Lou Piniela Says Starting Pitching's Set, but He Still Needs a Left-Handed Bat

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Lou Piniela Says Starting Pitching's Set, but He Still Needs a Left-Handed Bat

It has been widely rumored that the Chicago Cubs are looking to trade for 2007 Cy Young Award Winner Jake Peavy. Peavy, who pitches for the San Diego Padres, was 10-11 with an ERA of 2.85 and 166 strikeouts with a ball club that was not in playoff contention this past season. 

We now know, from Sweet Lou himself, that that rumor is 100 percent false.

Lou Piniella said, "No, starting [pitching] we don't need. We're set. We've got six good starters, and they're all experienced. Getting Dempster back was the key. We're in good shape with our starting pitching. Bullpen-wise, [we're looking for] possibly one more experienced pitcher. We've got a lot of young kids out there."

But who will take the place of the much-needed left-handed bat? The current favorites are Raul Ibanez, Mark Teahan, Bobby Abreu, and Adam Dunn.

Ibanez is the nicest of fits. He knows Piniela well from playing with him in Seattle 1996-2000, is very negotiable on contracts, and he has a combination of average and power. Last season Ibanez hit 23 home runs, batted .293, and hit 110 RBI.

"Raul can hit. No question," Lou announced. "He's a professional bat, and he's that type of hitter that we're alluding to...And he's a great guy, no question. I like the guy. He's a professional hitter; he plays hard; he's a good player."

Bobby Abreu is not recognized for his talents playing in New York with Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, Robinson Cano, and Xavier Nady. Last season Abreu put up 20 home runs, batted .296, and had 100 RBI. That is a good mixture of talents.

Adam Dunn surely knows the long ball but he can't hit for an average.

Mark Teahan puts up numbers too small to be considered in my book.

But the decision goes to Jim Hendry and, as we see here, maybe even Lou Piniela.

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