The Cubs have gotten minimal offensive production from the second base position, adding All-Star Miguel Tejada and moving Ryan Theriot to second could pay dividends to an offense that truly was offensive in the first half.
The Chicago Cubs have a lot of work to do to get back to their division championship-winning ways. One step toward getting back to the top could be exploring the open market. GM Jim Hendry has made a living turning one mans trash into his own treasure. (See: Jim Edmonds)
And since there's nothing better to do than speculate on this, the sporting world's most boring day, here are some guys Hendry should target before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
1. Roy Halladay, right-handed starting pitcher. He's the best pitcher in baseball. Need I say more?
2. Miguel Tejada, shortstop. When he's not trying to jack homers over the left field wall, Ryan Theriot is doing an admirable job at the plate as a shortstop. Too bad I can't say the same about the Aaron Miles/Mike Fontenot/Andrees Blanco platoon at second. Sure, Fontenot has hit .310 in July, but you must be this tall to enjoy the adult rides. Adding Tejada and his .830 OPS to the heart of the line-up could jump start the Cubs offense.
3. Erik Bedard, left-handed starting pitcher. Bedard is a high-risk, high-reward player. When healthy, he's an ace. When he's injured, he's worthless. Where have we heard that before?
4. Matt Holliday, outfielder. I stated my case here for acquiring Holliday. Maybe Lou Piniella moves Alfonso Soriano to second base in a related move.
1. Freddy Sanchez, second baseman. Another productive middle-infielder with the stick. The Pirates would trade him for a bag of balls, right?
2. B.J. Ryan, left-handed reliever. This free agent could be Hendry's rags-to-riches story this year. Ryan has 117 career saves, but in Chicago could be valuable as a lefty specialist as lefties only hit .179 off him in his career.
3. Mark Teahen, utility. A left-handed Mark DeRosa who can play both corner infield and outfield spots, and before Alex Gordon got hurt, was playing second base.
4. Jeremy Hermida, outfielder. With .255/.355/.399 slash stats, Hermida is flying under the radar this year, but shouldn't be. Two years ago he hit .296 with 18 homers and 69 ribbies in 123 games. He's still relatively young.
5. Brad Penny, right-handed starting pitcher. The Red Sox have a surplus of starters and unlike Halladay or Bedard, should not cost a boatload of prospects. His earned run average drops nearly a run against NL competition.
1. Javier Valentin, catcher. Sad to say, but the Cubs might need a third catcher. In 2005, Valentin slugged .520 for the Reds. He can be had as a free agent.
2. Carl Pavano, right-handed starting pitcher. He's pitching better with the Indians than he ever did with the Yankees. Pavano is one of those guys who could see his ERA drop without having to face AL line-ups. Worth a flier for the right price.
3. Takashi Saito, right-handed relief pitcher. He could have been had as a free agent in the offseason, but Theo Epstein wisely scooped him up for a cheap deal. Shame on you, Jim Hendry.
4. John Grabow, left-handed relief pitcher. The Cubs need a lefty specialist more than I need a date for Friday night, and that's saying a lot.
5. Ben Sheets, right-handed starting pitcher. Anyone know what he's doing right now? Anyone?
6. Joe Beimel, left-handed relief pitcher. He plays for the Nationals, so he could probably be had for someone with proper grammar.