Dye, Nady drawing interest from Cubs
Club not ruling out Johnson's return for fifth outfield spot
CHICAGO -- The Cubs are looking at free agents Jermaine Dye and Xavier Nady as possible fourth outfielders.
A high-placed team official confirmed that both Dye and Nady are on the team's radar. Dye, who turns 36 on Jan. 28, is coming off a season in which he belted 27 homers and 19 doubles for the Chicago White Sox while driving in 81. His average, however, dipped to .251. A career .274 hitter, Dye could play both corner-outfield spots as well as first base if needed.
Nady, 31, missed most of last season after undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in July. A career .280 hitter, he has played for San Diego, Pittsburgh and both New York teams, most recently with the Yankees. He was limited to seven games in 2009. Nady is a career .308 hitter against left-handers, .270 against right-handers.
Nady's agent, Scott Boras, told FOX Sports that his client is on schedule to be ready for Spring Training.
The Cubs also haven't ruled out bringing back Reed Johnson, 33. After the 2009 season ended, the Cubs suggested Johnson test the free-agent market to see if he could find a team that could give him more playing time. Chicago has committed to Alfonso Soriano in left, Kosuke Fukudome in right and signed Marlon Byrd to a three-year contract in December to play center.
Johnson was limited to 65 games last season with the Cubs because of a fractured foot suffered July 29, when he fouled a ball off his foot.
"He's trying to get an everyday job and a nice contract," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of Johnson, who robbed Prince Fielder of a potential grand slam at Miller Park on April 12. "[The Cubs' front office has] kept in touch with Reed's agent. I don't know where that's going to go."
The Cubs do have Sam Fuld on the roster, and he can back up at all three outfield positions, especially center. Fuld, 28, batted .299 in 65 games with the Cubs and .284 in 84 games at Triple-A Iowa last season.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.