According to Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have not settled on their roster quite yet.
‘‘There’s opportunity out there the first week of the season for teams that are willing to tinker a little bit because a lot of players go through waivers, and you can get some players through waivers,’’ Theo said. ‘‘Once we get a few days into the season, we’ll be set and have some stability.’’
One player of interest is Nationals LH starting pitcher John Lannan. This was first speculated on by our own Tom Loxas a few weeks back. Lannan has requested a trade after being demoted to AAA to make room on the roster. The Cubs are in search of a LH pitcher, but it's assumed they are more interested in a bullpen arm.
Lannan has only had marginal success as a starter and project more as a #4 or #5 guy and the Cubs do seem set on their rotation, so I'm not sure what the thinking is here unless they plan on converting him to a RP.
The Cubs have some concerns about their bullpen and the Opening Day fiasco did nothing to allay those fears. At the very least, Lannan would give them another good arm and some flexibility.
The player that matches up in terms of salary and need for Washington is Cubs CF Marlon Byrd. It's been mentioned on this site in the recent past that the Cubs were taking a lot of calls on Byrd with the Nationals being prominent among those teams.
Lannan gives the Cubs an extra year of cost control over Byrd. He is arbitration eligible next year before becoming a free agent. Still, I'm not sure you can consider it value if you're going to pay a lefty reliever $5M, so to get real value, he has to start and there isn't any more room for him in the Cubs rotation than there is in the Nats'.
The alternative would be that the Nats have to pitch in some money and/or a good prospect to balance it out as they would clearly be getting the better player and the better value in such a deal.
As for CF, the Cubs have Brett Jackson waiting in the wings but he may not get called up right away. That distinction might go to speedster Tony Campana who electrified the Iowa crowd with his baserunning last night. With the Cubs likely to struggle to scratch out runs, they can probably use a guy who can steal a base and score from 2nd on an infield single, as he did in yesterday's game.
Whatever the Cubs case, it's clear the Cubs roster isn't set at this point. We can expect quite a few moves throughout the season, and apparently, maybe some as soon as this week.
Filed under: Rumors