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.
Kosuke Fukudome is expected to make an official announcement soon on whether he will come to the Major Leagues for the 2008 season. Per Fukudome's agent, it's highly unlikely he stays in Japan. He wants only a three-year contract, no more. So who's after him?
Cubs: They're still after him, and Lou Piniella doesn't see why the failure to sign his acquaintance Kaz Matsui would have any bearing on it. The Cubs have a vacancy in right field plus perhaps a need to spell Felix Pie in center. They also could use a nice dose of OBP. Fukudome is a perfect fit.
White Sox: The Sox have openings in left and center and a strong need for OBP. Aaron Rowand and Torii Hunter are out of the picture, leaving Fukudome as a prime target. It's been said that the Cubs are prepared for a crosstown bidding war.
Padres: The Friars have already contacted Fukudome's agent. Kevin Towers has publicly expressed his interest. Fukudome could play left or center for the Padres.
Rangers: With a center field spot up for grabs, the Rangers have "serious interest."
Giants: In late October, it was said that they were "seriously interested."
Yankees, Red Sox: They've both scouted him, for what it's worth. Little doubt he could play a better center field than Johnny Damon, but it's hard to see where he could fit in with Boston since they've already got four starting outfielders.
Mets: They have a right field vacancy, but I haven't seen too many published reports indicating they're after him (as of now, I can't find any). Wouldn't surprise me to see Omar jump in here though.
I expect the Cubs to be front runners to land Fukudome and I also expect Fukudome to make a decision tomorrow or Monday. It makes since to make an announcement tomorrow so he can meet with clubs during the winter meetings. We all expect him to come to the US but you never know. It would be amazing if he announces he is coming to MLB and announces he will sign with the Cubs! We can all keep our fingers crossed!