According to Al's favorite website, the Cubs are close to signing Preston Wilson, as the Orioles have rejected the Cubs' offer and Hendry is moving on. To this poster, this is 4th hand information, originating with a baseball scout and going through an unnamed source and the site before being posted here. Since i'm really tired of talking about the deal, i'm going to analyze this potential pickup...
Wilson is very similar to Jacque Jones - he hits for power and strikes out alot, and has speed in the OF and on the basepaths. If we do sign him, he would be a right-handed bat in the OF, and would give us one of the best defensive outfields in the majors. Unfortunately, given the market for OFs this offseason, he'll lkely get something like a 3 year deal for $15-17 million. Although that's not too much money for the lefty side of a platoon, its WAY too much for the righty side of a platoon. I'm assuming if he signs with the Cubs he'll be an everyday starter in RF, sliding Jones to LF where his inaccurate arm is less of a deficiency and sliding Matt Murton down the depth chart to be Jones's platoon partner. Murton could also backup Wilson and Pierre, and on days when Pierre sits, Wilson would move into CF. Although this means that Murton won't get much of a chance to prove himself this year, the acquisition of Wilson would be a significant upgrade to the offense. Against lefties we would efectively be replacing Jones's completely ineffective bat with Wilson's - a huge upgrade; against righties, we'd effectively be replacing Murton's bat (which isn't great against righties yet) with Wilson's, a slight upgrade. Our outfield defense would be stellar - Pierre, Wilson, and Jones/Murton all cover a lot of ground, and Jones and Wilson would have + arms for their position. Given all the flyballs the Cubs' staff throws, it could significantly reduce the runs scored against the Cubs next season.
I think our lineup if we sign Wilson would look like this:
- Pierre, CF
- Jones/Murton, LF
- Lee, 1B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Wilson, RF
- Walker, 2B
- Barrett, C
- Cedeno, SS
One more thing to consider if this deal is done: Murton (and perhaps Pie) could be on his (their) way out. If Wilson signs a 3-year deal, Murton and Pie would effectively be blocked from being everyday starters for the next few years. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hendry deal one or both of these OFs for another SP such as Zito, or for an upgrade to the middle IF. I'd speculate more on the possibilities of what Murton and Pie could net us, but this post is long as it is, and that could bring us back to the trade anyways, so i'll turn this thing over to the community...