It was only a matter of time before the continued offensive struggles (the last two games against the Pirates aside) of the Chicago Cubs led to calls for a temporary replacement at third base while Aramis Ramirez is out.
One guy possibly available is San Diego Padres third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. Though nothing firm has surfaced, there are definitely rumors of interest on both sides.
Nothing appears imminent, and if the Cubs can’t make a move like that in next couple of weeks, the value of adding a replacement for Ramirez starts dropping with each stage of rehab Ramirez completes. But the Cubs acknowledge a potential fit, although they say they think Fontenot, in particular, can adequately fill the interim need at third.
Kouzmanoff, whose double, homer and four RBI Sunday represented more production than the Cubs have had from third base in two weeks, makes barely the major-league minimum at $432,400 this season, making him a fit in a payroll with little flexibility.
How much the Padres would need in return — presumably a quality pitching prospect — they already have shown a propensity to trade players already this season, and they’ve indicated a desire to eventually move left fielder Chase Headley to his natural position of third. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
Though Kouzmanoff would be a decided upgrade over the Freel/Miles/Fontenot rotation, he’s not the player you might remember from 2007. He fell back a bit last year, and this year he sports a mere .652 OPS.
The other knock as far as the Cubs are concerned is the lack of versatility: outside of six games at 1B in the minors, he’s never played anywhere other than 3B.
I wouldn’t expect the Cubs to give up anyone that a non-absurdly obsessed fan would miss – i.e., a high ceiling, low level pitching prospect.