The Chicago Cubs still need to find their 4th outfielder for the 2010 MLB schedule – Jermaine Dye, Xavier Nady and Reed Johnson are all on the list. Three starters are already locked in – Left Fielder Alfonso Soriano, Center Fielder Marlon Byrd & Right Fielder Kosuke Fukudome.
Dye has played for the cross-town rival White Sox the last few seasons. In 2009, however, Dye’s average dipped down to .251 well below his career .274 batting average. Dye had 27 HR’s, 18 doubles and 81 RBI’s during the course of the 2009 MLB schedule.
Nady played only 7 games during the 2009 MLB season. In July, Nady had season-ending elbow ligament replacement surgery. He is a career .280 hitter and he has played for the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates and both New York baseball teams – the Mets and Yankees.
Reed Johnson could also find himself back on the Cubs roster in 2010. Johnson played only 65 games for the Cubs in 2009 because of injury issues. He fractured his foot on a foul ball in July and never fully recovered. The Cubs told Johnson that he should at least test the free agency market to see if he could find a team that would guarantee him more playing time or a longer-term deal. If he doesn’t find something he likes, the Cubs could always bring him back under a 1-year club-friendly deal. Johnson was a fan favorite at the friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, so it would not be horrible to have him back – as long as the 33-year old is healthy.
The only other Cubs outfielder on the roster is Sam Fuld. Fuld is a scrappy player who excels at defense. He can play all 3 outfield positions. In 65 major league games for the Cubs in 2009, Fuld batted .299. Fuld also hit .284 at Triple-A Iowa during the season (84 games).
I like either Dye or Johnson. Dye is a good veteran presence and a good teammate in the locker room. Not having to play everyday could also prolong his strength during the long MLB season (he will be 36 when the season starts). Johnson seems like a good fit too. Nady seems like more of a long-shot given the surgery – not sure he’ll even be ready by Spring Training…
Come on Jim (Hendry) let’s get something done here…