Okay, I spent most of November drooling over the idea that we could land Adrian Gonzalez in a trade and that he would be our firstbaseman for the next 7-8 years. Well, that didn’t quite work out and the Red Sox made a deal with the Padres instead. Congrats Beantown, you just got one great player!
I also focused on Adam Dunn. I really thought he wanted to stay in the National League and that the Cubs would offer him a 3-4 year deal. I wasn’t shocked that the Cubs did not sign him but a little surprised he went to the American League to play for the White Sox. Then they resigned Paul Konerko as well. Way to be aggressive Kenny Williams!
Then the Cubs went out and got Carlos Pena. A one year deal. Hmmmm, not a great average guy, plenty of power, great defense and a good clubhouse guy. So, I’m hoping he stays healthy, brings his average up without sacrificing any power and continues to play great defense at first. So, firstbase is taken care of, at least for 2011. Remember, it’s only a one year deal.
Now we need to focus on acquiring a starting pitcher. I’ve read that the Cubs have shown interest in Brandon Webb, Matt Garza, Zack Greinke and Armando Galarraga. Webb is a free agent and the other 3 we would have to trade for. I know that Gorzelanny and Fukudome are on the trading block, but I don’t know how much they will bring in. Gorzelanny is a lefty and is a great guy to have on the team in any role. He can start or come out of the pen. I don’t think we need to trade him, but I guess for whatever reason he is available. I would rather trade Randy Wells myself. Anyway, of the 4 pitchers I mentioned, I like the idea of acquiring Matt Garza the most. Greinke is going to “cost” too much in the way of prospects. Galarraga hasn’t impressed me outside of his near gem this summer. Webb is coming off a major injury and his velocity is barely in the mid 80s. Garza, on the other hand, is a stud! He just turned 27. He’s a right handed pitcher that stands 6’4″. He won 15 games with an ERA just under 4 last season and that’s in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox. Imagine what he would do against the Pirates and Astros! He’s a young man with a bright future. I hope Hendry can make a solid offer and I hope the Rays accept. If not, then we’ll have to figure something else out.
This offseason has been a slow one for Cub fans. We haven’t made any visible progress on acquiring someone to play first or strengthen or starting rotation and bullpen. Instead, we sat on the sidelines while the Red Sox traded for Adrian Gonzalez. We sat on the sidelines while the White Sox signed Adam Dunn. We sat on the sidelines while our “Arch” rival, the Cardinals, signed Lance Berkman. We’ve absolutely made no progress…….yet!
We still need someone to play first. Paul Konerko is available as of this post….heck, by the time I finish this someone else may have nabbed him. There’s Carlos Pena too. But I’ve been reading that the Cubs are interested in two other options. The first option would be via free agency in Adam LaRoche. I think we could sign him for $6-$8 million per year. I vote against that option. I think we would be better suited with Colvin at first instead of LaRoche. The second option, which I just read about, is more intriguing is making a deal with the Rangers for Chris Davis. Davis bats left, has plenty of pop in his bat, but strikeouts a ton and doesn’t hit for a high average. I don’t know who we would trade, but a couple guys that the Cubs are shopping are Tom Gorzelanny and Kosuke Fukudome.
I still say we need to sign Kerry Wood to help strengthen the pen but I haven’t read any updates on this issue as of late. I did read that he may go back to the Yankees though. I hope Hendry at least makes an offer.
Then there is the possibility of signing Brandon Webb. I doubt we go after him. I see him landing with the Nats. But if we did get him I think he could help our rotation if he’s healthy.
Whatever happens, I would rather see Hendry make a trade instead of a free agent signing. To be fair, Hendry has done okay when signing guys like Marlon Byrd, Ted Lilly and Mark DeRosa. However, his deals with Kosuke Fukudome, Milton Bradley and Alfonso Soriano haven’t worked out that well.
I guess all we can do is to stay tuned and hope Hendry can still make a good move or two.
Since trading Derrek Lee there has been a lot of talk about who will be the
Lance Berkman and Adam LaRoche are all still available but not players that I want the Cubs to pursue. I was hoping we could try Victor Martinez, but the Tigers have him now. I have even suggested moving to first, but I would prefer to keep him in the outfield if at all possible. My favorite idea is to trade for , but I know that’s not happening anytime soon, if ever.didn’t perform well last season after taking over for Lee and I don’t see him getting another shot. is 35 and is unlikely to be picked back up by the Cubs either. Adam Dunn,
So, this is my great idea. Move Soriano to firstbase. He is a liability in leftfield and by moving him to first it would open up a spot in the outfield for one of our younger guys, make us better defensively in the outfield and save us from spending money on any of this year’s firstbase free agents. We could use that money for 2012 or spend it on strengthening our pitching staff this year.
Let me know what you think the Cubs should do at firstbase and what you think of this idea or if you have any new suggestions for firstbase. I’m sure we will have a better idea of who will be playing first after the winter meetings that are coming up soon.
I’ve been writing about the possible players the Cubs could acquire to play first base. Adrian Gonzalez is my favorite choice, but that is very unlikely to happen. It’s nice to dream though.
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the Cubs aren’t going to go for any big names. No to Adam Dunn, Victor Martinez, Derrek Lee and Xavier Nady. Might as well say goodbye to Micah Hoffpauir too. He’s going to Japan to play ball next season. I don’t believe that Lance Berkman nor Paul Konerko were ever in consideration by GM Jim Hendry. I still think Nick Johnson has a chance as well as Lyle Overbay and Adam LaRoche. From what I’ve read, Hendry and the Cubs want to improve defensively at first and don’t plan on going after a big name. I assume that fits into some long term plan that the Cubs have for the future.
Bottom line…..I think the Cubs need to put Tyler Colvin at first base in 2011 and let him play everyday.
Another option the Cubs could pursue at first base is Xavier Nady. He played first base everyday after the Cubs traded Derrek Lee to the Braves. While he didn’t put up great numbers I personally think he still wasn’t completely healthy from his surgery to his elbow. Nady is a career .277 hitter and will turn 32 next week. If the Cubs were to pursue Nady I suggest it only be a two year deal. I don’t know what Nady is looking for in a deal, but the Cubs could offer him an incentive type of deal. I think he could hit at least 25 HRs at Wrigley Field and drive in over 90 runs while batting at least .280. Maybe I am being too optimistic, but I would prefer Nady over Johnson or Dunn. I think we could get him for a better price than Dunn. And I’m sure he would avoid the DL unlike Johnson. His defense isn’t the greatest, but I would be willing to live with it.
Another option the Cubs have at first is bringing back Derrek Lee. A sentimental choice.
Derrek is a great man, plays great defense, possesses good power and hits for a solid average. On the down side, DLee is 35 and his age did show last year before the Cubs traded him. He’s a career .282 hitter and I think he could bring his batting average up, but I don’t think he is the middle of the order type of hitter that the Cubs need. I would love to bring him back and for him to play well. However, there aren’t too many players that continue to produce at a high level after they hit 35. I am not discriminating against his age, just being realistic.
1. Find a job for Ryne Sandberg. AAA Manager, Bench Coach, ANYTHING!!!! Just keep Ryno! Well, it appears Ryno will not be with the Cubs organization at all this season. THANKS JIM HENDRY AND TOM RICKETTS FOR RUNNING OFF A GREAT MAN!
2. Sign, Trade or put Tyler Colvin at First Base. (I’ve read that Cubs may take a shot at Adam Dunn) Cubs may be interested in Nick Johnson too. We could always resign Xavier Nady too.
3. If Colvin doesn’t move to First then we need to trade Kosuke Fukudome.
4. Figure out the Starting rotation. I say the only job safe is Ryan Dempster.
5. Try to sign Cliff Lee. Nothing wrong with going after a REAL #1 starter. A big WISH! Or we could offer a deal to Brandon Webb. Just a thought.
6. Trade Alfonso Soriano and his ridiculous contract. I really doubt this one even comes close to happening, so it’s more of a wish than anything.
7. Sign Kerry Wood to help the bullpen. Probably could get him for a fair price. I think this may actually have a chance at happening.
The Cubs may have an interest in the slugging First Baseman. I know he would provide the power they are seeking, but I wanted to take a closer look at Dunn and look at the pros and cons.
Dunn will turn 31 next week and he’s probably looking for a long term deal. He is a Type A free agent so the Nationals will receive two compensation picks if he signs with another team. That’s good news for the Nats in my opinion as they continue to draft well and look to strengthen their minor league system. I just don’t know if the Cubs want add another long term salary to the roster. We already have Soriano and Zambrano eating up a sizeable chunk of the Cubs future payroll.
Statistically, Dunn is a career .250 hitter. That’s not the type of numbers I want in the middle of the lineup regardless of his power. Since 2004 he’s finished just over 100 RBIs every season but one. The lone season he didn’t eclipse the century mark was in 2006 when he finished with 92 RBIs. Even though 100 RBIs sounds good, Dunn has never finished with more than 106 runs driven in. Combine that with his low average and unbelievable strikeout rate and you are looking at a guy who is underachieving in my opinion. He’s a guy that flirts with 200 strikeouts every year. He has yet to hit that mark, but he did finish with 199 this past season.
Defensively, Dunn is a dud. The former outfielder was moved to First Base due to his ability to not catch the ball. The Cubs need to upgrade their defense. Dunn would do the opposite in that area.
When I think of a middle of the lineup hitter I want someone with a solid average, good power, the ability to score runs and drive in runs. Dunn has a weak average, great power, above average ability to drive in runs and below average on scoring runs. Given his age, poor defense and below offensive numbers for his position on the field and in the lineup I think he would be a bad choice for the Cubs to sign.
However, the way this offseason has begun, I look for Jim Hendry to try and sign the slugger. If he does, it will be a mistake.