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Ah, it’s the wonderful time of year again – the Lukewarm Stove is back. In case you’ve forgotten, the Lukewarm Stove at Bleacher Nation is your home for Chicago Cubs rumors. Unlike the traditional “hot stove,” we’re more than happy to include every rumor even remotely related to the Cubs (or remotely plausible, for that matter), and/or those rumors for which there isn’t a whole lot of information available. Get it? Lukewarm? Because it’s not quite hot? Have I beaten you over the head with the concept enough?

Ok, enough of that meta business.

In a recent chat, Bruce Levine noted that he’s been hearing that soon-to-be free agent first baseman Adam Dunn is “high on [the Cubs'] priority list.” He doesn’t elaborate, but the suggestion alone is noteworthy as the first confirmation that the Cubs will actually explore the possibility of signing Dunn. Given the reduced payroll for next season, together with the $120ish million already committed to players under contract and arbitration-eligible players, a player like Dunn could be the only addition the Cubs make all winter.

  • Kevin G

    I say we sign Beltre move Aram to 1st. Drop him next season and go hard core after Gonzalez.

    • Ace

      I think Beltre is probably going to get more money than he should due to inflated performance – as he has tended to do in contract years.

  • Kevin G

    He wasn’t in a contract year. Seattle is a terrible place for RH power hitters and Fenway most likely took more HR away then it gave him. I am also looking at 2 other thing his defense is a lot better than Aramis and he will be cheaper then Dunn. We were terrible defensively last year and we gave away wins because of it.

    • necubsfan

      Living in New England, I saw a lot of Beltre (BTW he was in a contract year this year) and I disagree that his defense is “a lot better” than Aramis. Additionally The Monster helps to increase BA for RH hitters and balls routinely fly over it (Dustin Pedroia 5’9″ 180lbs). It was certainly easier for Jason Bay to hit HRs at Fenway than in New York. I also think Dunn will be cheaper than Beltre in dollars and years. That being said, I like the Idea.

    • Ace

      Yes, Beltre was in a contract year (he has a player option for 2011 for a lowly $5 million, which increased to $10 million because he got 640 PAs, though it’s not like that can be assumed to happen – thus, he was playing with the mindset of a guy in a contract year). He’s had two seasons with an OPS+ over 114: his contract year with the Dodgers, and 2010. And both of those years BLEW AWAY his career averages (which include an OPS of .791). This is not a guy you want to sign.

      • Kevin G

        Ace you are right my mindset is more on getting Gonzalez in 2012. But if we don’t have someone behind him to protect him what’s the point.

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