Perhaps the best news so far this off-season for the Yankees is the hiring of Lou Piniella by the Chicago Cubs. While that has no direct consequence on the Yankees right now, there are reports that Piniella wants the Cubbies to "aggressively pursue" the beleaguered Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. While A-Rod has a no trade clause and says he wants to remain with the Yankees, moving to the Cubs (who are accustomed to losing), would put Rodriguez in a less pressure laden situation for the $25-million man. Plus moving to the friendly confines of Wrigley would help the future hall of framer's numbers and Rodriguez could probably move back to shortstop.

There are four years and $95 million left on Rodriguez's contract with the Yankees responsible for $66.6 million and the Texas Rangers picking up the balance. Assuming Rodriguez wants to be traded and labeled a failure in New York, what should the Yankees ask for return? Pitching is the obvious answer, but with all the headaches that A-Rod has caused, the armchair general managers would probably just give him away.

Photograph by f.trainer on Flickr