Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lahey claimed by Phillies. Deal for Murton done by Sunday??

The Phils have claimed Tim Lahey off of waivers. It is really to bad the Cubs could not have kept him but we just did not have room on the 25 man roster. Just ask Matt Murton.

Speaking of Murton, it seems the Cubs will deal the young outfielder before Opening Day. According to League Officials the Cubs have "many teams" that want Murton. I can see teams like the Cards, Rays, Rangers, Padres, Royals, Mets, Phillys, and White Sox all having interest in the redhead. Matt Murton does not belong in AAA, he belongs on a big league roster!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Did Someone Say Trades??

Here is another edition of "Did Someone Say Trades." This week we will look at Jason Marquis. Jason Marquis has won the 5th spot in the rotation but how long that last only time will tell. Jason has a tendency to talk a lot, which gets him in trouble and should have landed him in the pen rather than Lieber. Everyone knows Marquis starts off strong so he would get traded sooner than later in my opinion.

Lou has a short fuse for pitchers and I think would have no problem switching out Marquis for Lieber, considering Marquis remarks earlier this Spring and how well Lieber has done. But Lou will give him a shot, maybe more or less to raise his trade value.

Now who could he help???

The Angels- The Angels have lost Lackey for until May and lost Escobar for the season. They currently have pitchers that can fill in but they may want some veteran presence in the rotation. I think the Cubs could get a good prospect or two for Marquis.

The Cardinals- The Cards need pitching badly but a deal within the Central is unlikely.

The Rangers- They could be looking for a guy to strengthen there rotation. If Marquis went there he would be a solid #4 starter. The Rangers could offer up some young pitching in return. I would also take Micheal Young! LOL

The Blue Jays- Considering there rotation can't stay healthy, they may want a guy who can pitch 200 innings and win double digit games for them. Marquis could do that. Not sure what the Jays would give up. I would like Davis Romero, a young lefty reliever.

The Royals- A place where pressure will not be an issue. He would be a nice 3 or 4 starter and the Cubs could take some of that young talent off there hands. How bout Murton and Marquis for Grienke??

The Nationals- There rotation is in terrible shape. They are trying the young talented route but they can always use veterans in the rotation. The Cubs would of course have to pay a portion of his contract to get a deal done but I think the Nats would do it. Marquis would be a number 1 or 2 in this rotation. I would trade Marquis for Lopez straight up!

The Marlins- Another team that does not have a 5th starter named yet. Marquis would fit in there but again the Cubs would have to pay about half his contract. I would ask the Marlins for Taylor Tankersley but they probably would decline.

Almost every team need pitching but the teams above I think either match up with the Cubs the best or need pitching in the worst way. Either way I would like to see the Cubs deal Marquis so Lieber can go to the rotation. I still think Lieber could pull out double digit wins with an ERA of 3.50 with half a year in the pen and in the rotation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cubs Notes and Rumors

Lots of Cubs rumors and notes-

- The deal for Roberts is off the table according to Hendry and Andy. No Roberts for now.

- Lou said he is considering having Fukudome lead off against left-handed pitching and batting 5th against right-handed pitching.

- The Cubs have released Alex Cintron. Cintron has battled some injury woes but had a good Spring batting .325 with a .333 OBP and was really clutch. This means either a deal is close with Felipe Lopez or they are content with Mike Fontenot(batted .283 and OBP of .356) and Ronny Cedeno(.311 avg. and .353 OBP). To keep in mind Cedeno is out of minor league options and has to clear waivers to be sent the minors. There is no way he clears, he would get claimed by someone.

- Sean Marshall and Carmen Pignatiello will battle for the lefty spot in the bullpen with Eyre starting the season on the DL.

- Matt Murton seems to be the odd man out in the outfield. The Cubs have Reed Johnson to fill in all 3 spots and Murton does not add much value to the big league club. Murton is expected to start the season in Iowa unless traded. Hendry is currently taking offers for the red head.

- Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa was scratched Wednesday because of sinusitis. Poor guy, it has been a rough Spring for Mark.

- Pie hit 2nd today and looked good doing it. He went 3 for 5 with 2 runs, a RBI, and 2 stolen bases. If Pie hits 2nd I would like to see this-

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

Pie would see a lot of fastballs with hitting in front of Lee and behind Theriot( assuming he gets on base). Soriano, also a good fastball hitter, would be in an ideal situation batting behind Aram and in front of Fukudome. He would see a lot of fastballs and have a lot of RBI situations. I really like this lineup!

- The Angels are interested in acquiring a veteran pitcher to help there rotation considering Escobar is out for the year. According to League Officials the Angels have inquired about Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis. The Angels, who have outfield depth, could be offering Reggie Willits or Juan Rivera. The Cubs have asked for young pitching in return, something the Angels have a lot of!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reed Johnson the newest Cub!

This was a no brainer for Jim Hendry. The Cubs signed Reed Johnson to a one year 1.3 million dollar deal. He will fill in center against leftys and spot start in the outfield when Fukudome and Soriano need days off. Reed is the perfect 4th outfielder for the Cubs. He plays really good defense at all spots, has pop in his bat, great arm, and just enough speed to steal about 10-15 bases. He was injured most of last year but has proven he is healthy. He is lifetime .281 hitter with a .342 OBP. I really like the move!

It also looks like Murton's days in Chicago are number. Look for the Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Rangers, and maybe Giants to ask about him in the coming days.

In other roster moves, the club optioned outfielders Sam Fuld and Eric Patterson to Triple-A Iowa, and assigned pitcher Les Walrond and infielders Micah Hoffpauir and Casey McGehee to minor league camp. They also put Angel Guzman on the 60 DL and expect to put Scott Eyre on the 15 day DL to start the season.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wood named Closer and Lieber left out of rotation. Reed Johnson could be Cubs soon. Robert talks off!

Lou Piniella named Kerry Wood the closer on Monday, over Bob Howry and Carlos Marmol. Piniella also announced that Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis will fill the two open spots in the rotation, while Jon Lieber has been designated as the long man in the bullpen.

Everyone knew that Wood would be named closer because of how valuable Marmol is in the setup and how Howry struggled this Spring. The thing that surprises me is Lieber left out of the rotation. I think the move is absurd! Everyone had Lieber as a lock and Dempster and Marquis fighting over the other spot. Lieber went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 4 games pitching 15 innings. He also struck out 12. Now Marquis went 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 5 games, pitching 18 innings which is not to bad. Dempster went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 5 games, pitching 16 innings. If you are only looking at stats you would send Dempster to the pen. If you look at attitude and good clubhouse guys, you send Marquis to the pen. The only way you send Lieber to the pen is if he wants to go there.

Lieber did make it easy to send him to the pen by telling Lou he would pitch wherever he needed him. Now that is a guy I want starting and on my team! Instead, Marquis, a guy that said he would NOT go to the pen and would want to be traded if he did not make the rotation gets the spot. It just does not make sense to me unless Lou is thinking by putting Jason in the pen would cause a big up roar and they may be forced to trade him. Which would lower his trade value. Either that or Lou maybe wanting to get Marquis traditional first good half of the season, trade him, and insert Lieber in his spot the 2nd half of the season. That makes some sense, even though I still think Lieber should be our #3!

-The Cubs also announced that Felix Pie will be the Opening Day starter in CF.


The Cubs have contacted Reed Johnson according to League Officials Monday. The Cubs need a versatile right handed bat to fill in the outfield, especially center. Reed Johnson fills that spot. Officials say no deal is eminent but a signing could happen quickly considering Opening Day is 7 days away.

Ken Rosenthal confirms this-

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are unlikely to acquire second baseman Brian Roberts prior to the start of the season. Jim Hendry and Andy MacPhail apparently could not find a match for the players involved. The Cubs have also been scouting the Nationals; Felipe Lopez may be Plan B. Shortstop is the main position where the Cubs are questionable.
It sounds like Hendry's priority
may now be finding outfield help, with Reed Johnson atop his list. The Cubs don't want to enter the season without a backup plan for Felix Pie.

I think getting Reed would be a great fit for the Cubs. Felipe Lopez would be a good fit only if they feel that Cintron, Font, or Cedeno cannot handle the back up middle infield job.



According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs and O's have tabled talks until the time being. Thank God!! I am so sick of Roberts to Cubs talks. But I bet we will hear it heat up again in June!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eyre out with elbow tightness.

Thanks to

Reliever Scott Eyre was sidelined Sunday with tightness in his left elbow, which could create an opening in the Cubs' bullpen for one of the other left-handers in camp.

Sean Marshall was scheduled to start Thursday against the Brewers, but he has been scratched from that game so he can work out of the 'pen this week. Other candidates include Carmen Pignatiello, who has given up two hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings, and Les Walrond, who has pitched six innings in relief.

I think Pignatiello should get the spot since he has not surrendered a run in 6 1/3 innings. I also am not opposed to Marshall but I think he should be in AAA starting.

Lots of Cubs Updates.

- Andy MacPhail, Brian Roberts, and his agent met yesterday after the all star 2nd baseman voiced his displeasure with trade rumors and inactivity. The meeting lasted 20 mins and it is said that "nothing has changed" according to his agent. I still think the deal will get done this week!( of course we have heard that for 3 months now)

- According to Buster Onley, if the Cubs acquire Brian Roberts, Derosa would want to compete for the starting SS job. I suggested this a while back and think Dero would be great at SS and he has a better bat than Theriot. It would also let Theriot assume the super utility role and do not forget he played some center last year. Makes sense to me!

- The Cubs are still keeping an eye on Crisp and may try to send Marquis there sometime this week for CoCo.

- According to ML sources, Marquis the the odd man out in the rotation and should be traded sometime this week. Marquis will be put in the pen but will likely demand a trade once offered the long relief role. Leaving the Cubs no choice but to trade the righty.

- Lou wants a back up centerfielder bad. He does not want to go into the season with Fukudome as his backup centerfielder so look for a deal to get done soon. He also says that the guy has to be either a switch-hitter, right-handed, or at least hit leftys well. As well as play the corner positions in the outfield. I like the idea of Willits, Crisp(only if he comes off the bench), Raburn, and Lofton for that job!

- The Cubs have not had talks about Weurtz being traded. Although the Phils have interest in the young righty but don't have too much to offer that would interest the Cubbies.

- The Jays have just released Reed Johnson and the Cubs have some interest. He is a good defensive outfielder that is right handed and can handle the bat well. Could be the 4th outfielder we are looking for here is his stats-