Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pads want Prior?? Trade Brewing??

Thanks to MLBRUMORS-

Padres GM Kevin Towers has confirmed that the Padres are very interested in trading for Mark Prior. Prior is neighbors with Kevin Towers and are good friends. Not only that, but Prior has made it known that he would like to pitch for the Padres. The Cubs have until Dec. 12 to offer him a contract but might look to trade him at the Winter Meetings. The Cubs are very intrigued by the prospects they could acquire in return for Prior, and have already started looking. The Padres hope Prior would be more agreeable in contract negotiations because he is a native of the San Diego area, and because he has only pitched in 57 games over the past four seasons. The Cubs inquired about second baseman Rayner Contreras, pitcher Wade Leblanc, and left fielder Chad Huffman, all solid prospects with good upside. They will probably bring back Barrett next week as well look for a new outfielder. I think the Cubs have had enough of Prior. They have put so much time and effort into him and nothing has come out of it. They have pitching now and do not need him, unless they wanted another candidate for closer. Prior isn't even expected back until June, if then.

Here is Huffmans stats-

Wade Leblanc-

Rayner Contreras-

I think the Cubs could get a little more for Prior from the Pads. If Towers wants him so bad then I say offer this-

Pads get Ohman, Prior, and Cedeno
Cubs get Greene and Leblanc

That seems fair on both sides. The Pads get Prior, a guy who has injury woes but if healthy can dominate the NL, plus Towers loves him! They get a decent lefty reliever who has falling out of favor with the Cubs, and they get a young up and coming SS in Cedeno to take over Greene's spot.

The Cubs get a great young pitcher who did well in AA and a good power hitting SS who is also very good defensively.

Its a fair trade to me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Good News on Fukudome! How bout Haren or Harden???

Here is a nice peice from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.COM-

Kosuke FukudomeFor a while, the consensus was that Fukudome would stay in Japan. That's no longer the case. Agent Joe Urbon told that he met with Fukudome in Nagoya, Japan, on Wednesday night and went over the "multiple offers" the outfielder had received from MLB clubs.
"Although staying in Japan certainly is an option, it is highly unlikely," Urbon said in an e-mail.
The Giants, Rangers and Cubs are among the clubs interested in Fukudome. After parting company with
Cliff Floyd and Jacque Jones, the Cubs are looking for a more athletic left-handed hitting outfielder. And Fukudome's .397 career on-base percentage is certainly appealing.
"He's kind of a poor man's
Carlos Beltran," said a National League personnel man. "He's not top of the line, but a pretty good player. He can run, he can drive the ball in the gaps a little bit, and he can go get it pretty well in the outfield."

This is very good news for the Cubbies! It seems the only thing that would prevent the Cubs from getting Fukudome is him staying in Japan. I bet Fuk got some really good deals presented to him and you gotta think the Cubs are at the top of the list. Hendry has been waiting around this offseason so far making minor moves such as acquiring Infante for Jones, trading Monroe to the Twins for a PTBNL, all this to clear a spot for a power hitting lefthanded high obp RFer. That is Fukudome. This entire offseason has been centered around Fukudome and I really hope the Cubs can announce a deal soon!

On another idea, Fukudome is said that he could play all 3 OF position but maybe suited best in RF. If the Cubs sign him I wouldn't put it past Hendry to try him in CF and acquire a RF thru trade or free agency or maybe sign a CFer in case Pie is not ready. It probably wont be a sexy name like Jones or Rowand but I can see Hendry maybe signing Lofton, Bradley, Stewart, Wilkerson, Alexie Rameriz or maybe trade for a guy like Drew, Crisp, Duffy, or David DeJesus. If they really wanted to add an impact player how bout Crawford?? Oh yeah we already went over that!

Here is some stuff Lou has to say-

The left-handed-hitting Fukudome, 30, is expected to draw interest from several major-league teams, including the White Sox, and the Cubs are prepared for a bidding war if he decides to leave Japan, as most expect."Our scouts like him," Piniella said. "They say he's a cross between Ichiro [Suzuki] and [Hideki] Matsui."Piniella said the Cubs are looking for a left-handed hitter to bat fourth or fifth in the lineup, which Fukudome could easily do."The one good thing with this young man is he can play both right and center field," Piniella said. "That's a big advantage."

Piniella also said he'd like to see if Kerry Wood can handle the workload in relief before deciding if he can become the primary closer, and that the Cubs are "leaning" toward giving Felix Pie the everyday job in center field. He said the Cubs hope to get a left-handed-hitting infielder to spell shortstop Ryan Theriot, whose hitting declined at the end of his first full season in the majors.


The A's are actively shopping a couple of quality top of the rotation pitchers who are still under contract, here they are-

Dan Haren- He is a #1 starter and is better deal than Santana and would cost a little cheaper. Haren went 15-9 with a 3.07 era in 34 starts last year. He pitched 222 innings, stuck out a 192 batters!!! With 55 BB and giving up 24 homeruns. He is right handed, only 28 years old and best of all he is owed 16 million over the next 3 seasons which is such a bargain!!! He would likely cost 2 young pitchers with ML experience, a young pitching prospect, and a young position player. Here is what I would offer

A's get Hill, Marshall, Veal, and either Pie or a combination of Murton and Epatt. That deal should get Haren and believe me he is well worth it!!

Rich Harden- This guy is something else. He has pitched both out of the pen and in the rotation but is more suited as a starter. Here is his career stats, 34-18 in 76 games started over his career. He has logged 454 innings pitched in his short career, with 431 SO. He is a tough righty and has great stuff. He is only 27 years old and another solid #2 pitcher. He is owed 11.5 million for the next 2 years. He would cost less guys than Haren but still would be pricey. Here is what I think would get this done-

A's get Marshall, Gallagher, Epatt, and Murton might get Harden or you might have to part with Hill.

The A's are considering a fire sale by revamping there team and getting young players to replace there aging veterans. The A's love prospects and have let many good pitchers leave for FA or thru trades so it makes sense that there taking offers on these two studs! If the Cubs could get one it would really strengthen there rotation. Imagine...

Hart/Prior/ Gallagher/ Hill/ Marshall(depending on who gets traded)

That would be a great solid top 3 rotation!!!

Kaz a Stro and Church dealt.

Well looks like Kaz Matsui and Ryan Church will not be Cubs next year( unless Church is flipped here). Ryan Church and Schneider went to the Mets for Milledge. There was rumors that Church would be part of a 3 way deal with the Red Sox but that obviously was proven false. Kaz is an Astro and its not the end of the world but damn Jim how bout acquiring some players???? Get Fukudome!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hendry waiting for call from Fukudome???

According to numerous reports, Jim Hendry is awaiting word on whether Fukudome will be coming to MLB or staying in Japan. Hendry has made it no secret that he wants a guy that plays good defense, a lefthanded RF with good power and high OBP. He has sent many scouts to Japan to check out Fukudome and Hendry even mentioned Fuk's name on the radio, Internet, and papers. It is obvious that the Cubs want him bad and are willing to pay a hefty price for him. Why else would they be ideal while other teams are making moves. Expect Hendry to try to blow away Fukudome with a contract to convince him to come here. He's not going to waste time by pussy footing in negotiations with him. Like I said before expect Hendry to offer him a 4 to 5 year contract worth 12-15 million a year with incentives similar to what Dice K got!

The Cubs need Fukudome, he would pull the lineup together well.

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

You could actually put Fuk in between Lee and Aram too. Either way that lineup looks really good!

Matsui to sign with Astros?? Cubs are sleepers for Santana??

According to many sources Kaz Matsui is expected to sign with the Astros Friday. The deal is reportedly worth 3 years 15 million. This isn't the worst thing to happen to the Cubs. Kaz could have played a good utility role with the Cubs but I didn't like the idea of him taking ABs from Derosa and Theriot. I wonder if this means Fukudome is staying in Japan?? or if the Cubs could still land him without getting Matsui?? I don't think it makes much difference to Fukudome, but I could be wrong. It would be nice to hear if he is coming to the US soon because the Cubs cant be just waiting around forever while other FA gets signed.


This is intresting-

The New York Times has named the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Angels as the front-runners for 2-time Cy Young Award winner, Johan Santana. The Times also informed us that an NL executive, who was not named, told them not to sleep on the Cubs, who have some young talent to offer in exchange for Santana, particularly by the name of Felix Pie. The Twins would love to aquire Pie, mainly because they are now in dire need of a centerfielder, with the absence of Torii Hunter.It would take a little more than just Pie to pry Johan away from the Twins though. It would likely take Pie and 3 other mid to high level prospects, possibly Hill, Gallagher, Veal, or all three. Whether Hendry would be able to pull this trade off or not is unknown, but I would imagine if this trade were to happen, Hendry's first priority would be a long term extension, which could command close to $130 million over 5 or 6 years.

If the Cubs could get Santana that would make them one of the most feared rotations in baseball! Especially if the can acquire him without giving up Hill( which I doubt).. Would this trade get it done??

Twins get Pie, Veal, Gallagher, Prior, Dempster, and Murton
Cubs get Santana and Kevin Slowey

A trade for Santana is highly unlikely for the Cubs, that's why they should focus on Nathan instead. He will come more affordable and would really help the Cubs!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Intresting rumors and thoughts!

Here is some interesting tidbits on MLBTR-

-Crasnick spoke to Doug Melvin and confirmed that Claudio Vargas and Chris Capuano will not be non-tendered. But they could definitely be traded.

This is interesting to me. Sure Capuano had alot of problems last year and is traditionally a first half pitcher. But this is the same guy that won 18 games in 2005 and 11 in 2006. In 05 he posted a 3.99 era, he is 29 years old and a decent pitcher.

Vargas is another guy who is a serviceable right hander and could be pretty cheap on the market. He did win 12 games last year but his era is pretty robust. He is not an inning eater by any means but still curious why the Brewers would consider non tendering him.

Both guys are basically the same person as Marquis but if he is traded or not you might see Hendry try to sign one of these guys for cheap. That is if there non tendered.

-The Cubs are listening to offers for Jason Marquis, who is owed $16.25MM over 2008-09. So maybe they are still in on Kuroda.

Marquis was pretty good last year and blew alot of peoples expectations. I am a fan of Marquis and would like to see him stay a cubs and battle some young guys in ST for the 5th spot in the rotation. But if trading Marquis gets us Kuroda then goodbye Jason.

- Good news for MLBRUMORS! A source close to Geoff Jenkins has told me that the Padres have extended him a two year deal, worth 16-20 million dollars.

Wow 8 to 10 million to Jenkins??? This in a pitcher friendly park?? I hope they get this done to take him off the Market because I don't want him to be a fall back option for the Cubs!

- MLB4U has this for you- Cristian Guzman SS--Washington Nationals: The Cubs could pursue a trade for him if they fail to sign Kaz Matsui.

Guzman is extremely injury pron but about the same as Kaz. If a trade happens I hope it includes Church, I love that kid! If the Cubs are looking for a switch hitting MI, why not Lopez???

He is 27 years old, a former allstar, switch hitter. He also has a good glove and power in his bat. He struggled in Washington last year but he is traditionally a high OBP guy( in 05 and 06 he was in the .355 range) in 05 he hit 23 homers. He would be more of a soild pickup than Guzman and Kaz.

- This also according to MLB4U- --Minnesota Twins: If the Twins fail to re-sign Carlos Silva and decide to trade Johan Santana, then Nathan also becomes expendable. The Brewers, Giants, Indians, Tigers, Cubs and Red Sox are potential suitors. Nathan is a free agent following next season. The Twins are working to sign him to a contract extension, but Francisco Cordero's recent signing upped the market price for closers putting Nathan out of their price range.

Nathan would be a great pickup if the price is right. Can you imagine this set up

Marmol/Hart 5th-6th
Wood 7th
Howry 8th
Nathan 9th

That is a strong pen! Here is Nathan's stats-

Gotta love the 37 saves, 77 SO in 68 innings!!!! and a great 1.88 era with a career 3.00 era. The Cubs need this guy! I wonder if Marshall and prospects could get him???

-Don't Forget!!! Tomorrow, Fukudome is meeting with his US agent to find out what kind of contracts he could get here and what teams there offered from. He still has not decided whether to stay in Japan or come to MLB. Lets hope the Cubs offered him a " cant say no contract" and he signs with them this weekend. Hendry whole off season is circling around Fuk( at least that's what I think) so we need a decision soon!

- This according to JIM-

Our initial moves, as we cleared our deck a little after the season, clearly show we'll go after a quality left-handed-hitting outfielder, either in the free-agent world or through a trade," Hendry said. "We'd also like to add some left-handed hitting on the bench or in a versatile role.

It obvious he is waiting on Fukudome's decision. As for a versatile left handed bat maybe he mean Kaz?? or another outfielder?? Bradley?? Church?? Who knows the rumors are really heating tho!

- Eyre also exercised his player option for next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Prior could be traded??

Thanks to MLBTR-

Cubs May Trade Mark Prior
Three articles about the Cubs' Mark Prior situation came out today - Buster Olney, Paul Sullivan, and Gordon Wittenmyer. The Cubs have until December 12th to make a decision one way or another - that date is the last day for teams to offer 2008 contracts to unsigned players.
The Cubs may try to keep Prior and see if they can salvage anything. He hasn't taken a big league mound since August 10, 2006, when he got knocked around by the Brewers. What the Cubs don't want is to bring Prior back for 2008, see him rebuild value, and then have him jump ship after the season. Instead they want an option for 2009 tacked on. The least the Cubs can sign him for '08 is $2.86MM.
As Buster Olney notes, the Cubs also have the option of trading Prior right now. Then his new team can deal with the contract situation. There's definitely a little bit of low-cost upside there, and the Padres are said to be interested.
The third option is to non-tender Prior, which seems dumb to me. It'd be better to keep him around for one more year at $3MM.

It will be interesting to see what they do with Prior. Jim might try to shop him at the Winter Meetings but his price might be down cuz of his health issues. Could a Tejeda for Prior be discussed again?? Who knows?!

I think the Cubs should sign him to a one year deal with a team option for 09. That makes since for both parties.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wood signs with Cubs! Matsui to make decision?

-Cubs inked Kerry Wood to a 1 year deal worth 4.2 million dollars and another 3.45 million in incentives. This is a very good move on the Cubs part. Wood was getting alot of attention and offers from other clubs that included a 2 year deal worth 12 million. He was linked to the Rangers, Red Sox, and Brewers but the Cubs got him for a reasonable price. Looks like Dempster will be in the rotation next year unless he is traded or a young guy shows his stuff in spring training.

- Kaz is expected to make his decision this week on who he will sign with . He has 3 contract offers from the Cubs, Stros, and Rocks. The Stros rumored to offer him a 2 year contract with an option for a 3 year worth a total of 12 million, the Rocks have offered a 2 year contract worth 6 million and the Cubs have made the strongest push for him rumored to offer him a 3 year contract worth 14 million. The Cubs are planning to use Matsui to get Fukudome. Fuk is expected to meet with his US agent Thursday and make a decision wether to stay in Japan or come to MLB. Expect him to make a decision by Sunday possibly signing by then also.

- It is rumored that 6 teams have put in offers to Fukudome's US agent in which he is expected to disscuss with him Thursday. I expect the Cubs, White Sox, Rangers, Pads, White Sox, and Royals to have all put in offers with the Cubs having the best contract. Why else would the Cubs deal Jones and Monroe and have no contracts out to any other OFers??? Hendry said he wants a RFer with good power, high OBP, a lefty with good defense. Thats Fukudome!