Garza, Soriano & Pena

Trade rumors for the Cubs have been relatively quite since early last week.

Not even the Cubs Convention stirred the pot, with the excessive fanfare coming and going with barely a peep about possible trades including Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano or others. But that doesn’t mean I’m without suspicions.

Garza still heads the list, which makes sense because of his high trade value. And just because the Cubs are asking a ton in return doesn’t rule out the chance a contender desperately comes calling the closer we get to spring training.

Multiple reports have indicated up to eight AL teams are interested in Soriano.

As I’ve noted before, Alfonso still brings value to a DH role, not to mention, a very affordable price tag if the Cubs remain committed to eating $40M of his remaining 3-yr deal for $54M.

Both the Yankees and Rays are still in the market for a DH, and Soriano appears fit for either club, especially considering both teams are contenders, which is a sticking point for Soriano who can leverage his no-trade clause.

I’ve also been keen on the idea of the Cubs resigning Carlos Pena at first base.

Although his name is surfacing in potential DH rumors as well, the Gold Glover is stead fast about playing the field.

Pena, 33, is obviously not the young, long-term solution the Cubs are searching for this offseason. But similar to the Kerry Wood deal, Carlos is a serviceable veteran who brings much needed defensive skills, some pop from the left side, and strong clubhouse leadership.

As it stands currently, many still question the ability of Bryan LaHair to be an everyday player at the big league level, and newly acquired (San Diego) first base prospect, Anthony Rizzo, is slated to begin the season at Triple-A Iowa.

The Cubs could bridge the gap of Rizzo’s ascension to the North Side by signing Pena to a 2-yr deal with a limited no-trade clause. If Rizzo exceeds expectations in 2012, Pena suddenly becomes a valuable trade piece come July 31. And if not this year, than next.


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