General manager Jim Hendry would like to add a left-handed power-hitting outfielder who can play right field, as well as pick up some left-handed help for the bench. Hendry has what he calls "inventory" and is able to make a deal, plus the Cubs are keeping an eye on Japanese players such as outfielder Kosuke Fukudome.
The Cubs' ownership situation may not be resolved until the middle of the 2008 season, but Hendry does have freedom to add to the team's payroll, which was $110 million in 2007.
2007 finish: 85-77, first place in NL Central.
Deals so far: Exercised mutual option on IF/OF Daryle Ward. LHP Scott Eyre exercised player option. Traded OF Jacque Jones to Tigers for IF Omar Infante. Traded OF Craig Monroe to Twins for player to be named. Declined the options on OF Cliff Floyd and RHP Steve Trachsel. Signed RHP Kerry Wood to a one-year, $4.2 million contract.
Players eligible for arbitration: LHP Neal Cotts, RHP Mark Prior, RHP Michael Wuertz.
Free agents: OF Floyd, C Jason Kendall (signed with Brewers), RHP Trachsel.
Needs: Some southpaws. The Cubs' lineup is very right-handed, and they've parted ways with left-handed-hitting outfielders Jones and Floyd. Manager Lou Piniella likes versatile players, and would like another left-handed bat on the bench whom he can sub in different spots.
Dealing strengths: The Cubs have depth in the organization, such as infielders Ronny Cedeno and Mike Fontenot, and may be willing to make a move. Attempts to pry away someone like lefty Rich Hill will likely be rebuffed.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less