The Cubs have done a wonderful job solidifying their bullpen and rotation this off season but one big thing remains and that is the Cubs offensive upgrades or changes. Here are 3 moves I think the Cubs should do next.
1. Trade Carlos Marmol for Gerardo Parra and a mid-level prospect.
The Cubs have been shopping Marmol around and now that the Dbacks have agreed with Cody Ross they have a surplus of outfielders. Word is the Dbacks could revisit Upton trade talks or look to deal Kubel or Parra. The Cubs have been linked to Parra in the past and I think it makes more sense than ever to trade for him. The Dbacks are rumored to be looking for a reliever in return for either Parra or Kubel. Matt Thorten of the White Sox has been mentioned in a Kubel trade; so why wouldn't a Parra for Marmol trade not work. I say it should.
2. Trade Alfonso Soriano to somewhere.
The Cubs should get some good value for Soriano once some of the other outfielders come off the board. To where? I can only speculate. The Phillies, Mariners, Braves, and Rays makes sense. This will leave LF open for Parra to start everyday.
3. Sign Michael Bourn.
The price of Bourn continues to fall as the market gets smaller and smaller. The Cubs have already shown wiliness to sign a big contract to a younger player in Edwin Jackson. A really big need for the Cubs is a CF with good defense and speed. He provides that. I do not think the Cubs should overpay for Bourn but a 4-5 year deal worth $60M-$72M makes sense to me. This would allow the Cubs to keep DeJesus in RF or even trade him. If they traded him they could go with Schierholtz and Sapplet platoon in RF. Either way the Cubs outfield defense would be one of the best in the league.
With all this said and done it seems the Cubs may go into the season with a possible Stewart/Valbuena platoon at 3rd. But with the moves made that I listed above this is what I see for the starting lineup.
1. Michael Bourn CF
2. David DeJesus RF
3. Starlin Castro SS
4. Anthony Rizzo 1st
5. Gerardo Parra LF
6. Welington Castillo C
7. Ian Stewart 3rd
8. Darwin Barney 2nd
Not the dynamic power hitting lineup but I think it is good enough to at least be competitive. With the Cubs new starting pitching defense has to be a priority since they are not a lot of power hitters available. You have to work with what the market is giving you and I see that taking place here.
Until Next Time..