No room for LaHair, this year or next

CHICAGO -- Bryan LaHair was expected to be trade bait in the offseason and Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum’s comments Monday did little to alter that perception.

LaHair started the year as the Cubs’ first baseman and earned an All-Star Game nod by midseason. But even before the All-Star Game was played, LaHair had been unseated at first base by Anthony Rizzo.

LaHair saw some action in right field until the early August arrival of Brett Jackson. Since then, his uniform has rarely needed to be washed since it hardly gets dirty.

Is there anything LaHair can do to help his playing-time prospects next year?

“I think for his sake he needs to go play winter ball again and get those at-bats he missed out on and be ready for spring training just like he was this year,” Sveum said.

But won’t it still be hard for him to find playing time?

“Yeah, that goes unsaid really,” Sveum said. “Rizzo is healthy and playing time will be tough to find.”

LaHair’s All-Star appearance was one of baseball’s better stories at the break. He figures to be elsewhere next year with another chance to be a great story if he is playing in the All-Star Game again.