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Old Jan 8th 2010, 1:19 pm
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SkullKey SkullKey is offline
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This probably belongs in a trade speculation and hopes-and-wishes thread.

This is something of another odd SkullKey post and I'm making it because it involves a guy I've wished the Cubs would take a look at. The last time I ranted about such a guy was Jeff Niemann ( - 4th in ROY voting - won 13 games in 2009). The Cubs missed that opportunity when Niemann was in a similar position to this guy. The player is, of course another Tampa Bay Ray Minor Leaguer: why? Well they're my 2nd favorite team (my American League team), I get actually see them play (I live less than 90 minutes form the park) and know a little about their talent, Tampa is loaded which makes for excess talent and excess talent likely can be had cheap. I love cheap talent.

I've made clear (I assume) my wonderment that the Cubs keep Theriot a SS where he is mediocre and don't move him too his natural (IMO) position at 2B where he likely would be of greater value. So who to replace him at SS?

I suggest:

7. Reid Brignac, SS
DOB: 1/16/86 [he's 24]
Height/Weight: 6-3/195
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: 2nd round, 2004, St. Amant HS (LA)
2009 Stats: .282/.327/.417 at Triple-A (96 G); .278/.301/.444 at MLB (31 G)
Last Yearís Ranking: 5

Year in Review: A talented shortstop, Brignac seems stuck at Triple-A due to the emergence of Jason Bartlett. [And the presence of Tim Beckham.]
The Good: Brignac has above-average power for the position and fits the mold as the new breed of big, athletic shortstops. He's come leaps and bounds as a defender, possessing good range to both sides and a strong arm with good accuracy and carry.
The Bad: Many scouts are bothered by the fact that Brignac has morphed into a completely different player over the last few years. Once a California League MVP who few thought could stay up the middle, he's now a defensive wizard who brings little to the table other than occasional power. He's always been an impatient hitter, looking to attack fastballs early in each at-bat.
Ephemera: The 45th overall pick in the draft has not been a kind one in baseball history, as Jeff Branson (1988) is the all-time leader in home runs with 34, while John Dopson (1982) leads in the win category with just 30.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a good everyday shortstop with plus defense and 15 home runs annually.
Path to the Big Leagues: Itís completely and utterly blocked. [read: cheap, cheap, cheap]
Timetable: Brignac played in Mexico this December, leaving some to wonder if he was being showcased for trade possibilities. The Rays might be trying him out at other infield positions this spring to use him in a bench role, but it would be hard to see him get many at-bats there.

This guy would seriously push Vitters at 3rd and we'd see if Vitters is up to the challenge. The Cubs need depth and Reid can play all 4 infield positions and probably outfield. He's much more advanced than any Cub middle-infield prospect and is Major League ready. Higher ceiling than any Cubs prospect. Baseball Prospectus rates him a 4-star Prospect like Beckham (who was the 1st over-all pick in the draft !).


A post like this brings up a question I occasionally have which is: which player(s) would other fans most like to see as a Cub? Considering only realistically available players. For example: everyone wants Pujols; is he really available? Very unlikely.

My top choices are:

Joe Mauer - likely free agent this time next year or trade material mid-season 2010.
Hanley Ramirez - as soon as he becomes expensive he's available. Move him to 3rd and he's almost Alex Rodriguez.
Adrian Gonzalez - maybe already available.
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