Cubs Considering Outfielders
Multiple readers have emailed me about a radio report on WSCR 670 The Score out of Chicago today. According to the report, the Cubs are considering multiple trade possibilities to fill the monthlog gap left by Alfonso Soriano's quad injury. On the radar: Craig Monroe, Matt Stairs, Jeff Conine, and Adam Dunn. Additionally, Cubs GM Jim Hendry came out and said today that he's working the phones to find some help.
Contract situations of each player:
Monroe - $1.5MM left in '07, should earn $5MM+ in '08 before reaching free agency
Stairs - $267K left in '07, free agent after season
Conine - $630K left in '07, free agent after seasonDunn - $3.3MM left in '07, free agent after season if traded
Monroe is the right-handed Jacque Jones, contract situation and all. He'd be a poor and mildly expensive addition. He'd probably clear waivers.
Stairs is doing what he does best, mashing righties. He's having his best season since 2003. He's not earning much and has no '08 commitment. He played for the Cubs in '01 and did a decent job. The problem? He might be claimed off waivers before he gets to the Cubs. Jim Hendry really should've made this deal in July. Every AL team will have a crack at him first on waivers. Plus the Jays might fancy themselves contenders at six games out of the wild card.
Conine is on the last leg of his career and doesn't really offer anything Matt Murton doesn't. I don't really see the point but this pickup seems most likely.
Dunn is the most intriguing and also by far the least likely option here. The Cubs would have to give up some good players and pay out a decent chunk of salary for less than two months of Dunn. They'd also have to do something ugly like put him in right field when Soriano comes back. I don't see this happening.
I would say no to half of those except Monroe and Stairs. Dunn is to expensive and that trade wouldn't happen, Conine, please no! Monroe and Stairs would be a good improvement to the team and we can get them for nothing like Cedeno, Cotts, Ohman or middle level minor leaguers then do it.
Here is a list of players Hendry should look at.
Damon- The Yanks have tried to deal him the whole month of July and couldn't find a taker on his contract. He could clear waivers and alot of people wouldn't take on his salary. He would provide speed, pop, and crazy defense in CF. If you agree to pay the majority of the contract the yanks would probably take a couple of young minor league players for him.
Juan Encarnacion - He provides some nice defense and could also pass waivers. He is a good righty bat and he hits leftys well hitting .300 against them. He has a great arm and could make this team better.
Wily Mo Pena- Check this out on MLB.com-
Wily Mo Pena Clears Waivers
According to Rob Bradford of the Boston Herald, Wily Mo Pena has cleared waivers without a claim. It seems no team was willing to risk taking on the $580K owed to Pena this year. Pena can now be freely traded to any team in baseball, though the players received would have to clear waivers too if on the 40-man roster. The way around it would be to make them players to be named later.
I'm surprised no one put in a claim on Pena. It can't really be his salary, can it? Teams waste more than that on players with no upside constantly. Abraham Nunez makes almost $2MM this year. Is it possible that Theo Epstein somehow convinced the 29 other GMs not to put in a claim? That doesn't seem possible either. Why wouldn't Jim Bowden put in a claim? He loves Pena. Why wouldn't the White Sox put in a claim? Even if a GM figured he couldn't hammer out a deal with Epstein for Pena, why not put in a claim anyway just in case?
Why not get this guy. The Sox are basically unloading him. Why not ship them back Murton and give the Ohman while there at it. That should bring Pena here. He has raw power and if you read this blog then you know how much I love Pena!
Ryan Church- Good defense, he is a lefty and we really need someone who hits rightys well. He is a power threat but Jim usually want the sky for him.
Sammy Sosa- He has lost playing time because Texas is going with the youth movement. He would clear waivers and could come really cheap. He hits well against leftys and I would love to see a platoon situation with him and floyd in RF.
Brad Wilkerson- Good power numbers low OBP and low average but could be a nice addition.
In other notes the Cubs have recalled RHP Sean Gallagher and sent Ohman to Iowa. Bout time Ohman got sent down.