This is unexpected. Apparently the Texas Rangers have discussed a for right fielder Jacque Jones with the Cubs.
Jones makes $4MM this year and $5MM in ’08, so at first glance it’s perplexing that a team like Texas would want him. There are two scenarios I can see. Maybe the Rangers are working on a larger deal and Jones helps fill some other club’s need. Or, maybe the Rangers like Jones at $5MM for 2008 and think he could be a useful part of next year’s club. Regardless, I don’t expect Jim Hendry to get much in return for Jones. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times mentions that the Cubs are in talks with several other teams about Jones as well.
Wittenmyer also mentions that the Cubs would like to acquire a middle-of-the-order left-handed hitter. He specifically names Ken Griffey Jr., who surfaced in a rumor a few days ago. Wittenmyer mentions that Griffey is owed $6.5MM in 2007 and 2008 with a team option for 2009. That’s not exactly true, as Griffey actually makes $12.5MM but with a lot deferred. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, that makes the present day value of the contract something like $9-10MM. And don’t forget the $4MM buyout for ’09 and possible compensation for waiving the no-trade clause. According to Wittenmeyer, Griffey has told friends he’d welcome a move to Chicago.
On my first draft of this post, I had a hard time identifying other lefty sluggers the Cubs could acquire. Somehow I missed the obvious one, which is Adam Dunn. Such an acquisition would require creativity, such as moving Alfonso Soriano to right field. But Dunn is definitely someone the Cubs should consider if in need of a lefty slugger.