Bruce Miles loves the idea of Kosuke Fukudome manning right field for the Cubs. He notes that Fukudome would please both the stathead and old-school factions of the team's management.
Cafardo proposes the idea of the Cubs acquiring J.D. Drew as their OBP-minded right field acquisition. Drew has a limited no-trade clause allowing him to block two unknown teams. I imagine the Red Sox would have to eat some salary.
Both of these guys would look great in RF next season. Fukadome has til Nov. 12th to file for free agency. The Cubs seem to be top suitors for both Fukadome and Kuroda from Japan, I wouldn't be surprised if they get them both and use Pie in CF or trade Pie to make room for a CFer like Crawford, Rowand, or Lofton.
As far as JD Drew is concerned I was shocked to see that the good hitting OF posted an OBP of .373 and has a career OBP of .390. He will get you 10+ homers a year and hit about .280 and play really good outfield. He mite cost some decent prospects and Boston would have to eat some of the 56 million left on his deal but I can see them getting something done.
Random thought, can you imagine the Cubs getting Drew and Fukadome both???? Drew and Fukadome can play CF, in fact Drew played 68 games in CF in the past 4 years. The defense will be better than last year and the lineup would certainly improve-
Thats a nice lineup!
Jim Hendry will head east today, as he flies from Arizona to Florida and baseball's general managers meetings.
The GM of the Cubs also will be looking to the Far East.
During last week's organizational meetings in Mesa, Ariz., the Cubs indeed discussed the possible signings of prominent Japanese free agents Kosuke Fukudome and Hiroki Kuroda.
Fukudome is a left-handed batting corner outfielder who can hit for power and put up a high on-base percentage, something the Cubs desperately need and something field manager Lou Piniella wants.
Kuroda is a right-handed pitcher who might be able to fit into the No. 3 slot in the Cubs' rotation, which could use some bolstering after a season of inconsistency.
The Cubs will not have to cough up big "posting" fees just to talk with Fukudome and Kuroda, but each player must declare free agency and his intention to come to North America before teams here may negotiate with them.
Cubs insiders said their scouts like both players, but Hendry said he didn't want to talk about either until they declared.
Although the Cubs liked Kuroda in the past -- personal reasons kept him in Japan this year -- the fierce competition for pitching may make Fukudome an easier player to sign.
"We're looking to try to get better," Hendry said Saturday from Arizona. "We came out here with thorough information on all the other organizations and free agents. Our scouts did a good job getting deep into their coverage and giving us a lot of insight.
"We'll have different avenues (to explore). We don't have a plan to get 'this guy' or 'that guy.' It's not like last year, when we signed (Mark) DeRosa early, and that set up a lot of the other things we did. It'll be a normal, aggressive path."
Hendry said he already has set up "four or five meetings" with GMs of other clubs for this week. The Cubs could get a deal done -- perhaps trading outfielder Jacque Jones, reliever Will Ohman or another pitcher -- or they could set the stage for something to get done next month at the winter meetings.
Job 1 may be to try to get a deal done with reliever Kerry Wood before he goes on the open market. The Cubs may want to offer Wood, say, one year plus an option. If Wood hits the market, other clubs may offer him much more.
The Cubs and pinch hitter Daryle Ward, as expected, exercised the $1.2 million option for 2008. At the same time, the Cubs bade farewell to outfielder Cliff Floyd and pitcher Steve Trachsel by declining their options. They also added pitcher Adam Harben to the 40-man roster from the minor leagues.
The moves happened Friday, but the Cubs chose not to announce them until Saturday.
Ward, 32, batted .327 with 3 homers and an OBP of .436. As a pinch hitter, he was 11-for-41 with 18 walks. Ward spent a couple of stints on the disabled list with hip and calf injuries.
"We felt Ward was arguably the best pinch hitter, and if not, he certainly was in the upper echelon," Hendry said.
Nagging injuries also slowed Floyd, who batted .294 in 108 games. Hendry expressed no regrets about trading youngsters Scott Moore and Rocky Cherry to Baltimore for Trachsel, who went 1-3 with an 8.31 ERA after the Aug. 31 trade.
"Steve Trachsel won a huge game for us in Houston," Hendry said, referring to a 6-2 victory Sept. 13 at Houston. "That enabled us to do exactly what we wanted to do: start Carlos Zambrano in the first game (of a key series) at St. Louis."
The Padres really seem to like Felix Pie, and could re-open talks that would include Khalil Greene. They've asked about Tony Gwynn Jr. of the Brewers in the past. And it does sound like the Royals are willing to talk about David DeJesus.
The only way I see this deal happening is if the Cubs get a good CFer thru trade of Free Agency- like Drew, Jones, Rowand, Hunter, or Crawford- other wise the Pads are going to have to come with someting with Greene, like Justin Germano or Joshua Geer.