One of the more popular free agents on the market, the Cardinals' DeRosa is drawing no interest from his former team, despite inquiries made to the Indians last May after Aramis Ramirez's shoulder injury. The Cubs still prefer a left-handed hitting second baseman, which is why they're interested in the switch-hitting Castillo.
Now, there's a statement to raise the ire of many different Cub partisans - those who love DeRo, those who don't want Castillo, those who want to see Jeff Baker get the job, and those who thought we were past the LH obsession.
Now it is possible that Sullivan is mis-reading things, that the Cubs are planning to split 2B evenly between Fontenot and Baker and that there's "interest" in Castillo only as a Bradley exit strategy. But I figure it's worth reconsidering what the 2B options are, with Bill James projections a guess at defensive value based on the past three years of UZR.
Mike Fontenot Age 30 .273/.343/.415 with very good defense
Jeff Baker Age 28 .280/.337/.460 with average defense
Luis Castillo Age 34 .282/.363/.331 with very poor defense
Orlando Hudson Age 32 .280/.357/.417 with mildly below average defense
Felipe Lopez Age 30 .281/.352/.400 with mildly above average defense
Now, I know some of you won't be able to buy into this Fontenot projection - but why not, really? If you push him back to part-time play, why shouldn't he split the difference between his very good 2008 and very bad 2009?
And if you buy into these projections, it doesn't look like Lopez or Hudson offer enough over what we have in-house to pay them what would be significantly more money. If you had to pick one of the free agents, Felipe Lopez was very good last year, both offensively and defensively - if you buy him taking a step forward.
But with multiple middle infield options in the pipeline, you definitely don't want to do a multi-year deal - so, again, keeping Fontenot and Baker seems like the best option.
What are your thoughts? Any options on the trade market you'd consider that I haven't included here?