Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cubs sign some good minor leaguers. Fukudome to meet with US agent.

Chicago Cubs Signed:
RHP Cory Bailey

C J.D. Closser

C Danny Fatheree

SS Andres Blanco

OF Andres Torres

Some really decent minor leaguers!

Fukudome is to meet with his agent in the US and see what offers he may get or already have gotten from MLB clubs. The Cubs have said that there biggest need is a power hitting, high OBP lefthander to play right field and its no secret that the Cubs have scouted him and will make a big push for him. He is reportedly wanting 3 years 30 million which seems fair but I expect the Cubs to overpay to get him signed as quickly as possible. I expect the Cubs to make a 4 year 50-55 million dollar contract loaded with incentives comparable to Dice-K.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hendry meets with Matsui? Fukudome to make decision next week. Wood likely done as a Cub?!? Payroll increase??

Thanks to the Suntimes-

Matsui, a switch-hitting second baseman coming off his best season, turned down a two-year, $7 million offer to stay in Colorado and could be looking at a three-year deal worth between $11 million and $15 million as a free agent.

Hendry wouldn't discuss details of his talks with Matsui, but a deal does not appear imminent. Sources on both sides confirmed the meeting, which took place over lunch at Riviera Country Club.

Not the sexiest move if Hendry signs him but its a move. Matsui is rumored to be ready to sign with Houston but its all talk right now. He would be a good backup to Derosa and Theriot, he has good speed, ok defense, and a decent at batting. Not a bad move.


The longer Kerry Wood remains on the free-agent market, the less likely it appears he will return to the Cubs.Several teams have courted Wood, including Boston, which wants him to be the primary right-handed setup man for closer Jonathan Papelbon. General manager Jim Hendry said he has spoken with Wood's agent frequently, but couldn't say whether returning to the Cubs is Wood's priority, as Wood said it was last winter when he became a free agent.
"Kerry is getting a lot of action around the industry," Hendry said. "We're hopeful he'll want to remain a Cub. I believe, probably before we get to the winter meetings [Dec. 3], this will be brought to a conclusion. We certainly would like to have him back, and hopefully it'll work out."The Cubs convinced Wood to take an incentive-laden one-year deal last November. But with so much interest on the market, they now will have to decide whether he's worth the risk of a multiyear deal at around $5 million per year.
Help wantedHendry also is looking to sign Colorado infielder Kazuo Matsui to a three-year deal. He could use the left-handed hitter at both second base and shortstop.Matsui played in 108 games at short for the New York Mets in 2004, before moving to second in '05 and remaining there with the Rockies, who hope to re-sign him. Though his range is limited, Matsui could play short alongside Mark DeRosa when Ryan Theriot is sitting, or move to second when DeRosa is in right field or at third base.On Tuesday, Hendry said he was looking to add "some left-hand hitting on the bench and maybe in a versatile role in the infield." Matsui and recently acquired utilityman Omar Infante would give manager Lou Piniella plenty of flexibility in terms of double-switches.The Cubs biggest off-season job, however, will be finding a right-fielder. Carl Crawford will be on their radar if Tampa Bay puts him on the trade block, which it has yet to do. Japanese star Kosuke Fukudome is another possibility, if he decides to come to play in the majors."Our initial moves, once we cleared the deck a little bit after the season, clearly show we certainly are going to go after, in the free-agent world or trades, a quality, left-handed-hitting outfielder," Hendry said. "That would be a priority."
Money talksSenior vice president/legal counsel Crane Kenney wouldn't reveal the Cubs' 2008 budget, but it will be significantly higher than the $110 million payroll from the end of '07."We've put together a plan from the financial end and the baseball end that should give [Hendry] everything he needs to address the three areas that he mentioned," Kenney said. "I can tell you this—when I started with the club, my first year was 2003, and our payroll was $80 million."Our track record is we'll grow the payroll as we grow the business, and certainly we expect to do that again next year."


Fukudome is expected to make a decision next week whether he will accept one of the 3 offers to stay in Japan or leave Japan to come to MLB. The Cubs will be the biggest players in race for Fukudome and its rumored that is why the Cubs haven't signed any free agents. They are waiting on Fukudome, which is a wise decision on Hendry's part!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cubs like Cameron?? Pods to cubs??

Thanks to MLBTR-

The Padres have had "cordial and informative" talks with free agent Mike Cameron. The talks sound pretty low level right now. According to Cameron's agent, the Nationals, Rangers, and Cubs also like him.

Im not sure why they would want Cameron unless they feel Pie isn't ready and the miss out on Fukudome. He is a decent hitter and a good defender but I don't understand it. Here is his stats-

Not much of an upgrade of Pie I think.

Thanks to MLBRUMORS-

Scott Podsednik was designated for assignment today and because he has enough major league time, he can declare for free agency if claimed. He will probably be non-tendered next month anyways but expect the Padres and Cubs to be interested. The Cubs were interested in him last season but couldn't work something out. It does not seem that Mike Cameron is going back to the Padres and they could look to bring Podsednik in and platoon him with someone else. The Cubs have shown interest in Cameron so they might go after him if the price is right. Podsednik struggled with the White Sox this season batting .243 with 2 HR, 11 RBI, and 12 SB, but has had some success in the past. Other than the Padres and Cubs, I expect the Rockies, Pirates, Orioles, and Nationals.

This only makes since if the Cubs use Pods as a 4th outfielder. The Cubs seem to be targeting some pretty mediocre outfielders recently such as Cameron and Scott. But this is just talk right now. It would be nice if Hendry made some moves before were left with Geoff Jenkins in RF next year.

John McDonough to the Blackhawks.

Thanks to

CHICAGO -- John McDonough ended his 24-year tenure with the Cubs, most recently serving as team president, to take over the NHL Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks announced McDonough as the new team president at a news conference Tuesday.
Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said the best person to take over the team was "right in front of our nose." Wirtz said they wanted to bring someone in to coordinate hockey operations.
"The Cubs congratulate John McDonough on his new position," said Crane Kenney, Tribune Co. executive, to whom McDonough reported. "In his time as team president, John helped the club take an important step toward our ultimate goal -- bringing a championship to the greatest fans in baseball."
McDonough has been the Cubs' team president since Oct. 1, 2006, when he replaced Andy MacPhail, who resigned after a 96-loss season. At that time, McDonough boldly announced the Cubs' mission was to win the World Series.
"The purpose of why I've been asked to do this job is for the Cubs to win the World Series -- not win the Wild Card or win the division or win the pennant," McDonough said when introduced as interim president last year. "It's time to win. It's time to win the World Series."
McDonough was behind the hiring of Lou Piniella as manager, and the overhaul of the team, which included spending more than $300 million on players such as Alfonso Soriano, Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis and Mark DeRosa.
In 2007, the Cubs rebounded to win the National League Central, but they were swept by Arizona in the NL Division Series.
"The Cubs were terrific to me from top to bottom," McDonough said Tuesday. "That's a big part of my life. Being part of an organization for 24-plus years and having so much respect for everybody over there, but the opportunity that Rocky presented to me -- and this came together rather quickly -- was something I was quite impressed with."
McDonough's long-term job status with the Cubs was uncertain because of the pending sale of Tribune Co. and the likely sale of the Cubs. He signed a multiyear contract with the Blackhawks. Whoever replaces McDonough will likely be on an interim basis until the new ownership is named.
"We will not let the ownership transition distract us from our primary goal -- to see a championship come to the Chicago Cubs in 2008," Kenney said. "Tribune's commitment through an expanded payroll and additional capital for Wrigley Field evidences the continued focus on taking the next step for Cubs fans.
"Jim Hendry has a well-constructed plan in place and is already working to strengthen our roster for 2008," Kenney said. "We also have a new, multi-million-dollar playing surface ready to welcome our team on Opening Day."
McDonough met with front-office staff Tuesday at Wrigley Field to announce his resignation.
He joined the Cubs in 1983 as director of sales and promotions and became the team's marketing director in 1987. The innovative McDonough linked popular product giveaways, such as Beanie Babies, to the Cubs and was responsible for the creation of the Cubs Convention, which began in 1986 as a winter fan fest and became the prototype for other league and club events.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cubs like Castillo, Matsui and Colon?? Cubs Plan B, Bradley??

Rosenthal mentions that the Cubs are interested in Luis Castillo and Kaz Matsui, both switch hitters, to play second base next year. The Astros and Mets are also in on Castillo, while the Rockies like Kaz, might be say no to his asking price. The Cubs have been rumored to be ready to sign Matsui to a 3 year deal but nothing has formed yet. Castillio is obviously a better choice. He has better power, decent speed, and a really good glove. I pick Luis over Kaz. Here is Luis stats- Gotta love his .368 OBP and .294 lifetime avg.

Cafardo in the Boston Globe names the Cubs as suitors for Bartolo Colon. This is interesting because of his health issues and being obviously over weight. He has only pitched 155 inning in the last 2 years only making 28 starts. If healthy he is an allstar and 17 to 20 game winner, but thats a big IF! If your going to make a run at Colon also make a run at Clement or Livan??

According to MLBRUMORS-

According to sources inside the Cubs, there has been some interest in Milton Bradley, but only if Fukudome is not with the Cubs.

Not a bad 2nd option for the Cubs. He could be a club house cancer but he is a good hitter and fielder. Here is his stats-

I love his OBP and his homers in a big ball park. Good plan B for the Cubs if the cant land Crawford or Drew thru a reasonable trade.