Since the beginning of November I have posted a few ideas regarding free agents and trade possiblities. This next one is probably not even close to Jim Hendry’s radar, but maybe it should be. Jose Lopez is a young man, just turned 28, and is capable of playing secondbase, firstbase or thirdbase. So, here is my suggestion to Hendry. Get him now. Use him at secondbase in 2011 unless Aramis Ramirez gets hurt and if that happens move him to thirdbase. After next season, Aramis will be a free agent and I’m sure he will be looking for a contract worth more than what the Cubs will want to spend. Plus, he’s 5 years older than Lopez. My long term plan would have Lopez as our future thirdbaseman. There is no doubt he has power in his bat considering he hit 25 homers in 2009 while playing in spacious Safeco Field for the Mariners. And even though Lopez struggled last season I still believe he is young enough and capable of putting up similar numbers to 2009….especially if he plays in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. By moving him to thirdbase we could possibly dangle Josh Vitters in a package deal for Adrian Gonzalez. YES, I’M STILL HOPING WE CAN PULL OFF SOME SORT OF DEAL TO GET HIM!!!!!
Anyway, I think we can get Lopez relatively cheap. Then we could get rid of Jeff Baker or Blake DeWitt. No need to keep both of them. I suggest we keep DeWitt and use him as a utility infielder and a lefthanded bat off the bench.
Imagine in 2-3 years the Cubs infield looking something like this. At 1B Adrian Gonzalez, 2B Starlin Castro, SS Hak-Ju Lee and 3B Jose Lopez. I think we would do well with that infield.