Cubs eyeing Pedro Martinez?

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs sent a scout to watch Pedro Martinez work out in the Dominican Republic and are considering signing the veteran right-hander to add to their rotation. Apparently the Rays are another team that has shown interest in Martinez.

Unless Martinez can hit with runners in scoring position, I don’t see how he could have an immediate impact for the Cubs. Starting pitching isn’t the problem right now for Chicago – offense is. And while adding another arm to a rotation that features the oft-injured Rich Harden isn’t a bad idea, I’m a little surprised the Cubs aren’t popping up in more trade rumors involving bats.

Right now the Cubs are either in denial about their offensive woes or they’re just being extremely patient. Aramis Ramirez (shoulder) should come off the DL soon, which will certainly help, but if the club is simply holding out for players like Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto to catch fire, then they could be waiting awhile. (It would be nice if Milton Bradley resembled a baseball player once in awhile, too.)

There are worse ideas than the Cubs adding a healthy Martinez to their starting rotation. But I wonder if this is just the club’s way of trying to appease the fans after failing to trade for Jake Peavy and not an attempt to turn things around. Because if the Cubs were really trying to address needs, then they’d be concentrating on adding bats right now – not arms.

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Could Lee be a trade option for Giants?

The Chicago Tribune is speculating that the Giants could make a push to acquire Cubs first baseball Derrek Lee. The paper notes that San Fran’s pitching is good enough to keep them in contention, but the team desperately needs a big bat and Lee could be a viable option given that Chicago has a couple of replacements for him in Micah Hoffpauir and Jake Fox.

While rumors are definitely fun to discuss, this one looks like it has no teeth. The Cubs haven’t given any indication that they want to deal Lee and even if they have considered it, he’d still have to waive his no-trade clause. (And why would he waive it to go to a team like the Giants?)

The Giants make an easy target in all of this because yes, they do need a bat. Aaron Rowand, Pablo Sandoval, Bengie Molina, Randy Winn and Juan Uribe don’t exactly strike the fear of God into opposing pitchers. But GM Brian Sabean has to be smart here and even though San Fran is playing well, it’s probably not worth it for the Giants to trade young arms (which they’ve got plenty of) so that they can put a band-aid on a deep gash.

Now, if a situation comes up and a club is willing to part with a young bat in order to get a couple of arms, then all bets are off. If the Giants can get a young, productive bat this season that could also add to their rebuilding process, then Sabean would be a fool not to jump on the opportunity. But how often do clubs make young bats available?

The Giants have already been linked to the Marlins’ Dan Uggla and the Nats’ Adam Dunn. Now Lee’s name has been throw into the mix and while it would be tempting for Sabean to add a bat to his weak lineup, none of the aforementioned names are going to help the Giants win a World Series this year so why bother? Why sacrifice the future for half a season?

We’ll see if this rumor grows any legs, but I hardly doubt it will.

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