Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Day Late and a Dollar Short(stop)

Ronny Cedeno has done a decent job as the Cubs shortstop this year. But for a club like the Cubs, decent isn’t good enough, particularly at SS. In 2007, the Cubs need a SS that will be an impact player. Someone who will be a solid, even spectacular, defender. Someone who will make a difference with his bat.

If you’ve read my previous posts, please feign surprise at the conclusion I’m going to draw. If not, enjoy…

Here are the options:

Ronny Cedeno – Right/Right, Age 23. Cedeno is signed through 2006, but will not become a FA at the end of the season because of his lack of ML service. He currently earns $336,000 per year. Career offensive stats (through 2005 season): .276/.308/.362, 102 hits in 119 games, 3 HR, 27 RBI. 2006 offensive stats (through 7/3/06): .269/..295/.359, 78 hits in 78 games, 2 HR, 21 RBI. Discussion: I like Ronny Cedeno, but he is not the future of the Cubs at SS. However, I think he would be a good bottom of the order second baseman.

Other options:

Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees) – See 3rd base post.

Julio Lugo (Tampa Bay Devil Rays) – Right/Right, Age 30. Lugo is signed through the 2006 season and will become a FA at the conclusion of the year. He currently earns $4.95 million per year. Career offensive stats (through 2005 season): .277/.341/.405, 878 hits in 852 games, 64 HR, 317 RBI. 2006 offensive stats (through 7/3/06): .294/.360/.472, 63 hits in 54 games, 8 HR, 18 RBI. Discussion: I consider Lugo a second tier SS. He is a level behind ARod, Derek Jeter and Miguel Tejada. Having said that, Lugo would be a step up from Cedeno. I’m opposed to the Cubs going after Lugo, but I’m afraid he might be Hendry’s kind of guy (i.e. not a big name, not too expensive).

Miguel Tejada (Baltimore Orioles) – Right/Right, Age 30. Tejada is signed through the 2009 season. He currently earns $10 million per year. He is scheduled to earn $12 million in 2007, $13 million in 2008 and $13 million in 2009, plus incentives during all years. Career offensive numbers (through 2005 season): .282/.339/.480, 1477 hits in 1344 games, 233 HR, 910 RBI. 2006 offensive stats (through 7/3/06): .316/.366/.513, 107 hits in 84 games, 17 HR, 58 RBI. Discussion: Tejada asked to be traded during the past off-season, but he and the Orioles patched things up. Rumor has it that the peace in Baltimore is uneasy and Tejada could be on the trading block. I’ve made it clear that ARod is my guy, but if that can’t happen, Tejada would look good in Cubbie blue also.

Discussion: ARod is at the center of my proposed 2007 Cubs. It would be a huge coup if Hendry could trade for the Yankees’ third baseman and put him back at SS where he belongs. Tejada would be a nice second choice. But what about Ronny Cedeno? I don’t know. Maybe he can play second base, or be a reserve, or be used as trade bait. In any case, the Cubs need a new SS.

My choice:

1) Alex Rodriguez
2) Alex Rodriguez
3) Alex Rodriguez
4) Miguel Tejada


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