The Cubs have continued their dialogue with the Mets about Luis Castillo according to Bruce Levine of ESPN, who would make perfect sense as their leadoff hitter sporting a career line of .292/.369/.354! He still has good speed having stolen 20 bases last year and his Obp was .387 last year, while his slugging percentage leaves something to be desired. Another plus though is that he is a switch hitter which would help to balance out the lineup.
Rick Ankiel although he is not the ideal choice he is a solid defender and has a plus arm in centerfield. He is also younger than Marlon Byrd and Scott Posednik, and has more upside. He has the potential to hit 20 to 30 homeruns and drive in a good share of runs. He is coming off an injury plagued season where he hit very poorly. Question for you if your a skeptic would you be be happy with a centerfielder who played solid defense and hit 20 homeruns drove in 65 to 85 runs and hit for a .250 average? If you said no and you wanted the cubs to go after Mike Cameron before the Red Sox got him then you have some explaining to do. For you Cameron supporters here's a thought for you Ankiel is younger, also plays solid defense, hits for power and is left-handed, which would help balance the lineup and he won't command a 2 year 15 million dollar salary like Mike Cameron. Yes he did have a bad year at the plate last year, but he was injured and with a little help from Jaramillo I highly doubt he wouldn't hit atleast .250 and 20 homeruns.
The Cubs have a limited budget and are reportedly interested in Jose Contreras as well. Who would fill in Ted Lily's spot in the rotation until he comes back and then move to the bullpen. What about Carlos Silva you ask? The Cubs probably have little to no faith in him and want a cheap backup plan. Samardijza hasn't developed, Sean Marshall is great out of the bullpen, but not as a starter, then we have the rule 5 draft guy Mike Parisi who could surprise but more likely won't make it out of springtraining and Gorzellany will most likely be the other starter. This would be a good depth signing and should come at a very resonable cost. After Lily comes back Contreras would be a 6th starter in case of injury. He also might be more effective out of the bullpen like Sean Marshall, and a lot of other guys who went from being a starter into the bullpen.
How are the cubs going to get all three guys on a limited budget? The Mets want to trade Luis Castillo in order to sign Orlando Hudson, If they were willing to pay half of his 2 year 12 million dollar contract, the cubs would have him for 3 million a year for 2 years. Jose Contreras he is older(38) and shouldn't command a whole lot of money maybe throw in some incentives. Rick Ankiel I haven't heard of any other teams being interested and he is too young to retire and coming off a bad year, yes Scott Boras is his agent but with no other interest I think he will take what he can get on a one year deal. Potential Cubs 2010 batting order Luis Castillo(switch-hitter), Ryan Theriot (RH), Derek Lee(RH), Aramis Ramirez(RH), Rick Ankiel(LH), Alfonso Soriano(RH), Kosuke Fukodome(LH), and Geovani Soto (RH). That would be a very balanced lineup with 3 guys batting from the left side versus righties. What are your thoughts?