The Chicago Cubs have several areas in the lineup where they could use some help. While the focus is to improve the starting rotation and the bullpen, which was atrocious last season, the Cubs could also fill a few holes with position players as they currently have a void in left field.
With Ryan Sweeney and Nate Schierholtz all but set to start on Opening Day next year, the Cubs could use an upgrade over rookie Junior Lake in left field. One intriguing option is former New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson.
The veteran is a Chicago native and certainly fits some of the criteria that the Cubs are looking for. The fact that he rejected a qualifying offer could be a red flag, however, as the Cubs shouldn’t give up their compensation pick to sign him.
Barring the negotiations, the on-field product would be quite interesting. He’s a good hitter who would be a veteran presence in both the lineup, and the fact that he’s been on winning teams is certainly a plus. GM Jed Hoyer already said that this team needs leaders, and Granderson fits into the criteria.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t red flags about him, however, as his age, the length of the contract and the loss of the draft pick could all be a factor. He has had several injuries in recent years and while he would give the lineup some power, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to stay healthy throughout the year.
As mentioned earlier, the pick that comes attached with signing Granderson could also be key. Considering that Pierce Johnson, one of the Cubs top prospects in terms of pitching, was selected with one of those picks in the 2012 Draft, it would be strange to see Cubs forfeiting it to land the veteran.
While he might be a solid addition to the lineup, Granderson might not be the best fit for the Cubs at this moment of the rebuilding stage. They would be wiser to take a flyer on players like Travis Snider or Chris Young to fill the void until the prospects are ready sometime in 2015.