Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trachsel and Floyd's option declined. Cubs to go after Schilling.

Thanks to the Suntimes-

Pitcher Kerry Wood could return to the Cubs' bullpen in 2008 -- although it might take getting a deal done in the next nine days.

Cliff Floyd is resigned to the likelihood that his first season with his hometown team will be his last.

Postseason veteran Curt Schilling could be in the Cubs' sights, and Alex Rodriguez might be drifting out of sight of Chicago.
This is where the Cubs appeared to stand as they wrapped up organizational meetings in

Arizona on Friday in preparation for the annual general managers meetings early next week in Orlando, Fla.

Refusing to address specifics, Cubs GM Jim Hendry called the meetings ''very, very productive'' and said he plans to start getting aggressive with the start of the GM meetings now that he's armed with a winter plan and with a ''comfortable'' feeling that the Cubs' $100 million payroll from 2007 will increase.

Based on conversations with several people associated with the team:

• • Wood is probably the only one of the Cubs' free agents they will pursue, and they figure to take advantage of the exclusive negotiating period with Wood that expires Nov. 12.

Despite speculation that Wood might seek an opportunity to become a starter again, he seems to agree with the Cubs that his best hope for health and success in the near future is as a reliever. He made a successful conversion the final two months of 2007 after another stretch of shoulder rehabilitation.

• • Depending on how outrageous the bidding gets in a pitching-short market, the Cubs could go after Schilling, the 40-year-old Red Sox free agent who listed the Cubs among 13 teams he would consider.

• • Content with third baseman Aramis Ramirez -- and not in the mood for setting more offseason spending records -- the Cubs don't expect to be a player in the A-Rod sweepstakes.

• • And center field could be as key a position for the Cubs this winter as it is for the other team in town, depending on how prospect Felix Pie's winter progresses. Hitting coach Gerald Perry is in the Dominican Republic working with Pie, and he and manager Lou Piniella have devised a winter baseball plan for Pie, after which the organization will re-evaluate him.

Meanwhile, the Cubs on Friday picked up pinch-hit specialist Daryle Ward's $1.2 million contract option for 2008, after declining options for Floyd and pitcher Steve Trachsel, making them free agents.

The Cubs' fourth free agent is catcher Jason Kendall.

Floyd, 34, who talked in September about retiring, said he plans to keep playing and has told his agent to reach out to every major-league team.

Floyd and Hendry, who have had a strong relationship during Floyd's career, had planned to talk about terms of a possible return next season. But Floyd said Friday he expects the conversation to be more of an ''official goodbye.''

He was one of four Cubs to file for free agency this past week, along with Wood, Trachsel and Kendall. The Cubs declined Trachsel's $4.75 million option. Outfielder Craig Monroe also is expected to file.

''If I don't come back there, that was a good experience,'' Floyd said.

Bonds in Cubbie Blue???

According to many of may sources and some radio hits it possibly you could see Barry Bonds in the OF for the Cubs next season. Barry Bonds has said " Im not only a full time player, I am also a pretty decent partime player." Bonds in fact said he is open NL as a full time or parttime player not just being a DH in the AL. Bonds has also expressed interest in going to a team that is playoff bound. So what does this have to do with the Cubs???

The Cubs obviously need a left handed power bat for RF or CF and Bonds could fill that role in RF. The Cubs are reportedly not letting the selling of the team effect there finances but there "doing business as usual." Bonds would fit well at Wrigley and here is why-

1. Bonds wouldn't be required to play everyday because of day games after night games. He would be the perfect platoon partner in RF at Wrigley. You could give Murton valuable time in RF along with Bonds. Since Barry is willing to be a "partime" player this would benefit the Cubs and Bonds.

2. Bonds is looking for a 1 to 2 year deal worth about 15 mill a year so he can insure his 3000 hits. I can see the Cubs offering him a good contract with incentives to reach that amount. He would be in one of the most hitter friendly ball parks in the NL in Wrigley Field. He could also pad the HR total too.

3. Wrigley Fans gave Bonds a good welcome when he came to Wrigley this year. He even had some nice things to say about Wrigley, the Cubs, and there fans. ( you just don't hear Barry say those things)

4. Cubs are going to be contenders every year for the next years to come and with Bonds bat in the lineup it could bolster this team to the WS.

Sori LF
Theriot SS
Lee 1st
Bonds RF
Aram 3b
Derosa 2b
Soto C
Pie/Jones CF

That lineup is without any additions. Here would be a nice lineup with either Lofton or Crawford in the Mix-
Sori LF
Crawford/Lofton CF
Lee 1st
Bonds RF
Aram 3b
Derosa 2b
Soto C
Theriot SS

5. Lou and Bonds seem to have a good relationship... They both had glowing remarks to say about each other after the Cubs/Giants series at Wrigley so that couldn't hurt.

NOW... do I think Barry Bonds will be in Cubbie Blue next year??? Probably not. But would I be surprised if he did. Absolutely Not!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Schilling in Cubbie Blue?? Former Cub Rusch back to MLB.

Don't count it out! Schilling has a list of 12 teams he is willing to play for next season and one of them is the Cubs. He just wants a one year deal worth about 12 million. My bet is he resigns with the Red Sox or signs with the Phills. Here is the list of teams-


I wouldnt be opposed to him on the cubs but is he worth 12 million for one year??? I say sign Kuroda for 3 years 6 million a year instead of Schilling for 12 million.


Thought id put this in here-

Glendon Rusch To Attempt ComebackSouthpaw Glendon Rusch missed the 2007 season because of a blood clot in his lung. He's one of the good guys in baseball, and we're rooting for him here at MLBTR.

According to his agency, Rusch is ready to go and has declared free agency. The 33 year-old will throw a bullpen session for teams on Friday. He's been throwing for a couple of months now. Rusch has never had an arm problem, and he's lost weight recently. He's been throwing 86-88 with good command and should be considered for open fifth starter gigs. At worst, he makes a good swingman. I'm guessing he'd sign for $1MM with maybe another million or two in incentives. (is the source)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crawford on top of Cubs wish list!!!

Thanks to Mlbrumors-

The Chicago White Sox are very interested in trading for outfielder Carl Crawford, and have no problem in offering Jon Garland. They have Jack Egbert that is ready to take over in the rotation and could use an outfielder like Crawford to spark them. However, the Cubs are looking for ways to upgrade their team without spending too much money because of the sale of the club, and trading for Crawford definitely is intriguing. Piniella managed Crawford when he was younger, and Crawford would provide the Cubs with a young, and very capable everyday player. Yes, the Cubs would have to give up something worth while for the Devil Rays, including Felix Pie and probably Sean Gallagher, but it would make them better nonetheless. However, if you follow the Cubs, you know that they do not make too many trades where they throw prospects at teams. According to sources, they are interested in Torii Hunter, but would rather take the trade route this off season. Aside from the outfield situation, the Cubs are also looking for upgrades in their pitching staff. It seems that Plan A is sign Hiroki Kuroda, and have Jason Marquis and Kevin Hart duke it out for the fifth spot. However, Plan B is probably what they will go with, which will be to try Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster in the rotation, while having Marquis and Hart fight it out for the fifth spot. For Plan B, they would move Howry or Marmol to the closer spot.

Crawford in CF or RF would be great. Lots of speed, good power and a young guy. I would have no problem giving up Pie, Gallagher, Epatt, and Veal for Crawford. He is a HOFer in the making and a great defender as well. If the Cubs get him, Kuroda, and Abreu or Fukudome this team is set for the next 3 years!!!!

Who is in RF??? Kuroda on cubs list? Sign Speed and OBP!

Thanks to MLBTR-

Cubs Targeting A Right Fielder

According to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, the Cubs have a lefthanded-hitting right fielder with power atop their offseason wish list. The name that comes to mind: Kosuke Fukudome.
Is it possible that Fukudome gets lost in the winter shuffle a bit and becomes a mild bargain? Something like three years, $30MM? Problem is that if he's only going to be a 15 HR guy, he needs to compensate for that by playing strong defense and posting a .380 OBP.

In terms of left-handed hitting right fielders with power, the Cubs could also consider Luke Scott, Ken Griffey Jr., and maybe Bobby Abreu if the Yanks cut him loose. The first two would involve intra-division trades though. Hopefully the Cubs don't go for Shawn Green.

The Cubs could double-dip in the Japanese market, as Miles says they'll look to add starting pitching depth. Hiroki Kuroda has been the starter connected to the Cubs thus far this offseason.

Miles adds that Jim Hendry is satisfied with Ryan Theriot as a starter. I liked the idea of Edgar Renteria, but failing that I'd consider giving Ronny Cedeno another shot.

The Cubs also seem to have some notion that they need to add speed, which seems like it could result in a bad decision similar to the Juan Pierre trade (ie, a Kaz Matsui signing or something).

I like the idea of Abreu or Fukudome being in RF for the Cubs next season. Both guys will get about 15+ homers, high OBP, and play really good defense. Not to mention with Abreu you get some speed in your lineup along with power. They would average 10 to 15 million a year in a 3 to 5 year deal which isn't bad considering Hunter and Jones are looking at 20 million a year. Would absolutely love seeing Abreu or Fukudome hitting in the #2 spot behind Sori and in front of Lee.

Kuroda is a guy I would love in the rotation. He has some sick stuff and is rated in the top 5 best pitchers in Japan last year. He would be a solid #4 for the Cubs and could force Marquis, Prior, Hart, Gallagher, and Marshall to battle for the 5th spot in the rotation.

I like Theriot at SS, but an upgrade isn't out of the question. Cedeno is not an upgrade. I would have loved to see Renteria at SS next season but they lost out on that. Other shortstops they should look at( besides Arod) are -

1. Tejada- A guy who could be linked to the Mitchell investigation but has a good bat, speed, glove, and post a .354 OBP, 18 homers, .296 average and 81 rbi in just 133 games last year. Deal could be done by sending over young outfield help and pitching.

2.Orlando Cabrera- In the last year of his contract and is owed 9 million this year. The Angels could look to move him if they acquire Arod and what Figgins to stay at 3b. They also have some talented young infielder that could fill the role. He could be expensive and cost a Donald Veal, Gallagher, or maybe Marshall with some other prospects. He did very well this year posting a .301 average with 8 homers, 86 rbi, and 20 sb.. he also posted a good .345 OBP

As far as speed goes.. I think MLBTR is looking at the wrong position. Matsui did have a good year hitting .288, with 4 homer, 32 SB and 37 rbi. He posted a .342 OBP and wouldn't be a bad fit as a bench guy for the Cubs. He is an cheap option.. I think if the Cubs want speed they need to go with Pie in CF or sign a guy who is a proven winner, has good speed and great bat. And one of my favorite players. SIGN LOFTON. He is gonna cost 8 million next year and would be a great mentor to Pie in CF. Not to mention he knows Wrigley, the Cubs, and the fans. He gets it done during the year and in the playoffs. Get Kenny to Wrigley again please!!!

Other notes-

Wood and Kendall file for free agency. Kendall is likely to be let go but Wood is likely to come back next year as a reliever or possiably a starter. We will have to wait and see.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Coincidence????? I think not.. AROD WILL BE A CUB.

I'm going out on a limb here and say *Arod will be in a Cubs uniform next year*. First read this article from

I don't know the team. I don't know the terms. But I know this much: There is no way Alex Rodriguez would have opted out of his contract with the Yankees unless he and his agent, Scott Boras, knew they had a bigger score coming.

Boras doesn't act on impulse. He routinely hoodwinks owners because he outworks and outsmarts them. And even if he doesn't know exactly how this will play out — which I doubt — he surely has, uh, surveyed the landscape.

A-Rod opts out

Some will be outraged that Boras chose the final game of the World Series to drop his latest — and greatest — stink bomb. The more serious concern for baseball is the possibility that Boras already has shopped A-Rod to other clubs, winking and nodding if not outright tampering.
When baseball gets done with the Mitchell investigation, perhaps it can start another one. Fans seem to care little about which players used steroids. But they sure would like to know how Boras made $70 million magically appear for J.D. Drew from the Red Sox — and how he will make $300 million magically appear for A-Rod from the next Tom Hicks.

The thing is, Boras can't be stopped. Baseball can discipline clubs for making major announcements during the postseason, but not players and agents. As for tampering, baseball could hire everyone from CIA operatives to SWAT teams and still not prove that Boras did anything wrong.

So, Arte Moreno, is that you getting ready to make A-Rod an Angel? If not, the Tigers, White Sox, Dodgers and Giants could jump in, and don't forget those World Series champion Red Sox. Right about now, the Sox are probably feeling smug enough to think that they even could win a Series with A-Rod, who now trails Manny Ramirez, two rings to none.

The Red Sox's current third baseman, Mike Lowell was the World Series MVP. The team's fans lingered at Coors Field Sunday night chanting, "Re-sign Lowell!" and "Don't sign A-Rod!" But the possibility of striking a death blow against the Yankees no doubt appeals to certain sinister hearts in the Sox's braintrust.

The Yankees reportedly were prepared to offer Rodriguez a five-year extension in the range of $140 million, bringing his total package to eight years and a possible $230 million.
And Rodriguez chose to opt out anyway — without even negotiating!

Boras, ever the facilitator, says that he is open to continuing talks with the Yankees. Yet, he knows full well that the Yankees repeatedly have said that they would end discussions if A-Rod voided the final three years of his contract, which included a $21 million subsidy from the Rangers.

Rodriguez, Boras says, was unwilling to commit to the Yankees when the status of the team's top three potential free agents — catcher Jorge Posada, closer Mariano Rivera and left-hander Andy Pettitte — was unlikely to be resolved before his opt-out deadline.

That deadline was 10 days after the conclusion of the World Series, not in the middle of the clinching game, but details, details. The uncertainty of the Yankees' ownership transition also influenced A-Rod's decision, Boras says. And, lest anyone forget, the team has yet to name its new manager.

Maybe A-Rod, like many of us, thinks the manager still should be Joe Torre. Without question, his concerns about the state of the Yankees are valid. But if he truly wanted to stay in New York, he would have accepted the Yankees' offer of a meeting, questioned the Sons of Steinbrenner about their plans, then made a decision.

Instead, it's game on.

Boras and A-Rod not only crashed the World Series, but also the announcement of the Yankees' next manager, which could occur on Monday. If Joe Girardi is the Yankees' choice, maybe he'll want to reconsider. His team just got a whole lot worse, and other defections are possible.
Lowell hit the jackpot Sunday night, becoming World Series MVP on the same night the Yankees lost their third baseman. The Rangers also hit the jackpot, getting a $21 million payback from Boras in return for their original $252 million commitment. But the biggest jackpot is coming, and you-know-who is going to get it.

If the deal isn't done, it will be.


Ken makes a great point. There is no way Arod opts out without a suitor waiting by, so could that be the Cubs??? I say Yes and here is why-

1. Arod has always considered Lou as a father figure. They talk everyday and Arod said his best times were in Seattle with Lou. That just makes sense.

2. The Cubs are looking for another big splash in the Free Agent market regardless of who owns the team. They could offer the power hitting HOFer something alot of teams wouldn't risk, by playing him at SS. A place where Arod is a gold glove winner.

3. The Cubs are contenders next year and many years down the road. Its impressive when a team goes from worst to first and with addition to Arod makes them a lock to be in playoffs for years to come. Something Boras and Arod are looking for.

4. With the news of the Tribune Co putting off selling the cubs until a later date actually benefits a deal with the cubs. Before the new owner is chosen, the Tribune Co could have ownership options in the contract for Arod.. That way any form of selling the cubs will include Arod as a part owner in the Cubs regardless who owns the Cubs. This means when they do sell the Cubs, there selling Arod as a part owner and player which can look pretty good from an owners stand point.

5. The rumor a while ago that the cubs were in talks with Boras about Arod coming to the Cubs and having a part in the Oraganization after his contract didnt come from nowhere. Boras had to quickly dismiss the hot rumor because tampering issues. Something tells me the rumor was fact and that is why Arod opted out of his contract.

6. If the Cubs do sign Arod and put something in his contract where money is deferred to part ownership they wont have to pay him 30-35 million a year over 8 years. They can pay him 20-25 million over 8 years with alot of money deferred to have part ownership in the team. Saving the cubs $$ to make other deals. Its just makes since.

7. If the Cubs do offer and ownership in his contract there is not a team out there that can match the offer the Cubs have on the table. And in that case Ken Rosenthal is right in saying there is a contract on the table and a deal will get done "SOON."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Updating Wrigley and the Cubs/Rockies trading partners??

Thanks to

The temperature topped out at about 60 degrees at Wrigley Field on Friday -- a beautiful day for some yard work.
Two crews this week began tearing up the playing surface at the 93-year-old home of the Cubs for a total renovation of the drainage system and turf. The project, which the club hopes to complete before the end of November, is being overseen by White Sox groundskeeper Roger Bossard, who proudly wears the nickname, "The Sodfather." When it's done, the field will be turned back over to longtime Cubs groundskeeper Roger Baird.
"I'm so happy for Roger. He's got the last old car in the Major Leagues," Bossard said.
In fact, Wrigley was the only Major League ballpark that still employed a "crown" to drain rainwater off the field. Cubs players and coaches sitting on the dugout bench would have to strain to see the first baseman across the field.
That will no longer be the case after Bossard is finished. Crews are removing 7,500 tons of dirt and will lower the playing surface about 14 inches over the coming weeks. Kansas City clay will be laid down and leveled before Bossard installs his trademark system of drains, to be made up of 6,000 feet of piping that can hold 60,000 gallons of water, easing the flow of water into the old neighborhood sewer system.
The sod will come from Colorado or New Jersey, depending on the weather in each spot when Bossard's crews are ready, and will be transported to Chicago in refrigerated trucks. Over the cold and snowy winter months, the grass will remain covered by a specialized geo-textile material that will keep the turf 7-9 degrees warmer than the surrounding air.
Timing is critical. Bossard is hoping to finish the project before the end of November, but even a few days of bad weather could set things back.
"It's a six- to seven-week job and I'm trying to get it done in four weeks," he said.
Bossard is a veteran of 10 field renovations, including the 2004 re-do of Boston's venerable Fenway Park and the 2001 installation of the new Miller Park in Milwaukee. It's been pointed out that four of the last six World Series champs have played on one of his fields.
"Maybe it will be the Cubs' turn next year," he said.


The Cubs and Rockies could be trading partners this offseason. The Rockies have a young outfield with alot of young talent and not many places to put them. The Rockies might be willing to trade players such as Taveras, Baker, Spilborghs, Hawpe or Sullivan for decent starting pitching. The Rockies confirmed interest in Sean Marshall, J.R. Mathes, and Mark Holliman last year. The Rockies also have alot of young talent in the Minors who mite push the players listed above out of a starting job or make them expendable. Players like Sean Barker and Seth Smith. If Taveras, Spilly, or Hawpe become availiable look for the Cubs to be one of the first to call. Especially a kid like Spilly-

Here is his minor league stats-

This kid is for real!