Adrian Gonzalez First on the Cubs List?

It is no secret the Cubs are looking for a first baseman this winter. Many feel Adam Dunn will sign a huge contract with the Cubs (at least three years in the $40 million range) but it does not appear Jim Hendry will have the money to sign the one-dimensional player.

Enter Adrian Gonzalez.

The Padres slugger and Gold Glove first baseman is expected to be moved this off-season and according to Bruce Levine, the Cubs “would love to add Gonzalez”

During an interview on the Afternoon Saloon (ESPN 1000) last week, Tom Ricketts said the dollars allocated to the organization for 2011 would remain flat from the money spent in 2010. Mr. Ricketts said the amount Jim Hendry would have to spend on the big league roster had not been determined at that time.

The speculation is that Jim Hendry left the organizational meetings last week knowing exactly what payroll flexibility he has to improve the team for the 2011 season … that figure has yet to be leaked. Many feel the payroll for the 2011 team will go down from the more than $140 million mark the Cubs opened the season with in Atlanta.

Over the last week, reports have indicated Hendry will likely have to move a player like Kosuke Fukudome in order to free payroll to make any free agent signings. But what would actually be better … one more year of Fukudome or three to four years of Adam Dunn?

Bruce Levine reported the Cubs, as well as several other teams, have “had their eye on San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.”

The 29-year old lefty is coming off right shoulder surgery in October and will be a free agent following the 2011 season. Many feel he will command $18 to $20 million per year. And the Red Sox figure to be a big player in the Gonzalez sweepstakes.

Gonzalez would cost “three to four of the Cubs’ top young players” according to Levine.

While the Cubs wait to see if Gonzalez will be made available, the front office will make calls “to the agents for the top left-handed hitting first baseman in the free agent market to find out what the market will be.”

Levine stated the Cubs will not be able to afford Adam Dunn and will look at Carlos Pena, Lance Berkman, Adam LaRoche and Nick Johnson “as possible short-term free agent solutions if a trade for Gonzalez is not feasible.”

Derrek Lee

Speaking of first basemen, Derrek Lee had surgery Monday “to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.” According to multiple reports, Lee suffered the injury on Opening Day in Atlanta.

The Cubs once again allowed a player that should have been placed on the DL to suit up and start on daily basis. Who’s running the team again?

Cliff Lee
The Daily News mentioned the Cubs as a possible landing spot for Cliff Lee this winter … along with the Brewers, Rangers, Phillies, Angels and of course, the Yankees.

Tom Ricketts said last week on the Afternoon Saloon, that despite the fact he does not know what Cliff Lee will be looking for per season, he doubts his team would have enough room on the payroll to sign him.

For those counting, it is only 16 weeks before Spring Training begins …

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Well, there’s the latest on who could be at first base … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." - Salvador Dali
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