More thoughts from outside the box
The cub's offseason seems to be speeding towards completion, but the moves yet to be made could greatly impact the performance of this team in the coming season. As it stands today, the team is pretty well set in the outfield and the infield, and now the team only looks to add a backup catcher, a lefty for the bullpen, and a 5th starter - all of which could possibly be filled from within the organization. So here are a few moves that could be made to round out this roster and head into 2009:
(1) Make a 3 team deal with the Padres and Giants. The trade would look something like this:
Cubs trade --> Derrek Lee (to SF), Sean Marshall (to SD)
Padres trade --> Adrian Gonzalez (to Cubs)
Giants trade --> Jonathan Sanchez (to SD)
(2) Complete a trade with the Orioles. A deal can be made that would surely benefit both teams involved, especially if the Orioles can't sign any of their star players to extensions.
Cubs trade --> Mike Fontenot, Ronny Cedeno, Felix Pie, Chad Gaudin, & Hill/Hart
Orioles trade --> Brian Roberts
(3) Go completely insane and make another deal with the Marlins, even though every other deal the cubs have made with them has been awful.
Cubs trade --> Rich Harden, Ryan Theriot, Felix Pie, K Hart, W Castillo, & J Vitters
Marlins trade --> Hanley Ramirez
(4) Stick with what the team has, make a few minor trades, and sign a free agent or two. The way it looks Pie and Cedeno are headed out of town; either west to San Diego or east to Baltimore, but certainly somewhere. Once the Pie/Cedeno situation is resolved, then the team likely will get a backup catcher such as Paul Bako, and from that point on the talk will likely only involve acquiring pitchers for the back-end of the rotation and the bullpen. The free agent market has some interesting names that could fill the cub's pitching needs.
Pitchers available for rotation: Andy Pettitte, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz
Pitchers available for bullpen: Joe Beimel, Juan Cruz, Trevor Hoffman
I would prefer to see any one of the names listed above on the roster as opposed to Jason Marquis part 2, also known as Tim Redding. At this point, nothing is certain; except that soon moves will be made and I am still the proud owner of a healthy imagination.