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Plan C

That's what Chris DeLuca calls it in today's Sun-Times, saying, in regard to trading Sammy Sosa to free up money to sign Carlos Beltran:

The money to pursue Beltran would have existed only if Sosa had been traded. And with the Astros seeking a decision from Beltran by the end of this week, completing a Sosa deal appears impossible. The Cubs still hope to dump Sosa but probably won't get any nibbles until most of the other available sluggers find new homes -- late January at the earliest.

Much as we all would have loved to see Beltran in a Cubs uniform, this analysis is spot-on.

I still believe Sammy Sosa should go, but the modern realities of baseball, contracts, money, etc. make it problematical whether he can be traded, no matter how much Jim Hendry and the rest of the organization wants him gone. And DeLuca is also right in stating that it may still be possible to deal him later, but by then, Beltran will sign with someone else.

So now what? The possibility of a Todd Hollandsworth/Jason Dubois platoon has been discussed on this blog, and here, and here (though in a negative light), and here, with a bit of a different twist.

DeLuca goes on to say that Plan C could be Magglio Ordonez.

What a difference a year makes. One year ago if you had heard that the Cubs could acquire Maggs cheap, you'd have been thrilled, right?

Now, not knowing whether he can even play again, this is a real risk. But it is a risk with true upside. If healthy, Maggs is a far better player than Moises Alou was for the Cubs, and with a better attitude and cleaner hands.

So what I'd propose to Jim Hendry is this, and I bet Maggs would do it. Sign him to a league-minimum contract, with incentives and escalators that would quickly, if healthy, bring him to around $9 or $10 million for 2005. He'd have gotten more than that in free agency if healthy... but not being healthy, I think risks have to be taken by both player and club. That way, if he performs, you are getting your money's worth, and perhaps even sign him to a long-term extension during the season. If not, then the risk is small.

Two other things are at work here. First, it gives Ordonez a chance to tweak the White Sox' nose. Maggs was arguably the most popular Sox player since Robin Ventura among fans of that club, and can you imagine the teeth-gnashing among Sox fans if Ordonez picks up where he left off before he was hurt?

Oh, I can.

And the second he'd take the field in a Cub uniform he'd become the best Ordonez ever to play for the Cubs.

A couple more notes. In regard to the 2004 Cubs Blog Army competition I mentioned yesterday, there's more information today at this link on A View From The Bleachers.

I thank my fellow bloggers for some of the compliments they've given me in posts made today, and just want to add that I enjoy reading all of your postings too. Each of us has a separate perspective on the Cubs, and from all of us, I think you will agree, that gives Cub fans everywhere information they simply cannot get from the mainstream media. Voting starts January 1, and as the famous quote goes...

"Vote Early And Often!"

Finally, something more serious. I am sure that all of you are as horrified as I am at the tragic loss of thousands of lives in the earthquake/tsunami disaster in the south Pacific, and the disruption of life for millions of others.

There is something that all of us can do to help. I've made a donation to the Red Cross, and that's a small something that anyone can do. Here's a secure online site for Red Cross donations -- make sure you indicate "International Response Fund", that's the one that's designated for this particular disaster.