According to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs want to re-sign Kerry Wood and possibly give him the closer job. Ryan Dempster could be pushed down the reliever totem pole or traded (he makes $5.5MM in the last year of his deal). Dempster has expressed a desire to start in the past, but the Cubs don't seem keen on it. UPDATE: The Cubs are keen on Dempster as a starter, as Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000 reported today that he will be switched to that role in '08. Carlos Marmol, Bob Howry, or Kerry Wood will close.
I'm glad they want Wood back and he would be a great setup guy. On Dempster being a starter, not a good idea.. They might be doing that so they can trade him as a starter and get more from him rather than an unsuccessful reliever.
Rogers also notes that the Cubs will bring Mark Prior back on the condition that he'll accept an option for the 2009 season. That way they won't get burned if he does have a useful 2008.
Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald says the Cubs have interest in trading for Carl Crawford. Problem is, that would require a king's ransom in young players. Miles adds that the Cubs are serious about Kosuke Fukudome, and signing him would leave the team with plenty of outfielders. Phil Rogers echoes the Fukudome interest, also mentioning that the Rangers and Giants like him.
I would not mind either one of those guys, in fact if the Cubs got both it would really bolster there defense and offense and allow them to trade Pie, Jones, and Murton for pitching. Rumor has it Hendry has set up a meeting with Andrew Friedman in the GM meetings this week. It also sounds like the Cubs are prepared to offer a contract to Fukudome right when he becomes a free agent. WOW get these guys what a lineup!
Michael Silverman says the Cubs are among several teams interested in Coco Crisp. Within this piece Silverman says the Rangers are in on Crisp and the Red Sox like expendable catcher Gerald Laird.
Crisp is good option for CF, his defense is so good and has a decent bat. Here is his stats-
Another name on the Cubs' radar: Raul Ibanez. He makes $5.5MM in the last year of his deal, though he's a liability in left field. And the Cubs have Alfonso Soriano there already. Larry LaRue also says the Tigers and Indians like Ibanez; the Tribe could offer Aaron Laffey.
Not a bad option either, defense is a little shaky but his bat is good. Not sure if he can handle RF-
Not sure why, but the Cubs are also interested in free agent second baseman Kaz Matsui. Would the plan be to use him at shortstop? The Padres also have an eye on Matsui.
I don't understand this move at all, unless they use him as a super utility role. He does have speed and a decent bat but he wouldn't be an upgrade over Theriot or Derosa. Here is his stats-
The Cubs are also in on Cameron, in addition to Kosuke Fukudome. Rosenthal suggests the Cubs could put Felix Pie in Right if they get Cameron.
He has good defense and a good bat but will miss the first 25 games of next season. He is probably a Plan C.
Congrats to Lee on winning the Gold Glove!