A Far-away place to send Jason Marquis
I figure this idea to get mixed results, but the Cubs are trying to move Jason Marquis and aren't likely to get more than a sack of salty peanuts in return - so I have an idea. Why not offer Marquis to the Yankees for Hideki Matsui? But only on the condition that the Yankees send the cubs some cold, hard cash to offset Matsui's higher contract, say somewhere in the neighborhood of $5M. I know he has recently had injury problems with his knee, but when healthy Matsui produces with a .295 career average, 100+ RBI, and he brings a LH bat to the OF with postseason experience (in 41 postseason games he has hit .302, with 6 HR, 26 RBI, and 27 runs scored). If you aren't sold on the cubs having players ready to step into the 5th spot in the rotation then you take the cash from the Yankees, add a little to it, and pick up a starter on a 1 year deal - someone like Andy Pettitte/Randy Johnson/Brad Penny. These 2 moves would benefit both the rotation and the lineup, with a subtraction of only Jason Marquis from the roster & cash. Doing something like this makes more sense to me than signing any free agent outfielder long-term. Also you add another Japanese player, which could greatly benefit Kosuke Fukudome's comfort level on the team along with his production, and the cub's marketing department likely wouldn't argue either.