Goatriders of the Apocalypse

What's left on the Market

The quantity and quality of the free agents that remain unsigned is astounding.  The cubs are likely done making big acquisitions, as Hendry is presently forcused on trimming the roster of those that remain without options.  In the moves that have transpired in the last few weeks alone (basically minus Wuertz-Pie-Olson-Cedeno-Hill and plus Heilman) the cubs have cleared some roster space and possibly put together a little payroll room to work with as well.

The free agents available pretty much fall into three groups.  The first group includes the guys that have zero chance of being signed, for whatever reason.  Players in this group would include Manny, Dunn, Abreu, Hudson, Pudge, and Ben Sheets.  Most in the group are too expensive, some don't fit with the roster the team has assembled, and others are just too old or too big of an injury risk.

The second group would include players that can contribute to the 2009 roster by filling a minor role on the team.  The roles these players could fill include the 5th pitcher in the rotation, a bullpen arm, or a backup infielder/utility player.  Randy Wolf and Braden Looper have been mentioned as candidates to fill out the roation, but I don't view the acquisition of either as close to necessary.  Some serviceable arms still remain available that could be used in the bullpen.  Beimel, Reyes, or Ohman could all lend some protection to Neal Cotts in the bullpen.  Juan Cruz wouldn't be a bad acquisition, but as a type A free agent he likely isn't worth losing the draft pick to get.  The market is quite thin for utility players, but Kevin Millar or Rich Aurilia could make sense as a backup for 1B/3B and right handed hitter off the bench.

The third group of guys are those that remain who could be worth rolling the dice and taking a gamble on.  The first guy out there I would consider taking a short-term gamble on is Pedro Martinez.  He could be nasty at the back-end of the rotation, but health is a definite concern.  If the team is serious about adding a starter I would consider Pedro long before Wolf or Looper, but each is a gamble in their own right.  A second player I would consider taking a gamble on is Andruw Jones.  I already know he was terrible in LA, and has slid down the hill of decline at least the last 3 seasons if not more.  But it could be a pickup similar to Jim Edmonds' signing in 2008; scooping up a player that another team discards, pay him very little, and any production you get from him is gravy.  Jones could be a very good platoon-mate for Fukudome in CF, which would allow Reed Johnson to then backup the corners.  If it doesn't work out, Jones will be getting paid very little and could be released while Gathright and others are waiting to fill his spot on the roster.

free agents

Millar has signed a minor league with the Blue Jays. Besides according to yahoo sports he had not played 3rd since 2003. Part of the problem with sigining a 6th starter is that we end up a bunch of pitchers out of options without given a chance to sink or swim at the major league level. If I remeber the reports from last year correctly Jones sucked in cener, how much was being fat and how much was his knee I don't know. If he would be willing to come to spring training to have a platform to so what he has left why not.

Kevin Millar was offered a

Kevin Millar was offered a minor league contract by the Toronto Blue Jays. I have yet to hear from any source that Millar signed that contract, accepting a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. In any case there are other teams that have interest in both Millar and Rich Aurilia, whom the cubs would have to compete against to obtain the services of either.

Millar

You are correct did not sign yet. But, he still has not played 3rd since 2003 and then only 2 games. So I don't really see him as an option there.

I agree completely with your

I agree completely with your assessment of Millar not being a 3B, or even good enough to back it up. Aurilia is really kind of exactly the same type of player in that respect too. I guess my thinking was more along the lines of a right handed hitter off of the bench for both guys. Kevin Millar's greatest value to a team likely comes in the form of his clubhouse presence and his ability to keep a team loose, which for the gamble of a minor league contract may be worth taking a shot at. But by no means, is the signing of Millar or Aurilia a necessity.

Those strolling down

Those strolling down Greenwich Avenue Thursday were surprised to find an empty ... of a new budget proposal, that intersection will remain without an officer.
Annuity Payment Calculator

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award