The Cubs just got done signing Ryan Dempster to a 4 year 52 million dollar deal yesterday making their rotation quite expensive, but that is not likely to effect Jim Hendry making some good solid deals.
- Joel Sherman says the Cubs are expected to try to trade Jason Marquis because of his 9.875 million dollar salary this up coming season. I think the Rockies, Rangers, Mets, and Tigers could be interested.
- Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Sun-Times has this list of options for RF as well as some starting pitching-
OF Adam Dunn (left), free agent (from Diamondbacks): Fits the middle-of-the-order power deficit from the left side and rakes at Wrigley Field. Also an A-plus clubhouse guy. But a market that figures to command long-term years and top dollar and the fact that he is a poor defensive fit take him out of the Cubs' realistic range.
OF Bobby Abreu, free agent (from Yankees): Another probable big-ticket guy who looks good on paper but isn't an easy fit in the 2009 parameters. As with Dunn, Cubs haven't even kicked the tires here.
OF Brian Giles, Padres (one year, $9 million left on contract): Forget it. Has an ideal-fit look but also has a no-trade clause and says he doesn't want to leave Southern California.
OF Raul Ibanez, free agent (from Mariners): Played for Lou Piniella coming up. Cubs tried to trade for him in July and have made contact this offseason. Might emerge as a top target, although some suggest he might command eight figures annually. That could become a challenge.
OF Mark Teahen, Royals (arbitration-eligible): Probably more of a secondary focus, depending on what other bat the Cubs might land first or how long it takes to fill the need. Cubs probably have the prospects to make it happen, but the teams haven't discussed it.
SS Rafael Furcal (right), free agent (from Dodgers): Cubs thought they had him signed the last time he was a free agent until the Dodgers swooped in. Furcal is said to have a half-dozen teams interested with ''two or three'' getting serious, including one team reported to have a three-year, $39 million offer on the table.
2B Brian Roberts, Orioles (one year, $8 million left): Orioles want to sign Roberts to an extension and appear poised to trade him this time if they can't get a deal done. But that process might take long enough to force the Cubs to look elsewhere.
2B Orlando Hudson, free agent (from Diamondbacks): If Cubs go in this direction, they might be competing against the Cardinals and White Sox. And depending on whom you believe, Hudson either will fall into an affordable range or quickly be bid out of the Cubs' zone.
LHP Randy Johnson (right)/RHP Jake Peavy/other starting pitching: With Ryan Dempster re-signed, additional starting pitching is viewed as a luxury the Cubs will indulge in only if the right deal falls to them.
Gordon forgot a couple that are still targets. According to Bruce Levine the Cubs are serious about bringing in Milton Bradley. A switch hitting bat in the middle of the lineup that could make his way in the 2,3,4, or 5 hole in the lineup. He is a defensive liability but so is Raul and Dunn. Another guy that is still intriguing is Jermey Hermida( a favorite of mine), he is said to be a plan B or C but still a guy the Cubs should have on their list.
Out of the players he listed, I think Abreu and Dunn top the list. With guys like Furcal and Roberts right up there because they would provide a legitimate leadoff hitter and allow some other flexibility in RF with Hoffpauier and Derosa.
- Paul Sullivan says the Cubs have spoke to Furcal's agent but nothing is that serious. He also stats the Cubs are interested in Randy Johnson and/or Jake Peavy still. If the Cubs got either one of those pitchers it would be an incredible rotation!
- MLB.com's Carrie Muskat says talks have ended for the Cubs and Padres about Peavy, even though other sources stat otherwise.
-With Crisp officially traded to the Royals it seems a deal that sends either DeJesus or Teahen to the Cubs is on the horizon. Crisp to the Royals only makes sense if they are going to trade DeJesus or Teahen because they already have overstuff outfield before the transactions. Keep an eye on this one!
Of course, more to come!!!