With rumors spreading and the off-season well under way, I felt it was time to discuss a few of potential moves for the Chicago Cubs.
The most talked about rumor of the off-season would likely be the possibility of bringing in current Detroit Tigers center-fielder, Curtis Granderson. The Tigers have expressed interest in dealing a few of their players in order to dump salary, and Granderson could definitely be one of those players.
A Granderson trade wouldn't be cheap, but would it be worth it? It is likely that the Cubs will trade disgruntled outfielder Milton Bradley in the off-season, and move Kosuke Fukudome to right fight. This would create a glaring hole in center, with Sam Fuld or Tyer Colvin being the only legit in-house options.
Granderson has multiple years left on his deal, which is a plus. He hits with great power and has good speed. Why wouldn't they make the deal? Granderson doesn't hit well against lefties, and would likely cost multiple prospects. What are your thoughts?
If Granderson is acquired, it raises the question of what to do with Milton Bradley. Many names have come up when talking about a Bradley trade, including Luis Castillo, Pat Burrell, Kevin Millwood, and Vernon Wells. Notice a pattern? The Cubs would likely have to participate in a bad contract swap in order to move Bradley without having to pay much of his remaining salary.
Could the Cubs get away with keeping Bradley for another season? This is a question I have been asking myself for a couple weeks now. I dislike Bradley's attitude as much as any other Cubs fan, but Bradley has nowhere to go but up after a disappointing season. Also, it doesn't hurt that the Cubs brought in Rudy Jaramillo, his former hitting coach with whom he had tremendous success. I just don't like the idea of trading Milton for someone like Pat Burrell...how would that be an upgrade?
The Cubs don't figure to be very active in free agency this off-season, as they don't have much payroll to work with. At this point, it doesn't seem likely that the Cubs will re-sign either Rich Harden or Reed Johnson. The Cubs were rumored to be a possible suitor for Matt Holliday, but that'll never happen. Period.
A few other holes that stand out for the Cubs are at second base, closer, and another starter if they are unable to re-sign Harden. As of now, the opening day starter at 2B will be Jeff Baker. He finished the season strong, but I'm not sure he'll be able to be a solid everyday guy for a team like the Chicago Cubs. Should the Cubs acquire a new 2B in the offseason or hold off and give top-prospect Starlin Castro time to work his way into a starter.
Carlos Marmol could easily be the everyday closer again next season, but how much trust do Cubs management have in him? Jose Valverde and Billy Wagner are among some of the free agent closers.
What are your thoughts on some of these options? Do you have any other solutions? This offseason promises to be a very active one for the Chicago Cubs. This could get interesting...