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Craig Monroe = Trade Bait?

This is probably chasing some wishful thinking, but yesterday, there were reports out of Chicago (specifically from "The Score" 670-AM) that the Cubs are looking to make a trade for an outfielder. The need seems pretty urgent after Alfonso Soriano suffered a small tear in his right quad muscle on Sunday, an injury that's expected to keep him out for 3-4 weeks.

The Cubs might be able to cover Soriano's absence with Matt Murton or Eric Patterson, who was just called up from Triple-A Iowa. If not, however, Cubs GM Jim Hendry is putting together a shopping list. And one of the names on that list is apparently Craig Monroe.

From MLB Trade Rumors:

According to the report, the Cubs are considering multiple trade possibilities to fill the monthlog gap left by Alfonso Soriano's quad injury. On the radar: Craig Monroe, Matt Stairs, Jeff Conine, and Adam Dunn. Additionally, Cubs GM Jim Hendry came out and said today that he's working the phones to find some help.

Contract situations of each player:

Monroe - $1.5MM left in '07, should earn $5MM+ in '08 before reaching free agency
Stairs - $267K left in '07, free agent after season
Conine - $630K left in '07, free agent after season
Dunn - $3.3MM left in '07, free agent after season if traded

Monroe is the right-handed Jacque Jones, contract situation and all. He'd be a poor and mildly expensive addition. He'd probably clear waivers.

Given the money involved, it's difficult to believe Hendry wouldn't try to fill holes with the players already in their system (including Felix Pie, who's spent the last month in Iowa), but if the Cubs feel like they have to make a move to stay in the NL Central race, and think Monroe is a player they'd like to have next year, maybe they'll take a chance.

(via The Detroit Tigers Weblog comments)