Posted on 23 December 2009 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs want to move Kosuke Fukudome back to right field in 2010. That is his natural position and they feel like he will be a better hitter not having to worry about manning the center field position at Wrigley. So, the Cubs must find a center fielder.
The Boston Red Sox signed Mike Cameron. Juan Pierre signed with the Chicago White Sox.
Reed Johnson is still out there, but injuries have been a concern over the last couple of years with Johnson and they don’t want to get into a similar situation again by depending on Johnson.
The same could be said for Scott Podsednik who did a great job for the White Sox in 2009 but who is always an injury away from missing significant time.
Tops on the list right now is Marlon Byrd, but he has several suitors and the Cubs might not have what it takes to land Byrd. Plus, with the late signings before the 2009 for minimal dollar amounts (see Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, etc.) maybe GM Jim Hendry is counting on the fact that he might be able to wait it out and sign someone at the end of January/early February for minimal money and years. A player who could hold the position for a year or 2 until Tyler Colvin is ready to play at the major league level each and every day. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything on the transaction front.
Posted on 15 December 2009 by Lou
While other teams are wheeling and dealing this winter, GM Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs are stuck in the mud. Hendry is still trying to make a Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell deal happen with the Tampa Bay Rays. Each of Bradley and Burrell are owed $9 million during the 2010 MLB campaign. But Bradley is still owed $11 million in 2011 and the Rays want the Cubs to pick up some of that tab for making a dumb contract with Bradley. The deal still could happen, but it will all depend upon what the Ricketts Family is willing to eat for the disgruntled outfielder. If the deal does go through, then Hendry and the Cubs would likely try to move Burrell somewhere else, and would presumably have to eat a portion of the $9 million owed to Burrell for this season.
Assuming of all this happens, Hendry and the Cubs still need to find a starting center fielder. The New York Yankees already traded for Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers. The Boston Red Sox beat Hendry and the Cubs to the punch on free agent Mike Cameron, signing him to a 2-year $15.5 million deal (seems a bit much for a 37-year old center fielder to play left field). There are still a few options out there. Tops on the list is Marlon Byrd from the Texas Rangers. Byrd is 32 and has flourished under hitting coach Rudy Jarmillo who is now the Cubs hitting coach. Byrd is averaging a .295 batting average in his last 3 seasons in Texas, but has plenty of suitors competing for his services. If it gets into a bidding war, the Cubs will likely lose out on the outfielder. After Byrd, there are less attractive options like Rick Ankiel and Scott Podsednik. If the Cubs don’t get Byrd, I would rather have them try to re-sign Reed Johnson instead of taking a shot on Ankiel or Podsednik.
Guess we’ll see what happens. It is definitely frustrating watching all of these top notch teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies continue to improve while the Cubs sit idly by hoping that someone pecks them on a cheek and gives them a bone. It is pretty pathetic. The Ricketts Family and Manager Lou Pinella must be seething at the position Hendry has left the Cubs in this off-season and the off-season for the next couple of years with the Bad Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley contracts still crushing the books…