Could the Cubs Grab Nate McLouth?

Pirates CF might be available, cheaper than other options

In the Cubs' ongoing obvious quest to get a left-handed power-hitting outfielder -- as a matter of fact, that's a great idea for a comic book; The Quest For The Left-Handed Power Hitting Outfielder, Episode One -- they haven't really stretched too many options. Thus far, the offseason focus has been on Jake Peavy. Now, though, the Cubs can explore a bit, and see whether Milton Bradley, or some other free agent, is their best and/or least expensive option.

But what if that player isn't a free agent at all? What if he can be got from the Pirates for cheaper? What if he's ... Nate McLouth?

Bleed Cubbie Blue posited that theory earlier today, boosted by this story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The idea is that McLouth would be cheaper in trade than would Milton Bradley in cash cost ... we think:

So -- what would it take to get him? If the Cubs are thinking about a multiyear deal for someone like Milton Bradley, wouldn't it make more sense to trade for a McLouth, who you could pay about the same amount of money, and get a better, younger, healthier player?

Hey, it makes sense. The only issue is actually making the trade happen, which is much easier said than done. It would probably take some combination of Sean Marshall, Felix Pie, and some younger prospects to make it happen; thus far, Pirates GM Neal Huntington has proven to be pretty conservative when it comes to trades. Unfortunately, swindling former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield (thanks for Aramis Ramirez, Dave!) is no longer an option.

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