Provided Milton Bradley passes his physical Thursday morning, I expect the Cubs to introduce him during a Wrigley Field news conference Thursday afternoon. When they put a Cubs jersey on him, I also epxect that jersey to sport a No. 21 on the back. Yeah, they're giving away Jason Marquis' number already. Remember the hue and cry when Marquis took "Sammy Sosa's" No. 21 a couple years ago. Turns out Marquis had always worn 21, and Bradley has worn it, too. It'll be fun to see a No. 21 in right field who can throw the ball.
There have been and will be a lot of pitchers' names thrown out there as Cubs GM Jim Hendry continues his shopping. If the Cubs go outside the organization, I'd still put my money on Hendry somehow landing Jake Peavy from the Padres, unless the new San Diego ownership pledges to spend money and keep Peavy.
Here are some other names:
--Derek Lowe. The Cubs got an eyeful of Lowe in Game 1 of the NLDS last October, as Lowe picked up the victory by going 6 innings. Lowe is a groundball pitcher who might look nice at Wrigley Field. His groundout-to-air-out ratio of 2.48 ranked second in the NL to Brandon Webb's ridiculous 3.13. However, at 35, Lowe is older than anybody currently on the Cubs' roster. I doubt the Cubs would go out two or three years at the dough Lowe feels he can command.
--Andy Pettitte. Possible, but he hasn't been the subject of intense internal discussions at Wrigley. He's still probably looking for more than what the Cubs want to pay.
--Tim Redding. Tim Redding? Forget about it. The Cubs would be better off giving the ball to Chad Gaudin as a starter.
--Ben Sheets. The Cubs have seen Sheets about 874 times in all of those games against the Brewers. Despite making 31 starts last year, Sheets' injury history has teams wary. The Cubs probably wouldn't mind a one-year deal, but they'd lose a top draft pick for signing Sheets to any kind of a deal. Sheets might be the most interesting name out there that nobody's mentioned, but I don't see it happening with the Cubs.
Talk to you guys from Wrigley tomorrow if all goes to plan.