Saturday, December 29, 2007
I feel the Cubs need is another veteran starter to boast there rotation. Guys like Matt Clement, Bartolo Colon, Livan Hernandez, Jon Lieber, or Josh Towers. I like the idea of Livan, Clement, or Colon coming to the Cubs. Hernandez is less of a gamble because he will give you 200+ innings and has playoff experience. He would be a nice 5th starter for the Cubs. Colon has the biggest upside. He has been plagued with injuries but just 3 years ago he was a 21 game winner! I would like to see the Cubs take a gamble on him, if healthy he could be a good #2 or #3 starter. Matt Clement has been a favorite of mine. If you remember he pitched well with the Cubs but didn't get any run support. He has been on and off the DL for a while but now he maybe finally healthy. The Cubs would be taking a chance on him just like Colon but he doesn't have that big of an upside. He could fit nicely in the #4 or #5 spot if healthy and be less expensive than Colon or Livan. He might be the best fit! Regardless, I feel the Cubs need to sign another starter for me to feel better about the rotation going into Spring Training.
Another type of player the Cubs need to acquire is a speedy outfielder that can play all three outfield positions and possibly be ready to take over CF if Pie isn't ready. There are only two players I see as a perfect fit for the Cubs and they are Chone Figgins and Kenny Lofton. Figgins would fit the bill perfectly, in fact he would start in CF over Pie. The guy is a stud! High OBP, low SO, great average, lots of SBs, good defense, and could play all over the field. Definitely a player the Cubs and Lou would love. He would cost a lot and the Angels will not trade him unless the get a good 3rd baseman to replace him. So that doesn't sound likely. Another option is Lofton, if you check this blog you know I love Kenny Lofton. Lofton continues to be a great player regardless of age. He will hit homeruns, hit in the clutch, plays good D, high OBP, good amount of SB, and good average. He can also play all three outfield positions and play them well. Not to mention he is familiar with Wrigley, which is a plus. I see the signing of Lofton as a no brainer, hopefully the Cubs do too!
The only other player I see the Cubs looking at is a better 2nd baseman, so Derosa can fill the super utility role. Or signing another utility guy. I think after the first of the year Roberts will be the Cubs new 2nd baseman pushing Derosa to the super utility role. Roberts would fill the 2nd spot in the lineup hitting between Soriano and Lee. Lou has said time and time again, Sori is our leadoff guy. Roberts would pull the lineup together nicely. He will likely cost something like Murton, Gallagher, and one of these guys- Epatt, Colvin, or Cedeno. If the Cubs don't get Roberts, you might see them make a play for Orlando Hudson. He is just as good as Roberts and plays better defense than him. Tho Roberts has better wheels tho. If none of that works look for them to trade for a utility guy that is switch hitter. The guys that come to mind are Felipe Lopez and Cristian Guzman. Both could be valuable guys off the bench and are available via trad. Plus there a better fit than Cedeno and Font.
So the Cubs basically need a starting pitcher, a outfielder that can play all three positions and has speed, and either a utility infielder or a switch hitting 2nd baseman with speed. If the Cubs can get all that done before opening day, Jim deserves a medal!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Let me first say there is about a 1% chance the Cubs trade for him. He would cost a lot of good prospects and the Cubs probably don't have enough to get him. But here is what I came up with.
The Yankees and Red Sox have made strong offers to the Twins but they are wanting a lot more than they can offer. The Yankees are getting frustrated and have dropped out of the running at least twice. They don't see a deal taking shape at all and refuse to give up Ian Kennedy in a deal that would likely include Hughes, Cabrera, and many more good prospects. The Red Sox have offered up the best deal for Santana but the Twins still don't seem interested. I personally thing the Sox are just trying to block the deal from the Yankees and there doing a great job.
Its safe to say the the Twins really don't mind going into next season with Santana and maybe dealing him at the deadline. The problem with that is if they don't make a deal or Santana decides to not waive him no trade clause then they will likely lose him next year and only get draft picks for him. That's a risk I don't think the Twins want to take.
What if the Cubs jump in the mix??? It would be great if they could pull a deal like what the Tigers did with Florida. The Tigers were not even on the radar when the Miguel Cabrera talks were going on. They swept in a left the Angels, Dodgers, and many other teams in the dust. I think the Cubs have a small chance of doing that. While the Yankees and Sox fight over who is gonna give up the most without hurting the club the most, the Cubs come in and strike a deal with the Twins leaving the Yankees and Red Sox stunned. That would be a great off-season move by Hendry although not likely. Another thing besides maybe not having the prospects to make a deal is the 36 hour time window that is rumored that the team has to negotiate and long term deal with Santana. So even if you agree on the players the deal can be squashed by not signing him to a long tern deal. Not to mention he is looking at 7 years 140 million which means he would likely get 6 years 110-120 million. That is more than we signed Zambrano to and might disrupt the club a bit. Even though by signing him for 6 years would almost insure the Cubs making the playoffs every year for at least the next 4 years. Everyone knows the Cubs Organization biggest concern is to win a World Series so I don't see money or players stopping them from getting Santana.
So after all this speculation and ideas on how the Cubs could get Santana, do I think it will happen?? Very Unlikely! But do I think this sounds like something Jim would try to pull off?? Absolutely!
For those interested on what I would offer the Twins for Santana, here you go!
Hill- A young lefty that would immediately be in the starting rotation next year as a potential #2 or #3 starter. In a couple of years he will be a legitimate #1.
Pie- The Twins need more young outfielders and a replacement in for Hunter in CF. Pie could fill that void nicely. He has dominated in AAA and has struggled batting in the Major Leagues. One thing is the Cubs have no complaints on this D, he would develop well with the Twins.
Gallagher- A young righty with good stuff! He could be easily slotted in the #5 spot in a rebuilding team. He is young and has tremendous upside. A guy that the Twins would fall in love with.
Sean Marshall- He proves he belongs in ML. He is a steady lefty who has good stuff but can be inconsistent at times. He is a good number 4 or 5 pitcher right now. With some experience under his belt he could be a good number 3. He would round out the Twins rotation well!
Epatt- Could be inserted as a 2b or OF. Hit well in AAA has some discipline problems and would need to develop more in AAA.
Veal- The Cubs best lefty prospect. Has stuff comparable to Willis yet he needs more time to develop in AAA.
Vitters- Vitters was the Cubs top pick in the the draft this year. He is slotted as a 3rd baseman but he can play other positions. The Twins have a constant whole a 3rd base and sign cheap mediocre players to fill the void until someone proves they can fill it. It think Vitters could be the Twins everyday 3rd baseman in the next 2 years and do the job nicely!
The only player I would not give up( besides our blue chippers like Z, Lee, Sori, Aram etc) would be Marmol! I think he is the next great closer!
Do you have a deal that you think would get Santana??
Drop me a comment!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
CHICAGO -- Tribune Co.'s new CEO Sam Zell said the Cubs will be sold by Opening Day, and that he may sell naming rights to Wrigley Field because such rights could be "extraordinarily valuable."
Zell, who took over the company on Thursday, completing an $8.2 billion deal, confirmed the team will be sold during an introductory news conference. The Tribune has owned the Cubs since 1981, and Zell is selling the team and some related assets to help pay off the company's $13 billion debt.
Last week, Tribune asked the state of Illinois to explore the possibility of acquiring Wrigley Field through the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which is the government-backed sports agency.
The sports body was created by state lawmakers in 1987 for the purpose of building a new Comiskey Park, now U.S. Cellular Field, which is home to the Chicago White Sox. On Thursday, Zell acknowledged those discussions.
"We believe that transaction, when completely vetted, is very beneficial for the city of Chicago, is very beneficial for the Cubs, and for the future of a Major League Baseball team in this city," Zell said. "[Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich] originally approached us on this. We studied it; we thought it was an interesting concept. We started meeting with [Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's] people on it. We'll see where that goes.
"Up until now, we've delayed -- although they're ready -- sending out the books on the Cubs until we had a better understanding of where this stands," Zell said. "I think the goal would be to complete the transaction before the beginning of the baseball season."
There are plenty of interested buyers, Zell said.
The Cubs open their 133rd season on March 31 at home. Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues, hosting its first Cubs game in 1916 when it was known as Weeghman Park.
Trusted reader Alex writes in with a George Ofman report on 670 The Score out of Chicago. Apparently the Cubs are considering signing free agent outfielder So Taguchi, which may be related to the Kosuke Fukudome signing. The is much less damaging than signing Kaz Matsui would've been, at least. But it could lead to Matt Murton being traded for less than he's worth.
I think we can get something decent for Murton especially in a package. I think there is a 10% chance Murton is in a Cubs uniform opening Spring Training. So Taguchi would be a decent signing because the Cubs are looking for an a speedy guy that can play all three outfield positions and So can do that. He hit .290 with 3 homers, 30 rbi, and 7 stolen bases in 307 ABs. He posted a .350 OBP and would be a decent 4th outfielder and pinch runner. The Cubs can probably get him for a million a year.
Andy MacPhail dismissed the rumors that Roberts will be signed by today or before the 1st of the year for that matter. He said the Cubs are focused on Roberts while the Reds are in on Bedard.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I hope this is true because Roberts would be a big spark to this team!!
For all the crazy Cubs fans we've got here: Stark says they've talked to the Orioles about both Brian Roberts and Erik Bedard, but couldn't pull off a deal for both. They favor Roberts even though they need Bedard much more.
The O's probably wanted Hill included in a deal for Roberts and Bedard. That is why a deal probably wont be pulled off for both. I really hope the Cubs get Roberts, he would be an upgrade to Derosa and create a spark at the top of the lineup.
Lofton is starting to draw a lot of interest from many clubs including the Phils, Cards, White Sox, Twins, and Padres. I think the Cubs should sign him soon. Lofton is a valuable top or bottom of the order type guy. He still can put out good numbers and be decent defensively. He hit .296 with 7 homers 38 rbi and 23 SB in 490 AB. He posted a great .362 OBP and has a career OBP of .372. He would be a great platoon partner with Pie. Or if Pie and Fuld are not ready for the majors he could be a great stop gap. I have always like Lofton and think acquiring him would really give Lou more options in the outfield and a plan B if Pie doesn't pan out.
Fukudome officially announced-
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Cubs Interested In Bedard?
With the volume of rumors that flew around during the Winter Meetings, it's easy to get confused. Luckily MLBTR has archives of everything. That's how we were able to research the Cubs' alleged interest in Erik Bedard.
It started on December 4th with Joel Sherman saying the Cubs were part of a pool competing for Bedard that contained 8-10 teams. Then three days later, Bruce Miles reported that Bedard was "not on the Cubs' radar screen."
The latest, per an uncredited blurb on ESPN Rumor Central: "In recent days, the Cubs let their interest be known." The blurb also references the Seattle PI, perhaps this article, but there's no Cubs reference there.
Anyway, it makes sense that Jim Hendry and Andy MacPhail would at least have a high-level Bedard discussion. The Cubs need a pitcher like him, they've liked him before, and they do have some decent young talent.
Bedard is the best pitcher out there via trade minus Santana. He went 13-5 on a really bad team with a 3.16 era and 221 strikeouts. He has pitched under 200 innings every year which is a downfall to him along with him being a lefty. What if the Cubs tried to trade for him and Roberts?? Now that is a blockbuster!
Bedard and Roberts would cost a lot of young talent. Were talking some players like Marshall, Gallagher, Pie, Veal, Murton etc.
According to MLBRUMORS-
In an interview with The Sun, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts admitted to using steroids "once" in 2003. He said since then, however, he has not done it since. He calls it a terrible decision, but this could lead to the Orioles trading him, similar to what they did with Miguel Tejada. The Cubs are interested, but the Orioles might have to be willing to lower their price to get something done since Roberts was named.
I think Roberts value will not decrease that much. Hendry still loves the fact of Roberts being an everyday 2nd baseman for the Cubs. It will be interesting if something happens before Christmas but I it doesn't seem likely.
Wouldn't everyone have a great Christmas if the Cubs aquired both Roberts and Bedard before Christmas day? Especially if they don't give up Pie or Hill! I know I would!
Monday, December 17, 2007
OK, this is just my thoughts. If the Indians are looking for a corner outfielder with decent power, good average, decent OBP.Why not a low cost guy like Matt Murton??
Matt Murton hit .281 with 8 homeruns and 22 rbi in just 235 AB. He also posted a .352 OBP which isnt too shabby.
Lets see how this compares to what the Indians have right now-
Jason Michaels- .270 7 homers and 39 rbi in 267 AB. He posted a .324 OBP.
Franklin Gutierrez - .266 with 13 homers and 36 rbi in 271 AB. He posted a .309 OBP.
Murton has similar batting average, homers, and rbi but has a much higher OBP than what they have right now. Murton fits the bill of an Indians type player, he works hard and he isn't a superstar but a decent player. I think the Cubs and Indians could match up well in a trade. What can the Indians give the Cubs???
Cliff Lee- The Indians are taking offers for him. He is a good lefty that could be used in the pen or rotation. He would cost a lot more than just Murton though.
Jhonny Peralta- The Indians want to move him to another position to make way for Cabrera at SS. They entertained the thought of putting him at 1st but they like having Garko at first because of his defense and bat. Now they have a problem and maybe willing to deal the hard hitting Peralta. Again it will cost more than just Murton.
Franklin Gutierrez- Very similar to Murton with one big difference. He can play all three OF spots and that is something the Cubs need. You could probably get him just for Murton.
This is just a thought I would share idea with you guys and see what you all think.
Is Brian Roberts still on the Cubs' radar? Or did they back off a bit after the Mitchell Report? -
From what I can tell (and my best guess) is that the Mitchell Report did nothing to change the price to acquire Roberts or the Cubs' interest. The general consensus seems to be that Roberts got a raw deal being named in the report. As an aside, I'm not sure why the Cubs view second base as a need.
I see Roberts as an upgrade over Derosa. By acquiring Roberts brings speed and decent power with a high OBP. It also allows Derosa to go the the bench as a utility player and by that it strengthens the bench.
Here is a little tidbit from MLBRUMORS-
Diamondbacks plan to shop Orlandon Hudson?:
Since the Diamondbacks acquired Dan Haren, they have two potential big contracts in their rotation that leaves little room for Hudson.
What does this have to do with the Cubs?
Well the Cub are looking to add OBP and speed to the lineup and have targeted Roberts but if Hudson becomes available then expect them to turn to him as another option. Orlando is a great defensive 2nd baseman with decent power. He hit .294 with 10 HR and 63 rbi. He had 10 stolen bases and an OBP of .376 last year. Not to mention he is one of the best defensive 2nd baseman in the league with a lifetime fielding percentage of .986. To give you an idea how good that is. Castillo fielding percentage is .984 and Polanco( who is the best defensive 2nd baseman) is .990.
The Cubs signed pitcher Tanner Watson today. He did well in the frontier league, he was 11-3 with a 2.17 era in 15 appearances. Here is the link-
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I say yes! Hendry has a flare for the dramatic and I expect the Cubs to trade for one of these players before the Holidays get here.
Well, which one will it be??
Out of the 4 players listed I say the most likely to be on the northside is Roberts. Hendry still has his eye on him regardless of his name being in the Mitchell Report. Roberts would make this lineup come together nicely. Lou could put Brian in the lead off spot and move Soriano to the 5th or 6th spot in the lineup or leave Sori in the leadoff spot and bat the switch hitter 2nd( which I see Lou doing).
As for the other 3 players, I see Bedard being the hardest to get away. He would likely cost Hill and Pie along with 3 other prospects. The O's are valuing him just below Santana which is ridiculous. Blanton seems like a more reasonable pick up. He wont cost as much as Bedard and he makes only 380,000 next year. Not to mention you would have Blanton for at least the next 2 to 3 seasons. I also consider Blanton to have more upside and be a better fit for the Cubs because he is a righty and the cost of him would be a lot less than Bedard. The guy I think would be the most tricky to get is Figgins. The Angels will not move him until the get a 3rd baseman, and the Cubs will not trade Aram( I dont blame them) so they would have to get another team involved like the Cards who has Rolen available. Figgins is better than Roberts in my opinion and much more versatile which would help the Cubs in case of an injury. He would most likely play CF for the Cubs, thus allowing Derosa to play 2nd base everyday.
In a perfect scenario the Cubs would acquire Blanton, Figgins, and Roberts before Christmas and look forward to spring training. Unfortunately baseball isn't always perfect, I would be tremendously happy if the Cubs landed one of these players. If they landed two of them Hendry would deserve a medal!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The Rangers have been reportedly shopping the veteran right hander. I think the Cubs should take a look at the guy. He was 10-14 with a 5.16 era last year. The year before that he was 16-12. He is a decent pitcher who will give you innings and could be a good fall back plan if they don't acquire a Bedard, Blanton, or player of that sort. To get him you probably would have to give up a minor leaguer or two but nothing major like a Gallagher or Pie. All I'm saying is the Cubs should take a look at him.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Not a bad projection, they compare him to Bobby Abreu and JD Drew.
Here is Zips projection-
Despite the higher BA, Zips has hit homers and OBP lower than BP.
Now for my projections-
I think Fukudome will have comparable stats to what he had in Japan. All his numbers I think will decrease some but not as much as Zips and BP has them. I think Lou will think about him in the #2 spot only if the don't acquire a Switch hitting CF/2B. I honestly thing Lou will put Fukuome in the #4 spot between Lee and Aram to break up the 2 rightys, therefore he will have alot of RBI chances and get more pitches to hit being in front of Ram. I compare Fukudome to a Matsui or a lighter hitting left-handed Vladimir Guerrero. I would also agree that he is comparable to Drew and Abreu.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Lets see if we can get him. Whether he is on the Mitchell Report or not he would be a great addition to the Cubs!
First the Former Cubs-
Todd Hundley- A suprise to me
Glennallen Hill- Not that big of a suprise
Jerry Hariston Jr.- Not suprised
Gary Matthews Jr.- Already knew that
Kent Merker- That was a weird one
Brian Roberts- It will be intresting if the Cubs still try to trade for him
I cant believe Sosa and Neifi are not on this list! Its quite a list of names.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I can come up with some former Cubs players that could be on that list. Here is my list-
Glen Allen Hill
Those are the only player that I can think of.
As for current players, I honestly hope there isn't any and I don't think there will be any but I may be naive.
1. He wants to add a player or two and will continue to be aggressive through trades and possible free agency.
2. Fukudome is will play RF for the Cubs next year and as it stands now it will either be Fuld or Pie in CF.
2.He likes how his starters stands. Mentioning Z, Lilly, Hill, Dempster, Marquis, Marshall, Gallagher, and Hart in that order.
3. He wouldn't commit to a closer yet.
4. Wont discuss Prior until tomorrow( probably be non-tendered)
4. He says he will look for an outfielder to play all three spots, maybe a starter, maybe not. He is looking for a RH bat that can play all three spots.
Here is a couple of versatile RH outfielders that may be available through trade or free agency-
5. He would be more than happy to have Derosa starting at 2b on opening day.
6. Here is where he stands on Murton- "Unfortunately he's a right handed hitter, and I think we all feel Matt's a left fielder. We'll try to do what's best for the Club and Matt, and if that means finding a home for him on another club that's what we'll do"
Marquis to Mets??Miguel Tejada to Astros, Roberts deal coming soon. Fukudome's offers? Prior to be non-tendered?
On November 29th, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick mentioned that the Cubs are "listening on Jason Marquis." This would clearly be a salary dump, as Marquis will earn $16.25MM over 2008-09.
Since then we haven't heard of any teams interested in the 29 year-old righty. However, Mets manager Willie Randolph brought up Marquis yesterday as a consideration for the team's rotation. The article's author, Adam Rubin, added that the Cubs are fans of Endy Chavez. It wouldn't be fair to equate the two players, however.
I'm kind of shocked that Hendry is shopping Marquis because of our lack of depth in the rotation. I do like Endy Chavez and the Mets would have to trade a prospect or two low level prospects to get the deal done. Here is Chavez's stats-
He plays great defense and is a decent hitter with average OBP. He is only 29 years old and could take the place of Murton if he is traded. He can play all three outfield positions and only strikes out about 12% of the time, talk about a pesky hitter.
How bout Heilman and Chavez for Cotts and Marquis?? or better yet how bout Church for Marquis straight up?
The O's were waiting to trade Roberts until they decided what to do with Tejada and/or Bedard. Now that Miggy has been traded to the Stros, and Fukudome signed, could we expect Hendry to make a deal to have Roberts come to the northside?? I would bet yes. The Cubs have two spots that they could upgrade before Christmas, center field and the middle infield. Acquiring Roberts would upgrade 2b nicely. Lets see if anything develops in the coming week.
Fukudome had 4 offers on the table and lucky for the Cubs he picked them! The Rangers offered the most money, the White Sox offered a similar deal to Fukudome but Fukudome wanted to be the Cubs first Japanese player. Glad the Cubs got him!
Thanks to MLBTR-
According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, Mark Prior "seems headed for the non-tender list" unless the Cubs pull off a trade or Prior concedes to an option year for 2009.
The 27 year-old hasn't started a big league game since August 10th, 2006. If he becomes a free agent, I imagine many teams would view him as a low-risk, high-reward option. The Padres have cooled on him, though.
The Cubs have 3 options-
1. Sign Prior to a one year deal with an option
2. Trade Prior
3. Non-tender him
Since Prior wont take a deal with an option and no team seems interested in a trade it looks like the will be non-tendered. Its a shame he has to leave this way but he gave the Cubs no other option.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
4 year for 50 million may be high according to some but hey Hunter got 5 year 90 million for a guy who strikes out a ton, OK OBP, great defense and is 33 years old at 18 million a year. Jones got 36.2 million dollar contract for 2 years and he hit .222 last year, and a guy like Rowand who had one good year is asking 5-6 years 80-90 million. How can you not think the Cubs got a good deal now!?!
The Padres where informed earlier today they were out of the race for Fukudome after offering only a 3 year deal worth 33 million dollars according to sources and would not negotiate from that. Looks like the playing on the West Coast didn't matter much to Fukudome.
Now look for the Cubs to get working on upgrading there middle infield and CF positions if they can. The Cubs have already inquired about Roberts and Figgins, if they can't trade for those players look for the Cubs to look at Felipe Lopez who could be released or DFA or they could look at Lofton as a stopgap and mentor until Pie is ready.
Great Day For Cubs Fans!!!
Thanks to MLBTR-
Cubs Willing To Offer $50MM For Fukudome?
UPDATE, 12-11-07 at 10:48am: Just talked to a good source on this stuff. He told me Fukudome wants five years, despite what we've read. The Cubs don't expect he'll sign for $50MM for five years, and are offering that amount over four. They're having an internal debate about stretching it to a five-year, $65MM offer. Jim Hendry wants to stop at four years though.
FROM 12-11-07 at 10:03am:
Interesting piece of information from Tom Krasovic today - he says the Cubs are willing to offer close to $50MM for Kosuke Fukudome. They really want this guy and have built their offseason plan around him.
It's hard to believe the Cubs would offer that amount for three years; that would be $16.6MM annually to someone who's never played in the Majors. I could definitely see the Cubs putting out a four-year, $50MM offer though. Who knows how much validity there is to the idea that Fukudome wants three years and only three years.
The Padres have gone at least three years and at least $10MM annually, but it could be more on both accounts. Kevin Towers says the team's offer was final. He sees Fukudome landing in Chicago or San Diego. That might mean he considers the White Sox to be in the mix as well.
Sounds like the Cubs are doing whatever it takes to get Fukudome. I would expect Hendry to go to 5 years 70 million for the free agent slugger. The Pads seem they are firm on there offer and that's good news for Cub fans. The Giants have been rumored to make a late push but are also going after Rowand, so who knows if there serious.
It is rumored that we will hear something late tonight on Fukudomes choice, but as the previous rumors indicate, that timeline will probably fluctuate.
Monday, December 10, 2007
-The Padres have a three-year offer out to Kosuke Fukudome that may make him the highest paid Padre ever, aside from Jake Peavy. Kevin Towers expects to get an answer today from Fukudome's agent, Joe Urbon. Urbon basically said that geography would only come into play if offers from competing teams were similar. Towers admitted he sees the Cubs as the lead horse in this race.
-This is getting annoying...Fukudome will decide whether to come to MLB tonight. We all expect him to come, so it's been a lot of back and forth for nothing.
I think we will hear something by the latest Thursday. Its nice to hear that Towers thinks that were in the lead. I think there will be a big difference in offers. The Cubs have rumored to offer 3 years 45-48 million and the Pads have rumored to offer 3 year 36 million. The difference is about 3 million a year. I expect the Cubs to up the offer if that's what it takes to land Fukudome.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Another rumor coming out of the Hot Stove is the Cubs are in trade talks with the Royals for fireball righty Zach Greinke. The Cubs discussed a trade at the dead line last year that would have sent Greinke here for a couple of prospects, rumored to want Donald Veal, Ronny Cedeno, and Eric Patterson. The Cubs have sparked those talks again in which they want to add depth to there starting rotation.
Greinke went 7-7 in 52 games last year, 14 in which he started. He posted a 3.69 era with 106 SO and 36 BB in 122 innings. He is a 24 year old righty who has hit 96-98 mph on the gun. He has pitched pretty well for being on a terrible team. His overall record is 21-35 with 4.63 era. He has just over 2 years of ML and is making 407,000.
Lets see if anything materializes out of this rumor.
Japanese free-agent Kosuke Fukudome has decided not to move to the Yomiuri Giants and will sign with a major league team instead, the Nikkansports newspaper reported Sunday.
Fukudome had previously indicated the Giants would be the only Japanese team he would consider playing for next season, but has now ruled them out, opening the way for a move to the major leagues. Fukudome has drawn interest from the Chicago Cubs, the San Diego Padres and the Chicago White Sox.
The 30-year-old Fukudome is regarded as one of the best outfielders in Japanese professional baseball. He was a key member of the Japan team that won the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March 2006.
He had surgery on his right elbow in August and sat out the Japan Series, but has 192 homers and a .305 batting average over nine seasons with the Chunichi Dragons, who won their first championship in 53 years on Nov. 2.
Now if he comes back and says this is not true I'm going to pull my hair out. Lets hope he makes a decision quickly so Hendry can move onto other matters like Roberts and Figgins. It seems Fukudome fever will hit Chicago Monday. He is expected to make a decision sometime next week on weather he will be a Cub, Padre, White Sox, or Royal. He has narrowed his choices down to those 4 teams with the Padres and Cubs being front runners to land him. Should be an interesting week to say the least because as soon as the Cubs get there RF situation handled they can move to other needs and upgrades like pitching, 2b, and CF.
Quote of the day-
"He's got enough information to decide which [offer] he plans on taking early next week, the Tokyo [Yomiuri] offer or a Major League club," Urbon said.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
The Angels are telling teams they will only consider trading Chone Figgins if they find a third baseman. If Figgins does hit the market, figure on the Cubs getting involved.
Lets hope the Angels can find a 3b because the Cubs will not trade Aram. I would expect the Angels to target such third base guys like Beltre, Tejeda, Inge, Atkins, Crede,
Edwin Encarnacion, or Rolen. There is alot of trade candiates out there for them to aquire a third baseman. Maybe a 3-way deal could be possiable for the Cubs to aquire Figgins. I see the O's, Reds, Tigers, and Cards being the best trading partners with the Cubs and Angels.
Lets see if anything developes.
Friday, December 07, 2007
BY GORDON WITTENMETYER
Refuting an online report today that Japanese free agent Kosuke Fukudome is set to declare his intentions to play next season in the United States, the outfielder's agent said he has not been informed of a decision and doesn't expect an announcement until early next week.
Agent Joe Urbon said he provided Fukudome on Thursday with enough detailed information from the "manageable few" U.S. teams making serious offers that he expected it to take at least much of the weekend for the player to make a decision. And even if he makes the decision to play in the U.S., Fukudome would be expected to meet personally with two Japanese teams with interest before announcing anything to teams in the States.
Cubs officials said today they have not been told of a decision by anyone in Fukudome's camp.
''I think it' unlikely that he stays [in Japan] but that's his decision, and I have no feel how he'll go right now,'' Urbon said.
Urbon would not name the U.S. finalists or discuss specifics about them, but the field is believed to be down to four teams: the front-running Cubs, the White Sox, the San Diego Padres and the Texas Rangers.
The offers are detailed enough that if Fukudome announces by Monday or Tuesday that he's coming to the U.S., it's possible a deal could be done by the end of the week.
Fukudome, 30, has a .397 career on-base percentage and is considered Japan's top hitter. The left-handed-hitting right fielder, who can play some center if necessary, had been at the top of the Cubs' offseason wish list since putting together their winter plans in October.
This is getting irritating. Either come to the US or stay in Japan. I'm tired of waiting, if we lose out on Fukudome our options will be very slim and thru a trade the team the Cubs trade with will have the upper hand because they know we need a RFer! This is not a good sign!
Up to the minute- The Padres have already have an offer on the table of 3 years 36 million according to sources. He is expected to notify the Dragons he will not accept there offer in the next hour. The Cubs are rumored to have made an offer in the past hour of 3 years 45 million dollars. As for the mystery team, there is no official word on who it is or if they have made an offer. updated at 3:32
Ken Rosenthal reports that that Kosuke Fukudome will announce that he's leaving Japan for an MLB team. There was no doubt to me and many others that he will take the jump. Ken also stats that the Cubs, Pads, and a mystery team are the teams expected to land him. The Mystery team has to be either the Royals or White Sox I feel the Giants, Red Sox, and Rangers are also candidates but wont be as strong as the Cubs, Pads, Royals or White Sox.
I will keep you informed on any rumors or information I hear on Fukudome.
Come on Jim get Fukudome!
The Cubs, Padres, and White Sox are in on Kosuke Fukudome. It seems that both Chicago teams are willing to spend big bucks.
Wittenmyer's source indicates sparse interest in Mark Prior, though the Cubs have been shopping him. The Cubs could still choose to non-tender him on Wednesday rather than pay $3MM+. Seems like a reasonable gamble though.
The Orioles want to figure out their plans with Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada before making a move with Brian Roberts, so talks with the Cubs have cooled. The O's want Sean Gallagher and a outfield prospect, but not Matt Murton. Could 22 year-old Tyler Colvin be involved? Felix Pie is said to be off-limits. Colvin has drawn Steve Finley/Shawn Green comparisons from Baseball America.
According to sources the Cubs are leading in the signing of Fukudome. He wants a hitter friendly park, a place that is ready to contend now, and he wants a 3 year deal. All things the Cubs have to offer.
The Cubs are likely to pay Prior 3 million if a trade Inst meant by then. The O's, Blue Jays, Mariners, Padres, and Yankees are all have some intrest in Prior but talks have cooled.
As you seen in my previous post, Roberts will more than likely wont be traded until the O's trade Bedard or Tejeda. Its interesting that they don't want Murton but Colvin and Gallagher seem fair for Roberts. You can then send players like Marshall, Murton, Veal, or even Pie for a CF, upgrade at SS, or starting pitching.
A note from Jayson Stark's recent column is making the rounds - that the offers the Orioles were hearing for Erik Bedard were coming from the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Stark notes the strong improbability of Bedard being trade to a division rival.
The count of teams interested in Bedard reached 11 during the crazy Winter Meetings. The Red Sox are the 12th team.
Here's the tally: Phillies, Cardinals, Yankees, Mets, Mariners, Angels, Dodgers, D'Backs, Reds, Cubs, Red Sox, and Blue Jays. Toss out the AL East and we're at 9. Toss out the Phils and Cards for lack of top tier available youngsters too. That leaves us with these 7: Mets, Mariners, Angels, Dodgers, D'Backs, Reds, and Cubs.
Note that the Cubs almost had a trade worked out that sent Prior and a couple of other players for Tejeda and Bedard so there is some intrest there. I wonder if a trade for Bedard and Roberts is possiable. I dont think its likely but possiable.
Here is an interesting tidbit from the Tribune-
What the Cubs are doing—hoping the outfielder chooses to leave Japan and then opts to come to the Cubs—is a huge gamble, although general manager Jim Hendry claims he has fallback trade plans that would cost young talent as well as money.
I think it will be a decent name if we can land Fukudome. Maybe Drew??? Ibanez?? Markakis?? You know if it will cost money it probably wont be Ibanez or Markakis because they don't make that much, another option could be Dunn. His option was picked up for this year and he has a no trade clause until the middle of the year but he could waive it to come to the Cubs or any other team. Another name is Matsui, the Giants and Yankees were discussing him at the meetings, he also has a no trade clause and loves playing in NY so that possibility is slim. If you know any other names leave a comment. Please no Crawford, Tampa said he is untouchable since trading Young.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Cubs Willing To Pay $12-15MM Per Year For Fukudome?
According to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune, it "sounds like the Cubs might go as high as $12-15MM per year" for outfielder Kosuke Fukudome. He adds that Fukudome would have to be willing to take less money to play on the West Coast if he is to become a Padre. Many players have before, so don't go buying those Fukudome Cubs jerseys just yet.
Krasovic also has a note on Andruw Jones. Apparently the only other concrete offer outside of the Dodgers was a two-year, $22MM one from the Royals.
I honestly think Fukudome will become a Cub. The Cubs have centered there whole offseason around him and I don't think Hendry will lose out on him like he did Furcal two years ago. The price of 12-15mm a year is right on with my 3 year deal worth 44 million dollars. According to ML sources the Padres are close to signing Milton Bradley to a deal meaning there using him as a fall back plan if they don't land Fuk. I really hope he decides to come the Cubs!
The talks about Roberts has cooled off some from yesterday but according to sources " the trade is still on the table." The O's said they would prefer to trade Tejeda or Bedard before the complete a trade for Roberts. This deal looks like it will go down. The rumored players on the table are Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, and a decent prospect( not pie, hart, etc). I think the O's might want Marshall in the deal instead of Gallagher or both. As long as were not giving up Hill it is fine by me.
The Cubs are Hot over Chone Figgins as well. They want to add speed to the team and Figgins would give that to them. The Cubs would have Figgins play CF, leaving Pie to play RF if Fukudome or another RF is added, or he is back in AAA for 08, or he is traded for pitching or a upgrade at SS. It would be great to get Figgins in CF, Fukudome in RF and Roberts at 2b. Hendry would deserve an A+++++++ if he got that deal done without giving up Hill, Marmol, Hart or our franchise players like Aram, Lee, and Z.
Here is the quote of the day, read into it if you must, I did!
"[Hendry] promised me that by Christmas, I'll be very happy," Piniella said. "Things take time to materialize. We have a fairly good game plan. At the same time, things we would be interested in doing now, other teams want us to wait. I like our game plan -- just have some patience and it will come to fruition." -cubs.com
According to MLBTR-
UPDATE, 12-6-07 at 7:39pm: Sandy Alderson was on 1090 AM XX Sports Radio tonight. He said the Padres gave Fukudome one of the top two or three offers the team ever proposed. An answer from Fukudome is expected tonight or tomorrow.
Please don't lose Fukudome!!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Cubs acquired Tim Lahey for cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays, who had picked the right-handed pitcher first overall in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.
The move was a reverse of what the Cubs did one year ago during the Draft, when they selected outfielder Josh Hamilton with the first pick, then traded the outfielder to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations.
Lahey spent most of last season with the Minnesota Twins' Double-A New Britain team, posting an 8-4 record with 13 saves and a 3.45 ERA in 50 games. He struck out 56 and walked 33 over 78 1/3 innings. Lahey appeared in two games for Triple-A Rochester, totaling three innings.
The selection rules of the Draft provide that a player taken must remain on the drafting team's active Major League roster during the following season or be offered back to the original club at half the original price. Players taken during the Major League phase of the Draft cost $50,000 each.
"We feel it's a good opportunity to add, again, to the bullpen candidates for the club," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "He's a young man who used to catch, a big strong guy. He was converted [to a pitcher] two years ago. He has tremendous life on his fastball, a great sinking fastball and the makings of a good slider."
Carlos Marmol is another catcher-turned-pitcher. The Cubs' scouts saw Lahey pitch on consecutive days, and got good reports.
"His stuff on paper seemed to play like you'd want at Wrigley Field -- a ground ball-type guy, a big strong fellow, throws up to 92, 93 [mph], and very durable," Hendry said. "The Twins people have said he has outstanding makeup, a hard worker, full throttle effort once the conversion was made.
"He's another guy we'll give a chance to make the bullpen," Hendry said. "He was the one guy we felt was worth the gamble, so we did what we did."
The Cubs had the 19th pick in the first round of the Draft, and gave the Rays the option to select a player, but they passed.
The Cubs lost one player in the Major League phase of the Draft, when Toronto selected pitcher Randy Wells. Wells was 5-6 with two saves and a 4.52 ERA in 40 games for Triple-A Iowa, striking out 101 over 95 2/3 innings.
The Cubs also lost Adalberto Mendez in the Double-A phase. Mendez was 3-4-1 with a 4.83 ERA in 40 games for Double-A Tennessee, and 0-2 with a 5.67 ERA in five games at Class A Daytona.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
10:03 p.m., from Amy Nelson• If Brian Roberts is traded to the Cubs, it's believed that it might not happen until the Orioles complete a trade for either Erik Bedard or Miguel Tejada. According to a source with knowledge of Baltimore's trade talks, the O's have had so much interest in their players that they "have a lot on their table." But the relationship between Andy McPhail and Cubs GM Jim Hendry dates back several years, so a trade could happen faster than it would with other clubs. Rich Hill, originally thought to be part of a deal, is currently not in the discussions. Instead, Chicago likely would send upper-level prospects to Baltimore. Among the names being considered are Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, Felix Pie and Donnie Veal .
Sounds like a Three way is about to be made. Cubs, Angels, O's trade makes perfect sense. They could use either Tejeda or Bedard!
Cubs get Roberts and Figgins
O's get Pie, Marshall, Ervin Santana, Howie Kendrick, Gallagher, and Prior
Angels get Tejeda
The O's maybe want more than that, I could see the Cubs giving up Hill for Roberts and Figgins in a deal. Basically the Angels are getting Tejeda for Kendrick, Figgins, and Santana which is a fair deal for both and the Cubs are getting Figgins and Roberts for Pie, Prior, Marshall, and Gallagher which is also fair. The O's might one or two more prospects tho like Veal or Epatt tho. The 3 way deal is really just a rumor right now and this is just a guess on what players I think would get a deal like this done.
Thanks to MLBTR-
- Renck adds that the Cubs are "closing in on Kosuke Fukudome," which echoes Geoff Baker's take last night.
At 5:09pm- In a Baseball Prospectus chat today, Will Carroll said "Fukudome will decide today. Someone made a big offer." That means Fukudome signing could in fact be announced tonight or tommarrow.
At 1:17pm Jon Heyman suggests the Red Sox could get involved on Fukudome. Where to put him?
FROM 12-5-07 at 8:43am: Let's start a thread just for Kosuke Fukudome. The prevailing sentiment is that the Cubs are the frontrunners for his services. Newsday's Ken Davidoff adds today that Fukudome has narrowed his choices to the Cubs and Royals.
Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun are reporting that the Cubs are aggressively pursuing the Orioles' Brian Roberts.
A three player deal is on the table, so I assume the Cubs would send two players over. It's known that they'd send a starting pitcher, but we don't have names yet. The authors note that the Orioles have been fond of Rich Hill and Sean Gallagher in the past. Keep in mind that a trade of Roberts would require Peter Angelos' approval. Per Zrebiec, Angelos would have to be "totally overwhelmed" with an offer.
The authors also note that the Orioles have talked to Tadahito Iguchi's agent in anticipation of a possible Roberts trade. The Padres and Dodgers would join the Orioles as his top three choices.
According to sources of mine the deal proposed to the O's is Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher, and Eric Patterson to the O's for Brian Roberts. Seems a bit much for Roberts to me. He had a tremendous year in 2005 and has been steady in his average and OBP. He would be an upgrade over Derosa, and Dero could be used as a super utility player. Which really strengthens the bench. Roberts is owed 6.3 million in 08 and 8 million in 09. He would be a solid pick up for the Cubs, but I would try to get a deal done that doesn't involve Gallagher or a guy like Marshall. If the Cubs went and got a lefty that can play centerfield like Teahen, Fukudome, Lofton, Hamilton, or Dejesus they could send Pie, Marshall, and Epatt for Roberts. That to me would be a decent deal for both teams.
According to Nasville Confidential-
The Cubs are looking for a left-handed-hitting outfielder. The Reds have a few players who fit the bill, including Josh Hamilton, a player the Cubs claimed in the Rule 5 Draft before trading him to Cincinnati.
I would love to send Prior to the Reds for Hamilton!! You could have Hamilton play CF for the cubs and if you acquire a guy like Fukudome and play him in RF you would have one hell of a lineup. Tho it would take more than just Prior to get Hamilton. The Reds need pitching so a guy like Gallagher or Marshall might be included with Prior. Tho Marshall/Gallagher will probably be in the package for Roberts above so I don't know if a deal could be hammered out. If the Cubs could some how get Hamilton, Roberts, and Fukudome and only give up players like Epatt, Pie, Gallagher, Marshall, Prior, and maybe some prospects it would be worth it. Here would be the projected lineup if we got those 3 players-
1. Soriano LF
2. Roberts 2b
3. Dlee 1st
4. Fukudome RF
5. Aram 3b
6. Hamilton CF
7. Soto C
8. Theriot SS
Wow what a lineup!
If the Cubs could have pulled this off, Hendry would have gotten a medal!
Cubs Asked For Spilborghs
A note at the end of Troy Renck's column today: when the Rockies asked the Cubs about southpaw reliever Will Ohman, the Cubs asked for outfielder Ryan Spilborghs. Spilborghs hit 11 home runs in 264 ABs this year. The Rockies passed, and the Cubs went on to trade Ohman to the Braves.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Thanks to MLBTR-
Cubs Rumors: Fukudome, Prior
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 7:04pm: Tasty rumor morsel: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times says Fukudome is "almost certainly" going to sign with the Cubs.
UPDATE, 12-4-07 at 12:20pm: Some new stuff from ESPN Radio 1000's Bruce Levine.
The Cubs have talked to the Royals about Mark Teahen; the Royals like Matt Murton.
Levine says there's nothing to the Hamiton rumors.
FROM 12-4-07 at 12:11pm:
Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times discusses the rumors around the Cubs.
Wittenmyer implies that Kosuke Fukudome could get a deal similar to Torii Hunter's - five years, $90MM. That's not in line with what's been said so far, plus Fukudome has said he wants three years and not more.
The Padres are the frontrunner to acquire Mark Prior, but Dusty Baker's Reds are also interested. The Reds idea first surfaced here. The Padres, though, have made many deals with the Cubs over the past few years as Jim Hendry and Kevin Towers work well together.
I don't see Fukudome getting a big deal like that unless it goes into a bidding war. Fuk has said he wants a 3 year deal, that works for me! I find it interesting that Barker made that bold of a statement, I hope he is right tho!
Murton for Teahen?!?! Sounds good to me. Here is Teahens stats-
He is basically a left handed Murton on a bad team. I think Murton would do great things in KC and this seems like a good swap. I like that he has a good OBp of .353 and avg. of .285. He lacks some power but he has played in KC so those numbers may be a little deceiving. He hit 18 in 06 in 109 games. He also hit .383 with RISP throughout his career! He would be great off the bench if the Cubs get Fukudome!
I bet Prior is dealt at the meetings or soon after. I imagine he will go to the Pads so the Cubs don't get burned if he becomes great again as a Red. I would trade Prior and Epatt to Reds for Hamilton.
Another tidbit from MLBTR-
The Cubs are also in talks regarding Nate McLouth. Sullivan thinks McLouth would come cheap - for a reliever like Carmen Pignatiello, Neal Cotts, or Will Ohman. Damn, that's cheap. We learned today that the Giants, Padres, and Marlins like McLouth; Sullivan adds the Braves to the mix as well.
McLouth is an ok pickup. Id rather have Hamilton or Figgins because they will just cost a little bit more and there a much better player. Here is McLouth stats-
Pie could put up those numbers with a full season 2!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Cubs added some depth to their pitching corps Tuesday, acquiring right-handed reliever Jose Ascanio from the Atlanta Braves for reliever Will Ohman and infielder Omar Infante.
"He's one of our prized prospects, he really is," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said of Ascanio. "He throws hard, has a big slider, and a great changeup to go with it. At a young age, that's pretty impressive. We've got other guys like him right now, and we needed a lefty with experience and we needed a guy like Infante."
Ascanio, 22, named to the 2007 Southern League All-Star team, was 2-2 with 10 saves and a 2.54 ERA in 44 games for Double-A Mississippi. The Venezuelan walked just 18 and struck out a career-high 71 over 78 innings.
"He throws strikes," Cox said. "They're going to like him. Whether he makes the team, I don't know. He could."
Ascanio made his Major League debut July 13 against Pittsburgh, and posted a 5.06 ERA in 13 games in relief for the Braves.
The Cubs scouts say Ascanio has been clocked consistently at 95-97 mph and could compete for a job in the bullpen. He is a power arm, and reliever who could go more than one inning.
Ohman, 30, who has been in the Chicago system since 1998 and been slowed by injuries, was 2-4 with a 4.95 ERA in 56 games with the Cubs, and also had a brief stint in August at Triple-A Iowa.
"He had a rough year last year," Cox said of the lefty. "I've seen him enough where I think he pitched real well."
Ohman served up six runs on 11 hits and three walks over six innings in 10 games after the All-Star break, and was demoted. He then revealed that his shoulder has been "barking" for awhile. The injury was a surprise to the Cubs, and the revelation did not sit well with some personnel. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said that incident had nothing to do with the trade.
"Will came back and handled himself well," Hendry said. "I think he rectified the situation in good fashion. We had Will 10 years. Everybody has good days and bad. Will's a good Major League pitcher. The Atlanta Braves are very intelligent people with one of the finest managers who ever stepped in the dugout. What [general manager] Frank Wren pointed out was that Will's numbers were much better outside of Wrigley Field. They felt it was worth a shot."
The move leaves the Cubs with Scott Eyre, Neal Cotts and Carmen Pignatiello as lefty candidates for the bullpen.
"I have no problem going to camp with what we have," Hendry said. "We won't actively pursue any left-handers in free agency."
The Cubs had acquired Infante, 25, on Nov. 12 from Detroit for outfielder Jacque Jones, and was expected to be used as a backup infielder for the Braves. That was the role the Cubs had projected. He provided some flexibility so Hendry could make the move.
"It's no secret that [Cubs manager Lou Piniella] likes players who can play more than one spot, and the appeal of Infante is that he could play shortstop, second, and all three outfield spots," Hendry said. "Our people felt that he was an above average center fielder, too."
That job could be handled by Ronny Cedeno, who has played shortstop and second, and been asked to play center field this winter.
Nice to get a guy like Ascanio, he is young fireball who throws strikes. He will probably compete for a spot in the pen next year and I can see him getting the job if Hart wins a starting spot.
Monday, December 03, 2007
-The Reds want to acquire a starter, but they spent all their money on Francisco Cordero. The plan is to trade a young player for a cheap starter. Joey Votto and especially Jay Bruce would be near impossible to acquire. However the Reds will listen on Josh Hamilton and Edwin Encarnacion. They never seemed to like Encarnacion. Crasnick thinks the Cubs could work for Hamilton but they'd need to pony up more than Sean Marshall. Would Rich Hill be too much? It's been said in the past that the Rangers inquired on Hamilton. The Giants, meanwhile, would love to pry Encarnacion loose - Noah Lowry anyone?
If the Cubs cant acquire Fukudome or a guy like Crawford or Drew, Hamilton seems like a decent guy to get. Cubs had Hamilton earlier last year but quickly sent him to the Reds for cash considerations. He would be a good fit but not for Rich Hill.. How bout we send Marshall and Ohman for him. That seems fair. Here is Hamilton's stats-
-Hiroki Kuroda isn't dead set on the West Coast - he's keeping an open mind in terms of location.
He would be a good fit for the Cubs. A four year deal worth 40 to 44 million should get it done.
-UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 5:53pm: Geoff Baker checks in with some more info about the Cubs' interest in Ibanez. He is apparently their fallback option behind Fukudome. Baker notes the frightful possibility of using Ibanez in right field. One trade idea I hadn't considered is swapping Ibanez for Mark Prior.
FROM 12-3-07 at 9:48am:
Jim Hendry may view 26 year-old outfielder Matt Murton as expendable, if only because he's not the left-handed hitter the Cubs crave.
Murton has a respectable career line of .296/.365/.455 in 289 games. While it would be nice to see his power develop a bit, he's a decent option in right field. Outside of Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs might end up acquiring an outfielder who is no better than Murton, just because of handedness. Even though he's been solid it doesn't seem that the price tag on Murton would be terribly high.
Meanwhile, Gordon Wittenmyer notes that Brian Roberts and Raul Ibanez remain on the Cubs' wish list. Murton would be useful for the O's but it would take a lot more to get Roberts.
Roberts would be a good fit for the Cubs but could cost Murton, Marshall, and Epatt. Ibanez is a good option if the Cubs don't land Fukudome. He would cost as much as Crawford or Drew but still would cost some good prospects.
-The Cubs are having all sorts of trade discussions involving Mark Prior. The Rangers and Padres are said to be two interested parties.
Of course the Cubs still have Kosuke Fukudome in their sights. But they also have their eye on Oakland's Nick Swisher and Arizona's Orlando Hudson. Both are switch-hitters, by the way.
The Rangers have some interesting players that the Cubs could take off there hands. Here is a few-
As far as Swisher and Hudson, both of them would be great in cubbie blue!
-OTHER RF OPTIONS-
Reasonable options in my estimation include Raul Ibanez, Ryan Church, Milton Bradley, Randy Winn, Gary Matthews Jr., Luke Scott, Geoff Jenkins, David Dellucci, and Shawn Green.
- The Cubs could also bring back Cpatt as a 4th outfielder and fall back option if Pie isn't ready.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Pirates Looking To Ditch Nady
29 year-old outfielder Xavier Nady .278/.330/.476 as the Pirates' right fielder, knocking 20 home runs. However, he's a Scott Boras client and definitely doesn't fit into the team's long-term plans. He's arbitration-eligible, but his salary will still be reasonable after that. If Neal Huntington can't find a trade partner for Nady, he may even non-tender him.
It probably won't come to that, as Nady is a solid .800 OPS guy at a reasonable price. There's bound to be trade interest. Nady can handle first base or the outfield corners. If he was left-handed, he'd be a good target for the Rays.
Kovacevic also notes that Jose Castillo is "a virtual lock to be non-tendered." So add him to the second base market, if you think he's capable.
Hendry likes Nady and had interest in him at the deadline last year. He is a good solid right handed bat and has great power. I think the Cubs should take a look at him, he would be alot cheaper than bay as far as who you send them. I think he would be a great 4th outfielder and could be part of a platoon in RF if we don't land Fukudome and get a average left handed bat in for RF. I think he is an upgrade over Murton in my opinion. Hendry should at least look at him, he can do nothing but make us better.
This according to Chicago Tribune-
Seattle is considered the front-runner to sign pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, but the Cubs and Dodgers have paid him house calls. Kuroda is a close friend of Dodgers closer Takashi Saito and could benefit by working with Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima.This guy would really complete the rotation. Tho the M's are expected to sign him I would expect the Cubs to make a push for him at the meetings!
Here is some Fukudome notes and other rumors from the Times, Daily Herald, and Tribune-
"It's also pretty clear that Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is No. 1 on the Cubs' Christmas wish list. The Cubs expect Fukudome to declare any time now whether he's coming to North America
"Both Chicago teams will inquire about outfielder Carl Crawford, a talent the Tampa Bay Rays insist is not going anywhere, though they continue to listen to all offers. Look for the White Sox to still court free-agent center fielder Aaron Rowand. Both sides want a reunion too much for this thing not to work out. Look for the Cubs to be the top bidders on Fukudome."
"The ideal outfield targets are Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford or Baltimore's Nick Markakis, but the Rays' trade of Delmon Young to Minnesota last week makes an unlikely Crawford scenario even less likely. And while Andy MacPhail's Orioles have indicated they'll listen to offers for any of their players, a 24-year-old, third-year player with power and speed isn't the kind of guy a rebuilding team wants to part with."
"The Cubs would be tempted if they could find an impact player available in a trade this week who meets their need for power or speed. Possibilities would be Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford or Anaheim's Chone Figgins, who could become available if the Angels acquire Miguel Cabrera from Florida."
Mariners outfielder Raul Ibanez -- signed through next season for $5.5 million and a known quantity to Piniella -- is high on the Cubs' list.
I would love for the Cubs to land Fukudome but if that fails a guy like Markakis or Crawford would be great additions. We have already heard Crawfords name before and we expect to hear alot more in the meetings whether or not the Cubs get Fukudome. Crawford and Markakis would cost alot of young talent to get them in Cubbie blue so a trade seems slim but still possible. Chone Figgins is another option who would be a good fit as a fourth OF/ super utility guy. He could also start the season in CF if Pie isnt ready. Here is the stats on Figgins, Markakis, and Ibanez-
Love the OBP and average of Figgins .393/.330 in 115 games. He provides alot of speed with 41 SB last year. He can play 3b, 2b, SS, and all outfield spots. He is only 30 years old and is owed 4 million in the last year of his contract. He could probably be had for a guy like Marshall or a couple of decent prospects.
A 25 year old with speed, power, great glove, high OBP, good average and left- handed bat who is making near nothing. O's not likely to trade a guy like that unless there blown away but it doesn't hurt to try.
He is an older guy but still has good power, a good OBP, and good rbi and average. He is below average in the field but he could be a nice bat in between Lee and Aram. He would cost Marquis and a mid level prospect I would think.
1. Sign Fukudome to a 3 year 40 million dollar contract loaded with perks and incentives to bring his dollar amount to 50+ million over the 3 years. He is the guy the Cubs need, he could bat 2nd or 4th in the lineup. He provides good power, defense, and a high on base percentage. He is worth the money!
2. Sign Kenny Lofton to a 2 year deal worth 17 million dollars. Kenny Lofton is a great club house guy, a good spark plug( he really helped us in 03 and helped the Indians in the playoffs this year), he provides a good backup plan in case Pie doesn't seem he can fill the starting role in CF next year.
3. Trade Prior to the Pads for a young talented pitcher and position player. Prior wants to pitch in San Diego, Towers wants him bad, so do the deal. He doesn't want to pitch for the Cubs and I say if he doesn't want to sign a 2 year deal or at least a one year deal with an option for next year then he doesn't want to be a Cub and goodbye.
4. Trade Epatt, Cedeno, and Ohman to Washington for Felipe Lopez( I would even consider trading Marshall for Lopez straight up).. Lopez provides decent power, good OBP, good glove, and he bats from both sides of the plate. He had a great 2005 year with the Reds and since has been just average but he has hit well at Wrigley and I have always liked the guy. Not to mention he is only 28 years old. We have no room for bad guys like Epatt( who has discipline problems) and Ohman( who ripped the training staff and coaches). Cedeno wouldn't be needed either with a combo of Derosa, Theriot, Lopez, and Font. This trade makes sense for both clubs!
5. Trade for a pitcher. The Cubs need another pitcher to add some depth, they can go into next season depending on a young kid and not have a backup plan. The Pirates are shopping Morris who would be a good fit. Kuroda would be a great pickup as a free agent but he wants to pitch in warm weather. I also feel players like Lohse and Silva want to much for what they are. And I don't feel we would have enough prospects for Santana, Harden, or Haren.. plus whoever loses out on Santana will offer a better package to Oakland than we could.
That is 5 things Jim needs to do during the winter meeting in my opinion. But that's just me, I could be wrong.