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It is officially the offseason, at least as far as the Chicago Cubs are concerned. And with the offseason comes all kinds of unsolicited advice on what moves the Cubs should make to improve the club for next year.

When that unsolicited advice comes from, say, a message board, it doesn’t carry much weight. But when it comes from, say, Ted Lilly, it’s a little more intriguing.

Lilly’s wish is for the Cubs to re-sign Reed Johnson, who becomes a free agent in November. But he also said it would be prudent to consider bringing back Mark DeRosa, who left a void in the clubhouse when he was traded to the Indians last winter.

“I love Mark as a player, a person, a clubhouse guy,” Lilly said. “I could say he’s probably the best teammate I’ve ever had. All around, he really cares a great deal about everybody, and that’s the kind of person he is. I think he also leads by example — the way he plays. He’s a special individual.” chicagotribune.com.

DeRosa will be 35 next year, and is expected to received a multiyear deal worth upwards of $7 to 8 million per year. His value is unquestioned, but for that kind of scratch, you’d like to be bringing in a starter. And if DeRosa becomes a starter, he’s not doing what he does best.

Johnson, similarly versatile but limited to the outfield, likely will get a one-year deal for $1 million or less.

  • Butcher

    Pass.

  • N

    DeRosa was close to be a Class A Free Agent as well. It’s not for sure until Elias posts their (strange) rankings, but that’d mean the Cubs would have to give up their second round pick to the Cardinals. So that’s an added cost to figure in, but one I’m sure Lilly isn’t worried about.

    Looking at the draft order – http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2009/268957.html – the canceled game and the loss on the last day of the season means the Cubs 1st round pick made it into the top half by a half game. Had the won one more game, the Cubs would be losing a 1st round pick when they inevitable sign a Class A guy. Good loss!

    • Ace

      Very good point, N. Though I wonder if the Cardinals – who are on the verge of money issues, particularly if they want to dream about keeping Holliday, would risk offering DeRosa arbitration.

      And that’s a heck of a point about the draft pick order – I’m gonna have to post that.

      • Cardfan

        I REALLY wanted to like DeRosa. Seems like a great guy, team player, etc. Good fit for the Cardinals….however…he is looking more like the Manchurian Candidate every time I see him. His rainbow to right field last night was the latest “scratch my head” moment. Maybe he is still, unknowingly, bleeding Cubbie blue. Since joining the Cardinals, he has been relatively anemic. I still want to like the guy, but would throw him back over the ivy at the first opportunity. Have at ‘em…

        Who knows – you may have a crack at Holliday, as well. I seriously doubt he will be signing with the Cardinals (unless something goes south with the Pujols extension).

        • Ace

          If the Cubs can dump Bradley without having to pay more than 50% of his salary, Holliday is the KIND of hitter I’d fully expect the Cubs to look at. He’s going to get a shitton of money this year, though.

          DeRosa hasn’t really been as big a contributor as hoped, I’d expect – but the combination of he, Holliday and Lugo completely transformed that lineup. Still pisses me off, actually. :)

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