Change didn’t go down the way I thought it would for Chicago at the Winter Meetings. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually.
It could begin as early as this week with Pujols no longer a distraction and Epstein and Hoyer having spent three solid days in Dallas spinning their wheels on potential deals.
The lone trade by Chicago last week, Tyler Colvin for infielder Ian Stewart, appears to have put to rest the Cubs’ opening at third base. Now the focus remains on solidifying the opening at first base beginning with Prince Fielder.
While the Cubs believe they can sign Fielder with a ‘creative’ contract, I suspect his asking price will remain too high for serious consideration.
Not to mention, with plenty of suitors available, it only takes one team to go all ‘Angels’ on us and offer Fielder his desired seven-years, mega-dollars and the moon.
If that’s the case, however, the Cubs are still in a strong position to land another quality first baseman starting in-house with Carlos Pena–who I’m on the record as saying I’d love to see back with Chicago next season.
Pena, of course, is not the ideal fit for the new regime, but he does has plenty of qualities that make him a good fit in the short-term.
Another much speculative scenario is one involving the Marlins signing Fielder, thus making their 28-year-old first baseman, Gaby Sanchez, available.
Although Sanchez isn’t an ideal fit as a right-hander hitter, he has shown plenty of promise in his two full season in Miami, including being the lone representative for the Fish at this year’s All Star game.
So on one hand you have the aging Carlos Pena with a year under his belt in Chicago, a power bat and his gold glove, and on the other hand, an up-and-coming player in Sanchez who’s entering his prime years with a much more affordable contract of less than $1M dollars.
All things considered, those are two pretty good option aside from Fielder.
Perhaps this week we’ll see which direction the Cubs choose to go in.