The Chicago Cubs were in the market to pick up a left-handed hitter to help improve their bench but didn't pull the trigger on a deal for Seattle Mariners LF Rual Ibanez or San Diego Padres OF Brian Giles. Not sure what they were looking to give up in a deal for either, but I'm also not sure what the Cubs planned on doing with either player? Was it strictly for bench depth? Were they planning on playing them in LF and moving Alfonso Soriano to CF or RF and then moving Kosuke Fukudome to CF? RF in Wrigley Field is a very tricky place to play and Fukudome has done well to adapt and play it. Moving him out of RF to CF would not only weaken the defense in right, but would also take the bats of Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds out of the everyday lineup. They haven't been great in CF, but they have been a lot better than I would have expected them to be. If you plan on them just mostly sitting on the bench with an occasional start, then hopefully they wouldn't have given up too much to acquire either player. But really, they didn't make the move so no sense in questioning it. At least for now. But a bit of questioning I do have for the Cubs. Why do they need a lefty bat?
I know that most of the everyday lineup is right handed, except for Fukudome and Edmonds when they play and the occasional start that Mike Fontenot gets. But if you don't have some place to play that lefty bat in the lineup, why do you need it? If Ibanez is the the lefty they want, and you plan on playing him in the OF, you're only player you're taking out of the lineup is Edmonds, who is also a lefty. Same with Giles. So, are they just trying to replace Edmonds bat with a better lefty? Instead, why wouldn't the Cubs go after Manny Ramirez, who the Boston Red Sox were so desperate to move that they ate a great deal of his contract to move him to the Dodgers. Could the Cubs have given up a better plate of prospects to the Pirates to help get Bay to the Red Sox? Or would the Pirates not have made the deal with someone in their own division?
As far as their other weakness, the Cubs feel that they obviously made the deal that they needed for pitching help earlier in July when they picked up Chad Guadin and Rich Harden from the Oakland Athletics. And with Jeff Samardzija pitching well so far after being called up from Iowa, they are hoping that when Kerry Wood comes back from his blister problem, they're bullpen will be back to where they need it to be and ready for the stretch run. But they're relying on Bobby Howry, who has pitched poorly as of late and hoping that Carlos Marmol regains his form from last season and early this season. And that's a lot of relying instead of going out and doing.