Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs finally began their offseason plans on Monday by finally trading Jacque Jones to the Tigers along with $2 million in cash for infielder Omar Infante. Now, I'm not sure if the Cubs plan on this to be their "upgrade" at SS or not, but I do know that this opens up a bit of the OF now. Jones had been playing CF for most of the second half of last season, so the Cubs need to replace that. More than likely that will be filled by Felix Pie, the super prospect that has so far been the second coming of Corey Patterson.
The trade also leaves a big hole from the left side of the plate, someone who could hit for power. A lot of people have been pegging the Cubs as players for Japanese OF Kosuke Fukudome. While I have no doubt that Hendry is looking at him, my guess is the team that will sign him will be the Boston Red Sox. Right now, the Red Sox have J.D. Drew playing RF for them and while his postseason will help ease the pain of the contract, his sub-par regular season may have the Red Sox looking to find someone to take him off their hands. Drew is owed $14 million each year for the 4 years and if the Red Sox would be willing to eat some of the contract each year, you're looking at about what Fukudome would be making in his 3 year contract.
Last bit of Cubs news today, the Cubs have traded Craig Monroe, a candidate to be non-tendered by the Cubs to the Minnesota Twins for a PTBNL. Monroe was arbitration eligible, and couldn't have his salary reduced by more than 20%, so if the Cubs had kept him, the would still be looking at a Salary in the neighborhood of $3.3 million for next year, which would have likely meant he would have been non-tendered and become a FA. So, for the Cubs to get anything for him, is a plus.