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Today, in multiple reports, the Philadelphia Phillies have been strongly connected to free agent third baseman, and soon-to-be-former Cub, Aramis Ramirez. The Phillies feel they need a big bat, and are apparently willing to sacrifice the defense at third in exchange for that offense.

If true, where does that leave current Phillie 3B, Placido Polanco?

Well, the Phillies would probably shop him, lest they have a very expensive utility player on their hands. And one team likely to show at least a little interest is the Chicago Cubs.

Indeed, Phil Rogers says you can add Polanco to the list of Cubs third base options.

Polanco, 36, is set to make $6.25 million in 2012, with a $5.5 million mutual option for 2013 (with a $1 million buyout), so acquiring him could be an expensive one-year move. His offensive numbers have waned considerably in recent years – OPS+ of 101, 90, 94, 85 over the last four years – though his defense remains solid.

One rub with Polanco, as pointed out by Rogers, is Polanco’s recovery from post-season double hernia surgery. He’s expected to be ready for Opening Day, but injury recovery becomes increasingly difficult as a guy ages, and, whether he’s “ready” by Opening Day says nothing about whether he’s “ready to play well” by Opening Day.

The Cubs are also exploring deals with the Padres and Rockies for Chase Headley and Ian Stewart, respectively, and, given their age profiles and contract situations, you’ve got to believe those two would be a preference over Polanco. Frankly, I’d much rather the Cubs handed the position over to DJ LeMahieu, for example, than pick up Polanco as a starter.

  • EQ76

    pass.. wow, none of the rumors so far are very impressive except for Headley. I still believe we have a lot of surprises coming our way with what “Hoystein” does this off-season.

  • Internet Random

    Do we know what kind of hernias? Lots of them can be corrected with minimally invasive surgery… which even old people almost always heal from quickly.

  • Fishin Phil

    Pass.  Give me Headley!

     

    Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

    • ReiCow

      BAHAHAHAHAHAA *sniff* too good…

    • Sweetjamesjones

      Ba duh bump!

      Just read that Soriano rumors are picking up steam over at MLBTR.

    • R.I.P. Santo

      hahahahaha i just LOL’ed

  • auggie1955

    Polanco is not what he used to be. That God it was one of Rogers’ rumors, so I can totally disregard it.

  • Mark

    Don’t want Polanco!Would rather they spend 6.25 million somewhere else!!

  • DRock

    Brett, is there a radio/internet radio station talking all day about the Winter Meetings? My google search proved unsuccessful.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good question. I’m sure MLBN radio is (I believe that’s a Sirius/XM station). I’m following via Twitter, Facebook, MLBN, and the Web.

      • DRock

        Thanks, I will just stay tuned in here. The suspense about a blockbuster deal is killing me!

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          Get on twitter and there are quite a few people you can follow to keep you up to date.

          Speaking of that I just got a new tweet!

          • DRock

            Yep, I am in on twitter and watching MLB.com live winter meetings interviews with GM’s. Nothing new on MLB.com

            • Kansas Cubs Fan

              Follow me @Kansas_Cubs_Fan

              I follow back!

              • DRock

                Ok, but I don’t tweet much- mostly just read others tweets!

    • bwitty75
    • bwitty75
  • mb1.0.2

    Anyone that suggests Polanco as a real option at third are nothing more than, “cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers,….”

    …I concur with Phil. Give me Headley!

    • EQ76

      Bushwackers?? worst tag team of all time!

      • Sweetjamesjones

        Blasphemy!

        • EQ76

          now if you’re talking “Demolition” or “The Hart Foundation”.. well, I’d be on board.

          • Sweetjamesjones

            Uhhh the Rockers. Duh!

            • EQ76

              Strike Force?

              • Sweetjamesjones

                The Allied Powers and then Ill raise you Money Inc brother!

                • chris margetis

                  Power and Glory!!!

                  • Jeff

                    This debate is awful. Everybody knows it’s “Legion of Doom”.

                    • Sweetjamesjones

                      You went the easy way Jeff. If you want to play that way then: The Four Horsemen!

                    • EQ76

                      How can you say that when The Iron Shiek & Nickoli Volkoff still on the board?

                • EQ76

                  hmmm… I’ll see you’re Money Inc, and raise you the British Bulldogs and the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers.

                  • Sweetjamesjones

                    Thats easily trumped by the Fabulous Freebirds!

                    • EQ76

                      don’t make me bust out the Conquistadors!

                • oswego chris

                  me and my kid had our picture taken with the Iron Sheik last year…..nice guy, does have trouble speaking and moving though

                  • EQ76

                    Ouch! I’m sure all those years of wrestling has those guys in pretty bad shape.. that’s cool though!

  • MichCubFan

    What do you think of signing Kelly Johnson at 2B and then let DeWitt, Barney, and LaMahieu handle 3rd?

    The 3B that are availible aren’t really all that special although i don’t mind Headley.  It will just cost us a little more to get him than any of the other 3Bs out there and i don’t know if that would be all that worth it compared to my above idea.

    And why hasn’t Kelly Johnson been talked about that much, especially as a fit for the Cubs?

    • BetterNews

      AAA team, were good!

      • MichCubFan

        But would Headley, Polanco, or especially Stewart be that much of an upgrade?  Especially considering that Kelly Johnson would probably be a better offensive player than any of them, he plays good defense at second, he should be a good value dollar and year wise, and also considering what we would have to give up for the upgrade at 3rd.

        • BetterNews

          Nope! But I’m getting paid to hype the team! Ya, right.

    • john

      I still think K Johnson and Pena would be a productive short term stop gap
      while the Cubs rebuild. Moving Castro to 3rd and Barney SS makes a lot of sense.

      • Jeff

        Kelly Johnson might have some power, but he strikes out a whole lot and his defense isn’t very good. With an OBP around Darwin Barney level, I don’t think he’s worth it. I think having DJ, Barney, Flaherty, and DeWitt will offer a much better option there.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Johnson is generally thought of as a poor defender at 2B – that’s probably the main reason his name doesn’t come up much with the new crew in charge.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    A team That has most major pieces in place and is trying to make a serious championship run should go after placido. A good player but not the right piece for the cubs.

    Give me headly too

    Yea that sounds right

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Rosenthal reports that the Cubs have met with Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano. Rosie doesn’t have the details, but, this meeting was to be expected. Could be something, could be nothing. Lozano is expected to meet with the Marlins later.

  • BetterNews

    Where is Katie?

    • Katie

      I’m here. I actually had to earn my paycheck in a meeting today. What’s up?

  • Morgan

    No, No, No we dont need him, hes getting to old and if the phillies dont want him why would we want him. We need power

    • BetterNews

      Katie is a him?

  • john

    What about a trade with Houston for Lee, Bret Myers, prospect or 2 for Soriano Soto and Marmol

    • Sweetjamesjones

      Carlos Lee? No thanks.

      • john

        1 year of Lee for 3 years Soriano and 20 mil?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Brett Myers would be interesting on the cheap, but that’s about it.

  • Deez

    $7.25M for 1yr of a 3B coming off double hernia surgery doesn’t even sound good.

    BTW, this is the best news I’ve heard today!

    http://tracking.si.com/2011/12/05/report-chicago-cubs-receiving-interest-in-alfonso-soriano/

    please please someone take this albatross off us!

  • Kyle

    UZR absolutely adores Polanco’s defense at 3b. He’s not young so he’s not a sexy pick, but he’s the best of the stopgap options I’ve seen floated around, by a long shot.

  • the goat

    mlbtr reports that cespedes wants 2 times what chapman signed for. they say that would come out to 60 mil. do you think he is worth that much?

    • T C

      Well, if that 60 mil comes over the 7 years a team would have control of him, that comes out to $8.57 mil/yr. Not adjusting for inflation, the $/WAR ratio is about 5 on the market, so he’d only have to produce 1.7 WAR/yr to be worth that contract.

      In other words, he could produce less than Darwin Barney last year (2.0 fWAR), and still be worth his contract

      So yea, absolutely worth it

      • Kyle

        I’m not so sure. The problem is there’s a significant chance that he produces zero WAR. I know everybody’s pencilling him in to MLB lineups, but the reality is he’s never had consistent exposure to pitching above A-ball quality. At 26, that’s awfully late to be learning to consistently hit a AA breaking ball.

        Whether he’s worth the risk or not is ultimately a scouting call. The workout videos are nice, but someone needs to see his swing and make a judgment.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          For what it’s worth, Goldstein says the lifestyle adjustment will be a bigger challenge for Cespedes than the baseball adjustment.

          • CubFan Paul

            when teams visit Cespdes for workouts in the DR, are they taking their own pitchers (MLB guys) down there to throw some 96mph & MLB breaking balls to Cespedes?

            i can’t imagine him getting a major league deal without seeing mlb pitching so maybe that was a stupid question

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I don’t think that happens. I imagine they can control the workout a little bit, but I doubt the pitching he’s facing is anything close to big-league pitching.

              • CubFan Paul

                interesting. 6-7yrs/$60M is a bargain if his hitting translates, especially with established mlb OFs getting $15-20M/yr

  • oswego chris

    Brett, or anyone who might know…I assume we must have guys working on multiple fronts right? At least Jed and Theo must be…and maybe Randy Bush…I think most teams would have to do this with all of the variables involved…..

    • Hawkeye

      Could you imagine the day when Hendry did this all by himself.   Other teams must have laughed at us.

      • EQ76

        Hey Hawkeye, I’m an OU fan, live in Tulsa. I guess we’re fellow Insight Bowlers!

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          Hey EQ76 I’m up In Wichita, Ks.

          • EQ76

            That’s not far man! The wife and I actually went up to see the Cubs/Royals this past summer.

            • Kansas Cubs Fan

              I had planned on going but just couldn’t get away for it.

              My friend ended up taking his girlfriend who couldn’t pronounce Fukudome’s name.

        • Hawkeye

          EQ76,   there are a lot of us Hawkeye fans on this site.   Unfortunately, I am worried we won’t give you much of a game…

          • EQ76

            I dunno, after watching my team lose to OSU, we might not be that great either! I do have some gratitude to Iowa, you guys produced Stoops for us.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes. Lower level folks also meet with other teams’ reps and agents, but obviously, the authority lies with Theo and Jed.

  • MUDDY 1

    Polanco would make sense..Vitters is close to being ready..Maybe 2012 close…Although some may have him slated for LF…Wouldn’t be surprised to see Byrd moved and Brett Jackson and Vitters patrolling CF and RF with DeJesus in RF..

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