Well, one out of two isn't bad. I was right in guessing the Chicago White Sox would not sign CF Torii Hunter to man CF for them in 2008, I was just wrong with where he was going. And I'm not sure there was anyone in the world who thought that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim would sign him. I would imagine that this is a precursor to a trade for 3B Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins. The Angels have a surplus of OF now, 6 for 4 spots, so I'm guessing that OF Reggie Willits would be available to be added to any trade they make and I think that the Marlins might be willing to trade with the Angels. I would imagine that any trade with the Marlins would start with Willits, SS Brandon Wood and SP Ervin Santana. I still think the White Sox will get Aaron Rowand, but now might be looking at $12-15 million a year for 5 years now that Hunter signed for 5 years and between $80 and 90 million. Yikes.
As far as the Chicago Cubs go, it seems they are still players in the Kazuo Matsui sweepstakes along with the Houston Astros. I'm really, really hoping that it doesn't happen but at this point, I think it will. It's a bad move for the Cubs and doesn't really help the team all that much. They really need a SS more than anything, not another 2B and not one that's most productive years since coming to the United States happened in Colorado. Ugh. If I was Jim Hendry, I would stop trying to sign Matsui and try to come up with a deal with the Baltimore Orioles for SS Miguel Tejada. I think a package of SS Ronny Cedeno and Sp Rich Hill might be about what the Orioles take for Tejada and if the Cubs could throw in someone else, maybe get the Orioles to pay some of his salary.
This is what my hope if for the Cubs defensive alignment for next year.
C Geovany Soto
1B Derrek Lee
2B Eric Patterson/Mark DeRosa
SS Miguel Tejada
3B Aramis Ramirez
LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Felix Pie/Ryan Theriot
RF Felix Pie/J.D. Drew/Kosuke Fukudome
What more than likely will happen is that Matsui is the 2B, DeRosa is the SS, Theriot is CF and possible Fukudome is the RF. I don't think the Pie will have a good enough Spring Training to be the starting CF and the Cubs will have to play someone else there.
As far as pitching goes, I think it's a bad idea to move RP Ryan Dempster into the Starting Rotation. I don't think he's a closer either, but I really don't expect much success from him in the rotation. The rotation shakes out like this so far.
1. Carlos Zambrano
2. Ted Lilly
3. Rich Hill
4. Ryan Dempster
5. Sean Marshall/Jason Marquis
The Cubs have interest in SP Hiroki Kuroda from Japan but I don't expect the Cubs to sign him. Another attractive idea is SP Bartolo Colon. He's coming off an injury plagued year and might be willing to sign an incentive laden contract one year deal to prove he's healthy. Where does that leave Mark Prior? Unfortunately, it looks like he will be non-tendered and I don't expect him to re-sign with the Cubs after that. Slow week for the Cubs, let's hope it picks up soon.