Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rumors are Slow. Lets see what the Cubs need.

With rumors going at a glacier pace during the holidays, I want to turn the attention to the Cubs needs for the rest of the off season. The Cubs have filled there glaring hole in RF with Fukudome and have strengthen there pen by resigning Eyre and Wood. They have also added hard throwing Jose Ascanio, Tim Lahey, and Tanner Watson. The Cubs could look to upgrade it more by acquiring Joe Nathan but that would likely cost Marmol (which the Cubs will not give up). I see the bullpen as being set how it is, many people think the Cubs need a long relief man or a situational lefty. They have two young guys in Neal Cotts and Carmen Pignatiello that could fill the situational lefty role along with Eyre. As far as long relief, Cotts could fill that role and so could Marquis, Marshall, or Dempster depending on who gets traded and who lands the 5th spot in the starting rotation.

I feel the Cubs need is another veteran starter to boast there rotation. Guys like Matt Clement, Bartolo Colon, Livan Hernandez, Jon Lieber, or Josh Towers. I like the idea of Livan, Clement, or Colon coming to the Cubs. Hernandez is less of a gamble because he will give you 200+ innings and has playoff experience. He would be a nice 5th starter for the Cubs. Colon has the biggest upside. He has been plagued with injuries but just 3 years ago he was a 21 game winner! I would like to see the Cubs take a gamble on him, if healthy he could be a good #2 or #3 starter. Matt Clement has been a favorite of mine. If you remember he pitched well with the Cubs but didn't get any run support. He has been on and off the DL for a while but now he maybe finally healthy. The Cubs would be taking a chance on him just like Colon but he doesn't have that big of an upside. He could fit nicely in the #4 or #5 spot if healthy and be less expensive than Colon or Livan. He might be the best fit! Regardless, I feel the Cubs need to sign another starter for me to feel better about the rotation going into Spring Training.

Another type of player the Cubs need to acquire is a speedy outfielder that can play all three outfield positions and possibly be ready to take over CF if Pie isn't ready. There are only two players I see as a perfect fit for the Cubs and they are Chone Figgins and Kenny Lofton. Figgins would fit the bill perfectly, in fact he would start in CF over Pie. The guy is a stud! High OBP, low SO, great average, lots of SBs, good defense, and could play all over the field. Definitely a player the Cubs and Lou would love. He would cost a lot and the Angels will not trade him unless the get a good 3rd baseman to replace him. So that doesn't sound likely. Another option is Lofton, if you check this blog you know I love Kenny Lofton. Lofton continues to be a great player regardless of age. He will hit homeruns, hit in the clutch, plays good D, high OBP, good amount of SB, and good average. He can also play all three outfield positions and play them well. Not to mention he is familiar with Wrigley, which is a plus. I see the signing of Lofton as a no brainer, hopefully the Cubs do too!

The only other player I see the Cubs looking at is a better 2nd baseman, so Derosa can fill the super utility role. Or signing another utility guy. I think after the first of the year Roberts will be the Cubs new 2nd baseman pushing Derosa to the super utility role. Roberts would fill the 2nd spot in the lineup hitting between Soriano and Lee. Lou has said time and time again, Sori is our leadoff guy. Roberts would pull the lineup together nicely. He will likely cost something like Murton, Gallagher, and one of these guys- Epatt, Colvin, or Cedeno. If the Cubs don't get Roberts, you might see them make a play for Orlando Hudson. He is just as good as Roberts and plays better defense than him. Tho Roberts has better wheels tho. If none of that works look for them to trade for a utility guy that is switch hitter. The guys that come to mind are Felipe Lopez and Cristian Guzman. Both could be valuable guys off the bench and are available via trad. Plus there a better fit than Cedeno and Font.

So the Cubs basically need a starting pitcher, a outfielder that can play all three positions and has speed, and either a utility infielder or a switch hitting 2nd baseman with speed. If the Cubs can get all that done before opening day, Jim deserves a medal!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Could the Cubs sign Santana??

Now this is pure speculation on my part. With the rumors and talks between clubs being shut down until the new year I decided to look at the best pitcher available and see if the Cubs could land him.

Let me first say there is about a 1% chance the Cubs trade for him. He would cost a lot of good prospects and the Cubs probably don't have enough to get him. But here is what I came up with.

The Yankees and Red Sox have made strong offers to the Twins but they are wanting a lot more than they can offer. The Yankees are getting frustrated and have dropped out of the running at least twice. They don't see a deal taking shape at all and refuse to give up Ian Kennedy in a deal that would likely include Hughes, Cabrera, and many more good prospects. The Red Sox have offered up the best deal for Santana but the Twins still don't seem interested. I personally thing the Sox are just trying to block the deal from the Yankees and there doing a great job.

Its safe to say the the Twins really don't mind going into next season with Santana and maybe dealing him at the deadline. The problem with that is if they don't make a deal or Santana decides to not waive him no trade clause then they will likely lose him next year and only get draft picks for him. That's a risk I don't think the Twins want to take.

What if the Cubs jump in the mix??? It would be great if they could pull a deal like what the Tigers did with Florida. The Tigers were not even on the radar when the Miguel Cabrera talks were going on. They swept in a left the Angels, Dodgers, and many other teams in the dust. I think the Cubs have a small chance of doing that. While the Yankees and Sox fight over who is gonna give up the most without hurting the club the most, the Cubs come in and strike a deal with the Twins leaving the Yankees and Red Sox stunned. That would be a great off-season move by Hendry although not likely. Another thing besides maybe not having the prospects to make a deal is the 36 hour time window that is rumored that the team has to negotiate and long term deal with Santana. So even if you agree on the players the deal can be squashed by not signing him to a long tern deal. Not to mention he is looking at 7 years 140 million which means he would likely get 6 years 110-120 million. That is more than we signed Zambrano to and might disrupt the club a bit. Even though by signing him for 6 years would almost insure the Cubs making the playoffs every year for at least the next 4 years. Everyone knows the Cubs Organization biggest concern is to win a World Series so I don't see money or players stopping them from getting Santana.

So after all this speculation and ideas on how the Cubs could get Santana, do I think it will happen?? Very Unlikely! But do I think this sounds like something Jim would try to pull off?? Absolutely!

For those interested on what I would offer the Twins for Santana, here you go!

Twins get

Hill- A young lefty that would immediately be in the starting rotation next year as a potential #2 or #3 starter. In a couple of years he will be a legitimate #1.

Pie- The Twins need more young outfielders and a replacement in for Hunter in CF. Pie could fill that void nicely. He has dominated in AAA and has struggled batting in the Major Leagues. One thing is the Cubs have no complaints on this D, he would develop well with the Twins.

Gallagher- A young righty with good stuff! He could be easily slotted in the #5 spot in a rebuilding team. He is young and has tremendous upside. A guy that the Twins would fall in love with.

Sean Marshall- He proves he belongs in ML. He is a steady lefty who has good stuff but can be inconsistent at times. He is a good number 4 or 5 pitcher right now. With some experience under his belt he could be a good number 3. He would round out the Twins rotation well!

Epatt- Could be inserted as a 2b or OF. Hit well in AAA has some discipline problems and would need to develop more in AAA.

Veal- The Cubs best lefty prospect. Has stuff comparable to Willis yet he needs more time to develop in AAA.

Vitters- Vitters was the Cubs top pick in the the draft this year. He is slotted as a 3rd baseman but he can play other positions. The Twins have a constant whole a 3rd base and sign cheap mediocre players to fill the void until someone proves they can fill it. It think Vitters could be the Twins everyday 3rd baseman in the next 2 years and do the job nicely!

The only player I would not give up( besides our blue chippers like Z, Lee, Sori, Aram etc) would be Marmol! I think he is the next great closer!

Do you have a deal that you think would get Santana??

Drop me a comment!