Thanks to MLBTRADERUMORS-
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has some quotes up today from Carlos Zambrano, and they strongly indicate he'll sign a contract extension to stay with the Cubs once the season ends. Specifically, he said there's a "90% chance" he re-signs. Negotiations may not have re-opened, but Z is certainly positive about the situation. The Cubs are likely to pay extra for waiting.
Signing Zambrano might put the Cubs in a position to enter 2008 with the exact same rotation they have now - Zambrano, Rich Hill, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, and Sean Marshall. That group will almost certainly regress from where it is now, but it still looks like a better than average staff to me.
Time to put on my fan cap and speculate about some moves I'd like to see for 2008 (if you hate this sort of thing, just stop reading. No complaints about too much Cubs stuff.)
For the catching situation, I'd just turn it over to Geovany Soto and Henry Blanco. They should be acceptable.
I'd like to see a third of the Iowa Cubs promoted for '08. Bring up the DP combination of Eric Patterson and Ronny Cedeno, and give Felix Pie a legitimate full-time shot at CF. These kids are all hitting well at Triple A. Can you imagine a Cubs lineup with four of eight position players homegrown?
No more patchwork stuff in right field. Go out and spend some money on the best right fielder available - Kosuke Fukudome. It would be fun to see the Cubs garner Japanese attention. Even at $14-15MM a year, I'd throw it down. This will compensate if a few of the kids falter.
I don't have a great solution for Matt Murton. Trade him for a respectable reliever if possible, or just use him as the fourth outfielder. Projecting him as more than that may have been wishcasting anyway. Similar situation with Mike Fontenot.
Mark DeRosa and Ryan Theriot are solid guys but they're on my bench.
Nontender Scott Eyre and Jacque Jones, eat the salaries and be done with it.
Keep Ryan Dempster in the pen but use Carlos Marmol as the closer. Mix and match with kids and vets, same as this year. Don't spend big bucks on free agent relievers. Dempster could slide into the fifth starter role if the pen is a strength and Marquis bombs.
Another $3.6MM on Mark Prior on the chance he can outpitch Marquis? Sure. Wouldn't be opposed to bringing in a Freddy Garcia/Jon Lieber/Kenny Rogers if the price is right. You can never have too much pitching.
Here is some juicy rumors-
It seems Izzy is on his way out next. There are rumored to be at least 3 teams interested in Izzy( BoSox, Royals, and Pirates). Its has been rumored that Hendry is eyeing the power righty bat of Xavier Nady. Could Hendry actually pull off a trade sending just Nady for Izzy he would be a genius! Nady is the Perfect fit for a platoon situation in RF with Floyd or Ward. Nady can play alot of positions he has played 3rd base but he has played all OF positions and first base. He is hitting .284 with 14Hr and 51rbi in 80 games. He posts a lifetime .328 OBP with an OBP of .352 and .336 the last two years. He hits leftys well with .314 and he hits well in day games.367 average. He hits well at Wrigley also, hitting .353 avg 1hr .423 OBP in just 68 AB. Nady is only making 2.15 million and has almost 4 years of ML service.
To say the least this would be a win for Hendry. How bout packaging Murton or Jones or Eyre with Izzy to get Nady and a reliever???
As for the Royals, I don't really want any of there outfielders except maybe Reggie Sanders. He is a good veteran and a good player. Now can he play the outfield??? that is a big question. I still think he can. He could be a problem healthy wise. He is hitting .380 with 2 hr in 50 ab with KC. He has a lifetime .289 avg against leftys. Not the worst choice in the world but not best. I can see dealing Izzy for relief help.
The BoSox don't have much to give up to the cubs except Wily Mo Pena. If you read this site you know I love him.
Also today Soto was sent to Iowa to make room for Kendall.