Saturday, December 06, 2008

Higher Payroll, Roberts, Peavy, and more

- The Cubs will raise payroll higher than expected. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times was told by CEO Crane Kenney that the team's payroll will exceed 140 million. The Cubs have 133MM committed to the current group so that is a significant amount. Wittenmyer said the Cubs would be willing to eat 4MM of Marquis' 9.875MM to move him. If the Cubs were to add Peavy they would be around 138 million allowing the Cubs to add a left-handed hitter. Gordon also said Kenney said that he thinks the Cubs' sale will be complete by Opening Day.

- This is according to the San Diego Union-Tribune-

"The chances of the Padres and Cubs pulling off a Jake Peavy trade appear on the rise, if the latest financial report on the Cubs is to be believed"


"are now optimistic they can afford a left-handed hitter and a starting pitcher without great difficulty."

- Buck Martinez was on XM and thinks the Cubs will revisit trade talks for Roberts. Ron Santo said " the Cubs will try to get a leadoff hitter", also saying if doing so Soriano would hit 4th or 5th.

- According to a report from the Sun-Times, Jim Hendry "will be working former boss Andy MacPhail in his latest efforts to land leadoff hitter Brian Roberts."

- A report in the San Diego Union-Tribune said Padres like their chances of getting the Cubs best prospect(Vitters) and mention a 5 for 1 trade that involved Sean Marshall and Kevin Hart. Plus a talent from another club.

- Jim and Kevin plan to meet face to face at the meetings where is deal is likely and identified a couple of clubs that would work as the third team.

- Kevin Towers has already reported in Las Vegas according to a source with Jim Hendry expected to arrive on Sunday. Jim has said he would like to add a left-handed hitter before anything with Peavy takes place but that might not happen with major signings going at a slow pace.

- Jim Hendry would rather acquire players via trade rather than free agency according to sources with Hermida and others on his radar. He prefers Giles according to a baseball exec, but he blocked a trade to Chicago last year and is unknown what it would take to acquire him.

- Cubs sign 3 players to minor league deals, RHP Angel Castro, LHP Jason Waddell, and C Mark Johnson. Here is their stats-

Castro: ... pid=502162
Waddell: ... pid=455730
Johnson: ... pid=150322

- Maddux will announce his retirement Monday. Maddux was loved and/or respected by everyone associated with baseball. He finishes his HOF career with a lifetime 3.16 ERA in 5008.1 IP. He had 3371 SO, 355 wins, 109 CG, and 35 shutouts in 744 games. He is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history and an all around great human being. Good luck Greg, you will make a great coach someday( hopefully for the Cubs!).

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cubs looking hard at a left handed bat and other notes.

- According to Jon Heyman the Cubs may cut payroll. But they will not do anything until ownership is settled. That makes no sense to me, sounds foolish.

- Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs want to acquire their left-handed hitting outfielder before they trade for Peavy. He says Brian Giles is a perfect match but has a no trade clause. He also names Ibanez, Hermida, DeJesus, Teahen, Randy Winn, Adam Dunn, Griffey,and Abreu but notes none of them are a perfect match. He says Bradley is a good fit if he can play 140 games and be able to play for Lou.

- The San Diego Union-Tribune mentioned said " the Cubs offered reserve shortstop Ronny Cedeno as part of a package for Padres ace Jake Peavy, and Towers said he will revisit talks with Chicago GM Jim Hendry next week at the winter meetings in Las Vegas."

- indicated that the Cubs may unload Soriano and his big contract at the winter meetings. The only teams I see that could be interested is the Yanks, Angels, Dodgers, and Mets as potential suitors and willing to pay most of his contract or exchange for a contract. I purpose these trades-

Yanks get Soriano
Cubs get Swisher and Matsui

Their contracts the first year would come close to canceling out with Matsui owed 13 million in 09 and Swisher owed 5 million. Soriano is owed 16 million next season. The difference is the Cubs after 09 would just be responsible for 15 million for Swisher and Soriano would be owed 72 million. Soriano would play LF for the Yanks and Swisher would play RF for the Cubs with Matsui in LF. One problem is that Soriano would have to waive his no trade clause.

Angels get Soriano
Cubs get Matthews Jr. and Figgins

Cubs would have to pay a lot of his contract to get the deal done. Figgins would leadoff for the Cubs and Matthews would take over in RF or LF and with the money the Cubs would save they could add a guy like Abreu or Bradley. The Angels would get a lot of fire power in the offense they have been looking for. It is a long shot to happen.

Dodger get Soriano
Cubs get Andre Either or Matt Kemp and Juan Pierre or Andruw Jones

The Cubs would get one left handed bat and one righty for the outfield. They would of course take on the bad contracts of Andruw Jones or Pierre to make this deal happen and be less of a blow to the Dodgers. Another long shot.

Mets get Soriano, Marquis. and Kevin Hart
Cubs get Carlos Beltran, Heilman, and Ryan Church

I think this blockbuster could get done. Their contracts would cancel out nicely for 2009. Beltran, Heilman, and Church would be owed 26 million for 2009 and Soriano, Hart, and Marquis would be owed 27 for 2009. The Cubs would get Church to play LF and platoon with Derosa from time to time and Beltran would take over at RF since it is the toughest place to play at Wrigley and he is a gold glover. Heilman could be used to land Peavy or even used in the pen as long reliever or spot starter.

The Mets get Soriano who will provide them with speed and power. They get rid of Beltran who the fans and media of NY has been getting tired of . They get a NY native in Marquis to fill out their rotation as an inning eater and a young guy who could be in their rotation or pen next season. This actually could work.

It is tough to says if Soriano could get traded but it still remains a possibility.

- According to, the Cubs are one of four teams with Hermida on their radar. I still really like the guy!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

OUCH! That Hot Stove is Hot!

Here is the latest from the Cubs Hot Stove-

- The Cubs have Chad Gaudin as a non-tender candidate. I do not think he should be non-tendered, he is too valuable in my opinion.

- Ken Rosenthal says that the Cubs and Padres talk daily about Jake Peavy and also notes that the Orioles do not seem to be the third team at this time.

- Buster Olney says the Cubs and Padres " have the basic framework in place" for a deal for right hander Jake Peavy. He says the deal is built around Josh Vitters. He also says things will pick up after the Cubs ownership starts taking shape.

- With Greene headed to the Cardinals it seems the Jake Peavy trade will really heat up because Towers has been instructed by ownership to trade Peavy and Greene.

- According to a report on FOX said that the Mets had talks with the Cubs about a deal that would send Aaron Heilman to Chicago for right hander Jason Marquis. The Cubs were willing to pay part of his salary but the Mets are currently passing because they are trying other deals for Heilman. They see Marquis ending up in a Reds uniform, or Rockies, or Dbacks.

- The Cubs are looking to add a veteran presence in the bullpen and preferably left handed. The Cub are eyeing Joe Beimel, Alan Embree, Dennys Reyes , and Arthur Rhodes as potential left handers to round out the bullpen.

- Peter Gammons said yesterday he sees the Cubs landing Abreu for their RF woes. I would love if the Cubs got Abreu and Peavy. What an offseason that would be!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lots Of Rumors Today! Jake Peavy Rumors of Course!

- The Cubs made a minor signing today. They signed Chad Fox to a minor league deal. Fox is a great clubhouse guy and could make the team if healthy.

- Bruce Miles says that Milton Bradley would be a good match for the Cubs but the biggest issue is that if he can play RF on a regular basis.

- Some Peavy news from Yahoo's Tim Brown-

Despite reports to the contrary, the Cubs remain engaged in talks to acquire Jake Peavy from the Padres.

Indeed, a Padres source said the club had uncovered two teams which could provide the players to complete a trade. The Orioles are believed to be one.

Negotiations are expected to continue into next week’s winter meetings.

I think the other team is the Angels or Royals.

- Braves are officially out of the Peavy race. They have offered Burnett a 5 year contract and according Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News and's Jon Heyman the Braves are no longer interested in the Ace Jake Peavy. Great news for the Cubs!

- John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus says that the O's want Ronny Cedeno and Felix Pie in a potential 3 way Peavy deal. Maybe the Cubs could get Greene from the Pads to take Cedeno's spot on the 25 man roster??

- Giants signed Bobby Howry to a contract. Thank god we will not see him in a Cubs uniform next season. I wish he signed with the Cards or Brewers, that would have been nice.

- Jayson Stark might be a little clueless but hey it is ESPN what do you expect. Here is what he had to say-

It's funny how none of the Jake Peavy-to-the-Cubs rumors these days seem to be originating on the north side of Chicago. In fact, one Cubs official told a source that they consider their talks with the Padres to be "not active" at the moment. The Cubs actually appear to be stuck in serious payroll limbo right now until the identity of their new owner is revealed. And that might be weeks away. So unless they can subtract salary (namely, Jason Marquis), they have no room to add a salary as hefty as Peavy's -- for now, at least.

- The Cubs have placed some calls in for Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu now that they have found out neither one has been offered arbitration according to some baseball execs. Both are the big left handed bat in the middle of the lineup the Cubs crave. Abreu is better defensively but older and Dunn has more pop in his bat. Although it has not been confirmed that the Cubs have put in offers for either.

- If the Cubs fail to acquire their big left handed bat they will turn their attention to a leadoff left handed bat. Guys like Orlando Hudson, Furcal, and Roberts names have came up.

- Here is some various news concerning Bobby Abreu-

***** According to a report from the New York Daily News, The Cubbies "have reached out to Bobby Abreu's agents" and "things could move rather quickly" with either the Cubs or the Mets.

***** Phil Rogers mentioned on Sports Central that Bobby Abreu is probably closer to becoming the Cubs' right fielder than Raul Ibanez. He brought up the fact the Yankees did not offer him arbitration and called Abreu a much better fit than Ibanez.

More to come!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More Peavy Talk and Cubs Offer No One Arbitration.

-UPDATE- The Braves are close to acquiring right hander Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan for Brent Lillibridge, a young starter( maybe Jo-Jo Reyes), and Tyler Flowers. This means the Braves have indeed moved on from Peavy because Brent, Flowers, and Reyes were rumored to be apart of a potential Peavy trade. Good news for the Cubs!

-Towers has the latest on the Peavy talks when he sat down with Tom Krasovic of the Union-Tribune. Towers says a deal to Atlanta looks doubtful because of the Braves' no-clause policy. He also wonders whether Peavy would even OK a trade to the Braves considering how much he prefers the Cubs.

Krasovic said that the Cubs and Padres have talked about a 5 for 1 deal where the O's would net the Padres more pitching. My guess he is talking something like this-

Cubs get Peavy
O's get Pie and Greene
Padres get Olson, Marshall, Cedeno, Vitters, and Hart

Seems pretty fair to me considering you get an Ace for 2 guys without options( Cedeno and Pie), a decent #3 or #4 starter in Marshall, possible bullpen/long relief/5th starter in Hart, and then the main prize Vitters who could be an All-Star in the ML in less that 3 years.

Towers also notes the Cubs' payroll concerns could make it tough for a deal to get done. One way is to trade Marquis but that might be a tough sell at 10 million. Jim could resolve this situation by approaching the group that won the bid to buy the Cubs and see if he can get more money. We have still yet to find that out but it should be known soon!

- The Cubs declined to offer anyone arbitration including Wood or Howry. I think if offered both players would have accepted so it is a good move by the Cubs with their payroll in flux.

- Players like Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu look a lot better to potential teams looking for a middle of the lineup lefty type hitter. They were not offered arbitration and would not cost their new teams draft picks unlike Raul Ibanez and Milton Bradley who will cost their new team draft picks.

Monday, December 01, 2008

More on the Peavy Front and did Dlee Block a Trade??? Other Rumors

UPDATE- I recieved an email from Tim Dierkes of MLBTR about the possibility of Lee blocking a trade to a club and he says "Seems to be false" and we know if he has not heard the rumor then we can assume that it is untrue in my opinion.

-Here is a quote in Murray Chass column today from Kevin Towers-

I would say the Cubs are still in it. Lou said they’re not in it, but their general manager says they’re in it. The Dodgers have bigger fish to fry. That’s not to say they might not circle back later in the winter. Our primary goal is to trade Peavy."

- Here is an interesting tidbit that was emailed to me and found on ,, and Cubs message boards-

From Jason Churchill-

"I was told this morning by Lee's agent Casey Close that Derrek has blocked a trade already. Not sure how far along the trade actually was, but sometime in the last 10 days, they went to Close and asked him about an AL team and the answer was no."

Now I would not put too much stock into this considering it is a word of mouth kind of rumor but still this could be huge. If this in fact is true, it would mean the Cubs are trying to cut payroll to land Peavy or even acquire a guy like Roberts or big left handed bat. I think the rumor team he rejected was probably the O's but who know is if this is even true or made up.

- Monday is the last day for potential buyers to submit bids to purchase the Cubs. Jim is currently waiting on word who will be the next owner so he can determine what he can spend on next years team and most notably to make a deal for Jake Peavy.

- Jeff Zrebiec and Lee Hamilton talked on XM radio Sunday said that a three way deal including the O's, Padres, and Cubs is very possible but still a ways away. He said the deal would looks something like this-

Cubs get Peavy
Padres get Olson, Mitch Atkins, Sean Marshall, Ronny Cedeno, and maybe another player
O's get Pie and maybe Greene or maybe another player besides him from the Cubs

-Hamilton did say if the deal did fall through for Jake Peavy, the O's would get Olson back and the Cubs would get Pie back.

- Zrebiec also noted that a lot of this depends on the impending sale of the Cubs.

- The Tribune is also reporting that a deal is not close to being completed and that it will probably take place at the Winter Meetings starting next Monday. They also mention Roberts involvement(UH-OH).Link

- According to Baseball Prospectus the Cubs have more interest in David DeJesus than Mark Teahen. They also said it will take more than Marquis.( How bout Marquis and Hart??)

-The Ricketts family is to be rumored as the top bid for the Cubs according to sources. They were my 2nd pick to own the Cubs.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rosenthal talks Peavy, Wood, and Marquis

- Rosenthal backs up the third team being the O's rumor.

-According to major league sources, the Giants, Rockies, and Reds have shown interest in Jason Marquis. This could be really important to a potential Peavy deal. If the Cubs can't unload Marquis on the O's or Padres, they will in fact need to deal him before or soon after a deal with Peavy goes down.

- According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs do not want Kerry Wood back even for 1 year deal worth 9-10 million( which he is expected to get through arbitration if he accepts). It is also said if Wood does not agree to reject arbitration he will not be offered any and the Cubs will lose some draft picks. I honestly think Wood wants to come back but the Cubs do not want him back for 9-10 million. I still think their is a good chance for the Cubs to have Wood in their bullpen next year. I think it all depends on who is the highest bidder for the Cubs. We should find that out Monday.