Cubs looking for bullpen upgrade

Updated: May 14, 2004, 10:58 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
As baseball's general managers head to Phoenix for several days of golf, pool-side lunches and heartfelt chats on the importance of "payroll flexibility" at their annual meetings, it's time to dip a hand into the Insider mailbag:

The Chicago Cubs have several needs -- shortstop, possibly second base, possibly first base if Choi doesn't mature, at catcher and in the bullpen. Where do you expect them to concentrate their energies, and who do you expect them to pursue among the current crop of free agents and through possible trades?
-- Keith, Chicago

The Cubs' first priority is upgrading their bullpen. They're looking for a power arm to pitch the eighth and step up and close in case Joe Borowski isn't as good as he appeared in 2003. To me, LaTroy Hawkins fits that description as well as anyone. After that, they can go in a number of directions.

Jerry Crasnick | email MLB Sr. Writer