Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cubs still talking to Rangers??

According to sources the Cubs and Rangers are still discussing a possible trade for Byrd. The Cubs still are shopping them Murton but the Rangers want young pitching like Gallagher, Marshall, or Veal along with Murton. The Rangers are dreaming if they think this deal will go down. The only way the Cubs trade one of those pitchers is if the Cubs get a quality player like Roberts and Byrd does not fit the bill. I honestly do not think the deal will happen because the Cubs are going to get Payton in the Roberts deal. They would have no use for Byrd then unless they flip Payton to the Rangers for Byrd which will not happen.

The Cubs just need to get this deal done with Baltamore. The Cubs need a leadoff hitter that will steal 50 bases, bat .280+, and get on base more than they need an fourth outfielder. They do not need a CF'er they already have one in Pie. Come on Jim and Andy, play nice and get the deal done now!!

In other notes-

- Alex Cintron got hit in the cheek by a foul ball off Derosa's bat while Alex was in the on deck circle. He walked off the field under his own power and was taken to the hospital for Xrays. His status is day to day. I hope he recovers quickly, he has shown he belongs on this team as a super sub. He has batted .306 with .313 OBP and 9 RBI in 36 ABs, not to mention he has been clutch!

- Pie will be in the lineup Tuesday. He is still having soreness from his surgery and the Cubs do not want to take any chances on him coming back too soon. Pie is still the favorite to win the job in center. Pie is batting .321 with a .406 OBP and 2 homers. While Fuld is batting .192.

- The Cubs big hitters are struggling a bit but I am not to worried. There has been a lot of lineup changes, different players hitting in front and behind you, etc... You just can't look into Spring to much as a fan unless a guy really struggles or really does good, even then it is just Spring.

- The Cubs have two weeks to determine the two spots in the rotation and the long man in the pen. Dempster, Marquis, Marshall, and Lieber are fighting for two spots in the rotation, while one of the three will get the long man in the pen and the other being sent to AAA or traded. My favorites are still Lieber and Dempster( even though Demp had an awful outing yesterday). Leaving Marshall to be my long man and Marquis traded.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cubs offer 4 players in Roberts deal. UPDATE!

Update 3-15-08, 1:20 pm- According to MLBTR, the Cubs did not offer Ceda and a deal is not close. Although I have been hearing the deal will get done by next weekend and still believe Roberts will be a Cub before Opening Day.,CST-SPT-brian14.article

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times the Cubs have offered a 4 player package for Brian Roberts that includes Jose Ceda, Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Donnie Veal. He expressed that the Cubs and Baltimore have talked during the last few weeks and both camps think a deal will get done before opening day if not sooner. He also stats that Marquis and Payton could be in the deal, which would give the O's a nice veteran presence along with the "Human Rain Delay" and Payton would give the Cubs that 4th outfielder who can play all three spots.

As far as the package for Roberts, I do think it is a little much for the all star 2nd baseman. It is always hard giving up young talent but the Cubs need a legitimate base stealer at the top of the lineup with Soriano's legs not being 100% and Theriot tendency to go through slumps during the season. Plain and simple they need Roberts more than the O's need to trade him and I think that is why the Cubs proposed this package to the Birds.

I do not agree with Gordon on saying that the deal could go down to the day before opening day. The sooner it gets done the better, Theriot and Roberts would have to get use to each other, turning double plays, taking the bag, etc. I feel this will get done within the week( which we have already been hearing). I do agree that this recent lineup change feels like it is preparing for Roberts. Here is what it would look like-

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

That lineup is tough! Double leadoff man, speed at the top, 2 through 6 can hit 20+ homers, 80+RBI, and avg .300. Not a lot of teams in baseball can say that.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cubs notes.

Lets take a look at some Cubs notes.

- Kevin Hart has separated himself from the rest of the young relievers. He is the favorite to land the long relief/late inning job for the Cubs pen. I like this guy a lot, he has good stuff and has a nice presence on the mound.

- Former Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe has colon cancer and will undergo chemotherapy and surgery. Our prayers are with you Sut!

- Cubs beat the Pads in dramatic fashion today. A bases loaded RBI single by Cintron in the bottom of the 9th gave the Cubs the victory!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lou looking at lineup changes and O's and Cubs have agreed on 2 players.

-Lou looks like he will shake up the lineup a bit. He want to move Soriano down to the #2 spot because his legs are still not 100%. Theriot will leadoff, Lee will bat 3rd, Aram 4th and Fukudome in the 5th spot. I like this idea, it won't put stress on Soriano to steal bases and use his legs as much but yet he still near the top incase he wants to do so. Fukudome in the 2 or 5th spot works for me. In the fifth Lou thinks he will be a good RBI guy with good plate discipline and good protection for Aram. I think if the Cubs acquired Roberts this is a very similar lineup in what you would see except Theriot would be in the 7th or 8th spot and Roberts would lead off.

-According to league official the Cubs have agreed to send the O's Gallagher and Cedeno as a part of the Roberts deal. The hang up is on the other 2 or 3 players the Cubs would send along with Ronny and Sean. The Cubs also may want Payton in the deal and that would likely cost them disgruntled pitcher Jason Marquis. This deal is not done yet but officials say the deal will be done within the week.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How many next weeks are there???- Roberts trade done next week?? And Other Rumors.

Jason Stark had something interesting to say last night. Stark talked to a club official who's in touch with the Cubs and O's. The official expects a deal to be done next week. Lets hope this finally gets done. I am for the idea of Roberts coming to the Cubs since Soriano has yet to show off his legs and we are 3 weeks away from Opening Day. Roberts would be the leadoff hitter and Soriano would be moved to the 5 hole where he will not use his legs as much. Although the Cubs should NOT give up Pie in the deal. On a side note, why not have Derosa split time at SS with Theriot or even move Roberts to short?? Just thinking aloud.

In other rumors the Red Sox are not interested in Fuld or Marquis but do like Donaldson and either Howry or Carmen Pignatiello. I would trade them Carmen and Donaldson for Crisp but to me Crisp would just be the 4th outfielder not a starter like he wants to be. Pie has shown why he should be the starter this Spring so he deserves the job.

Nick I, a devoted reader of mine, brought up Ryan Raburn as a potential trade candidate. First off I want to thank Nick for bring this to my attention. Ryan Raburn would be an ideal 4th outfielder on the Cubs. He hit well in the minors hitting .292 with 17 homers, 64 RBI, and 12 SB. He also posted a robust OBP of .394. In 138 AB in the majors he did extremely well hitting .304 with 4 homers, 27 RBi, and 3 SB. He had a nice OBP of .340. The question is would they be willing to trade him?? I would say they would listen because he is currently blocked by Granderson, Ordonez, Jones, Thames, and Inge. He is likely to start in AAA and it does not look like there in a hurry to get rid of the young righty but it's at least worth a call. Here is a list of relievers I would trade for him- Mateo, Pignatiello, Hart, Lahey, Ascanio, Petrick, or Marquis.

In other moves

- The Cubs have optioned Juan Mateo and Jake Fox to AAA Iowa and Jeff Samardzija to AA Tenn. They also released Mr. Zero, Shingo Takatsu.

Other notes-

- The Cubs regulars will get more AB.

- No lineup is set yet and Lou will insert Fukudome in the 5 spot sometime. I like him in the #2 spot in the lineup a lot!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cubs Notes and Rumors.

- Derosa made his first start since his heart procedure. He went 0 for 3.

- Pie will have surgery to correct testicular torsion and will be sidelined three to five days.

- The rumor that the Cubs offered Fuld and Marquis for Crisp is just that and it seems the Sox are willing to give Colon a chance over trading for Marquis.

- Brian Roberts rumors have died down again but there were O's scouts watching Gallagher yesterday since he is considered to be the main piece in the potential trade. Peter Gammons had something good to say tho-

The Cubs will eventually get Brian Roberts. Andy MacPhail has to decide whom he wants. But the Cubs are convinced it will happen.

- The Cubs are looking to get a switch hitting or right handed bat for the outfield. A guy that can play all outfield positions. The Cubs currently do not have one on there roster. They have inquired on Byrd( asking price too high), Crisp( asking price to high, wants to start somewhere), Payton( could be apart of deal for Roberts), Willits( currently not available), Spilborghs( currently not available), and Ryan Freel( who the Reds will trade but unlikely within the division).