The Cubs pulled off another trade to clear the outfield yesterday, this one sending Craig Monroe to the Twins for a PTBNL. This is a deal that doesn’t seem that significant, and in a big picture sort of way, it isn’t. However, it’s a deal that merits a golf clap for Jim Hendry. He recognized a need in Minnesota and filled it with a player that would have been non-tendered anyway. Essentially, this was Jim Hendry getting something, albeit a small something, for essentially nothing. My guess is that the player coming over will be either a prospect that used to have a high ceiling, but has never lived up to the hype. Perhaps a player similar to a guy like Brian Dopirak from our system. Or, we would get a marginal guy that Minnesota has excess of. Again, it’s not something to get thrilled about, but it’s nice to get something for a player we were ready to let go for nothing.

In addition, rumors were flying yesterday that the Cubs were in the process of putting together a package for Carl Crawford of the Rays. My cell was chirping around 4pm as I headed home. I answered it and was immediately asked by Jason if the rumor was true. While I don’t know how solid the rumors are, I have to say that it would make sense for both teams. The proposed talk I’ve been hearing goes something like this:

Cubs Send:
– Rich Hill
– Carlos Marmol
– Ronny Cedeno

Rays Send:
– Carl Crawford

With the Rays set to owe Crawford big in the next year or so and a somewhat crowded OF with Rocco Baldelli, Delmon Young, and B.J. Upton, they can afford to move Crawford in an effort to fill some major needs. The Rays need bullpen help like no one else except maybe the White Sox, and Marmol would fit right in there as the lead guy in that pen. Rich Hill would be a great compliment to a rotation that is young, but up and coming with James Shields and Scott Kazmir. Ronny Cedeno fills a need for a temporary shortstop while they wait on Reid Brignac and Evan Longonria to make the move to the big leagues, and according to Rays fans would give them a good defender up the middle. Apparently they never bothered to watch poor Ronny play the field, because fielding is not his strong point.

For the Cubs, this deal would give the Cubs a legit basestealing threat, which they sorely want this off-season. It would give them a player who is probably best in CF, but doesn’t want to play there. It would also give them a leadoff or number two hitter. It would cause them to seriously need to dip into free agency to make a serious run at Kuroda out of Japan to replace Hill. It would also force them to look seriously at bringing Kerry Wood back to close, or giving the job to Bob Howry. That being said, someone would need to step up out of the bullpen to replace Marmol.

So I come to you. Would you make the deal, if it was exactly as I have it laid out?

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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