I think that all of us know that the Cubs had a very good year with a very disappointing ending. Most of us think that Jim Hendry needs to tweak the roster a little bit; a few people want to see the team return intact, and a few want a major overhaul. (I am in the "few tweaks" camp.)
I believe that the Cubs need a left-hand-batting, power-hitting outfielder, but they don't grow on trees. I'm not so sure about needing a leadoff guy (I'm in the minority who likes Sori there). Knowing that it is easy to Hendry's job on a blog, and much harder to do it for real, I thought I would suggest a few possible trades that I think are plausible and beneficial to the Cubs and let everyone have fun with it.
My initial assumptions:
1. Mark Texeira signs with the Yankees.
2. Brian Roberts rejects the contract extension offered by the Orioles.
3. CC Sabathia signs with the Yankees.
4. Rafael Furcal re-signs with the Dodgers.
5. Orlando Hudson signs with the Mets.
6. Ryan Dempster re-signs with the Cubs.
7. Any player involved who has a NTC will waive it for a fee of no more than $1M.
8. All contract are traded as-is; no cash changes hands to "even things up".
9. The goal of winning the World Series in 2009 takes priority over building for the future.
10. The Cubs don't have an unlimited payroll; it will be about $130M and Hendry might have to trade someone for salary reasons.
Would you make any or all of the following trades?
1. Derrek Lee for Brian Roberts.
2. Mark DeRosa and Sean Marshall for Brian Roberts.
3. Ted Lilly for Yunel Escobar.
4. Chad Gaudin for Kelly Johnson.
5. Aramis Ramírez for Cory Wade, Andre Ethier, and Blake DeWitt.
6. Rich Harden and Carlos Marmol for Brad Hawpe.
7. Chad Gaudin for Luke Scott.
8. Jason Marquis for Luis Castillo.
9. Mark DeRosa for Randy Winn.
10. Rich Harden for Hank Blalock.
11. Josh Vitters for Brian Giles.
12. Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin for Shane Victorino.
13. Felix Pie for Nick Swisher.
14. Geovany Soto for Hunter Pence.