A couple of free agent first baseman – Adam Dunn and Lance Berkman have dollar figure expectations trickling out, and they aren’t out of line with what you’d expect them to be asking.

Adam Dunn’s agent, Greg Genske, has let interested teams know that the bidding for the left-handed slugger will start at four years for $60 million. The market on Dunn cratered two years ago, and he ended up going to Washington on a two-year, $20 million deal.

One executive interested in Lance Berkman(notes) expects that it will take a one-year, $7 million deal to sign him, which is around the market rate for a mid-30s designated hitter with a long-standing pedigree. Berkman has drawn significant interest as a DH, a position he’s loath to accept full time. Yahoo! Sports.

Dunn’s name keeps popping up in connection with the Cubs, but to the extent he can actually land a 4/$60 million deal, it surely won’t be with the Cubs. I’m skeptical that he can actually get more than three years and more than $12 million per.

As for Berkman, a one-year deal in the $5 to 7 million range is what I predicted from the outset, so there isn’t much of a surprise here. The real question is whether the Cubs would be better served trading for Chris Davis and/or letting Tyler Colvin hack it at first, and pocketing that money for mid-season (should a miracle happen and the Cubs are competitive) or for 2012, when the first base market could feature big names like Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, and yes, Albert Pujols.

The Cubs’ other prime free agent target at first base, Carlos Pena, isn’t expected to sign for much less than $7 million, either, so the question of spending at first base is really a global one, rather than particular to a given player.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Hendry should sign Hudson first. He’ll sign for less than any 1B the Cubs might be interested in. Plus, he’d improve more areas of the team. Then sign a 1st basemen if the price is reasonable. If not, put Colvin there and keep Fukudome in RF.

    • Larry

      I can’t help but agree. Moving Colvin to first would open up a spot for Guyer or Jackson and allow the Cubs to use their money in other areas to improve the team. If they move Colvin to first and he continues to improve, then that position could be set for years to come and all the money coming off the books next year can bring in a front line pitcher or a solid bat at another position. I would love to have A-Gon as much as the next person, but the Cubs are going to be bidding against the Red Sox and their deep pockets, so his signing with Chicago is far from a certainty.

  • CubsFanatic

    Sign LaRoche to a one year deal. Sign Hudson to a one or two year deal. Next season, GO FOR ALBERT!!! Adrian is nice, but hes no Pujols.

  • KB

    One problem with the Colvin at 1B scenario…he can’t hit well enough for the position.
    Since it’ the easiest position on the diamond to play, it comes with the expectation that the guy manning it will hit a TON. Think Pujols, Dunn, Texiera, A Gonz, DLee in his prime…any of those guys remind you of the Mendoza-line OBP guy that Colvin is?

    Nuff said.