The Cubs need a spark to ignite the offense, a legitimate lead off hitter. The Red Sox will undoubtedly try to sign Free Agent, Carl Crawford, and Jacoby Ellsbury could land on the trading block. Could a trade between Jim Hendy and Theo Epstein bring Ellsbury to Chicago?
It is no secret that the Cubs have had trouble finding a hitter that can effectively lead off. The Red Sox have shown some interest in Kosuke Fukudome, who has 1-year left on his contract, however, Boston seeks to restock their farm system with pitching prospects.
Is it possible that the Cubs will pursue a bonafide lead-off man to set the table for an offense that sorely lacks the abilty to score runs?
Jacoby Ellsbury was injured last season and only played 18 games so the Red Sox have made adjustments to their outfield. Boston is reportedly in the mix to acquire Crawford and Ellsbury may be more valuable on the trading block. If so, the Cubs should seriously consider this particular trade option.
Ellbury is 27 years old and has only played 2 full seasons. On a 162 game average, Ellsbury bats .291 with 9 HR’s and 60 RBI’s. He averages a .344 OBP which could be better, but in 2008, he swiped 50 bases and in 2009, he stole 70 bases. He is a base-stealing threat. Ellsbury is the type of lead-off hitter that can put pressure on the defense and make things happen. To acquire Ellsbury, Jim Hendy will need to move an outfielder.
The Cubs have 4 to choose from. Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome, and Tyler Colvin are all possibilites. I think that such a trade would be mutually beneficial. Jim Hendry has alot of work to do next week as the Winter Meetings get under way. Let’s see if Hendry can find the Cubs a legitimate lead-off hitter. Jim Hendry does a pretty good job finding trades that work for both sides and Jacoby Ellsbury would be a perfect fit for the Cubs. He has led the American League in Total Zone Runs, Stolen Bases, Fielding %, Defense, and Triples. According to http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2010/11/jacoby-ellsbury-trade-boston-red-sox/1?csp=34, the Red Sox are prepared to trade Ellsbury and Epstein is looking to restock pitchers at the minor league level. So a trade between the Red Sox and the Cubs certainly looks possible. I hope so, the Cubs need a solid lead-off guy and some solid defense in the outfield and Boston needs to replenish the farm system. Jacoby Ellsbury can spark the Cubs’ offense with his base-running prowess and defensive skills. He has a tremendous amount of energy, something that has been missing in Chicago.
Jim Hendry has said that he would like to create a spot in the line-up for Tyler Colvin and the possibility exists that he may trade Fukudome to make room. Fukudome has one year left on his contract and hasn’t performed up to expectations. He is still owed 14 million in 2011.
Fukudome batted .263 with 13 homeruns and 44 RBI’s last season.
Somewhat a disappointment offensively, but defensively has been solid. However, the Cubs are seeking more solid numbers offensively from the right field position.
Matsuzaka has been plagued with injuries the past two seasons. Last year, in 25 starts, went 9-6 with a 4.69 ERA. He is still owed 10 million over the next 2 years.
While the possibility of a trade is intriguing, to say the least, it is unlikely. Matsuzaka has a no-trade clause in his contract. Dice-K showed great promise until his injuries. If he could get healthy and the Cubs could acquire him, I think he would make a fine addition to the Cubs’ starting rotation.
A legend has passed away today. Sparky Anderson will be remembered for his World Series Championships in Cincinnatti and Detroit, but I will never forget my very first MLB game in 1977 between the Cubs and the Reds. Sparky was managing The Big Red Machine and I got to see the legend with my own eyes. I was only 9 at the time, but even then, I knew that I was witnessing a part of history, a legend.
As a nine year old, I was all about baseball. I lived and breathed it. I collected baseball cards and made trades like a GM would, using my keen insight and intuition to determine what players would hold their value and who I could afford to part with. Back then, I could rattle off every stat for every player at any given time. There wasn’t much about baseball that I didn’t know at that age. I only wish I could have played the game as well as I would have liked, becoming a professional baseball player was my dream, but that’s another story. Anyway, I was really into the Reds at the time. The Big Red Machine was the ultimate team, in my opinion. Sparky Anderson was the Manager, arguably the best in his time. There was something special about him, you could just tell. He was like the grandfather everyone wished they had. I remember having his baseball card and refusing to part with it. It didn’t matter that I had duplicates, because I knew that I had something special. I had Sparky Anderson. Well, my child’s intuition was correct in that assumption. Sparky turned out to be a Hall Of Famer and deservedly so. When I saw Sparky in person while attending the game between the Cubs and the Reds at Riverfront Stadium, I was in awe.
At the time, I don’t think I fully appreciated his managing prowess as I do now, but intuitively, I knew. It was an honor to be in his presence.
Sparky Anderson exemplified what a Manager should be. He was a kind-hearted man and a fierce competitor. He was wise, intelligent, and a keen strategist. He understood the game of baseball and knew what it takes to win. He was a leader and a motivator. Sparky Anderson was beloved by all, especially me, because Sparky was the kind of coach that I would want. Even though I am a Diehard Cubs Fan, have been since 1978, there will always be a special place in my heart for Sparky. God bless his soul. He will be missed.