With the announcement that the Cubs are shifting more of there money to the draft this season and player development; not to mention the Ricketts announcing the smaller budget to spend for next season; the Cubs will likely turn to the trade market for a 1st baseman. The Cubs still consider Adam Dunn their number one priority this offseason but sources say he maybe too expensive and Hendry may not want to hand out a big contract again with the risk it blowing up in his face like Soriano, Fukudome, Bradley, and Zambrano. The Cubs have been rumored to be interested in low price free agents like LaRoche, Overbay, Wigginton, Nady, Huff, and Lance Berkman. The Cubs also like Carlos Pena but figure he could probably be out of their reach as well. Out of that group I think Huff and Berkman look like reasonable fits although I doubt Berkman would come to Chicago.
So..... with this said the Cubs could look to the trade market. Here is a list of players that could be available via trade. (No Adrian Gonzales or Prince Fielder rumors here)
James Loney- The Dodgers have been dangling his name out there the past three off season in order to get some high prized players. Since then his stock has decreased but he still has value. Loney hit .267 with 10 homers and 88 RBI last season. His numbers have decreased each of the last three seasons but you could see those numbers jump some going to hitter friendly Wrigley field. He is also only 26 years old and a good defensive lst baseman.
Kila Ka'aihue- The guy has raked in AAA and has done decent at the ML level. The Royals may make him available because of Butler at 1st or they could keep him and make Butler available. He again is only 26 years old, decent defensively, and has his best days in front of him. Definitely a guy you add to a young up and coming team.
Billy Butler- If the Royals want to keep Kila then ask for Butler. Butler has been a stud for the Royals hitting .318 with a .388 OBP, a decent defender, and good power hitter with his best days in front of him as well considering he is only 25 years old. He would come with a high prospect price though in the form of Hak-Ju Lee, Wellington Castillo, Jay Jackson, or Brett Jackson. Which I do not know if he would be worth that price.
Mike Napoli- A true power hitter with 26 bombs last season but older and not really an everyday player. Still could interest the Cubs.
Daric Barton- No one on the A's is ever off limits but he maybe as close as they come. A young up and coming good defensively 1st baseman who hits for OK power but has a tremendous eye.
Pablo Sandoval- Not likely to be available but the decrease in production could have the Giants at lease listen to offers for him. He is a true third baseman but has played first. Would do well in the power category at Wrigley and is a switch hitter. Not a bad option if you are Jim Hendry.
Luke Scott- The Cubs had interest when he was with the Astros and he has put up better numbers since then. He hit 27 homers this season while playing RF, LF, DH, and 1st. He would be very valuable to this Cubs team and cheap financially.
Todd Helton- Don't laugh the guy can still hit and could be a nice stop gap until the 1st baseman frenzy in 2012. He is owed 10 million over the next two seasons.
Nick Swisher- A great clubhouse guy who I have endorsed going to the Cubs for the past three season. He is post season tested, a switch hitter with power, who can play all three outfield positions and 1st. 20+ homeruns seasons since 2006!
Who do you like? For the future I like Kila, Butler, and Loney. For the present I like Swisher.
Until Next Time.....