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Cubs Interested in Granderson?

By Garrett Monaghan

With another yawner of a playoffs in the books, we've officially entered the Hot Stove Season, and the rumor mills is already heating up nicely. The Tribune Company is out on its collective ear, and the Ricketts' are now in charge in Wrigley. It's going to take a while for the new owners to settle in and start leaving their mark on the team, but this has to be good long-term news for the Cubbies.

The free agent market is starting to take a more concrete shape, and several Cubs have already declared. Rich Harden, Reed Johnson, and Kevin "Gopherball" Gregg have all decided to at least test the waters, and John Grabow will probably declare in the next few days as well.

Anyone who feels the need to celebrate Harden's potential departure should probably take a good look at options the Cubs have for replacing him. Tom Gorzelanny's the obvious candidate, and he's never been a very good pitcher anywhere. The farm system is desperately weak in starting pitching, and the free agent market for starters is also incredibly thin. With Ted Lilly out for probably the first month of the season, the Cubs are already going to be down one regular starter. I've said it here before, but I'll say it again: the Cubs need to keep Rich Harden around.

I was stunned to notice that Kevin Gregg somehow qualified as a Type A free agent. This is great for the Cubs, as they're looking at potentially receiving a couple draft picks should another team be masochistic enough sign this guy. I say let him walk, and put the $4.2 million he was making towards re-signing Harden. While the farm system is weak in starting pitching, it's loaded with some promising young relievers at the upper levels.

One of the more interesting rumors starting to emerge this winter is that the Tigers are shopping center fielder Curtis Granderson. This is a guy the Cubs could potentially be very, very interested in, depending on the asking price. He's 28, left-handed, plays center, has power, speed, brains, and is a Chicago-area native. Detroit's been using Granderson as a lead-off man the last few years, although he's not really suited to the role. Granderson only hit .249/.327/.453 this past year, but he set career highs in home runs and walks.

Granderson is only a career .272 hitter, but he plays in one of the best pitchers parks in the game, and he's a career .284 hitter away from Comerica Park. Granderson could be an immediate improvement for the Cubs on a number of levels. In addition to providing a left-handed power bat, he'd also add speed, solid defense, and the clubhouse leadership the Cubs have been so badly lacking the last few years. Granderson is signed through 2012 with a team option for 2013, with the total contract coming to about $26 million.

The bidding for Granderson is going to be pretty intense, and if the Cubs could find some way to turn Milton Bradley and a couple prospects into a deal for Granderson, it could be a major turning point for the team.

1 comment:

  1. No doubt the Cubs Should try to get Granderson. The big question is Can they. Detroit must be trying to cut payroll so the advantage will likely go to the team willing and able to take the most off the Tigers hands. Hope that its the Cubs even if they have to ship Bradley elsewhere first.