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The Cubs signed Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano to one-year deals today, avoiding arbitration.

Ramirez' deal is rumored to be in the $9 million range; no figures were available for Z. UPDATED 7:30 PM: Z's contract is for $3.76 million.

It goes without saying that the Cubs will try to sign both of these players to long-term contracts, perhaps before the season even begins.

The above article also notes an intriguing signing -- 36-year-old pinch-hitter extraordinaire Dave Hansen, who had a good year as a part-time 3B and PH for the Cubs in 1997 and then was inexplicably let go afterwards.

Hansen doesn't really play the field much any more -- he only played fourteen games (of 86 played) in the field splitting time between the Padres and Mariners in 2004, but his offense is almost rock-solid consistent from year to year.

I'd like to see him make the club; perhaps then the Cubs can dump Jose Macias. Jerry Hairston Jr. can do all the things Macias can, only better.