Tagged: Lance Berkman

MOVE SORIANO TO FIRSTBASE?

Soriano Dropping Ball.jpgSince trading Derrek Lee there has been a lot of talk about who will be the Cubs next firstbaseman.  I’ve written several posts regarding this issue.

Xavier Nady didn’t perform well last season after taking over for Lee and I don’t see him getting another shot. Derrek Lee is 35 and is unlikely to be picked back up by the Cubs either.  Adam Dunn, 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 Tyler Colvin to first, but I would prefer to keep him in the outfield if at all possible.  My favorite idea is to trade for Adrian Gonzalez, but I know that’s not happening anytime soon, if ever.

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. 

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WHERE DO WE GO NOW?

Back in September I knew the Cubs would have a lot of holes to fill.  Obviously, we needed a manager and Mike Quade’s performance as the interim earned him the job even though my first choice was Ryno.  Now we need a new pitching coach and my first choice would be Greg Maddux, but I know that it won’t be him.  From everything I have read and heard, it appears that the Cubs will fill that position internally with someone like current bullpen coach Lester Strode or minor league pitching coach Mike Mason.  We have a huge need at firstbase, we need to find a veteran arm for the bullpen and we could use a starter to help strengthen the rotation. 

I have written several posts about firstbase.  My dream would be to trade for Adrian Gonzalez.  I really doubt that will happen.  I am afraid that Hendry will go cheap and sign a bum or overpay for a guy like Lance Berkman.  While I like Berkman, he’s 35 and comes with a lot of health risks.  The logical choice for adding a bullpen arm is Kerry Wood.  I truly believe this has a chance of happening.  Wood will be 34 next year and I don’t know how many seasons he has left in the big leagues.  I would love for him to sign with the Cubs and finish his career with them as well.  When it comes to our needs at starting pitching I am not too concerned.  Our pitching staff performed well last year despite not getting much run support and having injuries and meltdowns.  I would like to trade Carlos Silva and Randy Wells and decide what to do with Jeff Samardzija (he’s out of minor league options).  I have read lately that the Cubs are interested in signing veteran Javier Vasquez.  I like that idea if it’s a 1 or 2 year deal at most. 

No matter what Hendry and Ricketts decide I am not expecting much in 2011.  I am hoping they will make moves to make this team stronger for the long haul.  We need to bring some of our minor leaugers up and find out if they can play at the big league level too.  There is a lot of work to be done.  We need to get out the old yellow hard hats that the fans used to wear when Ron Santo played and get to work!

CUBS FREE AGENT RUMORS

I’ve been reading that the Cubs may have an interest in Lance Berkman to play firstbase and right handed pitcher Javier Vasquez.  From what I’ve read, Vasquez wants a one year deal.  I think the Cubs can afford to do that if they trade away Silva and possibly Wells first.  As for Berkman, the only way I would want the Cubs to sign him is if it is an incentive based contract.  He’s aging and isn’t known for his defensive abilities.  However, when healthy, he has one heckuva bat and could produce good numbers at Wrigley Field.  If I had to choos between the two I would opt for Vasquez over Berkman.

CUBS FIRST BASE OPTIONS GETTING SLIM FOR 2011

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. 

Race For MVP

Geovany Soto.jpg
Pujols.jpg
Utley.jpgIt’s getting late in the season and teams are still fighting for a spot in the playoffs.  The Philadelphia Phillies already have the last 2 MVPs in Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.  Chase Utley could make 3 years in a row for the Phils.  He’s having a great season and is trying to help his team make it to the post-season for the second straight year.  The big 3 of Utley, Rollins and Howard make for a tough lineup to face.  However, having Rollins and Howard in the lineup may hurt Utley’s chances at winning the award.   
Then there is Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals.  His stats are great every year.  But this year is different.  No longer does he have the protection in the lineup that he had in years past.  Yet,he is making other players on his team better.  For example, Ryan Ludwick has slugged 31 homers and drove in 93 runs so far this season.  This is no insult to Ludwick, but I honestly don’t think he would have achieved these numbers without having Pujols in the lineup.  Pujols continues to dominate pitchers and is doing it with a bum elbow that he considered having surgery on before the season even started.

There are other deserving candidates from other teams as well.  Ryan Braun of the Brewers is having a fine season, but has been sidelined as of late with a bad back.  The Houston Astros have Lance Berkman and the now injured Carlos Lee.  Both of these sluggers would be top 3 candidates if their team was more of a playoff contender.  Even though I don’t like the New York Mets, I think we must consider David Wright as well.  He has more help though with Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and aging Carlos Delgado in the lineup.  Matt Holliday of the Rockies and Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins are two other players worthy of MVP consideration. 

Then there is the darkhorse candidate in the catcher of the Chicago Cubs, Geovany Soto.  He has quietly become one of the top catchers in the game of baseball.  In my last post, I mentioned why he should be considered as the best catcher in the National League.  For those same reasons, I think he merits consideration as MVP.  Would the Cubs pitchers be as effective as they are with Michael Barrett still catching?  I doubt it.  He’s a team leader, good hitter and good defender.  All while being a 25 year old rookie. 

 

When the season is over and the MVP is announced I think it will come down to Chase Utley and Albert Pujols.  While I would love to see Soto end up with the award I know he won’t.  His offensive numbers don’t match up with Utley or Pujols, but he does more for his team than he will get credit for.  The next time you watch a Cubs game take notice of Geo.  Whether he’s calming down a veteran pitcher or delivering a clutch hit you will see how valuable to this team he really is.