In case you’ve missed the first part of this series, here are some links for you to read through.

Part IThird base
Part IICatcher
Part IIISecond base
Part IVShortstop
Part VFirst base
Part VI2003 Cubs vs. 2005 White Sox
Part VIILeftfield

Also, just in case you missed in, be sure to download the interview we did with Len Kasper last week that previews the Cubs 2007 season. You can find it at The Big League Baseball Report. Remember to sign up via iTunes, E-mail, or RSS when you’re there so you can always be updated when the new podcast hits the airways. Alright, let’s VORP the CF position for us.

1. Grady Sizemore – 69.1
The Indians have gotten themselves a winner with Sizemore. He was drafted in the 2000 draft by Montreal in the 3rd round. Yet another good youngster in that Expo farm system. From there, he was dealt to Cleveland in 2002 in a fairly big trade for both teams. There were some names involved that at the time, may not have been household names, but have since blossomed into very productive Major League players. The trade that went down looked like this:

Cleveland Receives

  • Grady Sizemore – CF
  • Cliff Lee – SP
  • Brandon Phillips – 2b
  • Lee Stevens – 1bMontreal Receives
  • Bartolo Colon – SP
  • Tim Drew – P (He is the brother of J.D. & Stephen Drew and was a 1st round pick in ’97)Remember that Montreal finished 2nd in the division that year. They were making this deal early in an effort to catch the Braves for the division.

    2. Carlos Beltran – 68.5
    I remember the days when the Cubs were actually rumored to be going after him. How I wish that would have come true. Imagine what our lineup may have looked like with him in there protecting Lee and Ramirez. Things may have turned out differently these last few years. The funny thing is, Beltran, for all the stink people raised about his salary, only made $11.5 million last year.

    Just for fun, here is the specifics of the deal that brought Beltran from KC to Houston:

    June 24, 2004: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Kansas City Royals to the Houston Astros. The Oakland Athletics sent Mike Wood and Mark Teahen to the Kansas City Royals. The Houston Astros sent Octavio Dotel to the Oakland Athletics. The Houston Astros sent John Buck and cash to the Kansas City Royals.

    3. Vernon Wells – 58.9
    Wells is a product of Toronto’s farm system. He was a first round pick in 1997 in a draft that was loaded with talent in the first round. It’s the same draft that produced Tim Drew from earlier in the post. Just to give you an idea of the names that were in that draft, here they are. All of them were first round picks with the exception of the last name, who was picked in the 16th round.

  • J.D. Drew – PHI (Did Not Sign)
  • Troy Glaus – ANA
  • Vernon Wells – TOR
  • Michael Cuddyer – MIN
  • Jon Garland – CHC
  • Lance Berkman – HOU
  • Adam Kennedy – STL
  • David Eckstein – BOS4. Gary Matthews – 50.0
    Somewhere, at this moment, Mini Sarge is laughing all the way to the bank. He cashed in big time on a fluke season and will benefit the rest of his career due to baseball contracts being guaranteed. Here is the scouting report on him courtesy of STATS Inc.

    Matthews never had done much against righthanded pitching until hooking up with Rangers hitting instructor Rudy Jaramillo. Matthews grasped Jaramillo’s simple tenets of separating the parts of a swing and saw his average jump from the left side after hitting .240 that way in his first five seasons. Matthews has the special talents necessary to patrol Arlington’s huge center field. He also has the arm strength to play right. He is slightly above average as a runner.

    5. Andruw Jones – 49.3
    Jones can turn on a fastball. The ball makes a different sound jumping off his bat, and his strength can produce prodigious longballs. Yet as productive as his numbers can be, Jones frustrates the Braves with his inability to take his game to the next level. A streaky hitter, he struck out a career-high 147 times last year and owned an .833 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), which ranked just 17th among NL outfielders. Despite spending eight-plus seasons in the major leagues, Jones continues to be fooled by breaking balls down and away. ~ STATS Inc.

    12. Juan Pierre – 18.0
    Jim Hendry came out with egg on his face for the deal to get Pierre. Thank God he didn’t re-sign him. Pierre would have fit this team if we had gone out to get Furcal to bat behind him. That was what worked in Florida with Castillo. Hendry couldn’t get it done and we suffered for it. In addition, we lost a couple of pitchers, mainly Ricky Nolasco, that could come back to bite us. I don’t think they’ll bite as hard as Jon Garland did, but it will leave a mark.

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    Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail