UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:53pm: Geoff Baker checks in with some more info about the Cubs’ interest in Ibanez. He is apparently their fallback option behind Fukudome. Baker notes the frightful possibility of using Ibanez in right field. One trade idea I hadn’t considered is swapping Ibanez for Mark Prior.
FROM 12-3-07 at 9:48am:
Jim Hendry may view 26 year-old outfielder Matt Murton as expendable, if only because he’s not the left-handed hitter the Cubs crave.
Murton has a respectable career line of .296/.365/.455 in 289 games. While it would be nice to see his power develop a bit, he’s a decent option in right field. Outside of Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs might end up acquiring an outfielder who is no better than Murton, just because of handedness. Even though he’s been solid it doesn’t seem that the price tag on Murton would be terribly high.
Meanwhile, Gordon Wittenmyer notes that Brian Roberts and Raul Ibanez remain on the Cubs’ wish list. Murton would be useful for the O’s but it would take a lot more to get Roberts.