Friday, October 31, 2008

Some Cubs Transactions and Rumors.

- The Cubs declined Henry Blanco's option of $3MM. But the Cubs are expected to re-sign Hank White to a extension at a lower salary.

- 4 Cubs have declared free agency including Ryan Dempster. Even though both Demp and Hendry are expected to meet soon and discuss a new deal. Both sides expect to him to stay in Chicago.

- Finally, the main stream sports media is talking about the Cubs possibly acquiring Peavy! According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports the Padres plan on discussing trade possibilities with the Dodgers and Cubs. According to Rosenthal, the Cubs do not have the "young pitching" the Padres crave( so I guess guys like Rich Hill, Sean Marshall, Kevin Hart, Angel Guzman, Jose Ceda, etc do not count for young pitching?!?! I guess you have to be on the "west coast" or "east coast" to have good young prospects. Never mind that 4 of the 5 guys I mentioned have ML experience with success! GEZZZZ!). With the Padres wanting guys like Kershaw and McDonald( which the Dodgers will not give up) I am wondering if maybe the Cubs are the only match for the Padres?

- It seems the Cubs are really interested in both Brian Giles and Jeremy Hermida to play RF for them next season. The Padres still have to make a decision on whether to exercise Giles 9 million dollar option or buy him out for 3 million. They are expected to exercise his option and use him as trade bait to land some more young talent. I would love to get both Giles and Peavy in the same trade!!! The Cubs also love Hermida and his huge left handed bat. It is rumored that Hermida would just cost a couple of mid level prospects, which would be a steal! Hendry has worked well with both Flordia and San Diego, so the chances of the Cubs landing one of these guys is pretty good!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baseball Offseason has begun, the Cubs hot stove is hot!

- Lou expects the Cubs to acquire a left handed RF via trade rather than signing one. I am still in favor of signing Abreu or Dunn. I think the Cubs could draw in Dunn with a 2-3 year deal worth about 30-40 million. That way they do not commit so many years on a power hitter and gives Dunn another chance on a big payday, with him dreaming of hitting 60+ homeruns as a Cub and getting paid 15+ million a year is very appealing I think. Some other guys that are more likely are Jeremy Hermida( Not Bad), Randy Winn(BOOOO!), and Brian Giles( Yes) according to MLBTR.

- Bruce Miles reminds us Aram and Lee do have no trade clauses and does not expect them to be traded.

- Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs will re-sign Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood. He also thinks that a 3 year deal from another team could take Wood away from the Cubs. The Mets could be interested but his health history could scare them.

- The Padres want 5 players for former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy. I find it really odd that guys like Rosenthal and Onley continue to talk about the Dodgers( even though according to sources they are all but out of it considering their in the same division) and Braves ( considering they do not want to give up any of their young guns, even labeling them "untouchable") and yet the Cubs do not even come out of their lips. Damn East and West Coast bias. By the way, here is my 5 players for Peavy- Marshall, Cedeno, Pie, Hart, and Ceda.

- Junichi Tazawa, 22, was not selected by a team in Japan which means he is eligible to become a free agent. He will have no problem getting a multi year deal worth millions in the US. The Cubs are among the teams that have scouted him and are very interested. Other teams involved are Red Sox, Mets, Braves, Dodgers, Tigers, Pirates, and M's. Here is some video of him- Good stuff- Great Fastball!

-Casey McGehee was claimed off of waivers by the Brewers. I am sad to see Casey go but maybe he will make the team in MIL.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fukudome to CF according to Lou. Opens up what they can do!

Thanks to the NY Daily News-

Piniella, 65, said he's watching this World Series, but his primary focus remains the Cubs, whom he has taken to the postseason in each of his first two seasons, only to get knocked out in the first round both times. While the Cubs had the National League's best record this season, their flaws - not enough lefthanded hitters, Alfonso Soriano's inconsistency out of the leadoff spot, shaky middle relief - all showed up in the playoffs. Piniella said the Cubs' main agenda these next few weeks will be to re-sign pending free agents Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and explore trade options for lefthanded hitting and bullpen help. He also said he plans to move Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs' $48 million Japanese import whose second-half slump exasperated the manager, to center field as part of a platoon with Reed Johnson.

Perfect move by Lou! This definitely opens up RF for a power left handed bat through a trade for FA or the Cubs could put Derosa in RF and go get a speedy leadoff guy like Brian Roberts or Chone Figgins and either Figgins or Roberts place 2nd base. Another option is moving Theriot to 2b in a platoon with Fontenot, Derosa in RF, and signing Furcal to play SS. Just moving Fukudome to CF creates so much more possibilities for the Cubs. Here is a short list of guys that the Cubs should target in my opinion. I broke them down to 3 different list-

LIST #1- Middle of the order Power Bats-

LIST #2- 20 homerun guys, some good OBP, older guys-
B. Giles

List #3- the speedsters, leadoff guys-

Honestly while I agree that we do need a legitimate leadoff guy, I also think we need a power bat in the lineup. List #1 would be ideal but List #2 is more likely and list #3 might be a little more difficult to get with Furcal wanting to stay in LA and with Roberts and Figgins trade value so high.

Here is another trade/signing senerio-

Angels get Lee
Cubs get Figgins and Prospect and the Angels get Lee.

Cubs then sign Abreu or Dunn.

Move Derosa to 1st, platoon him with Hoffpauier.

Figgins would start at SS, forcing a Theriot/Font platoon.

Line up-

Figgins SS
Theriot/Font 2b

Abreu or Dunn RF
Aram 3b
Soriano LF
Hoffpauier/Derosa 1st
Soto C
Fukudome/Johnson CF

It is just another thought!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cubs best spot for Peavy and other HOT RUMORS.

Some great rumors today-

- According to Barry Rozner, the Cubs are the preferred spot for Jake Peavy. The Padres called the Cubs about Jake and the Cubs said they're very interested. According to a West Coast source the Cubs are the Pads best option for a trade partner considering they are not the Dodgers and the Braves do not want to give up prospects for him.

Also according to Barry, Peavy has the Cubs high on his list of teams he prefers to go to. They would be first if Jake did not just build a home in SoCal. He mention that the Cubs should trade for Peavy before they try to extend Dempster just in case Demp is temped to test the free agent waters. He also suggested the Cubs getting a third team involved would make the trade easier but that always is tough to do. You can read the rest of the article at-

- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune suggests some names the Cubs may target this offseason. They are Adam Dunn, Brian Roberts, Jeremy Hermida, Mike Jacobs, Rafael Furcal, Jake Peavy, and Brian Fuentes. I wish we could just unload Soriano on someone and pick up Dunn and Furcal and trade for Hermida and Peavy but is not a perfect world, although I wish it was! Sullivan said the Cubs would have to decide on whether to resign Dempster and Wood because if they sign both it will eat up too much money to sign a big name free agent like Dunn or Furcal. But on the other hand you can sign both and trade Lee, Marquis, and/or Soriano to get salary relief. Either way the Cubs have some big decisions coming up. I think signing Dempster would be a priority rather that Wood because Marmol is waiting to take over that role and Wood may be too expensive and too big of a risk injury wise.

- If Bob Brenly is the new manager of the Brewers, look for Mark Grace or Rick Sutcliffe to be the next color man for the Chicago Cubs. Either one would be ideal but my bet would be on Sut!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Soriano, Hermida, Ibanez, and Figgins....

Here is some more info from Gordon Wittenmyer and David Kaplan-

- David Kaplan has said the Cubs have actually called teams around the league to see if they are interested in Alfonso Soriano. Kap thinks that it would be near impossiable to move Sori because of his contract. Though he did mention it would be possible to swap him for another bad contract like Jones, Pierre, or Schmidt. I might consider Jones or Schmidt because Jones is in the last year of his contract along with Schmidt. But neither one is as valuable as Soriano is to this team.

- Four teams have inquired about Jermey Hermida and according to Kaplan the Cubs are one of the four. Hermida could be used full time in the outfield or as a platoon player( with maybe Derosa). Hermida home and away splits are crazy-

Away- .288/.364/.487/.851 with 13 home runs and 13 doubles
Home- .203/.273/.312/.584 with 4 home runs and 9 doubles
At Wrigley- 9-for-27 with 2 doubles and 4 home runs (.333/.357/.852/1.209)

Another good thing about Hermida is he is under team control for a while and very cheap. Not to mention according to Kaplan he would only cost 1 or 2 minor leaguers.

-Wittenmyer says that Sweet Lou really likes Chone Figgins and Ibanez. I think the Cubs should call the Angels if they lose out on the Texiera race and offer Lee for Figgins and a young starting pitcher and see how that goes. He could then sign Ibanez to play RF or 1st base or let Hoffpauier play first and get a different outfielder. Either way the Cubs should push hard for Figgins!

Sunday Rumors

Here is the latest from the Hot Stove today-

- Jake Peavy would waive his no trade clause to become a Chicago Cub according to Phil Rogers. He does not see us meeting up well in a trade but I disagree and feel we have the MI depth, prospect CF, and young surplus of pitching to land Peavy. Rogers also says he would not be surprised if Hendry tries to put a package to get Adrian Gonzalez. This would include Derrek Lee but to me it would have to include another team with the Padres trying to cut payroll. To get Adrian Gonzalez would be ideal but unlikely. He is only 26 years old, he hit .279 with 36 homers and 119 RBI last season. He also posted a .361 OBP and .510 slugging. That is great for a guy that plays half his games at Petco. Not to mention he is under team control for a while. Ideal but unlikely.

- Rogers also says the only way Manny becomes a Cub is if Soriano is traded. That is logical.

- The Cubs may be interested in Mark Mulder as a "project pitcher" for them next season. Hendry likes low risk high reward guys. Reed Johnson, Ryan Dempster, and Jim Edmonds have been good contributors to this team and were considered those guys. Players that have not been so lucky are Scott Williamson and Chad Fox to name a few. I am all for signing Mulder to a one year 1 million dollar deal with IP, ERA, and start incentives. Mulder's last productive season was in 2005 when he went 16-8 with a 3.64 ERA. If the Rothchild can get him back to that guy it would be something!