The Cubs adressed their centerfield need by signing Marlon Byrd. They still have a few glaring holes that need to be addressed and have between 3-4 million left in the budget. The Cubs still need some bench help, a starting pitcher would be nice, a lead off man, and want a "veteran righthanded setup man"! Thats a lot of holes to fill with a very limited budget!
The Cubs need a power bat off the bench that can play third and first base, The reason that I feel this player needs to be able to play first and third base is because of Aramis Ramirez's shoulder, it may stay healthy for the rest of his career but he has already dislocated it twice and going into the season again without a good insurance policy could be disastrous, Derek Lee has neck problems and although he hasn't missed any significant time yet a solid backup would be a good plan. Last year proved that without Aramis Ramirez the cubs couldn't win, and the same thing would be true without Derek Lee as well.
Micah Hoffpauir is still young and may turn the corner and be a solid hitter in the the majors, like he was in the minors, he also might not. His batting average versus leftie pitching is a mere .200, while I'll agree 40 at bats isn't very much to go on. He also can't play third base. We currently have Jeff Baker as our back up option at third base. The problem with that though is should Fontenot continue to struggle we need him at second base, unless Castro is ready and Theriot moves to second base or if Andres Blanco shows he can handle the reins, But still Baker isn't going to give you anywhere near the production Aramis Ramirez does, just too many questions. We do have Josh Vitters in the minors, but reports suggest that he isn't quite ready to make the leap, nor would I want him sitting on the bench wasting valuable development time. If the cubs don't address this issue Vitters would be the best bet though, I would also like Vitters to get some playing time in the minors at firstbase and Leftfield, in case Lee or Soriano are injured for any length of time.
Miguel Tejada would fill a couple of needs for the Cubs if he is still available and can be signed for cheap like Bobby Abreu was last year with very little time before spring training starts Tejada would also like to stay at shortstop instead of moving to thirdbase where other teams want him to play this could certainly only help the cubs. Tejada on a year deal would be a huge acquisition for the Cubs, first he would be a solid stop gap before Starlin Castro is ready, and allow Ryan Theriot to move to second base, his natural position. Second if Aramis Ramirez re-injures his shoulder Tejada can play third base also, this would give the cubs much needed insurance. This would also allow Vitters not to be rushed as well.
Tejada will be 36 years old this may, older my MLB standards, but not washed up, this past season he showed he is still very useful with the bat hitting for a line of .313/.340/.455. He hit 14 homeruns and drove in 86 runs, while his homerun totals have tapered of a bit the last couple of years, after breaking his wrist by being hit by pitch, he is a couple years removed from that, and like Derek Lee he might hit again for significantly more power, even though if he repeated his performance from last year that would be very solid from the SS position. Tejada also wasn't offered arbitration so he wouldn't cost the cubs a draft pick either, another plus.
The cubs still wouldn't have a bonified leadoff hitter, but if the cubs signed Tejada they would be that much more solid offensively and still be a top competitor for the NL central even if the Cardinals re-sign Matt Holliday. If the cubs acquired Tejada the batting order would look something like this in 2010 Theriot, Fukodome, Lee, Ramirez, Tejada, Soriano, Byrd, Soto, and the pitchers spot. This would give Lee, Ramirez, and free swinging Soriano much needed protection and be a very solid lineup from top to bottom although vastly right-handed, but very potent. This would also restore some faith in Jim Hendry and give fans alot more faith going into the season. What are your thoughts would this be a good stopgap signing?
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