Cubs Targeting A Right Fielder
According to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, the Cubs have a lefthanded-hitting right fielder with power atop their offseason wish list. The name that comes to mind: Kosuke Fukudome.
Is it possible that Fukudome gets lost in the winter shuffle a bit and becomes a mild bargain? Something like three years, $30MM? Problem is that if he's only going to be a 15 HR guy, he needs to compensate for that by playing strong defense and posting a .380 OBP.
In terms of left-handed hitting right fielders with power, the Cubs could also consider Luke Scott, Ken Griffey Jr., and maybe Bobby Abreu if the Yanks cut him loose. The first two would involve intra-division trades though. Hopefully the Cubs don't go for Shawn Green.
The Cubs could double-dip in the Japanese market, as Miles says they'll look to add starting pitching depth. Hiroki Kuroda has been the starter connected to the Cubs thus far this offseason.
Miles adds that Jim Hendry is satisfied with Ryan Theriot as a starter. I liked the idea of Edgar Renteria, but failing that I'd consider giving Ronny Cedeno another shot.
The Cubs also seem to have some notion that they need to add speed, which seems like it could result in a bad decision similar to the Juan Pierre trade (ie, a Kaz Matsui signing or something).
I like the idea of Abreu or Fukudome being in RF for the Cubs next season. Both guys will get about 15+ homers, high OBP, and play really good defense. Not to mention with Abreu you get some speed in your lineup along with power. They would average 10 to 15 million a year in a 3 to 5 year deal which isn't bad considering Hunter and Jones are looking at 20 million a year. Would absolutely love seeing Abreu or Fukudome hitting in the #2 spot behind Sori and in front of Lee.
Kuroda is a guy I would love in the rotation. He has some sick stuff and is rated in the top 5 best pitchers in Japan last year. He would be a solid #4 for the Cubs and could force Marquis, Prior, Hart, Gallagher, and Marshall to battle for the 5th spot in the rotation.
I like Theriot at SS, but an upgrade isn't out of the question. Cedeno is not an upgrade. I would have loved to see Renteria at SS next season but they lost out on that. Other shortstops they should look at( besides Arod) are -
1. Tejada- A guy who could be linked to the Mitchell investigation but has a good bat, speed, glove, and post a .354 OBP, 18 homers, .296 average and 81 rbi in just 133 games last year. Deal could be done by sending over young outfield help and pitching.
2.Orlando Cabrera- In the last year of his contract and is owed 9 million this year. The Angels could look to move him if they acquire Arod and what Figgins to stay at 3b. They also have some talented young infielder that could fill the role. He could be expensive and cost a Donald Veal, Gallagher, or maybe Marshall with some other prospects. He did very well this year posting a .301 average with 8 homers, 86 rbi, and 20 sb.. he also posted a good .345 OBP
As far as speed goes.. I think MLBTR is looking at the wrong position. Matsui did have a good year hitting .288, with 4 homer, 32 SB and 37 rbi. He posted a .342 OBP and wouldn't be a bad fit as a bench guy for the Cubs. He is an cheap option.. I think if the Cubs want speed they need to go with Pie in CF or sign a guy who is a proven winner, has good speed and great bat. And one of my favorite players. SIGN LOFTON. He is gonna cost 8 million next year and would be a great mentor to Pie in CF. Not to mention he knows Wrigley, the Cubs, and the fans. He gets it done during the year and in the playoffs. Get Kenny to Wrigley again please!!!
Wood and Kendall file for free agency. Kendall is likely to be let go but Wood is likely to come back next year as a reliever or possiably a starter. We will have to wait and see.