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Indians, Brewers Interested In Lofton

Kenny Lofton is the perfect mercenary.  He's been with a million different teams, and has 84 games of playoff experience.  Even at age 40, he provides an OBP spark atop the lineup.  He makes $6MM this year for the Rangers, so there's about $2.6MM left on his contract.  He gets another $100K if he's traded.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Lofton has "drawn significant interest from Cleveland and Milwaukee."  Other teams are checking him out as well.  It'd be fun to see Lofton back with the Tribe, the team he's best known for.  He actually came up as an Astro though. 

As a Cubs fan I'd welcome Lofton back to Chicago.  After abandoning the Alfonso Soriano experiment, the Cubs have employed Angel Pagan, Jacque Jones, and Felix Pie in center.  None have hit particularly well.  I would've signed Lofton this winter, working Pie in carefully. 

Grant's column also mentions Sammy Sosa, who is drawing a little bit of interest.  With his OBP down to .294, Sosa is being sold as a lefty-masher instead of a regular.  Grant believes the Twins and Yankees might find him useful.   

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And now the Astros have the Lofton curse in center. If they didnt trade him, they wouldve had a good center fielder for years (the year after they traded him was his almost Rookie of the Year...year). Ever since, when it actually seems like we have a decent center fielder (and not a guy like Berkman playing CF) something happens (Beltran, Taveras). Im waiting for the curse to work its ways on Pence.

I would love to see K-Lo back on the Cubs. We should have never let him go after 2003. All he does is get on base year after year.

Completely agree with Teetz -- while I understand why they did what they did in 2004 by going with Patterson instead of Lofton, I think the 2004 season would have gone a lot better (i.e., playoffs) with Lofton and K-Patt.

They never should have let him go, should have signed him this off-season, and should get him now if they can get him for peanuts.

I think the Cubs should take a good long look at picking at the Rangers -- Gagne sure would like nice as a Cub. And you know, if Floyd's going to be out for a while and the Cubs need a power-hitting right fielder who's only signed through this year. . . . . . .

hahaha ok i have to ask and break the ice there. would cubs fans welcome sammy back to chicago?

If the Tribe did acquire Kenny, what should we expect of his playing time? Starting in LF vs leftys? Any insight Indians fans?

No to Sosa

Hendry will resign before letting Sosa even touch a cubs uniform.

Lofton would be pretty good...but the cubs wouldn't hit him leadoff because of Sori. So, if they got him, do they hit him in the #2 spot? Honestly, if Gagne wasn't in the package, I wouldn't do it. I've been pretty damn happy with the play of Pagan.

The real question is can Tom Hicks and Jon Daniels finally work some deals that turn out as good or better for the Rangers than they do for the team they trade with? Doubtful. So we'll probably get garbage in return.

http://rangersorrobbers.wordpress.com/

The Cubs need to grow some balls and move Soriano out of the leadoff spot permanently. It's just dumb.

I agree...and apparently they are going to against lefties...but if you look at his numbers hitting leadoff and his numbers hitting anywhere else...its tough to take him out.

However, if he could produce like he does hitting leadoff...then abso-freakin-lutely.

I think Cubs fans would riot if Sosa was brought back to Wrigley. I certainly would. I agree with Aduncaroo in regards to Pagan. I'd love to see what he could provide in a more consistent role and he has the speed to play center. But I wouldn't be upset if Lofton came back. And Soriano leads off because that's where he wants to hit, and when your paying a guy that much, you do your best to keep him happy.

As far as the Indians/Lofton fit:

Kenny would probably play LF against RHP with Michaels getting the starts against LHP. It would be a split looking like this:
Michaels ~ .333 / .408 / .524 vs LHP
K.Lofton ~ .326 / .404 / .476 vs RHP

What it would also do though, is create a bit of a problem with OF depth. The need of the club is to really replace Nixon and bringing in Kenny wouldn’t do that at all; he isn’t the strongest arm so playing him in RF doesn’t work great... We currently have Ben Francisco, who is young and inexperienced, but producing well in his time vs RHP (.313/.353/.688 in 34PA). We also have Franklin Gutierrez who is out of options producing a .292/.354/.486 line this year, although he is best against LHP. FrankieG and BenFran both have great defensive ability limiting Loftons need even more. We really need a RFer with power who we could dump Nixon for more than a LFer with speed who only further clutters our depth.

And that’s if we are dumping Nixon… The team likes him a lot even if he isn’t producing on the field (they say he brings grit… :\ ). If Nixon isn’t gone then I don’t see the team making a move for an OFer ~ sending Francisco down doesn’t make sense if he’s doing this well… Cle needs a Bullpen arm more than anything.

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