We’re getting very close to anointing this an obsessive watch, people. The only thing holding it back is that the acquisition of a fourth outfielder doesn’t have quite the same cachet as a Jake Peavy or Brian Roberts or a New Owner.
That said, a new report suggests the Chicago Cubs view Jermaine Dye and Xavier Nady as options 1 and 1A for the fourth outfielder spot, with only the latter being realistic at this point.
The Cubs have interest in former White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye, but he probably wants more money than he would have on the North Side.
Unless Dye’s demands come down, one source said the Cubs’ top choice among free agent outfielders would be Xavier Nady. Scott Boras, the agent for Nady, told FOXSports.com in an email last week that the right-handed hitter is “on schedule to be ready in spring training,” following the second Tommy John elbow surgery of his career. FOX Sports on MSN.
Dye, because of his name-power if not his actual power, always did seem like a particularly aggressive choice for a fourth outfielder. Still, if he comes at the same price as all the other options, no one would complain if the Cubs landed him. Nady is probably still poking around for a gig with a little more starting possibility, but if he settles for a fourth outfielder role, he’ll be hard pressed to find one with more starts available than with the Cubs. Presumably he would start in right field against all lefties, and would spell Alfonso Soriano in left field with regularity.
This report, of course, stands in stark contrast to this weekend’s report from Dave Kaplan that the Cubs’ first choice is Johnny Gomes, with whom they’ve been negotiating. Frankly, any of the three options is pretty darn good for a fourth outfielder. Other options include Rocco Baldelli and former Cub Reed Johnson.
The same article notes that the Cubs would like to upgrade at second base, having considered Orlando Hudson and Adam Kennedy (he’s an upgrade?), but it – like signing Ben Sheets – is not a priority right now.