Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune talked to Cubs GM Jim Hendry, while Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times chatted with manager Lou Piniella. Both said the Cubs are looking to add lefthanded hitting. De Luca believes Brian Roberts and Raul Ibanez remain on Hendry’s radar.
I mentioned most of the feasible names in the Cubs Offseason Outlook. Since right field is difficult to play at Wrigley field, players such as Milton Bradley and Ibanez are a questionable fit. I believe the ideal acquisition would be Brian Giles, but he’d have to be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
Sullivan mentions an idea that is popular with Cubs fans: trading first baseman Derek Lee. Freeing up first base would expand the Cubs’ options greatly. Lee is owed $26MM over the next two seasons and has a full no-trade clause. He hit .291/.361/.462 in 698 plate appearances, down significantly from ’07. Lee’s ’08 performance was right around league average for his position. His defense was a bit above-average this year.
I think Lee has positive trade value, especially in a weak first baseman market. The Yankees and Giants could be fits, though I wouldn’t expect them to give up anything spectacular (especially since a concession would have to be made for Lee to waive his no-trade). Randy Winn could be a match for the Cubs.