There is no doubt in my mind the 2012 season will bring about change for the Chicago Cubs. The win column may not see the effects yet, but the face, or faces of the team will change.
Money be damned, we may even see some moves that were once thought of as ridiculous or impossible. At least this is what the rumor mill is saying. Here are a few examples from around the web:
Pujols and Fielder
According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Cubs have significant interest in Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. Supposedly, Pujols is the front runner as the Cubs are liking his defense over Fielder.
Ever since the Soriano deal, albatross contracts scare me. Granted, at least Pujols and Fielder have backed up the numbers they will get with year in year out play. Soriano had one good season and was still strikeout/injury prone prior to the deal we gave him.
I still hear the comment echoing from the initial interview with Epstein when the Cubs hired him, “We want to pay for what a player will do, not what he has done.”
Does this fit that line of thinking?
Which brings us too…..
Apparently there is a chance we could still move Soriano. We would have to eat most of the $54 million left on his contract. As Rosenthal writes here, there are teams “kicking the tires” on Soriano.
As long as those teams don’t kick to hard (he may get injured) then I am all for it. Dump him, open up an outfield spot, and let’s be done with the worst contract ever in Cub history.
It will be deals like this that show me what Epstein and company are made of, and also how serious Ricketts is about winning. If we can pull a prospect or two along then it could be a winner in the long run.
Ian Stewart & David DeJesus
On the incoming trade front we have David DeJesus and Ian Stewart. Both players have been rumored by multiple outlets as players the Cubs might have interest in. Ian Stewart is a former top ten pick of the Rockies and never really lived up to potential. He is seen as a utility guy that can play third.
David DeJesus is an outfielder who, up until last season with the A’s, had a career .800 OPS and a consistent 3.0 WAR with Kansas City. He is 31 and most likely on the downside of his career.
Neither of these guys gets me excited. I feel like we have plenty of this already.
*Update (1:53pm CST): The Cubs signed David DeJesus to a 2 year deal worth $10 Million. He will be the everyday right fielder. Details here.
Garza & Wells
Why would the Cubs, light on pitching talent, want to get rid of two young pitchers? Answer: because it is the only commodity we have that will bring any young prospects to our farm system. Buster Olney tweeted recently that the Cubs are ready to move Matt Garza if the deal is right. Bruce Levine also chimes in on Garza here.
Meanwhile, Jon Paul Morosi writes that the Cubs are willing to move Randy Wells.
I am pretty sure this means we are open for business. Let the bidding commence! If the Cubs are willing to shop these two guys, who is safe?
The answer is nobody! Judging by the past three seasons, this isn’t a bad thing. I say clean house!