 million option.
Not that there were many doubts, considering Harden's dominance when healthy, but the news means more than just the Cubs covering their bases for next season. It means we can look forward, not back.
There were people probably looking forward at the end of Game 2, but at least now, the only Cubs news will be good news. Now that Harden is sewed up for next season, one more piece is in place for the Cubs to make another run of it. Not that signing the same players guarantees anything, but Harden has proven his injury-questioned investment to be a definitely worthwhile one and it will be a pleasure to have him back in the rotation next season if his health provides it.
The next names on the Cubs' list of players to be signed include most notably Ryan Dempster, another move that seems to be necessary, even if the ghosts of Game 1 aren't done wreaking havoc.
Basically, when you finish with 97 wins, you need to take care of the guys that got you there right away to let these guys know they're valued. Then we will move on to what (or mainly who) needs to happen in addition to them.