As the off-season winds down, and the Cubs get ready for spring training, GM Jim Hendry is still focused on adding two more players to the 25 man roster, one being a fourth outfielder, and the other being a reliever. And it appears that the Cubs are on the verge of finding their fourth outfielder.
According to David Kaplan, WGN Cubs insider, the Cubs are negotiating a contract with Jonny Gomes, and have set their sights on him being their fourth outfielder. He says that Jermaine Dye has likely priced himself out of the Cubs range. Gomes would serve as a platoon outfielder in right field, and see majority of the starts against left handed pitchers. Gomes would provide the Cubs with a good power bat to have off the bench, and I see him as someone who could hit 20 home runs for the Cubs since he will be starting in his fair share of games. Gomes may not be the best defender out their, but he is not a nightmare in the field. Gomes also would serve as a backup left fielder, and first basemen.
Kaplan also reported that the Cubs are still interested in Ben Sheets, and plan to watch his next throwing session this week. He indicated that the Cubs are looking at one year incentive laden, low base deal for Ben Sheets. He also suggested that they could also throw in a second year option. Sheets is still looking for a $6-$8 million deal. Although they are still interested in Sheets, Jayson Stark reports that the Cubs would like to finalize the deal for Gomes, and find another reliever before turning their attention to Sheets.
The Cubs will also be in attendance to watch reliever Oscar Villarreal throw on Friday. Villarreal, who has had six years of experience in the Majors, has been sidelined due to shoulder injuries.