Cubs a Trade Partner?
The Chicago Cubs are the preseason favorites to take the NL Central, but they have a number of roster spots up in the air.
First, they still haven’t acquired Brian Roberts, though a deal seems imminent — and Mark DeRosa’s status hangs in the balance. They’ve also been in the hunt for an extra outfielder — specifically, one who can play centerfield (which makes one wonder why they gave up Angel Pagan). Their biggest competition has been for the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation, which are being fought among Jason Marquis, Jon Lieber, Ryan Dempster, and Sean Marshall. Most recently, they found out their only lefty in the bullpen, Scott Eyre, would start the season on the DL with an elbow injury. All these question marks have led manager Lou Piniella to say
“odds increased a little bit today that something could happen [with the roster].”
Despite some bratty comments at the beginning of the spring, it appears that Marquis will win one of the rotation spots — Piniella likes his “spunk” and his skillset. Marshall is all but out of the competition and may be part of the package that eventually goes to Baltimore for Roberts. That leaves Dempster and Lieber fighting it out for the last spot in the rotation, and a team in dire need of a veteran lefty for the ‘pen.
Might the Cubs be interested in Scott Schoeneweis? How about Endy Chavez? Would you trade The Show and Chavez in return for sweet-swinging fourth outfielder Matt Murton, who presumably is available? Believe me, I’m not looking to give away Chavez, but if a righthanded hitter such as Murton was coming back, I’d at least consider it.