Outfield Bat on the Cubs Shopping List

It has not been a secret that the Cubs would like to add an outfielder this winter. First line of business is when, where and how much it will cost the Cubs to trade Milton Bradley. The Cubs would like to move Kosuke Fukudome back to right field, where he is an above average defender then add a centerfielder to the mix … that can drive in runs.

A report from FoxSports.com on Friday mentioned a few of the names that have been bantered around for the last six weeks and drove home the fact the Cubs will not focus on that player hitting left-handed … like they did a year ago. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi reported, “The Cubs’ off-season will truly kick off only after they trade outfielder Milton Bradley. Only then can they begin, in earnest, their pursuit of a centerfielder.

Various rumors have suggested that the Cubs will have to eat anywhere from $15 to $18 million of the more than $21 million owed to Bradley over the next two seasons. Paul Sullivan mentioned the same dollar figures during Chicago Tribune Live Friday night … and Sullivan added the Cubs are not going to eat that much of Bradley’s contract.

No one sees Milton Bradley back in a Cubs’ uniform next season, mainly due to the fact Lou Piniella would not allow it. Sullivan feels the Rays and Rangers are the likely destinations for Milton Bradley.

The report from FoxSports.com tossed out the same names that have been linked to the Cubs: Marlon Byrd, Mike Cameron and Curtis Granderson along with Rick Ankiel and Scott Podsednik. Along with a new name, Coco Crisp, who has been in the Cubs’ rumor mill in previous years.

From FoxSports.com:

“One agent who has spoken with the Cubs says the left-right issue is not as big a concern for the team as it was last offseason, when GM Jim Hendry was fixated on balancing his lineup with a left-handed or switch-hitter.

No, the issue now is how quickly the Cubs can purge the player who was supposed to solve that problem — Bradley — and how much financial flexibility they will gain through such a move.

Those factors, as much as anything, might determine the type of player they pursue.”

Stay Tuned …