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Sounding Off: Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribiune

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune is sounding off some needs around the league and I thought I should share them with you:

Yankees, First Base: I agree that the Yankees need a first baseman but they do not need a long lasting one. GM Brian Cashman has been impressed by Juan Miranda and probably expects him to take over by 2009. I think a successful platoon of Shelly Duncan and Jason Giambi will do, but a possible option is Ryan Klesko.

Cardinals, Pitching: This is the one thing that holds the Cardinals back from being a force in the division again. Yes there are other things, but if there pitching was not held together by Adam Wainwright, they would be a lot better. I think going after Kyle Lohse would be an option, especially because his price is down. Trading Chris Duncan for a pitcher like Jake Westbrook or Cliff Lee is a possibility also. They have several prospects that can be traded, but I do not see them being anything like they were for the next couple of seasons.

Dodgers, Power hitter: Acquiring Andruw Jones was a start, and I think they will be pleasantly surprised by Matt Kemp and James Loney numbers. I think they should try and trade Juan Pierre for a pitcher and go with Andre Ethier out in left. Ethier has better power and more potential than Pierre.

Red Sox, Right handed set up man: I think the Red Sox have a great bullpen but are lacking that power arm in the late innings. They went after Kerry Wood early on, but he will likely be a career Cub. A possible option would be bringing back fan favorite Keith Foulke for a minor league deal. Or they could take a chance on pitcher Antonio Alfonseca; however, he has struggled to keep a low ERA.

Phillies, Third base: Pat Gillick has struggled to find a long term third baseman since Scott Rolen but I think he has a successful platoon in Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs. Signing a third baseman would only clog the matter over there and I think they are better off going with that for the time being. Both of them did well, and there are several solid third baseman available next year.

Indians, Corner Outfield: The Indians are looking for a corner outfielder, but I think they will be okay with Franklin Gutierrez. As for left field, Jason Bay was an option that fell through. Other options include Chris Duncan, Shannon Stewart, and Luis Gonzalez.

Twins, Center Field: The Twins losing Torii Hunter hurt, and they are banking on acquiring one in the Johan Santana trade. For now, Craig Monroe and Jason Pridie will battle it out. If they found a way to acquire someone like Marlon Byrd, I think they would be better. Best case scenario, although unlikely, would be Juan Pierre.

Obviously there are more team needs, but I think Rogers hits some big ones in his piece.

More tomorrow.