Kap's Corner

Random Cubs Thoughts From the Breakfast Table

With Aramis Ramirez headed out on a rehab assignment on Thursday and looking to return to the Cubs everyday lineup next Monday it should change GM Jim Hendry's needs as the front office determines what moves they need to make before the July 31st trading deadline.

Do you add a utility type player who can fill in both in the infield and the outfield? Do you look to add a player who could potentially play everyday somewhere? What about improving the pitching staff?

Here is what my panel of experts told me yesterday as we continue our look at the 2009 Cubs:

Most of the baseball types I spoke with would not add a position player who was looking to play everyday. The former GM says that the price to add a big time OF plus the inability to move any of the bad contracts that the Cubs have out there (Soriano, Fukudome, and Bradley) makes it impossible to do.

He would look to add a veteran utility player who can give Ramirez a few days off to keep his shoulder fresh and also play some in the outfield when Bradley goes down which he believes is inevitable because of his 12+ career trips to the DL and his tough adjustment to playing in Chicago.

Everyone I polled would look to add not one but two bullpen arms, a situational lefty and a set up type who has pitched in pressure situations. In addition, multiple members of my panel believe that whoever the Cubs add needs to be a high character guy who can help clubhouse chemistry and energize his teammates with his personality.

Who is out there to be had? Well, one of Jim Hendry's favorite trading partners is his former boss, Baltimore Orioles president Andy MacPhail who happens to have a lefty in his pen who is currently closing and has continued to thrive against left-handers, holding them to a .103 batting average.

George Sherrill makes small money (2.75 million) and his contract is up after this season. He will be arbitration eligible this winter, he should command a big raise based on his numbers and he is already 32 years of age but perhaps he could be had for a couple of prospects that have some solid upside. The price will be high because Sherrill is left handed and talented but if you are trying to win this season then you do what you have to do.

The Orioles also have a position player who they are unlikely to re-sign in Aubrey Huff and he is having another solid season batting .275 with 10 HR's and 52 RBI's but he makes 8 million dollars which means the Cubs would have to assume roughly 4 million if they acquire him sometime in July.

He can play first, third, and a corner outfield spot and he is a free agent at the end of the season. What about putting a deal together that would send both Sherrill and Huff to the Cubs? My former GM source speculated that to acquire both guys (assuming the Cubs can take on the roughly 6 million dollars remaining on the two contracts) would cost Jim Hendry LH Sean Marshall, reliever Jeff Samardizja (who has a no trade clause that he would have to agree to waive), and a high level prospect not named Josh Vitters because he is untouchable from the Cubs point of view.

Would you make that deal knowing that everyone you are giving up will be in Baltimore for the forseeable future while the two guys you are receiving could both walk away at the end of the season? My source also said that MacPhail is one of the toughest guys in the game to make a deal with because his expectations of what is fair are usually very unrealistic.

More to come as I will be working the phones all day long.

Have a great day!

Kap

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3 Comments

Ramboner said:

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is Phil Rogers on your panel of experts?

waxpaperbeercup said:

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kap, in what world are you living where the cubs would take on $6 million worth of payroll? lmao. that's not happening. jim dandy's hands are tied. this team is what it is.

CB said:

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I know you have a secret man crush on kermit and and andy now

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