HOUSTON -- Looking ahead to next season, Carlos Zambrano says the Cubs need another big bat in the lineup. And he has the right man for the job in mind in Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn, slated to be a free agent this offseason.
"I want that guy," Zambrano said. "He wants to play for us, not only this year but two years ago. He told me he wants to play at Wrigley Field badly."
The Cubs pitcher said Dunn said he wanted to take aim at Wrigley Field in 2008, when he was traded by the Reds to the D-backs. This year, Dunn is batting .260 with 38 homers and 103 RBIs for the Nationals. Aramis Ramirez leads the Cubs with 25 homers and 83 RBIs.
"When you see a guy who wants to play for an organization and he wants to give everything he has for that organization, that says a lot," Zambrano said. "I want to see him here next year, but if we can't sign him, we can't do it."
Zambrano said the Cubs need someone in the mix to protect Ramirez and Marlon Byrd. The team dealt Derrek Lee, who had been the No. 3 hitter, to the Braves on Aug. 13, and Xavier Nady took over at first. Nady will be a free agent after this season.
"We need that extra bat in the lineup next year," Zambrano said.
Mike Quade is just hoping he's back next season as the manager.
"We need to be better next year, this club needs to be better next year," Quade said. "It's going to fall on the veterans to come back and have good years. There's no substitute for experience."