It started out as a Cub blog with cuss words. I'm still cussin'; it's the Cub part I'm a little squishy on these days.

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Illini Basketball
Bruce, we gave you tha keys, and THIS is what you brought home?

¿Dónde está mi dinero, las rameras?

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Thursday, December 15

I'm going to make Chuck very mad at me

I'm going to make a lot of people mad at me. Big fukkin deal. I'm going to take the contrary viewpoint, because something about it just feels right to me.

Let me be on the record as saying I would be in favor of trading anyone on the team (exc. Lee, Ram, Z, & Pierre) for either Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Miguel Tejada or Bobby Abreu. But, barring that, I would rather go with the scenario outlined by Paul Sullivan (below) than bringing in Preston Wilson or someone of his ilk.

Maybe this is all just a ruse to try to convince management to trade for Carlos Lee. If so, I'm all for that, too.

Pierre in center, Patterson right?
Ex-Marlins' arrival might not mean end for enigmatic Cub

By Paul Sullivan
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 14, 2005, 9:34 PM CST

Juan Pierre was acquired to take Corey Patterson's job in center field, but it doesn't necessarily mean the Cubs will trade their enigmatic outfielder.

After Pierre's introductory news conference Wednesday at Wrigley Field, general manager Jim Hendry disclosed he would offer Patterson arbitration next week and might give him the right-field job in 2006.

Hendry continues to search for a left-handed-hitting outfielder to replace Jeromy Burnitz, but nothing appears imminent. He has spoken to the agent for Minnesota free agent Jacque Jones, who is seeking a three-year deal and reportedly has a three-year, $15 million offer from Kansas City. Jones probably would have to settle for a one- or two-year deal with the Cubs.

"I've given [the agent] our level of interest and told him we have some trade possibilities," Hendry said.

Jones is a career .279 hitter and averages a strikeout every 4.7 at-bats. Patterson is a .252 hitter and averages a strikeout every 3.9 at-bats.

But Patterson's potential, despite a .215 season and a demotion to Triple A, gives Hendry pause when considering a trade. A handful of teams, including Texas and Arizona, briefly showed interest in Patterson, but the Cubs would rather give him another chance than deal him for low-level prospects. As Exhibit A they can point to Derrek Lee, who hit .233 and .206 for Florida in 1998 and '99, when he was about Patterson's age, before blossoming in his late 20s.

The Cubs hope Pierre, the quintessential leadoff man and team player, could help Patterson become the player the organization always believed he would be.

"I always have been a guy who has had to prove myself," said Pierre, who will wear No. 9. "Taking a day off, in my mind, gives another guy an opportunity to take my spot.

"I can do something every day to help the team win. Of course, there are going to be 0-for days, but maybe I can make a catch and save a run or put down a sac bunt."

Hendry still has a couple of trade proposals on the table, but the availability of left-handed-hitting corner outfielders with power is limited.

The New York Mets are unlikely to deal Cliff Floyd unless they obtain Boston's Manny Ramirez, which appears unlikely. Former Cub Luis Gonzalez is available because Arizona has a surplus of outfielders, but Gonzalez will earn $11.5 million in '06, so Arizona probably would have to pick up a significant part of his salary.

If the Cubs exhaust their search for a left-handed hitter, they could sign Washington free agent Preston Wilson to a one-year deal. Wilson's agent has informed the Cubs they're his top choice and that he would love to play for Dusty Baker. But the sides haven't spoken since before the winter meetings, and Wilson remains a secondary option.

The Cubs might not want to tie up their corner spots for the long term.

Floyd becomes a free agent next year and has told friends he would like to end his career back home in Chicago. Another possibility in 2007 is Milwaukee left fielder Carlos Lee, who kept his home in Chicago after being traded from the White Sox and still harbors a grudge against Sox general manager Ken Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen. Unless the Brewers sign him to a long-term deal, Lee's top choice as a free agent would be returning to Chicago with the Cubs.

While the Cubs are concentrating on finding a right fielder, questions remain on whether Matt Murton is ready to handle left field full time. Murton hit an impressive .321 in 140 at-bats after being called up in July with only 78 games of experience at Double A. But Baker played him primarily against left-handers in the early going, and his average slipped after being given the job in September. He wound up hitting .261 against right-handers.

Hendry also called Baltimore on Tuesday regarding shortstop Miguel Tejada, but the Orioles are inclined to keep Tejada.