Many have lamented the 3-year deal we've signed Jacque Jones to. He has performed to expectations, posting a .312/.349/.597 line against righties and a .056/.105/.056 line against lefties. However, given the team's unwillingness to give him a platoon partner and the fact that OF is one of our 2 deepest field positions in the organization (along with 1st), his 3-year deal is not something i want the Cubs tied to. The question is: who would overpay for a veteran corner outfielder when they're only useful in a platoon?
Answer: The New York Yankees. They currently have a big depth problem in the OF, with Sheffield and Matsui out, the latter for ~3 months. Once both those guys return, Sheff can play RF and Jones and Bernie Williams can platoon at the DH spot. They also are the team that's most likely to pay Jones's entire salary.
There are two problems to dealing Jones to anyone, including the Yanks, brought about by Jones's status as a "type XX" free agent signee. This status means (1) Jones has a no-trade clause until June 15th and (2) we cannot trade Jones for contracts totaling more than $50,000 annually, cash in excess of $50,000, or a comination of the 2 in excess of $50,000. Anyone on the 40 man roster makes a minimum of $54,000 from the major league club, so we cannot trade Jones for any MLB players or for any prospects on the Yanks' 40-man roster such as Phillip Hughes.
What does this leave us? Well, the rest of the Yankees farm system. Interstingly, there may be a good fit there. Given how the Cubs have developed pitching arms the last few years, the Cubs are likely to request a positional prospect. The Yanks top positional prospect is 3b Eric Duncan, who the Yankees have been attempting to convert to 1st due to the resence of ARod. He's shot up the Yankees organization and has reached AAA at the young age of 21. What if the Cubs dealt Jones for Eric Duncan, straight-up? They could then call up Felix Pie to play RF. If they so choose, the Cubs could also add Duncan to the 40-man roster, as they currently have a vacancy there (at least until Wood returns). Duncan's ability to play 3rd also gives us some insurance in case Ramirez catches fire the 2nd half of the season.
If i'm Jim Hendry, i make a call to see what if The Boss would be willing to ship Duncan to the Cubs for Jones...