With Ryan Dempster signed for the next four years, there are not a whole lot more questions that need to be asked regarding the current lineup. Unlike most teams, the Cubs are in great shape. The majority problem might be the fact that of stars are putting another season on their odometer. There are a few gaps that could be mended however and according to MLB Trade Rumors, they are planning on increasing their payroll another $10-20 million. So below are ten guys to fill the few holes the Cubs have.
10. Brad Wilkerson
The Cubs are in the need for an outfielder that could potentially lead off. While looking at Wilkerson's batting average over the past few seasons I would not recommend Lou put him there, but he does have a very good on-base percentage. He can play all three outfield positions and is a switch hitter.
9. Mark Mulder
Mulder has had anything but success since 2005. Injuries have taken away this two-time allstar's most promising years age-wise. But if the Cubs do find a way to get rid of Marquis, something they are trying desperately to do, this could be a cheap solution with a lot of potential upside.
8. Dennys Reyes
Are the Cubs really counting on Neal Cotts to be their late lefty reliever? The 31-year-old journeyman could be had for probably about $1 million. He posted a 2.33 ERA last season in 75 appearances for Minnesota.
7. Rocco Baldelli
Rocco might have revitalized his career last season hitting .263 in the last 30 games and hitting a key home run in the post season for the Rays. This might be a questionable acquisition, but he could be a solid outfielder that could platoon with Fukudome.
6. Joe Beimel
While the the right-handed relievers might one of the better trios in baseball (Marmol, Gregg, Samardzija). As stated earlier, they need a lefty middle reliever. Beimel had an era of 2.02 in 49 innings last season for the Dodgers. While he will probably be a better reliever than Reyes, it will probably cost a couple million more.
5. Jake Peavy
Yes, Jake Peavy might be one of the top five pitchers in baseball. While these trade rumors might sound great, the price it would cost does not seem worth it. They already have an ace in Zambrano, two 17-game winners in Dempster and Lilly, and Rich Harden, who was 5-1 with an era of 1.77 in less than half a season. My point is they do not need him. In fact if there was any team in baseball that needed Peavy the least, the Cubs would probably be my top pick. This excludes other multiple factors. Payroll would soar, and the Cubs would have to give up a lot including Samardzija and probably prized minor-leaguer Josh Vitters, the #3 pick in the 2007 draft. I can go on about this for pages as to why they shouldn't do it but the fact is there is an interest here and the Cubs are on Peavy's shortlist.
4. Jon Garland
With all I just said about Peavy, Jon Garland might even be more than they need out of a number five. Once again, in order for either of these two to come to the North Side, Marquis needs to be moved. Garland could be a steal though. He didn't have the greatest of seasons last year, but at the age of 29, is still in his prime and could unsurprisingly win 15 games next year. A possible $8 million price tag should scare the Cubs, but probably not.
3. Mark Teahan
This is a relatively new deal that has been brought to the public, but Mark Teahan could be the ideal pickup for the Cubbies. He slumped last season after hitting .285 in 2007. But the Cubs are looking for a lefty leadoff man who can play right field. Ding! Ding! Ding! Teahan was originally a corner infielder and the oft-injured combo of Lee and Aramis could have a few more days off with Teahan in the lineup. In order to aquire him it looks like they will have to give up something along the lines of Sean Marshall and either Ronny Cedeno or Felix Pie.
2. Adam Dunn
Dunn hit 40 homers for the sixth straight season in 2008. While his batting average is never high, his slugging percentage is one of the bests in baseball. The go-big-or-go-home outfielder might look lost in the outfield at times, but a heart of the order that looks like Soriano, Lee, Dunn and Ramirez is surely one no pitcher would want to face. Another good thing about him is that he is not being as talked about as he should be so if they move quickly on him they might be able to do so at a reasonable price.
1. Bobby Abreu
They have already dubbed Fukudome a failure (a little prematurely if you ask me, especially with the yen they dished out for him). Regardless, what they wanted out of him was what they are going to get out of the 34-year-old free agent; a great defensive right fielder with great plate discipline and drives in runs. Despite being on the downside of his career, he hit .296/.371/.471 with 100 RBI, 100 runs, and 20 homers. The cost might be high, and the bidding war might raise it even more, but it it would surely be worth it to fill a big hole.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Top Ten Potential Cubs Pickups
Posted by Phil Barnes at 12:00 AM
Labels: Phil Barnes
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It's fine to go out and get some good players...but what about the manager.They have bee knocked out 2 years in a row! Lou can't win the big one...time for him to go! Get someone who can win now while these guys are still fairly young!!!
whoa, you really think the Cubs should show the 2008 NL Manager of the Year the door? No team has won more games the past two seasons than Lou's Cubs. Yes he botched the 2007 playoff by taking Z out early in game 1, but 08 there was nothing Lou was going to do from stopping Manny. The Dodgers were just the better team that week. Lou Pinella is the second best manager in baseball behind Ozzie. Noone motivates or tries to motivate their players more than these two flamboyant characters.
Didn't get a chance to read the Top Ten yesterday, but I wanted to say that I still like Rinicon as a middle reliever.
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