Friday, October 17, 2008


After witnessing the dominant RH pitching staff of the Dodgers getting pantsed by the Phillies, we must realize that one of the Cubs most glaring weaknesses is not having a balanced lineup.

The Cubs had five players that hit 20 or more HR's and all of them were right handed.

Soto is a young quality defensive catcher that doesn't cost anything so moving him makes no sense.

DeRosa's versatility defensively is invaluable and isn't much of a hit to the payroll either.

Soriano's contract makes it almost impossible for the Cubs to move him.

Ramirez plays a position that there aren't many in all of baseball that could come anywhere close to his production, not to mention the ones that do aren't free agents or a LHB.

That leaves Lee. If there ever was a position with the exception of LF where you could afford to not have a Gold Glover, it would be 1B. The Cubs have a young power hitting LHB in Hoffpauir that certainly does not compare favorably defensively to Lee, but playing 1B is still his natural position. Hoffpauir doesn't cost anything and Lee, even with his no trade clause could garner some significant talent in return if he granted a trade.

If Fukudome doesn't improve much and Edmonds retires, the Cubs will have a less balanced lineup than last year.

Fortunately free agents have no conscience and with money as their mantra, there are two that would greatly help balance the Cubs lineup.

1) R. Furcal is a switch hitting SS with great range, a cannon arm and is a legit lead off man.

2) M. Bradley has better power numbers than anyone presently on the Cubs roster and is the type of outspoken feisty leader I think the Cubs sorely need. I know he has a history of injuries but is a stud when healthy. For a frame of reference, JD Drew also had such a past, but it didn't stop the Red Sox from signing him and as this post season has proved, Drew can come through in the clutch.

A CF and RF consisting of Bradley, DeRosa, Johnson and Fukudome, could produce the flexibility needed for Piniella to mix and match his lineup effectively.

You could let Fontenot compete with Theriot for the 2B job and have a legit backup when the dust settles.

Unfortunately Pie is out of options, which further exacerbates the foolishness of the Fukudome signing. Great job scouting department. I'd be willing to give Pie a shot but Fukudome isn't going anywhere, and you'd be hard pressed to think Pie would put up numbers as productive as Bradley. If Bradley is signed, Pie and Cedeneo should be packaged to a small market team where hopefully the Cubs take a quality arbitration eligible player that the small market team could not or would not be willing to pay up for.

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