Lou Pinella says that he will move Kosuke Fukudome to center field next year; he’ll platoon with Reed Johnson. This implies many things. Jim Edmonds won’t be back, Felix Pie will again ride the bench, and the Cubs are in the market for a powerful, right field, lefty bat. They are expected to have about 20 million to spend in the offseason. That might not be enough to resign Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster as well as a big lefty bat. The Cubs might be doing some serious backloading again. If they can squeeze him in, then Bobby Abreu would make a ton of sense. If Brian Giles would accept a trade to the Cubs, they would love him at only 9 million on a one year deal. Jason Marquis will have to be moved to clear salary. I could see them sign Abreu, Dempster, and Wood if they backload each deal and trade Marquis. Another idea: let Wood walk. They could then turn Carlos Marmol into the closer. After that, they might be able to trade Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, and Jason Marquis to the Royals for Ron Mahay. The Royals are adding a great center field prospect in exchange for taking on Marquis salary and Mahay. Have Mahay set-up for Marmol. This idea could work too. These are just some random ideas for the Cubs.
There have been rumors going around that the Cubs will consider trading Derrek Lee this offseason. Their reasoning is that it would open up more money to spend on a left handed bat. For example: The Cubs trade Lee to the Giants for Randy Winn and salary. Then they sign Adam Dunn to a big deal and tell him to play first base. They’d add power with Dunn and Winn, but would lose a lot of defense by subtracting Lee and moving Kosuke Fukudome to the bench. I think it would be an expensive way to get maybe an extra 1-2 wins. When you win your division by 8 games and the team 8 games behind you is losing their top two pitchers, 1-2 games doesn’t mean much. Plus the’re ruining the club house chemistry that was so good all year long by trading one of the leaders, Lee. If I was Jim Hendry, I would just try to resign Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood. Use the money on those guys, while backloading contracts. Trade Jason Marquis and all of the salary possible. Move Jeff Samardzija to the rotation, sign a middle reliever to replace him in the ‘pen, and then explore a trade for Randy Winn or Brian Giles. I would definatly not trade Derrek Lee.
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