More Damaged Goods For The Cubs

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We heard last night that the Chicago Cubs have been in talks with Brandon Webb’s agent, and they are seriously considering adding the former Cy Young Award Winner on a short term deal that is filled with incentives. If the Cub fail to sign Brandon Webb, the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs would then likely turn their attention to free agent pitcher Jeff Francis, and Erik Bedard. Both of whom, are in the same position that Brandon Webb is in. One time front line starters plagued by Injuries of late, and looking for a bounce back contract.

Francis has struggled with Injuries the past three seasons. As, he only made 24 starts in 2008, missed all of the 2009 season, and only made 19 starts this season with the Colorado Rockies. Combined in 2008 and 2010, Francis has a record of 8-16 with an ERA of 5. However in 2007, Francis had a strong year as he was 17-9 with an ERA of 4.22. The Cubs may want to be a little concerned with the inflated ERA. Because, while typically is the other way around when you are talking about Starters who pitch in Coors Field, Francis for his career has a higher ERA at home than he does on the road.

I would suggest that the Cubs don’t even bother looking into Erik Bedard. Because, I just don’t think that Bedard will be able to stay healthy. At 31, he only made 15 starts in2008 and 2009, while missing the entire 2010 season. I know that Bedard has made more starts than Webb in the past two seasons, but honestly, I think Webb will return to full health. When Healthy, Bedard is a very good pitcher. The last time he was healthy for an entire season was in 2007, when he went 13-5 with an ERA of 3.16 for the Baltimore Orioles. However, Bedard in my opinion, will never be able to be completely healthy for the rest of his career.

It is obvious that the Chicago Cubs are focused on signing Brandon Webb, who has an interest in pitching for the Cubs. That is what they should do, because of the three, Webb has the most impressive resume. All three are in line for incentive laden deals, which is why the Cubs have an eye on them. In the end, I anticipate the Cubs signing Webb.

Along with looking at Starters who are reclamation projects, the Cubs are also looking at position players that fit the same type of bill. Specifically, the Cubs are interested in Brad Hawpe, according to Bruce Levine on Talking Baseball yesterday on ESPN Radio 1000.  Hawpe had a terrible season this year with the Rockies and Rays, as he hit .245/.338/.419 with 7 home runs and 37 RBI’s. However in 2009, Hawpe hit .285/.384/.519 with 23 home runs and 86 runs batted in.

Hawpe would be a cheap option for the Cubs, considering how poor he played in 2010. Also, Hawpe would be a decent fit with the Cubs, since he is capable of playing first base and providing left handed pop. However, the Cubs should not invest in Hawpe as their everyday first baseman. Because, he may be better off as role player on the bench, who starts sparingly in the outfield or at first base.

Expect the Cubs rumors to increase this week, as we are only a week away from the Winter Meetings.