National League East

CHICAGO CUBS Wish list: The Cubs just signed Danny Jackson, but they still are seeking help in the starting rotation. They also covet a right-handed bullpen closer and a right-handed hitter.

Trade bait: It seems far-fetched, but there are whispers that the Cubs are willing to trade Jerome Walton for a power-hitting outfielder. Reliever Mitch Williams and outfielder Dwight Smith are available.


Rumor mill: The Cubs might try to move shortstop Shawon Dunston, who is close to free-agent eligibility. There also has been talk of a Walton-for-Danny Tartabull deal.

If Christmas comes early: The Cubs will find a taker for the erratic Williams and restructure their bullpen around a not-so-wild thing.


MONTREAL EXPOS Wish list: The Expos have shown interest in Kirk Gibson, but don't seem likely to sign him. Montreal could also use some pitching help, both in the starting rotation and in the bullpen.

Trade bait: Could this be the year that Montreal bids goodbye to Tim Raines? There has been speculation to that effect, but rumors about Raines seem to go around every year.

Rumor mill: Here's the latest Raines rumor. He could be going to the New York Mets for a starting pitcher (either Bob Ojeda or Sid Fernandez) and at least one position player.

If Christmas comes early: Gibson will sign with the Expos and move to Quebec, where he can be offensive in two languages.