With the recent free agent pool of quality players dwindling faster that the temperature in Chicago, has the time come to go to war in 2007 with Felix Pie as the Cubs everyday center fielder?
There is little doubt that Pie is an outstanding defensive center fielder but the question often posed is, does he have the plate discipline to succeed in the Bigs?
I believe yes on both questions.
First we have to look at the Cubs options if they don't bring him up.
Do we think that the Cubs will actually make a trade to get a Vernon Wells or Andruw Jones?
Can a Steve Finley, or similar type of veteran, be a better alternative than bringing up Pie immediately, just to have Pie get a little more seasoning?
I say no on both of those questions.
This is not to say that Wells and Jones are not the absolute studs that we can only hope Pie to be, but do you think the Cubs would even have enough, or even would it prudent for them, to trade what little minor league talent they do have to acquire either of them?
I say no again. The Cubs lineup is pretty formidable as it is and if they are short of anything on next year's club to contend, it's a stud pitcher not another position player.
Steve Finley would be a valuable addition to the Cubs roster for 2007 as a reserve outfielder and is a free agent. By all means the Cubs should make a legitimate attempt to acquire him, but as an everyday player, I think Finley's best days are behind him.
With the questions of the defensive prowess of Murton and Soriano in the corner spots, Pie's defensive excellence seems to be imperative to shore up the outfield defense. Batting Pie in the bottom of the order isn't the same as batting Corey Patterson at the top of the order, so the pressure should be at a minimum for Pie to get comfortable and perform reasonably well.