The Cubs are keeping tabs on a variety of players at different positions, making it clear that they intend to deal in the coming weeks. It was reported earlier this week that the team held talks with free agent pitcher Brandon Webb, who is currently trying to comeback after missing the past two seasons with injuries.
Webb is going to have to sign for a bargain rate, in a deal loaded with incentives. For some teams, the risk may not be worth the reward. But several teams, including the Diamondbacks, Nationals, Rockies, and Rangers, have already expressed general interest.
The Cubs are also looking to add a first baseman, making contact with left-handed power hitters Adam Dunn and Carlos Pena. Pena, coming off a .196 season with 28 home runs, will also need to prove that he can hit a respectable level. It will be interesting to see how the market plays Pena, because after the year he had, it is possible teams will offer only a one or two year deal that is contingent on him hitting at a certain level. A performance based option would suffice under these circumstances.
Sources also say the Cubs are keeping tabs on Orlando Hudson, a Type-B free agent. While the team has Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker, and Darwin Barney, Hudson has always been a favorite of Jim Hendry and would give the team a lefty at the top of the order to pair with Starlin Castro.
Expect the team to be making moves next week at the Winter Meetings.