Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good Rumors from Levine and Other Media Outlets.

Some good chatter from Levine-

- Levine said Kerry Wood could land on the Cards. UGHHHH!

- Carmen DeFalco mentioned how good a fit Abreu would be in RF at Wrigley but wonders if he will command too much. He made 16 million last season.

- Bruce named a new possibility for RF next season. He said Mark Teahen is a name that keeps coming up for the Cubs. He is a very versatile player that can play 1st, 3b, and all three outfield spots. He has decent power and is an above average fielder. The Cubs think his best years are yet to come and I tend to agree with that.

- Bruce Levine said Henry Blanco will not be back next season for the Cubs. This contradicts comments made from Geo. It is really too bad, although I expect Koyie Hill to be Hank's replacement.

- Bruce said Peavy and/or Dempster is plan A, Johnson is plan B, and Ben Sheets is plan C. Sheet is looking for a 3 year deal that could be up to 10-13 million a year while Johnson is looking for a one year deal worth about 6 million. I say get Peavy/Dempster/Sheets and Johnson and you have a good rotation.

- The Cubs have a 4 year deal worth 52 million on the table for Ryan Dempster but Dempster's agent is looking for a 5 year deal which the Cubs will not give him. Levine also said that the Cubs deal would "not be there much longer than another week."

- Levine indicated that CC Sabathia told a current member of the Cubs that he wants to either play for the Cubs or a West Coast team. The Cubs do not have room in their budget to sign Sabathia. Too bad!

Cubs like Johnson??? More on Peavy, Hendry, and RF.

-Paul Sullivan says the Randy Johnson's agent said the Cubs would be on the "short list" of teams he would consider. Randy's agent said hit client "would seem to be a perfect fit" for the Cubs. I tend to agree with that. He is still a dominate pitcher when he is on his game. Has a hard nosed attitude (some would say he is a prick) and is familiar with Sweet Lou. He would add another lefty to the rotation and has been good in the NL. He has posted a sub 4.00 ERA the past two seasons. Sullivan also said that he spoke to a Cub sources that said they would be interested in Johnson if they can't add Peavy and keep Dempster.

- The Braves have moved on from Jake Peavy. This is good news for the Cubs because they still have interest in the Cy Young Award winner. Chicago remains Peavy's preferred destination but the Padres would like to explore other teams like the Angels and Yankees( which Peavy would likely reject a trade to). In the end i think he ends up a Cub with a package that includes Vitters, Castillo, Marshall, and others heading to San Diego.

- The Tribune says the chances of Dempster re-signing are getting smaller by the day with the chances of a trade for Jake Peavy increasing. If the Cubs do not sign Dempster the money they save from letting him walk could be used to sign someone like Abreu or Ibanez. Makes sense but I rather have Dunn or Abreu. Not a big Raul fan,

- Jim said on ESPN 1000 that he would like to "get the pitching lined up before the Winter Meetings" I like the sound of that.

I HAVE A BABY BOY!!!!!!!!!

Sorry about the lack of rumors the past 2 days but I have a good excuse. My wife and I had our first child today at 11:20 am!!!! I am on top of the world! He is a bouncing baby boy named Mitchell Jon, he weighed 8lbs, 6.6 oz and is 20 inches long. I am the happiest and most luckiest guy in the world and I would like to thank my family and friends for all the support and things they have done for my wife, baby, and me. Thank YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cubs Trade For Gregg, Hermida looking doubtful, and Peavy chatter.

-The Cubs traded Jose Ceda today for Kevin Gregg. This was a suprise move up until about a hour ago when GM Jim Hendry says the Cubs will part ways with Kerry Wood. The Cubs just could not give Wood the BIG deal he was looking for. The good news is the Cubs save 6MM dollars with having Gregg instead of Wood. It is expected that Marmol will take over the closer role and Gregg along with Samardzija will take the 7th and 8th. Greg will probably make 4 million next season with his arbitration raise with Wood wanting a guaranteed 3-4 year deal worth 8-10 million a year. It really is a no brainer here. By the way do not expect Gregg, Marmol, or Jeff S. to be flipped over to the Padres for Peavy, will not happen.

- With the trade for Gregg today it seems a Hermida trade looks doubtful. It is not to say that the Cubs and Marlins would not pull another trade but it is unlikely because they would have included Hermida in a deal with Gregg and the Cubs would have sent more players to the Marlins. The Marlins have already said they would have to be "wowed" for a trade for Jeremy Hermida.

- Here we go with the Peavy Rumors!!!!

*****First we heard last night that Peavy was going to be asked to waive his no trade clause today to go to Atlanta for a package of players headed by Escobar.

***** We have also heard that Jake Peavy actually prefers to go to Chicago but labels Atlanta as one of his destinations he would consider waiving his no trade clause to go.

*****Tom Krasovic says there it is "no clear signs of a deal" and that Barry Axelrod and Kevin Towers have different goals.

*****Ken Rosenthal has a source that says the Miller report last night is "totally inaccurate."

***** Yahoo's Tim Brown reports some movement but nothing is close. He also says the rumored deal the Cubs had for Peavy is much better than reported.

***** Scott Miller tried to support his story by saying that all the denials are a matter of semantics and that the Padres are "expected to" approach Peavy soon. He also stated that a deal was not done.

***** Here is a quote from Kevin Towers today- "Nothing is close. I wouldn't say we are even remotely close to pulling the trigger on anything with Jake."

***** Rosenthal also stats that talks between the Padres and Braves remain at an impasse, but the Braves would pursue Furcal next if they do acquire Peavy. Obviously to replace Escobar.

***** Remember the Braves have an unofficial deadline for midnight tonight to get a deal done or else they will go onto free agent matters. Should be interesting!

I am sure there will be more to come!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tweaks in Lineup?? Hawpe Perfect Fit??

- Good Ole Lou said today that he see tweaks in the lineup already for next season. He did sound like he would keep Soriano in the leadoff spot( makes no sense) but said the Cubs need a left handed hitter in the middle of the order to play RF. He still plans on platooning Reed Johnson and Fukudome in CF.

- As far as Peavy talks this is what he had to say-

"First of all, I think it's only talk," said Lou "I haven't talked to (GM) Jim Hendry too much about our situation. We had a nice conversation two weeks ago at the organizational meetings. There were no specifics. At the time we hadn't talked about Peavy. I've really learned about Peavy on ESPN. Obviously, a very good pitcher, a top of the rotation pitcher. As far as myself I haven't had substantiative talks with Jim about it."

Well I hope Jim Hendry gets Peavy but if he can't I say use that money to get a Bobby Abreu or Adam Dunn. As long as the Cubs get either Peavy or Dempster and land a guy like Abreu, Dunn, Hermida, or maybe Milton Bradley I would consider this a good offseason.

- Another rumor that is floating around is that the Cubs interest in trading for Brad Hawpe. He would actually be the ideal fit for RF at Wrigley. He is a power RF with a good glove and is signed very cheap through the next 3 years. He is owed 13 million over the next 2 season with a club option for 10 million in 2011. Hawpe is a good left handed hitter with a lifetime .282 hitter with a .375 OBP and has hit 22 or more homers the last three seasons. His home/away splits are equal so you don't really need to factor in that for a deal. But why would the Rockies trade him??? Here are a couple of reasons-

1. To dump salary. Most teams are doing this now and it seems with Holliday traded to the A's along with Street and Atkins on the market, they may put Hawpe on the block as well.

2. Sell high. Brad's trade stock probably won't get any higher than it is now. They would look to sell now rather than later when he gets more expensive and older. Plus Hawpe could give the Rockies some good pitching in return which they need. Guys like Guzman, Wells, and Marshall could really interest them.

3. Hawpe is blocking less expensive prospects. There are several outfielders in the Rockies system waiting to get their shot. Joe Koshansky is a 1st baseman by trade but has moved to play some outfield positions in the minors, he has tons of power is currently blocked by Hawpe and Helton. Another name is Dexter Fowler, he is a switch hitter who hit .335 with 9 homers and 20 SB in Double A. Some other names are Ryan Spilborghs, Cory Sullivan, Seth Smith, Matt Miller, and Justin Nelson. That is a lot of names for just 3 spots in the outfield and 1 or 2 on the bench.

I think he is the ideal guy for RF for the Cubs and of course this only works if we do not pull off a trade for Peavy because the same chips maybe involved.

See if anything more comes of this!

Stay Tuned!!

Ken Takahashi and Ben Sheets on Cubs radar??

-Ken Takahashi filed for free agency and is hoping to land a nice contract in the U.S.. He has been scouted by several teams and Nikkan Sports reports that the Cubs, Padres, and Giants are interested. One Cubs scout says Takahashi could be used out of the bullpen and as an emergency starter. He could be a good fit for the Cubs who need another lefty in the pen and he could be pretty cheap considering he will be 40 years old in April. Just another name to keep an eye on. Here is some video of Ken pitching- - He is the guy in the red carp uniform. Pretty decent. Like him striking out Matsui!

- According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN suggested that the Rangers, Astros, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, Yankees, and O's are possible suitors for Ben Sheets. Casey Close says there is no structural damage to the elbow and expects it to fully heal before spring training. Sheets is expected to at least get a two year deal but most expect 3 year for Ben Sheets. I personally would not mind Ben Sheets but only if he comes at a decent price. He would be a nice addition to the rotation, especially if the Cubs cannot reel in Dempster or Peavy.

- Lou Piniella wins NL Manager of the Year with Joe Maddon winning the AL honers. Congrats Lou!

- And if you did not know Ryan Dempster placed 6th in the Cy Young voting. Not a bad year for the Cubbies! Just wish we went further in the playoffs.

Early Morning Rumors

Here are some early morning grumblings from the Hot Stove world-

- Gordon Wittenmyer said today that the 3 free agent the Cubs want to bring back( Dempster, Wood, and Blanco) looks like they are going to test the free agent waters before the sign with the Cubs. Gordon did say there is a good chance none of them come back. I personally expect Dempster and Blanco to be back and think Wood is either heading to Texas or the Mets for a 3 year deal with guaranteed money.

- Gordon also says that BOTH teams are going to try to get a third team involved so they do not have to give up so many top prospects for Peavy. He echos the idea that Josh Vitters could be the center piece of the package. I do not like the idea but Vitters is untested and Peavy is a Cy Young award winner. Hard to argue that.

- He also stats that the Peavy situation should be resolved before Dempster signs somewhere and he also feels that the Cubs can afford both Ryan and Jake.

- According to Bruce Miles on WGN radio, a package of Josh Vitters, Sean Marshall, and Wellington Castillo, and others could get the deal done. While Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno are not appealing to the Padres(first we heard of that).

- Miles also said the ball is in the Padres court and he feels the Cubs have a strong package of players to land Peavy. He also went on to say that if the Cubs traded Marquis which they would love to do then they could afford landing Peavy, signing Dempster, and getting a power left handed bat.

- I have seen no other evidence that the Desipio rumor is true so we will label this one a "Unfound Rumor."

More to come.......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rumor Starting Up Again.

*****Peavy Update-3:20-Desipio has said that they have a "source" that says Peavy is headed to Chicago for Pie, Marshall, and Theriot. I honestly do not believe this but I thought I would put it up here. I have not heard any rumors or read any that indicate that Peavy has been dealt to Atlanta or Chicago. I also question if this would honestly be enough to land Peavy. If maybe the Cubs added Guzman/Veal and Castillo it would be more believable. If Hendry did in fact pull of this trade it would be the biggest lopsided trade since the Aramis Ramirez trade. More to come on this.

*****Peavy Update-3:15- It is stated that Braves GM Frank Wren has put a Friday deadline of the Peavy trade to happen to the Braves. Free agency starts then and we recently heard the Braves were getting tired of waiting and will look to go the free agency route it a trade is not made by Friday.

*****Peavy Update-3:00- Dave O'Brien says the Braves are growing frustrated waiting on Kevin Towers, especially with the free agent market quickly approaching. This puts more stock into Ken Rosenthal's column today, rather than Buster Olney.

Rumors took a day off yesterday but are starting up once again today!

- Ken Rosenthal says that the Braves are frustrated with the progress on the Jake Peavy talks and will explore other options. The free agent market opens Friday so they will have plenty of other options. Also according to Ken, the Padres have went over proposals and sent them to the Cubs and Braves but both teams want to stick with their offers.

- In Ken's same column he says the Cubs have offered Ryan Dempster something around 4 year 41 million, similar to what Kyle Lohse got. Seems fair but I think the Cubs might have to increase it a bit to keep Dempster.

- Ken also believes that Jeremy Hermida along with Kevin Gregg are next on the trading block for the Marlins. The Marlins traded Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen recently and are looking to trade Hermida and Gregg before Friday when free agency starts according to one executive.

- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has a good thought on the effects of the Peavy race on Dempster and Wood. Paul sees Dempster not taking a discount if the Cubs get Peavy (he is due 15.75 million a year). But Jeff Blair says that he heard Ryan would give a discount to stay a part of the Cubs' great rotation. Sullivan says the Cubs offered 4 year 50 million and Ken Rosenthal said the Cubs offered 4 years 41 million. The Cubs had probably offered both since Dempster is likely to reject 4 year 41 million. Paul also says the Cubs would have to unload at least half of Jason Marquis contract to land Wood.( That would be a blessing)

- ESPN's Buster Olney says the Braves and Padres are making progress. This is contradicting Ken Rosenthal's report. Buster says the Braves would send Escobar, Gorkys Hernandez, and Charlie Morton or Jo-Jo Reyes. They are discussing the last player and the Padres like Jeff Locke. - By the way, I love how late ESPN is on everything. "Cubs jump into Peavy trade talks" come on! They have been in the talks for weeks now, get it together ESPN, there are teams in between the east and west coast you know!- The Cubs are still in the mix and Buster says a third team would be included to flip pitching to San Diego, since the Cubs "do not have the pitching"(BS). Another way is to offer Josh Vitters and others.

- Richard Justice says the Cubs and Cards will be talking to Andy Pettitte when he becomes a free agent. Even though his heart is with the Yankees. Good backup plan for Dempster or Peavy.

- Soto believes Henry Blanco will resign with the Cubs.

- Elis says that the Cubs will go after Hermida if they fail to get Ibanez or Dunn. He also says that one AL executive said that the Cubs will consider a run at Carl Pavano. He thinks his experience would give the Cubs more depth in their rotation and solid option in the pen. I am fine with adding Pavano but only for a cheap price, he is similar to the Mark Prior situation a while ago.

- The Padres are still holding out for Tommy Hanson and the Braves are still saying he is "untouchable." Which is good because it has been rumored that the Padres will not trade Peavy to the Braves without Tommy Hanson being in the deal.

That is it so far today, will be back later today as news develops!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Soto Named ROY!

Geovany Soto became the first rookie catcher to start for the National League in the All-Star game and became the first catcher to win the Rookie of the Year award and lead his team to the playoffs in the same season. The last to win the award for a catcher was the talented Mike Piazza, which was 15 years ago. Soto received 31 or 32 first place votes with Joey Votto receiving the other first place vote. Evan Longoria won the honors in the AL.

Congratulations Geo!

I Want To Thank You!

I would like to thank everyone for reading, commenting, and interacting on my blog. I really enjoy everyone who has wrote kind words recently in respect to my blog. Without all you, this would not have been as much fun as it has been. I would never in a million years think that I would have a good Cubs blog that people followed like you guys have, it means so much to me, thank you sooo much. I still can not believed that this is my 630th post on my blog over the past two years!! Does not seem like that long or that many post( guess because I have so much fun doing it). I will continue to post the latest rumors, news, and thoughts on the Cubs as I come across them.

Once again I would like to THANK EVERYONE!

God Bless!



Sunday, November 09, 2008

More Levine Rumors for Today

Wow Levine putting in a lot of work!

- The Cubs asked about Nate McLouth at last seasons trading deadline. The Bucs wanted a big power arm for McLouth and now are apparently looking for the same for Nate, which means he is still on the trading block. Bruce said the Jeff Samardzija for Nate McLouth would get it done but Jeff has a no trade clause and the Cubs might be reluctant to trade away good bullpen help. Another name he mentioned is Mitch Atkins but said the Cubs just might not have the power arm the Pirates are looking for. It is too bad because he would look great in RF for the Cubs!!!!

- The Cubs are still talking to the Marlins about Jeremy Hermida and Scott Olsen. Bruce broke the story earlier this week but the trade talk took a backseat when the Peavy talks heated up. If talks for Peavy break down they could restart talks with the Marlins. A three way deal could be in the works as well. It is also stated the Hermida is not the Cubs #1 target for RF next season.

- Both Raul Ibanez( now a favorite to land to the Mets) and Milton Bradely are on the Cubs' radar according to Bruce. The Cubs will take a closer look at Milton Bradley to fill their need for a left-handed bat for RF. I still think Bradley will be much better than Ibanez.

- It has come out that the Cubs do not have any interest in trading for Brian Giles( Damn It!). The Cubs did have a deal in place last year's trading deadline that would have sent Brian to the northside but he rejected it. This was according to Bruce Levine.

- Levine says the Cubs remain very interesed in Furcal. Would love to see Furcal, Peavy, Dempster, and Hermida all Cubs next season. Dream come true for me!

- Ron Santo could finally be elected into the Hall of Fame this year by the Veterans Committee. Some former Cub players are campaigning for him like Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams. The results will be announced on Dec. 8th.

- The Cubs spent about 118-126 million dollars to field the team last season. Bruce Levine can see that number exceeding 150 million this season.

Early Rumor Tidbits on Peavy and Dempster-

-Phil Rogers says that the Cubs could sign Dempster by Thursday stating how much Dempster loves Chicago and the Cubs, along with his good friendship with Jim Hendry.

- The Latest form Bruce Levine on Jake Peavy and it is very good-

**** The Cubs want both Wood and Dempster back regardless what the mainstream media says according to Levine but says Jake Peavy is the priority right now for Jim.

**** Jake Peavy wants the trade to happen quickly now it is down to the Braves and Cubs. He does not see the Dodgers in the mix anymore, even describes them as a "long shot."

****Bruce Levine said some things that point toward a deal happening with the Cubs. He said Towers considers Jim Hendry a good friend and that Jimmy is the easiest to deal with out of the 3. Towers also says he trust Jim Hendry and know that Jim realizes getting Jake Peavy will be expensive. He also said that Peavy sees Chicago as an attracive landing spot and that he always liked pitching at Wrigley. Even Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe(former clients of Barry Axelrod) have told Jake how great it is to play at Wrigley.

**** Bruce ended his tidbits by saying if Hendry can get the deal done, he will be willing to trade whatever is in the system, within reason, to bring Peavy to the Cubs!