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The Chicago Cubs are still looking for a first baseman after whiffing on a few options late last week an this weekend. One of the whiffs – Adrian Gonzalez – was not for a lack of trying: the Cubs pursued him aggressively, both before and after he was initially dealt to the Red Sox.

Another of the whiffs – Lance Berkman – apparently also involved a strong effort by the Cubs.

[T]he Cubs missed out on Lance Berkman, who signed with the Cardinals on Saturday for $8 million. The Cubs also offered $8 million to Berkman, but one source said there were deferred payments in the Cubs’ offer. The Cubs really don’t have a first baseman of the future in their minor-league system, so signing a veteran to a short-term deal would be the prudent thing to do at this point. ESPN Chicago.

Two immediate thoughts: (1) it’s surprising that the Cubs managed to find $8 million to offer Berkman, and (2) it’s really sad (and scary) that the Cubs had to DEFER some of that money.

For now, the first base options appear to be Carlos Pena, Chris Davis, and Tyler Colvin. Adam LaRoche and Lyle Overbay remain options as well, but neither are very attractive for financial (LaRoche) or performance (Overbay) reasons.

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