MILWAUKEE -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry has some decisions to make as the trading deadline approaches on Sunday afternoon.
As first reported by ESPNChicago.com, Kosuke Fukudome has drawn interest from other teams. The Indians are among four teams kicking the tires on a deal with the Cubs. Because of injuries to outfielders Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo, Fukudome looks like the left-handed bat and solid defender that could help the Indians stay in the race.
The Cubs are looking for young pitching talent they can project for the next two years in return. Fukudome has a limited no-trade clause to six teams and it is still unknown whether the Indians are one of them.
First baseman Carlos Pena’s power and defense intrigues a few teams. The Cubs might have to be careful here because they really don’t have a first baseman other than Tyler Colvin ready to start at first base next season. Pena told ESPNChicago.com on Sunday that he has enjoyed his experience with the Cubs and would like to stay on beyond this season. He has a one-year contract and is a free agent at the end of the season.
The Cubs might want to consider renegotiating with Pena, who is on pace for 30 home runs and 90 RBIs. After Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, Pena will be the best option at first base in the free agent market.
A number of teams have looked at left-handed reliever John Grabow but his inconsistencies have caused teams to hesitate.
Although Alfonso Soriano’s name has been out there as a possible acquisition, interest right now is tepid.
The Cubs could trade Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson to any of a number of teams. But the Cubs want to keep them viable as part of a 2012 bench. Baker’s contract is under control and he is eligible for arbitration. Johnson is a potential free agent.
Although the Cubs are interested in dealing, it would not be a shock if they didn’t make a major deal before the deadline.