Before when I used to listen to Abbott & Costello’s stand up act I used to sit back and enjoy the hilarity. However on Thursday when I heard a rendition of the version on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, I sat back and began to think, who should be on first? While I currently think that Walker and Hairston can man the right side of the infield for the next two months, this is a question that should be answered. There are multiple possibilities or opportunities let’s take a look at a few of them and as always we will let you know how we feel. Jeff Conine – Here we have a 2-time World Series winner, a proven veteran and a player who I think is highly regarded in the baseball circles. He has pop in his bat, however he is aging and definitely past his prime. Further more I do not think he is any kind of defensive upgrade, in my opinion in his prime he was still not as good as Todd Walker is today. Although it appears the Cubs would only have to give up a prospect, I do think the possible benefits are worth the trade.
Brian says – No
Neil says – Yes, I like the idea of a proven winner and a team player that could lead the team by example in Lee’s absence. He can play the game; question is has the game passed him by?
Carlos Pena – When Carlos Pena became the everyday first baseman for the Oakland A’s he showed a lot of promise and a good deal of power. After seeing an interview with him during that time, it appeared that he really enjoyed being a member of the A’s. However since he was traded to Detroit, his career has taken a downward spiral. As I mentioned I saw him play for the Toledo Mud Hens last summer, I recalled being shocked that Carlos Pena was in the Minors and even more shocked at his batting average….if I recall correctly he was batting somewhere in the mid-.200′s. His tenure with the Tigers ended in Spring Training and was recently picked up by the “Evil Empire”. So he has fallen on rough times he has already shown a great deal of talent at the Major League level. If my research is correct, he will be a free agent by May the 15th if he is not a member of the Yankees Major League squad. If he is available in two weeks I definitely think the Cubs should pick him up. I mean really, for Minor League money, can it really hurt to give this guy a chance for a week or two?
Brian says – Yes, if he is available.
Neil says - No, too many strike outs….the Cubs do not need another free-swinger.
Mike Sweeney – A proven Major League player, from what I hear a heck of a teammate and a leader. With the exception of a few years out of Carlos Beltran, Mike Sweeney has been the only reason that Royals fans continue to go to Kaufman Stadium….now I know I am only talking about a few people, but believe it or not Royals fans still do exist. Unfortunately the Royals are already bordering on being a Minor League franchise I think it would take too much to acquire Sweeney. Also, there is no where to put him once D-Lee returns. He is an everyday player and should require that.
Brian says – No it would take too much and he does not have a future with the Cubs.
Neil says – No, too many years in the American League….could be a rough transition and would cost the Cubs too much.
Hee-Seop Choi – “Choi to the World, Choi to the World, Choi to the Fishes in the Deep Blue Sea, We Got Derrek Lee.” Sorry, we were both just kidding about that. Choi has been mentioned on multiple baseball media outlets….we think this is a joke, but we had report what we have heard.
Shea Hillenbrand – Here you have a quality Major League infielder that can both hit and play defense respectively. He has had flashes of greatness with the Red Sox and Diamondbacks but I get the feeling that he is not a team player. Based on his recent comments out of Toronto, he sees himself as an everyday player and that will definitely not happen when Derrek Lee returns. So he has the capability but I do not think he is by any means an upgrade from Walker/Hairston/Perez.
Brian says - No way.
Neil says – I like the flexibility that Hillenbrand could provide the Cubs once Lee returns, but Brian makes a good point about the ‘team player’ comment….for me it is all about the team, and if he really feels that way in Toronto, what will he say without a DH role to fall back on? Very expensive!!!!
Micah Hoffpauir – He is already a member of the Cubs system and he is an up and coming player who has already been featured by Vine Line. He is young but not too young, has untapped potential and would come at a great bargain. He is currently tearing up the Minors….through Tuesday .296/.358/.676/7/19 in 20 games. Based on these numbers he deserves a chance.
Brian says – Why the heck not.
Neil says - Hoffpauir just turned 26 and the Cubs need to find out what they have in him or let him go. He did well last year in Iowa .268/.334/.342 but the Cubs want to see what they have in Brandon Sing and sent him to West Tenn to start the year….give him a chance, Sing is not ready.
Well, that’s what we think….what do you think? Let us know. Leave a comment or drop us a line to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Thanks for ready and until next time….Stay Classy Cub Fans!!!