Let's round up the latest from the Windy City in one post. First up, Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune with the latest on the Cubs…
- The Cubbies will not go overboard with their free agent spending because they vow to decrease payroll, so GM Jim Hendry needs to get creative to placate the fan base.
- First base is the team's first priority and they'd like to acquire a lefty bat, so Adam Dunn is a popular target. If they can't afford him, they could turn to Aubrey Huff or Victor Martinez.
- The Cubs might need to trade Kosuke Fukudome before signing any free agents, which won't be easy since he's owed $13.5MM in 2011. Hendry did find a taker for Milton Bradley last offseason though, so you never know.
- Starting pitching is also on the team's wishlist. Jon Garland could be one option after hinting at being interested in pitching for the Cubs last offseason.
- They would also like to add a veteran reliever to take some pressure off their young kids, but it's unclear if Kerry Wood will take a pay cut and assume a lesser role to return to the Cubs.
Now we'll head to the south side with Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune…
- The White Sox already have $80.4MM committed to just 13 players for next season, and that doesn't include what is likely to be a sizable arbitration raise for John Danks. That puts them in a bit of bind when it comes to adding a left-handed bat.
- They don't match up with the Cardinals for Colby Rasmus, who they're said to be targeting, though a trade is probably the route they'll have to go to add a bat.
- GM Kenny Williams could try to fill several holes by trading one player, which he did when he sent Javier Vazquez to the Braves and Nick Swisher to the Yankees two years ago. He could use one of excess starters, perhaps Edwin Jackson or Gavin Floyd. That last part is just my speculation though.
- The ChiSox also need to determine whether Carlos Quentin can return to his 2008 level, or if injuries will continue to take a toll.
- They could look to make trades soon, then examine the pool of non-tenders for affordable relief help.