Essentially unless Hendry makes a whopper of a trade, let us say DGU's desired Lugo ($9M) for Fukudome ($11.5M-$12M) swap of under performing big contracts the 2009 roster appears to be set except for one last spot---final infielder.
It could be a starting SS or it could be a utility infielder either a 3B/1B or SS/3B and it will probably be someone who hits right handed. As is stands Cubs have $6M or so left in the budget where they want to keep at least 75% of that money available for a midseason acquisition to either fill up an injury hole or performance issue.
I have identified a few players on the FA shelf; Garciaparra who is contemplating retirement, Philly.com reported:
If veteran infielder Nomar Garciaparra decides to continue his career, the Phillies are optimistic about their chances of convincing him to play in Philadelphia. That said, the Phillies still don't know what his intentions are.
"I don't think it's a matter of whether he wants to play for us," Amaro said. "It's a matter of whether he wants to play."
So Nomar needs to decide whether or not and then for whom. Other suitors published include the Yankees and Dodgers.
Then there is Rich Aurilia that we have seen reports, but they are now 2 weeks old, other available FA's are Ty Wigginton, Alex Cintron who is a switch hitter and can play SS as well as having played a few times at 3B/1B and even 3B.Cintron with 133 AB's was not bad with .682 OPS (.286-BA and .321-OBP). Wigginton's problem is that he has not played 1B or SS but he did hit 23 HR's. Aurilia played 3B/1B and in the past played middle infield. Joe Crede is available but hardly a bench player. There is a cheap 36 year old name Ramon Martinez who is available and played for LA '06-'07. Then there is some Japanese player named Tomohiro Nioka who is a free agent, but autumn reports do not have him considering the US.
So what would you do? Myself I would make a full court press on Nomar. Offer him a part time opportunity to play SS, back up 3B/1B and possibly see 80-GS's. The money would have to be $2-3M with incentives for AB's. This is a big move taking half the reserves but Nomar could be the big bat on the bench besides R Johnson or Fukudome when they don't play.
If not then the obvious is Cintron since the Cubs need another backup at SS, where another switch hitter might come into play. Wigginton and Crede are searching for starting stints with teams like MN, TX, SF.