Gerry Fraley of the Sporting News brought up the fact on Monday that the “Cubs have to overhaul offense to break dry spell.” Fraley mentioned Lou Piniella’s comment following game three in Los Angeles last month. Piniella said, “I was concerned about our offense coming into this thing. And basically my concerns were realized.”
Fraley talked about Alfonso Soriano’s inability to hit quality pitching, a subject discussed a few weeks back here at the CCO. The Cubs need for a quality leadoff hitter, like Brian Roberts, and the fact they should send Kosuke Fukudome to the minors next year to work through his bad habits.
Fraley brought up the name of Bobby Abreu as a solution to help the Cubs in right field as well as Hank Blalock of the Rangers as a possibility. Hank Blalock could become a free agent if the Rangers do not pick up his option and is a left handed hitting corner infielder….a corner infielder? Hank Blalock filed for free agency on Friday and is a Type B free agent at 27 years old. The Rangers hold a club option for 2009 worth $6.2 million on Blalock and have until Friday to exercise the option. Blalock has been slowed by injuries the past two seasons and has not played more than 70 games in a season since 2006….his last injury free year with Texas. Blalock played 143 in 2003, 159 in 2004, 161 in 2005 and 152 in 2006, but the last two seasons, just 123 combined.
Jon Daniels stated early last month that Blalock would not be guaranteed a starting spot next season and rumors began to fly at that point that the Rangers could pick up his option then trade him this winter.
Blalock played third base for his entire career until last season when he returned from the DL and manned first base for 34 games. Blalock left a game in April with a back injury then spent 6 weeks on the DL after suffering a torn hamstring on April 26th. Once he returned at the end of July, he spent more time on the shelf with right shoulder inflammation. He played in 9 games in July and a total of 10 in August.
Blalock hit .287/.338/.508/.846 with 19 doubles and 12 home runs in 65 games, but 24 of those games came in September when hit .337/.385/.695/.1.079 with 10 doubles and 8 home runs.
This move is highly unlikely for the Cubs unless Derrek Lee or Aramis Ramirez is dealt to make room for Blalock.