The Cubs want to move Fukudome back to RF and get a CF. There is a good CF available in Mike Cameron. He wouldn't be a bad acquisition, but he's RH and strikes out a lot and is old enough that sudden decline could be a big problem. Plus, with a tight budget, he could easily be cost prohibitive. The Cubs would obviously prefer a LH CF, a younger CF, and a CF with better speed. Curtis Granderson and Carlos Beltran would both be great, except their teams would have to be foolish to trade them for anything but an overwhelming offer. Indeed, both players have had trade rumors debunked.
This has led some people to look at other free agent options. There's Marlon Byrd, but he's basically the poor man's Mike Cameron. Rick Ankiel is projected to have a .310 OBP and has below average CF defense. When people look at him, squint, and say, "He's the best option," well you know things aren't good. Why not stick with Sam Fuld? Randy Winn, for example, has been good in the past, but like Ankiel had a bad season, and isn't really a CF upgrade on Dome. Why play him over Fuld? Ditto Coco Crisp.
There is, though, a young CF who is left-handed, plays great CF defense, has speed and power and is actually available. Bill James projects this player to hit .272/.325/.443, a projection that offers slight improvement on this player's 2009 #s. Of course, there's hope that he could hit even better than that since his second half numbers in 2009 were .290/.346/.497. Most importantly for the Cubs, he's still only due the league minimum - with a team who has a lot of young talent coming up, giving this player a chance makes even more sense.
The only player who makes sense for 2010 CF is Felix Pie. Baltimore doesn't have a place for him with Markakis-Reimold-Jones. We'd obviously have to offer more than we got when we traded him. Maybe Sean Marshall, expendable with Grabow, Gorzelanny, and Gaub, would do it.
He offers everything we're looking for in a CF - the only reason he wouldn't be on the top of our list is the shame of recognizing the horrid mistake of dumping him last year for Milton Bradley and Joey Gathright. Lou needs to get over the shame, though, and recognize what's best for the team now. Felix Pie is our best option for CF in 2010.
203 votes total
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