Talked to Jim Hendry today, and the GM seems excited to have signed veteran third baseman Corey Koskie to a minor-league contract. The 35-year-old Koskie will play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic and then join the Cubs as a nonroster man in spring training.
Koskie, a pretty good hitter in his days with the Twins, hasn’t played since 2006 because of post-concussion syndrome. He injured himself that year while playing for the Brewers and has spent the time since trying to get healthy.
“We heard he was healthy,” Hendry said from Mesa, where the Cubs are getting set to play the White Sox. “He had been working out in Fort Myers. We’ll see what he looks like. He was a heck of a player when he was healthy.”
I’m told that if Koskie doesn’t make the big-league roster, he’s open to playing at Class AAA Iowa for at least 30 days.
Koskie could serve as a left-handed hitting backup to Aramis Ramirez at third base. That position has become somewhat of an issue since the trade of Mark DeRosa. Aaron Miles, Mike Fontenot and Jake Fox have been among those taking grounders at third.
“We’re very happy with Fontenot and Miles and what they’re doing in getting looks at third base,” Hendry said.
Koskie is a lifetime .275 hitter with 124 homers, and OBP of 367 and a slugging percentage of .458. In 2004 with the Twins, he hit 25 homers and had an OPS of .837.
The other news on the wires today is that pitcher Curt Schilling says he wants to play for the Cubs or Tampa Bay.
Although the Cubs have not heard directly from Schilling, I’m told they’re open to the idea. “Why not?” one operative said. Schilling missed the 2008 season recovering from shoulder problems.
Earlier this winter, the Cubs had interest in Schilling’s old teammate, Randy Johnson, but Johnson signed with the Giants. Schilling is 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA lifetime. His lifetime WHIP is a tidy 1.137. He’s also 10-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the postseason.