Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Rumors and No Action....

As expected there are a lot of rumors surrounding the Cubs but no action is being taken. Jim Hendry always has a flare for the dramatic though considering last year trading DeRosa and signing Aaron Miles on the last day of the year. Could he have another move up his sleeve before the ball drops on 2009? Lets hope so and it is not as disastrous as last time.

Latest from Levine-

- Levine says the Cubs have listened to offers on Carlos Zambrano but are having problems with his no-trade clause and the amount of cash left on his contract. How bout Zambrano, Marshall, Hoffpauir, and Stevens for Beltran, Castillo, and Maine? Just a thought.

- Levine says that Byrd, Podsednik, or Rick Ankiel will be playing CF for the Cubs in 2010. I like Rick Ankiel out of that bunch. I still think the Cubs would have better luck and get a better player through a trade for a center fielder. Come on Jim call the A's about Rajai Davis!

- The Cubs are concerned about Kiko Calero's health. I do not think the bullpen is something they need to address right now if ever, but if they do they should sign Matt Herges or Joe Biemel.

- Levine says Jim has a limited budget to make improvements to the team. Hendry is
negotiating two or three contracts and looking to make trades.

- Hendry only has 6-7 million left in the budget for 2010.

- Levine says Silva could be a bullpen guy, starter, or spend all year on the DL. One thing is for sure if he is not productive he will not be active.

- He says Orlando Hudson is not on the Cubs' list. WHY NOT?

- The Cubs have continued their dialog with the Mets over Luis Castillo. How bout Silva for Castillo? I am dreaming I know.

- The Cubs keep in contract with Contreras' agent. He maybe considered a part-time sub for Lilly and bullpen guy.

- The Cubs are looking at Ryan Spilborghs as a replacement for Reed Johnson. The Cubs will not resign Johnson because of his back.

- Vitters may be seeing time at first base in the minors.

- Brett Gardner is not available.

- There is no truth to the deal that would send the Cubs Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Bucholz. It was shot down by Levine.

Until Next Time....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Levine's Latest..

- Bruce Levine said the Cubs and Rockies have talked about a trade that would send Ryan Spilborghs to Chicago. Spilly would serve as the Cubs fourth outfielder and possible platoon player for Fukudome. I am a HUGE Spilly fan and said the Cubs should have traded for him two years ago. Ryan is a career .281 hitter with .352 OBP and can even steal a base. Against leftys he is very good, hitting .294 with a .367 OBP. How bout Mike Fontenot for Ryan Spilborghs?

- Levine names Byrd and Podsednik their top CF prospects. Pods should not even be on that list.

- Jon Heyman reports on Twitter that the Yankees definitely inquired on Z and speculates that Zambrano is "eminently available."

- The Braves could use Melky Cabrera as trade bait and the Cubs would be first in line according to Jon Heyman. I would actually prefer Nate McClouth if they made him available. The Braves should he is more expensive than Cabrera.

- The Cubs remain very interested in Jose Contreras. They value him as a swing man on this team and could get him for very cheap because they are one of the only teams interested in him. Unless the Cubs can get him for an one year deal worth about a million right now then you wait until pitchers like Brett Meyers, John Smoltz, and Doug Davis become market attention.

Until Next Time....

Levine's Latest..

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jacoby Ellsbury Trade Bait? On Cubs Radar?

Phil Rogers has the latest in a very juicy rumor involving Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Holliday/Jason Bay, and Cub prospects. Rogers says if the Red Sox end up with Bay or Holliday the Cubs would immediatly make an effort to land Jacoby Ellsbury according to sources.

Rogers goes on to explain this is why the Cubs are being so patient with the CF market and exploring all potential avenues. He says the best way to get Ellsbury on the Cubs is to work a three way trade with the Padres where Adrian Gonzalez is sent to the Red Sox netting the Padres two top Cubs prospects like Josh Vitters, Had-Ju Lee, Andrew Cashner, and Jay Jackson. It is in also my spectulation that the Red Sox would also include Clay Buchholz in a deal as well.

I got to say Rogers has a very valid point. The rumored deals of the past for Gonzalez has included Ellsbury, Buchholz, and other players. The benefit for the Cubs getting involved is they would send the "other players" the Padres would want for Adrian and the Sox would only have to give up two players (who are expendable) for power hitting 1st baseman. This would also make the Sox a clear cut playoff team and battle NY for the AL Representative in the WS.

The Padres would get rid of a potential big contract in Gonzo and sell high on him while filling lots of holes with young big upside prospects.

The Cubs would finally get a speedy lead off guy that had 70 SB, a .301 Avg., and a .355 OBP last season to play CF for years to come. He will soon be arbitration eligible but is still very inexpensive considering the market for free agent CF so far. The Cubs would basically be getting a better player than Granderson for less talent, which would be so amazing if Hendry pulled off a deal like this.

I will keep you posted as I hear more on this....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Damon on Cubs Radar???

- Jim Duquette said today that the Cubs are "very interested" in Johnny Damon to play CF. He went on to say Damon can still produce at the plate but is awful in the field. He also says that it would be a huge mistake to sign him. I disagree, if he is willing to sign a two year deal around 18 million or so you get him.

- Levine mentioned today that David DeJesus is a trade target for Hendry.

- Levine also says that Reed Johnson maybe as good as gone because his agent is in talks with the Yankees.

- The Cubs has tons of interest in Kiko Calero according to Levine.

- The Cubs talked to Jose Conteras agent and considers him a swingman or starter.

Until next time....

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all from Hot Stove Cubbies! Here is the latest on Cubs rumors-

- If you have not heard Matt Capps picked the Nationals over the Cubs. It is a shocker but maybe a blessing in disguised because I think the Cubs have more pressing needs than a reliever like a CF, 2nd baseman, and the bench.

- The Cubs also lost out on Kelvim Escobar because he is close to a deal with the Mets. The Cubs were one of the few teams that watched Escobar pitch and had rumored interest. Again I would rather the Cubs address the needs above.

- The Royals are dangling Alberto Callaspo once again for an outfielder. Names rumored are Felix Pie and Chris Dickerson. So it seems they are looking for a young outfielder. I purpose the Cubs look at dealing Sam Fuld, Tyler Clovin, or even Brett Jackson for Callaspo. But that is just a thought.

- According to one of my readers the Royals could be dangling David DeJesus as trade bait. Interesting thought considering the rumor above but hey I would not mind him in CF next season.

- The Cubs were in talks with the Yankees about Zambrano and were reportedly willing to take on Kei Igawa's contract to get it done but the Yankees sent Cabrera to Atlanta for Vazquez.

- The Cubs are now cooling on the thought of Marlon Byrd for CF next season. Byrd is looking now at a 3 year deal worth 21-27 million. The Cubs should not pay that much for a guy that has been a fourth outfielder almost his entire career. A two year deal worth 12 million is about the max price I would pay for him now. Especially since Johnny Damon is considering a two year contract around 20 million now that the Yankees have moved on. Damon for 10 million a year or Byrd for 7-8 million? Who would you choose? Damon!

- It is rumored that the Cubs are now going back to the idea they need a more balance lineup. If they are they should sign Hudson, Ankeil, and Sheffield or trade for Swisher.

Until Next Time....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cubs Talk......

- The Cubs and Nationals are the leading candidates for Matt Capps who is expected to get a two year deal around 7-8 million. Capps hopes to have contract in hand by Christmas.

- The Cubs are serious contenders for Aroldis Chapman and Phil Rogers says the Cubs are exploring a deal with him. So far the Red Sox offered 5 years 15.5 million, the Marlins at 5 years 13 million, and I expect the Cubs to go more years maybe 6 years 18 million? He would add tremendous value to the Cubs and could even help them right away. This kid has great mechanics and throws hard.

- The New York post is reporting that the Yankees have asked the Cub about Zambrano but the Cubs price for him was too high. Bruce Levine then said there is nothing to it, he has a no trade clause, and has not been contacted by anyone with potential trade. It is hard to believe what is true but if the Cubs did trade Z, I would love to have seen them get Cano and Cabrera or Gardner. And of course if money was still the issue the Cubs could have included a pitching prospect like Jeff Stevens if they added Nick Swisher to the mix. Then money would be close to even.

- The Cubs do not have an urgency to add a starting pitcher but they could get one for a good price. Jason Marquis signed a two year deal worth 15 million. Which means pitchers like Joel Pinero, John Garland, and Doug Davis are likely to get similar deals. I think the Cubs should add Doug Davis to their pitching rotation, especially since Lilly is out. The Cubs could sign him to a two year deal worth 14 million and an mutual option for a third year. I really like Davis and what he bring to the table.

- With the A's signing Crisp the Cubs need to check on Rajai Davis. He is the answer for CF next season.

- Johnny Damon's contract demands may be falling some so the Cubs are watching it very carefully. The Cubs still think Damon can play CF and even be a leadoff hitter for them. He is reportedly looking at a two year deal around 18 million rather than the three year deal worth 39 million at the start of the offseason. If you see his price fall to a two year worth 16 million the Cubs will jump all over it.

- By the way Nick I, I love your thought on Lowell for Silva. It would be nice to see if the Cubs could pull that off then showcase Lowell in ST then trade him. If anything he would be a nice bench player.

Until Next Time....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rumors Around the Cubs....

- Levine says the Cubs could be signing Matt Capps soon, this coming after his interview yesterday.

- Hendry had conversations with Brian Cashman about Melky Cabrera. I would love it if the Cubs swung a deal for Swisher and Cabrera! I am dreaming though.

- Just to update you on the Cubs off season to do list-
1. Add a CF
2. Right handed reliever
3. Starting 2nd baseman- Only if they have enough payroll room. A 2nd baseman should be more a priority rather than a reliever.

- Levine said the Cubs bench is a concern and very depleted. Adding 2 veterans like Nomar, Wigginton, Sheffield, Baldelli, etc should help.

- Levine says Baker will backup at 2nd,3rd, and outfield and has been told Baker is an outstanding outfielder. Did not know that.

- Right now Fontenot is the Cubs starting 2nd baseman. That is scary, I would prefer Blanco over him.

- Jaramillo has been busy, he already found a couple of flaws with Soriano's swing and Levine said if Ankiel ends up in Chicago, Rudy could add 30 to 40 points to his batting average. Can we get that in writing please!

- Gordon Wittenmyer likes the Bradley trade and thinks if they get anything from Silva it will be a good trade.

- Gordon thinks now that Bradley is gone things will start happening very fast in the next couple days to one week. I am hearing the Cubs will cross two items off their list before 2010, a guy for CF and their reliever.

- Wittenmyer spoke to some of Byrd's people and said a deal could be made very soon and it could even be a two or three year deal. 3 years? Only if it is a lower price a year I would be fine with it.

- Wittenmyer thinks the Cubs will add both Byrd and Capps very soon. I would be happy with that.

- Gordon says the Cubs payroll will be between the 140-143 million dollar range giving the Cubs 8-10 million to make additions to the 2010 team. If the Ricketts family allowed 15 million the Cubs could get a lot better for 2010 in my opinion.

Stay Tuned.,,,,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cubs Not Close With New CF... Trade Route?

According to Ken Rosenthal at the Cubs have not picked or have a favorite for CF next season. He mentions the same names of Byrd, Pods, and Ankiel. Labeling Ankiel as a less likely option.

Ken does mention the Cubs could go the trade route naming Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera as potential targets if they are made available via trade. We have heard Melky's name already this offseason but Gardner is a new one.

Gardner is a young speedy left-handed hitting CF. He batted .270 with 3 homers and 26 SB last season in 248 ABs. Gardner plays really good defense and I would love if the Cubs got this guy but would he block the way for Cubs prospect Brett Jackson who is reportedly two years away from the Big Show?

Cabrera is also a good guy but could eventually block Jackson as well. He hits for more power and is a switch hitter which would really benefit the Cubs but is not a leadoff or big power hitter. The Cubs covet a big hitter or speedy leadoff hitter or both for CF. Not one in between like Cabrera. Cabrera plays good D and has a OK bat. He hit.274 with a .336 OBP with 13 homers and 10 SB.

In the same article Rosental mentions the Cubs contacted the Nats about Nyjer Morgan but the Nationals want to hold onto the speedy outfielder. He would be ideal for the Cubs. He hit .307 with 3 homers, 42 SB, and a .396 OBP last season. The Cubs need a guy like this! I think the Cubs should keep calling the Nats and making offers to them for Morgan. It could not hurt.

With the new information on the Cubs exploring the trade market for a guy for CF, lets look at some other players the Cubs should targer-

Rajai Davis- Still the guy I want the Cubs to add above all other Centerfielders. He is young, inexpensive, good defender, speedy, great average, good arm, and great guy.

Dexter Fowler- A switch hitter who plays really good defense and one of the fastest guys in baseball. Rox could be listening to offers but it is unknown right now. Good, Young, and Inexpensive. A great combo!

B.J. Upton- Had a down year so the Rays are not wanting to trade him while his stock is low. Should be a guy the Cubs should target.

Chris Young- Same as Upton, a down year and struggled at times but Young cost more cash than any one of these. Could be made available soon and the Cubs should call them.

Unti Next Time...

Talking Baseball..Other Notes...and thoughts...

Bruce Levine has the latest in Cubs rumors-

- The Cubs and Nationals are leading candidates for Matt Capps. The Nats already offered Capps and one year deal worth 4 million.

- Capps was on Talking Baseball and said that he loves Chicago and Wrigley, Closing games is not a big priority for Capps because he just wants to contend, and that his wife really gets along with Grabow and Grozelanny. This points to him signing with the Cubs in my mind.

- The Cubs are looking at Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, and Marlon Byrd for CF according to Levine. Bruce Levine likes the idea of Rick Ankiel playing CF for the Cubs but it seems Byrd is their top choice.


I want to outline what I think the Cubs should do next to make this team contend next season.

Step one- Sign Marlon Byrd or Rick Ankiel to a two year deal. Would be the Cubs starting CF next season.
Step two- Sign Kiko Calero or Matt Capps for the setup job in the pen.
Step three- Sign Orlando Hudson or Felipe Lopez to play 2nd for the Cubs next season.
Step four- Trade for Ty Wigginton or Nick Swisher to strengthen the Cubs bench next season. Wigginton is a poor mans DeRosa and would be very good off the bench and offer pop as well. Swisher a good clubhouse guy would be ideal as well playing 1st and the corner spots in the outfield as well as some center.
Step five- Sign Gary Sheffield or Rocco Baldelli as the Cubs 4 outfielder and platoon partner for Fukudome. Sheffield and Baldelli kill lefty pitching and Sheffield would be another impact bat off the bench much like what the Cubs had in Cliff Floyd and Ward a couple years ago. If the Cubs go Byrd I could see them pursing Swisher and Sheffield and if they got Ankiel they would likely move to Baldelli and Wigginton.

I know the the Cubs would have to spend some coin to get this done and give up some talent but it would be worth it. The Cubs could use Marshall, Grozelanny, Fontenot, and some other young players for trade bait to get Wigginton or Swisher. I think the Cubs could get Wigginton for Marshall and Fontenot while Swisher might cost some good prospects and cost the Cubs more money wise. Money wise the Cubs should go with Byrd, Lopez, Capps, Wigginton, and Baldelli. Talent wise the Cubs should go with Byrd, Hudson, Capps, Swisher, and Sheffield. The Cubs should go for talent!

Lineup RHP
Hudson 2b
Fukudome RF
Lee 1st
Aram 3b
Byrd CF
Soriano LF
Soto C
Theriot SS

Lineup LHP
Theriot SS
Hudson 2b
Lee 1st
Aram 3b
Sheffield RF
Soriano LF
Byrd CF
Soto C

Until next time.....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bradley For Silva... More....

I first want to say sorry for not updating you right away on the Bradley for Silva deal but I have been busy with Christmas and such. Here is your updates for today-

- Here are the final notes on the Bradley for Silva swap. The Cubs sent Milton Bradley and his entire contract to the Mariners for Carlos Silva and the 25 million left on his contract. The good news is that the M's sent 9MM to Chicago which save the Cubs 6 million. I consider this a win for the Cubs. With all the talk about the Cubs having to eat almost all of Bradley's contract and how potential suitors were quickly losing interest getting the M's to take Bradley, hand over Silva, and 9MM is a really good job for Jim Hendry.

I do want to say that I am not a big fan of Silva but with Silva's average numbers in the AL he could benefit by changing leagues much like Padilla did with the Dodgers. He could be used to fill Lilly's spot in the rotation then when he comes back he could go to the pen or slide into the 5 spot in the rotation. One issue is Silva's durability but that is not a concern for me right now because how happy I am not to type another Milton Bradley rumor.

- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is saying the Cubs are close to signing Marlon Byrd. I really hope the contract is not bloated like Bradley's was. I would be happy with a 2 year 12 million dollar deal but nothing much more than that.

- Bruce Levine says the Cubs want both Byrd and Capps. If the Cubs added Capps for low money I will be very pleased. I still think after signing a CF the Cubs should then turn their attention to an everyday 2nd baseman like Hudson or Lopez.

- The Cubs have a lot of interest in Kelvim Escobar and are finalist for Matt Capps. Adding both would really help out the pen.

- If the Cubs signed one or two relievers it could make Sean Marshall, Shark, and other relievers or starter available via trade. The Cubs may look at the trade market for a platoon partner for Fukudome, bench player, or starting 2nd baseman.

I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Levine's Lines....

UPDATE- I received a email from Bruce Miles and he said there is no truth to a fire sale before the season and it is unlikely that Jim is fired before the 2010 season as well.

- Levine still thinks once the Cubs trade Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell, Jim will send Burrell to the Mets for Luis Castillo.

- Levine said the Mets need RBI production and Burrell can provide that for them even though we have heard the Mets are not interested in Burrell.

- Levine stated if the Mets signed Bay or Holliday it would not handcuff the Cubs. Burrell would either have to sit for a while or be the platoon partner for Fukudome in RF next season. Whoa!

- Once again the Cubs do not need to trade Bradley to sign free agents. Then why have we not signed anyone?

- The Cubs are considered long shots to sign Aroldis Chapman. Boy would I like to add him to the rotation.

- Byrd is still the Cubs top priority and have stepped up talks since the Cameron signing.

As far as the fire sale goes I am looking into it more but do want to say I am not just pulling this out of the air. I have receive numerous emails on the possible fire sale and it just made sense to me to post it. My sources want to stay secret for various reasons and I respect that and I hope my readers will to as well. If I come across a link or someone confirming a rumor I will post it on my blog. I will back it up with that, this I promise you.

Thanks for reading and posting. I will keep you updated on the Cubs rumors and news as it develops.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cubs Outfield Update....

- Now that Mike Cameron is off the market the Cubs have been pursuing Marlon Byrd more intensely. The Cubs still want to trade Bradley before they sign an outfielder but Paul Sullivan says the Cubs do not have to trade Milton before signing Byrd.

- Sullivan did say nothing is imminent as of right now.

- Carrie Muskat said the Cubs are considering Rick Ankiel, Reed Johnson, and Scott Podsednik. I see Johnson only as a fourth outfielder, same with Pods but Ankiel should be the Cubs top free agent CF target and not Byrd.

- Muskat also says Byrd is the Cubs top choice among free agents although they have not ruled out bring Johnson back. If the Cubs do sign Byrd I think they should sign an outfielder to platoon with Fukduome. My top choices are Vlad, Sheffield, Baldelli, then guys like Gomes, Nady, and Winn.

- Now that the Jays are about to obtain Brett Wallace there is talk they will now trade Lyle Overbay to free up a spot and cash. Why is this important? I am hearing once the Jays acquire Wallace, Lyle will be heading to the Mets in a "three to four team trade" that will likely involve the Cubs and Milton Bradley. No word on what the Cubs would receive but I am speculating it would be Luis Castillo. In that scenario the Jays would receive Bradley in the three team trade which has been rumored before. In the possible 4 team trade I am thinking the Rays would be the 4th team sending Burrell to the Jays, Bradley to the Rays, Overbay to the Mets, and Castillo to the Cubs. Lets hope something comes of this and the Cubs just rid themselves of Bradley and his off season of rumors.

- The Cubs were one of the teams that watched Aroldis Chapman throw. With the Red Sox bidding 15 million total for Chapman over an unknown amount of years I can see the Cubs topping that number. I would like to see the Cubs offer Aroldis a 4 year deal worth 20 million bucks. They of course have to have the money to do that.

Unti Next Time.....

Cubs Losing Out... Bye to Jim Hendry? Fire Sale?

Here is an update for the latest concerning the Cubs....

- The Cubs will not have guys like Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee next season but that is no shock to anyone. But losing out to guys like Matsui (which they had some interest in), Cameron (their number one off season target), Figgins (a guy that was on their wish list), and still having club house cancer Milton Bradley is a shock to everyone.

- According to the Tribune the Cubs now have Marlon Byrd as their top off season target. His agent is the same as Bradleys and probably in order to land Byrd they will have to overpay like what they did with Bradley. Just do not do that!

- We have heard all along that the Cubs will trade Bradley and there is "no way he is on the north side next season" but in a section on MLB Daily Dish it says the Cubs may approach Bradley about staying. If they is the case then we need a new GM and fast.

- Back up plans if they lose out on Byrd are Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel. Pods cannot handle CF but he does provide a legit lead off hitter but that is where I draw the line for complements for Pods. He is not the answer. Ankiel on the other hand is intriguing to me. I think he would be better than both Pods and Byrd but that is just an opinion.

- If the Cubs get a left handed hitting CF they may look for a right handed fourth outfielder than can play CF as well. The ideal candidate for the Cubs would be Rajai Davis. He can play all three outfield spots, hits for average, great defender, and true leadoff man stealing 41 bases last season. But that makes to much sense for Jim so it will not happen.

- The Cubs were considering a trade for Juan Pierre earlier this off season but that quickly went away when he was traded to the southside.

- Levine says that the Cubs will trade Bradley to the Rays for Burrell sooner or later maybe even this week. Of course we have heard that before. It should also be noted that the Cubs will not save any more this year by trading Bradley. The only money they will save is in 2011 and that may not even be possible. According to the Tribune the Cubs need about 10 million to add to payroll to contend in the NL Central (especially since Matt Holliday is likely to sign with the Cards). I think the Cubs need to add 15 million to payroll this season because they need a starting 2nd baseman (Hudson or Lopez), starting CF ( Ankiel or someone through trade), bench players ( need at least two), pen guy (not as big of a need but still a need), and starter (lets face it with Lilly out, Z's inability to stay healthy, the Cubs need depth). That would chew up 15 million easily.

- Rosenthal says the Cubs are in pursuit of free agent Joel Pinero. That is interesting because Jim says the Cubs will not add a starter and Joel is looking for 10 million over 4 years. If we cannot even add a backup infielder then what makes him think we can add Pinero?

- Ron Santo signed a three year extension with WGN radio yesterday. At least that is some good news.

- All revenue this season will go back into Wrigley then payroll of the Cubs.

- Capps wants to close games and likely priced his way out of the Cubs reach.

- Rumor has it that if Jim does not successfully unload Milton Bradley without releasing him he will be terminated after the 2010 season or sooner according to Cub officials. The back loaded contracts, no trade clauses, and long term deals have really hurt Jim and the Cubs. The Cubs are also not thrilled with the state the ball club is in now because every move Jim Hendry has done or been working on has been mistakes he made last season.

- If Jim Hendry is in fact fired before the beginning of the season it will like prompt a fire sale. According to sources the Cubs would wait until players like Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Johnny Damon, etc find homes then make players like Carlos Zambrano, Fukudome, Soriano, and many other players available. By doing that they would have a market for those players by shopping them to the teams that lost out on Lacky, Bay, Holliday, Damon, etc. I should note that even players like Ryan Dempster, Aramis Ramirez, Ted Lilly, and Shark have all also been linked to the fire sale. Those are players I would hold onto if I was in their position. To be honest I hope it does not come down to a firesale and the Ricketts family committ to 2010 but if they are just going to put a band aid on a broken arm then I would prefer they just start up the fire sale.

Until Next Time......

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some Morning Notes...

- Bruce Levine feels that the Cubs bench needs a make over. Besides Baker, Blanco, and Hill, I agree. The Cubs need inexpensive veterans to fill out their bench. I think the Cubs should sign Alfredo Amezaga and Nomar or Mientkiewicz or Hinske to build up the bench. Ideal situation would to pick up Hank Blalock or Garrett Atkins to provide power off the bench but they are likely to cost too much cash and looking for a starting job somewhere.

- The Cubs have interest in Matt Capps according to the Tribune. They also have interest in Kiko Calero.

Until Next Time....


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Quick Hits....

- The Cubs tendered contracts to all players except Neal Cotts.

- The Cubs may move to add some players that were recently non-tendered. I am hearing the Cubs are interested in Alfredo Amezaga, Ryan Church, and Jonny Gomes but only for a low price. Some Cub officials think Gomes is a good platoon partner for Fukudome at a cheap price.

- Bruce Levine says Bradley will be traded soon and still thinks Tampa.

- Levine also says the Cubs left the meetings with the feeling some trades could get done in the next 10 days or so.

- The Cubs have talked to the Rockies numerous times about their outfielders. The Cubs really like Ryan Spilborghs and Dexter Fowler but are in love with Brad Hawpe. The rumor is the Rox are quietly dangling their outfielders, maybe for pitching and infield help. If the Cubs did trade for Hawpe they could then dangle Fukudome out their as trade bait or use him as a platoon in CF or a fourth outfielder.

- If the Rays are out of the Bradley race then the Cubs may trade Bradley for Matthews Jr. and use Matthews as their very expensive 4th outfielder.

- Sullivan said on 670 the score that after the Cubs move Bradley they will sign a CF with Cameron and Byrd as their top choices and Crisp, Ankiel, and Pods as backups.

- Sullivan also said they would like to sign 2 outfielders, one being Byrd or Cameron and the other one to platoon with Fukudome or a switch hitter that can play all three outfield spots.

Until Next Time.....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lots of Talk... No Action....

- The Cubs are expected to tender contracts to Fonty, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Jeff Baker, and Angel Guzman. They are not going to tender Cotts though but could sign him to a minor league deal to rehab.

- The Cubs acquired righty Arismendy Mota from the Nats for cash considerations. Mota has a career 3.73 ERA with a 12-14 record in 44 games started in his minor league career. I think this kid will make the team and take Patton's position on the roster. He went 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 16 games in the Dominican Summer League last season.

- Levine says there is a deal still on that table that would send Burrell to the Cubs for Bradley.

- Levine also says that the Red Sox are still interested in Bradley.

- Rick Ankiel may be looking for a 3 year deal worth big money. If that is the case the Cubs are not interested.

- Joel Pineiro is a name the Cubs are interested in but he could out price the Cubs. Seems likes the same thing we have been hearing about everyone on the market.

- The Cubs are interested in utility man Alfredo Amezaga. He could be non-tendered soon so the Cubs could get him for pretty cheap if they wait.

- The Cubs made offers to the Tigers for Granderson before he was traded to the Yankees but the Cubs did not match up well with the Tigers.

- Sullivan thinks Bradley will be gone by Christmas while Jim thinks the Cubs will "make a deal or two" before the holidays.

- According to sources close to the Cubs they have interest in CF Chris Young. Young who has struggled to produce a high average and OBP but has good power and speed has caught the interest of the Cubs. Young is owed 17 million over they next 4 seasons with a 11 million dollar club option for 2014. The Dbacks could be looking to relieve some payroll by dealing Young and the Young could benefit from new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. I think the Cubs would be better off targeting Rajai Davis but that is just my opinion. Or how about dealing Bradley to the Dbacks for Byrnes and Young? The Cubs would only be taking on an additional 7 million over the length of the contracts while filling CF and a platoon partner for Fukudome in RF. Sounds good to me!

Until Next Time....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quick Hits....

- Jim has met with Gary Close about Ben Sheets.

- The Cubs have interest in Scott Podsednik.

- Bob Nighengale says the Cubs are close to trading Bradley and it will likely be to the Rays while Tim Brown of Yahoo says the trade is in fact close but it is not with the Rays. That was last updated at 3:00 pm and no word since.

- The Cubs selected Mike Parisi in the Rule 5 Draft today.

- On a side note, I think it is time for the Cubs to do a mini fire sale. Players like Soriano, Zambrano, Fukudome, and Bradley need to go. Expenisve players like Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly, and Ryan Dempster should stay because they are good teammates and good ball players. I also think players like Theriot, Baker Wells, Marmol, Soto, etc should in fact stay with the Cubs because they are under control for a while. While players like Fontenot, maybe Marshall, Hoffpauir, and Patton do not belong either. Getting rid of these players and even a quarter of each of there contracts could really help the Cubs find out what young kids are ready for the big leagues and what players in the market make sense to the Cubs to pick up.

They just need to knock off this trading away little money here, little money there, and start making moves like you either want to win a World Series or rebuild. Tinkering around by mediocre trades and talent are not going to work. Plain and simple.

Until Next time

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

WInter Meetings Day 3- Late Edition

UPDATE- 9:10 pm- According to Baseball Prospectus the Cubs, Jays, and Rays are working on a three way trade that would send Bradley to the Rays, Burrell to the Jays, and the Cubs getting prospects from the Jays. Instead of prospects I am hearing the Cubs would obtain Lyle Overbay and that the Jays would also receive Micah Hoffpauir in the deal. The Cubs would then spin Overbay to another team. My guess is the Mets for Castillo.

- Bradley is still a Cub and maybe a Cub after tomorrow and into Spring Training.

- They mystery team was uncovered today as the Red Sox. The Cubs wanted Lowell for Bradley but the trade was denied. If the trade had gone through then the Cubs would have traded Lowell to another team. Someone like the Giants.

- Hendry indicated there is no deadline to trade Bradley and that he does not have to trade him in order to make improvements. Here is my question, then why have you not improved this team yet Jim!? Sign Cameron to play CF, sign Sheffield or Vlad to platoon in RF with Fukudome, and go get an everyday proven 2nd baseman. At least do that Jim!

- The Cubs will not release Bradley. That is a no brainer, they are hurting for cash.

- I am starting to think we need a new GM. Hendry has made some great trades in the past but last offseason and this Bradley situation is getting annoying. He has handled Bradley the wrong way and should have not made it look like he HAD to trade him. Jim also did too much "tinkering" last season by trading DeRosa, not offering Wood arbitration, signing Miles, trading for Gregg, and trading for Heilman. This season he made the mistake by not offering arbitration to Harden and the Bradley situation. He seems to me Jim is on the decline right now and unless he pulls a rabbit I think we need someone new as our GM.

Until Next Time....

Winter Meetings Day 3-Early Edition

Here is the latest from Gordon Wittenmyer-

- He says the Cubs are "ready to pull the trigger" on the Bradley trade as soon as the other team is. He states the other team is not Texas or Tampa. We have also heard it is not the Royals, Mets, M's, or Jays from other sources. We have heard it is indeed an AL team. I have heard it is either the Yankees or the Orioles. Do you have nay guesses?

- A Cubs source denies interest in Melky Cabrera.

- Their is no truth to the Bradley for Silva rumors. Thank goodness!

- The Cubs remain interested in J.J. Putz.

- Mike Cameron is at or near the top of the Cubs CF wish list.

- When the Cubs move Milton they could be in the market for a mid-level starter.


- The Sun-Times talked to a couple of sources that expect Cameron to sign with the Cubs.

- Kaplan feels a deal is in place that would send Bradley to the Rays and Burrell to the Cubs then Burrell to an unnamed team. Gordon Wittenmyer and Carrie Muskat have a different story though.

- The Mets are still not interested in Bradley but still are trying to move Luis Castillo to the Cubs according to the Tribune.

More Later.....

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bradley Gone Tonight? Weds? Ever?

Here is what we have heard on the Bradley front starting in order by time earliest to latest-

- Gordon Wittenmyer says a surprise AL team is close on a trade for Milton Bradley. That occurred at 4:12.

- Wittenmyer reports that the deal is "three quarters done" and three teams are involved not including the Rays or Rangers. 5:12

- Tim Brown says the Cubs and M's are taking about a Bradley for Silva swap but nothing is imminent. Please NO SILVA! 5:17

- Bruce Miles says no deal is imminent and a Cubs person tells Miles that the Cubs are likely to complete a deal tomorrow. 5:27

- Carrie Muskat says another AL teams is involved not the Angels or Mariners. 5:34

- A Mariner official shot down the Cubs-M's rumor according to Wittenmyer. 5:37

- Jordan Bastian of says Bradley is not a fit for the Jays. 6:03

- I am hearing a couple things now. One is that the Rangers, O's, and Cubs are in talks that would send Millwood to the O's, Bradley to the Rangers, and Ty Wigginton to the Cubs. That of course goes against what Wittenmyer has heard.

- The other thing I am hearing is the Yankees could be involved in the trade talks. With the Yankees acquiring Granderson they could look to move Nick Swisher for Bradley. Swisher would provide the Cubs with a platoon partner in RF, he could also handle CF as well, he played 70 games in CF for the White Sox in 2008. Swisher is not only a Chicago guy he is a great clubhouse leader that can play all around the diamond. He would be very valuable on this team.

I will let you know more on this as it develops.
In other news....

- The Cubs are interested in Melky Cabrera.

- J.J. Putz is being targeted by the Cubs.

- So Joe Castellano of XM Radio says the Rangers, Rays, and Royals are no longer interested in Bradley. Is that because a trade is near?

- Levine thinks Uggla could be a fit for the Cubs. Why I ask?

- Levine says Brad Hawpe could be a fit for the Cubs and the Rockies are listening to offers on him. In fact Jim has contacted the Rox about their outfield depth. I really like Hawpe! Get him!

- The Cubs have some interest in recently DFA Ryan Church as a fourth outfielder. The Cubs should send Fontenot to Atlanta for Church.

More as it comes in.....

Winter Meetings Day 2- Midday

Here is some rumors and notes for today so far-

- reported that the Cubs were close to completing a three team trade that would have sent Bradley to Tampa, Burrell to NY, and Castillo to Chicago but the Mets want to wait and see if they can land Bay or Holliday.

- The Cubs have talked to four teams about Bradley. The Rays, Rangers, Mets, and now Royals have all talked to the Cubs about Bradley.

- Jayson Stark said two or three more new teams have expressed interest in Bradley. I am hearing two possibilities are the Orioles and Braves.

- Levine said the Cubs could still spin Bradley for Castillo in a multi-team trade.

- The Tribune is reporting that the Cubs best shot is to trade Bradley to the Rays for Burrell then send Burrell to the Blue Jays for prospects. I am also hearing a 4 team trade could be in the works involving the Rays (Burrell), Mets (Castillo), Cubs (Bradley), and Jays (Overbay). The scenario is the same as the three team trade but instead the Jays get Burrell and the Mets get Overbay.

- Hendry said he talked to 6 teams about Bradley Monday.

- The Tribune says the Mets involving Luis Castillo in a Pat Burrell/Bradley trade is dead. They will not be saying that when it happens today or tomorrow. I honestly think by Thursday the Cubs will be rid of Bradley and have Luis Castillo is cubbie blue.

- Jim Hendry said he has spoke with "some teams" about options that have not been discussed.

- There is also a rumor that the Cubs could in fact be talking to the Royals about Alberto Callaspo and not Bradley or Meche. Even though the Cubs have been linked to Meche in the past. Could this be the other "options" Hendry is talking about?

- Big Z is working hard and has already lost 15 pounds. GO Z!

- Kaplan reports that Hendry can make moves or signings that put him over the payroll limit set by Ricketts, as long as he meets the budget number by Opening Day.

- The Cubs have interest in Brandon Lyon but only for the right price.

More as it develops.....

Monday, December 07, 2009

Winter Meetings Day One...

Here is some notes from day one-

TOP NEWS!!!!!- Ryne Sandberg will be the new manager of the Iowa Cubs in 2010. He will replace Bobby Dickerson who will be a roving minor-league infield coordinator. This is big for Sandberg and the Cubs. With Ryno's moving up through out the minors he looks like the next manager of the Chicago Cubs, at least that is how it is seeming to me.

- The Tigers hope to deal Granderson this week but that is news to Gordon Wittenmyer.

- Crasnick expects the Cubs to tender Mike Fontenot a contract. Maybe purely as trade bait because he does not make sense keeping him on this team.

- Dan Knobler of CBS Sports says two new teams approached the Cubs aside from the Rays and Rangers about a Milton Bradley trade. While Paul Sullivan says the Cubs are going to trade Bradley this week and that the Cubs are allowing the Levinson brothers (who are Bradley's agents) talk to other teams in an attempt to repair Bradleys rep.

- Bruce Levine says the Cubs and Royals met last night and discussed a Bradley for Gil Meche trade. The money matches up but my guess the Cubs will have to include another young player to get the deal done. Of course Gordon Wittenmyer shoots down another Levine report saying the Royals have not discussed Bradley. Is Wittenmyer always negative???

- There was a report today that the Mets would be interested in Pat Burrell/Luis Castillo swap if the Cubs did acquire Burrell for Bradley. That was later squashed by David Lennon who says the Mets have no interest in Bradley or Burrell.

- Joel Sherman said the Cubs remain interested in Mike Cameron but also have interest in Curtis Granderson and Melky Cabrera. Cabrera is a new one, kind of interesting but to be honest I like the other two much better.

- The Cubs will use Mike Fontenot and Micah Hoffpauir as trade chips this season because neither one figures into the 2010 Cubs.

- CBSN has some interesting news. The Cubs have Heath Bell on their radar. Bell converted 42 of 45 saves last season and is being shopped by the Padres. The Padres want a right-handed hitting CF, catcher, or middle infielder for Bell. In the article it says the Cubs would have to probably give up Soto or Theriot. I have really no issue trading Theriot but Soto I am a bit unsure of. It goes on to says the Cubs could then ship Marmol and another player to the Tigers for Granderson because Marmol is one of the players the Tigers like. If the Cubs traded Theriot for Bell then signed Tejeda or Cabrera to play short or sign Hudson or Lopez to play 2nd and Castro play short, I have no issue with the deal. It should also be noted that Jim Hendry laughed off this rumor but I still think it should be noted.

- Peter Gammons said on Baseball Tonight that he thinks the Bradley for Burrell trade will work.

- Phil Rodgers said Juan Pierre could end back with the Cubs. Much like I speculated yesterday.

- The asking price for Granderson is to high and rejected by the Cubs. They wanted Starlin Castro and 2 prospects for Granderson. That is WAY TO HIGH!

- The Cubs are still considering bring back Reed Johnson but he is gaining interest from the Padres.

- Soriano will bat 6th in the Cubs lineup next season unless " a lot changes."

- The Cubs may use a Gary Matthews Jr. for Bradley swap as a "last resort."

- Braden Looper wants to pitch for the Cubs according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. If he really wants to pitch for the Cubbies he should for about 1-2 million a year.

More to come as it happens.....

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dodgers, Cubs, Rangers, and Mets trade???

Okay this maybe just speculation or coincidence but here it goes. The Dodgers are looking to shop Juan Pierre and the 2 year 18.5 million left on his deal. They are reportedly discussing a three or four team deal that would net them a bad contract starter. So here is some speculation on my part-

Three team deal-
Cubs get Juan Pierre
Rangers get Milton Bradley
Dodgers get Kevin Millwood

Four team deal-
Cubs get Luis Castillo
Rangers get Milton Bradley
Mets get Juan Pierre
Dodgers get Kevin Millwood

Each deal has good/bad things with it. If the Cubs had a spot in LF open for Pierre I would welcome the trade but he just does not fit in CF, and the other two spots in the outfield are taken. The four team deal is definitely the best scenario and the most likely. I just wonder what bad contract starter could be coming to LA? Any ideas?

Just speculating.... Can't wait until Monday...

Day Before the Storm...

Today is the day before the Winter Meetings and here is some notes and rumors to get you through today....

- Rosenthal says despite the Rangers interest the Rays remain the front runners for Bradley.

- Jon Heyman says the Cubs and Rays are "not close" on a Pat Burrell-Milton Bradley swap. He also says getting the Mets and Luis Castillo involved is "not helping." I am certain Heyman is very negative to anything Chicago Cub related.

- According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times the Cubs are interested and targeting Mike Cameron and Marlon Byrd but first must trade Bradley. Lou plans on meeting with Cameron's agent at the Winter Meetings. I just do not think the Cubs can afford Byrd. He is looking for a three year deal worth around 7 million a season. He made 3 million last season and with career numbers he is looking to cash in. Cameron on the other hand you can add for a one or two year deal worth half the amount Byrd is seeking. Plus Cameron is better in my opinion.

- The Royals expect Meche and DeJesus to receive interest at the meetings. The Cubs should have some interest in DeJesus. He is signed for 4.7 million in 2010 and a club option for 6 million in 2011. The Royals want young talent in return while cutting payroll so the Cubs could offer up a package that included maybe Mike Fontenot, Sean Marshall, or any of their young players under team control. DeJesus is a lefty who can play all three outfield positions. He batted .281 with 13 homers, and 71 RBI last season (which he has put consistently throughout his career). Definitely a guy worth calling about.

- Speaking of the Royals.... A while back the A's and Royals had failed talks on Alberto Callaspo. The Royals acquire Chris Getz which makes Callaspo available via trade. Royals GM Dayton Moore even confirmed that they are not pushing out any of their players but are open-minded on trading all of them. That should interest the Cubs very much. Alberto Callaspo is a 26 year old switch hitting 2nd baseman by trade but can play all around the diamond. Callaspo is not even arbitration eligible yet and provides the Royals with a very valuable trade chip they want to cash in. Last season he posted a .300 avg with a .356 OBP, 11 homers, 73 RBI in 155 games played.

The Cubs need to target this guy if they haven't already. He could provide the spark they need from the 2nd base position for years to come. Not to mention the expectation that Castro will soon be ready to play big league shortstop helps as well. The Cubs would then have one of the most dynamic young duo in MLB if they continue to live up to expectation, produce, and making leaps forward. I would even include a player like Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner, or Shark in a deal for Callaspo. That is how much potential I think this kid has!

- Levine stated that Jeff Baker will be a utility player next season splitting time between 2nd and 3rd base.

- Levine says Hudson will likely sign with the Rockies.

- Levine also said their is a 50% chance Castro makes the big leagues out of Spring Training. That is surprising.

- Levine says Juan Uribe and Khalil Greene could be backup players the Cubs should look at. I agree but only if they are bench players.

- Hendry says they are targeting an outfielder, a bench guy that can play outfield, and a bullpen arm.

- Hendry says he has a lot of things to talk about with other team in the Winter Meetings and the Cubs are going to be aggressive and try to get "things" done.

- Lou loves Mike Cameron and the feeling is mutual. I expect him to be a Cub unless they get Granderson.

- The Cubs dismissed the rumors that they are interested in Vicente Padilla. The only way the Cubs get a veteran pitcher is if the deal included Bradley going the other way.

- There is still a chance Lou is manager of the Cubs after the 2010.

- Bruce Miles says that Rick Ankiel and David DeJesus are not high on the Cubs list nor do they fit their needs. Kind of interesting.

- Jim Hendry does not feel he needs to add a starter regardless of Ted Lilly's health. Even though Lou would like to add a middle of the rotation starter. I like Doug Davis, Noah Lowry, Randy Johnson, and Brett Myers.

Looking Forward to Monday!

Always look here for breaking news and rumors!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Some Small Notes...

- Bruce Levine says the Cubs will in fact deal Bradley soon and the likely scenario will be a three or four team deal involving the Rays, Mets, Cubs, and another team. Players involved would be Pat Burrell, Milton Bradley, Luis Castillo, and maybe another player.

- The Cubs need some veteran help in the pen and rotation according to Levine. He names J.J. Putz and Ben Sheets as targets.

- The Cubs want to add a CF and a person to platoon with Fukudome in RF or the newly required guy for CF. They are looking at Mike Cameron, Rick Ankiel, Coco Crisp, and Marlon Byrd according to Levine for the CF vacancy. I like the Mike Cameron/Rick Ankiel angle. If the Cubs are looking for a right handed platoon player for RF they should target inexpensive players such as Rocco Baldelli, Gary Sheffield, Xavier Nady, or the more expensive Vladimir Guerrero. All have smashed lefties over their career but only Nady and Baldelli give them more options to play all around the outfield. I would love to land Granderson or sign Ankiel then sign Sheffield, Baldelli, or Guerrero. Nice lineup with those guys in there.

More to Come....

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Fox and Miles Gone..More Moves Coming????

- Aaron Miles and Jake Fox were traded today to Oakland for minor leaguers. The Cubs also sent a million bucks to the A's. The Cubs got pitcher Jeff Gray, infielder Matt Spencer, and pitcher Ronny Morla. Gray went 0-1 in 24 games last season with a 3.76 ERA. He also struck out 14 and only walked 4 in 26 innings. Morla pitched in low A-ball and was 1-7 with a 4.86 ERA. Matt Spencer is an outfielder and a first baseman and batted .294 with 26 doubles, 3 triples, and 9 homers in 2009 in Double A.

Looks like a good deal for the Cubs. They were able to stock their system with some young talent while removing 1.7 million bucks by trading Miles away and getting value for Jake Fox who really does not fit in the NL. Looks like a good trade on both fronts. I wish they would have traded for Rajai Davis though.

- According to Diamond Notes the Cubs and Cards are in the lead to sign free agent Vicente Padilla. This is unusual to me because why would the Cubs throw millions at a pitcher when they have so many other holes to fill. I am somewhat for signing him but nothing over a couple million a year. It should be noted that it said formal negotiations will not begin until after the winter meetings. Very interesting and hard to believe.

- The Cubs are still very interested in Curtis Granderson but would prefer to move Milton Bradley first. The Cubs also will not give up Carlos Marmol, Starlin Castro, or Andrew Cashner to get Granderson. Some of the prospects traded to the Cubs today could be used in a deal for Granderson or another outfielder according to sources close to the Cubs.

- The Bradley for Burrell talks are still going on and Tampa seem like the likely fit for Bradley.

- Jim Hendry feels trades will be the focus of the Winter Meeting next week. I can still see the Cubs trading for an outfielder or 2nd baseman and also the Cubs trading away players like Mike Fontenot, Sean Marshall, and some other prospects to get a player like Granderson. The Cubs will of course have to trade Bradley.

- Saito and Polanco are off the Cubs list. Saito signed with the Braves and Polanco will play third for the Phillies. On a side note, it amazes me that the Phillies signed Polanco to a 3 year 18 million dollar deal to play third base. Too much money for a non-third baseman. Makes no sense.

- With Felipe Lopez and Orlando Hudson not being offered arbitration the Cubs have a lot of interest in both players but will see what happens with Bradley because they could acquire Luis Castillo in a possible three way deal with Tampa Bay. Otherwise Hudson and Lopez remain high on the Cubs list.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cubs Hot Stove Talk....

Bruce Levine's Latest-

- Jim Hendry is trying hard to deal Bradley to the Mets or Rays or a combination of the 3. We have already heard a swap that included Luis Castillo, Burrell, and Bradley. Lets hope that actually happens.

- There is ZERO chance Bradley is a Cub next season according to Levine. I totally agree with him.

- Chone Figgins is too expensive money wise and Granderson will cost two really good young players so neither one is likely to be on the Cubs next season.

- Andrew Cashner is expected to be in the Cubs' plans sometime in 2010 while James Russell figures to be int he plans after the 2010 season.

- Levine says the Cubs need to address their bench next season. I think they should just add two outfields to replace Reed Johnson and Milton Bradley and a starting 2nd baseman. That would leave Jeff Baker, Andres Blanco, Koyie Hill, Jake Fox, among others that would provide a strong bench for the Cubs.

- Ricketts likes Derrek Lee a lot and will likely sign a one-year extension during the Spring with some sort of an option. I would not mind seeing 3 more years of Lee.

- Levine looks at Rick Ankiel as a "nice platoon player" for the Cubs. He says no one knows if Ankiel can a be production everyday player. How about signing Rick Ankiel and Mike Cameron or Rick Ankiel and Rocco Baldelli. Either one of those I would be thrilled with for next season.

- The Cubs could have interest in Ben Sheets due to his price and the Cubs payroll issues. One problem is his health problems

- Ricketts will not spend anymore money at least until Bradley is traded.

Other Talk.......

- Some media members think not offer arbitration to Harden was the right thing considering he would have to turn down 10 million for next season which he is not expected to get on the open market.

- Bradley is expected to be traded at the winter meeting next week. No shocker there.

- The Daily Herald stats there is some optimism that a deal could get done at the meetings next week with Texas or Tampa for Bradley. They then say the Cubs could move onto Marlon Byrd or Mike Cameron. Byrd has already been deemed to expensive for the Cubs, especially now because he got offered arbitration.

- ESPN says the Cubs may look to Vicente Padilla or Jarrod Washburn as a replacement for Harden. WOW! I doubt the Cubs have enough cash to sign one of those pitchers. If they are looking at that price tag why not sign Doug Davis? He is a much better option.

- The Cubs had interest in Rafael Betancourt until he was offered arbitration by the Rockies.

More as the Hot Stove heats up.........

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cubs Poised To Sign Ankiel?

- According to sources, the Cubs are poised to sign Rick Ankiel as soon as Milton Bradley is traded. The Cubs have been linked to Ankiel recently along with Crisp, Cameron, Byrd, among others. This of course means the idea of the Cubs getting Granderson has diminished and the Cubs acquiring a CF via trade like Rowand, Davis, McLouth, etc has gone out the window. It is also rumored the Cubs will in fact offer Ankiel a multi-year deal so they can can make the money disperse more over years rather than him signing a one year deal worth a higher figure. I am in favor of this deal because I think Rudy Jarmillo can turn this guy around to a middle of the lineup threat.

- David Kaplan said the Cubs have in fact notified Harden, Johnson, and Gregg they will not be offered arbitration. Harden should be the only one offered but Hendry will make another big mistake.

- The Cubs will target some high risk, high reward pitchers this offseason with Noah Lowry heading the list followed by Mark Mulder, Brett Myers, and Eric Milton. I wonder if they would take a stab at former Cubs Mark Prior or Rich Hill?

- Danny Rodriguez is expected to sign with the Cubs. He has posted a 3-0 start with a 1.25 ERA in 6 starts this winter. Would likely be a minor league deal.

- Bruce Miles think the Cubs will tender contracts to all 9 arbitration eligible players. I disagree I think the Cubs tender contracts to everyone except Neal Cotts and Mike Fontenot.

- The Cubs efforts to trade Bradley have slowed and looking to deal him before the winter meetings is now unlikely. Why won't he just go away!

More Later.....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rangers Inquire on Fontenot and Baker

- The Rangers earlier today confirmed their interest in acquiring a young cheap utility infielder via trade or free agency. Almost a day later we are hearing that the Rangers have called the Cubs about Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker. Mike Fontenot is considered a non-tender canaidate so the Cubs could be very eager to trade him, especially since he reached super two status. Fontenot really appeals to the Rangers because he will cost less than utility guys such as Mark DeRosa, Jerry Hairston, Adam Everett, or even Craig Counsell. Jeff Baker would be ideal as well but as of right now he is the starting 2nd baseman for the Cubs and is not likely to be trade bait.

- The Cubs are not going to sign Marlon Byrd according to sources. He is too expensive for the Cubs which is why Rick Ankiel appeals to them so much.

- The Cubs will not offer any free agents arbitration.

Until Next Time....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Cubs Talk......

- According to the Tribune the Cubs have interest in Takashi Saito. Saito is drawing interest from a lot of clubs and the Cubs should be interested but not for the price he will likely get. I think the Cubs need more bang in the lineup rather than pitching.

- The Cubs like Rick Ankiel and CoCo Crisp for CF next season. Ankiel would provide the Cubs the middle of the lineup type hitter and could come at a cheap price because of his bad numbers last season. He could bounce back by working with Rudy Jaramillo in Chicago. Crisp is another option but with his numbers decreasing since 2004 the Cubs may not want to take a gamble on him.

- The Cubs still are trying to convince the Mets to give them Luis Castillo for Milton Bradley but the Mets want to get another team involved.

- The Cubs have told Ryan Theriot to work at 2nd base just in case Starlin Castro makes the big leagues out of Spring or they make a move for a cheap veteran shortstop. Sources say Orlando Cabrera could be an option and may come with a price tag of one year 2 million. Another option is Miguel Tejada even though he is likely to seek a multi-year deal.

- My proposed trade for the week-
Cubs get Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo, and Oliver Perez
Mets get Carlos Zambrano, Milton Bradley, Sean Marshall, and Jeff Stevens

The money is almost even with Mets taking on 76 million and the Cubs taking on 74 million which is only a 2 million dollar difference. Beltran and Zambrano do have no trade clauses but I know for a fact that Z would waive it to go to the Mets. He said a couple times NY is one of the places he would consider pitching if he was not in a Cubs uniform. Beltran is unknown but I could see him wanting to get out of the bright lights of New York.

The Cubs would have Beltran, Castillo, and Perez for two years which is better than having all that money tied up in Zambrano for the next possible 4 and Bradley for the next two. The Cubs would get their middle of the lineup type hitter that plays really good defense and has a plus arm in Beltran. Castillo would provide them with good defense and a top of the lineup guy with decent speed. Perez could be used in the rotation and hope his arm gets better, but he is mainly a contract dump.

The Mets would get another ace to add to John Maine and Johan Santana. They would get a guy with attitude issues but could benefit from a change of scenery and could provide them with numbers he put up in Texas. The Mets also get some pen or rotation help in Marshall and Stevens. Affordable young pitchers are always a plus in the big apple.

I think this a good trade for both teams involved. What do you think? Discuss....

Til Next Time.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers, posters, insiders, and everyone who has made this blog a success. Without all of you this blog would not be where it is today, so I give thanks to you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to you, your family, and friends.

God Bless,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Levine Notes....

Levine had a chat yesterday and here are some things he talked about-

- Everything depends on Milton Bradley and who he is moved for and how much money the Cubs will take on to get a deal done. He is still hearing Bradley for Burrell but has a new twist on it. He says the Cubs could in fact spin Burrell to the Giants. The only contract that would be similar are Renteria which the Cubs do not need. The Cubs could trade Burrell and Miles the Giants for Rowand but the Giantswould have to pay at least 20 million of this 36 million left on this contract.

- The Cubs want Curtis Granderson but will not trade Castro, Vitters, or Cashner for him.

- Bruce said the Cubs would love Orlando Hudson at 2nd base next season but money is an issue.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Castillo... Davis... More...

- The Cubs want Luis Castillo and are working on a deal that involves him and Milton Bradley but they need to get a third team involved according to sources. The Cubs tried a deal that would have sent Lyle Overbay to the Mets, Bradley to the Jays, and Castillo to the Cubs but that failed. Then the Cubs had a rumor deal that sent Bradley to the Rangers, Castillo to the Cubs, and Millwood to the Mets but the quickly was dismissed.

Now the rumor is the Cubs, Mets, and Rays are talking about a three player swap. The Rays would receive Bradley, the Cubs get Castillo, and the Mets would get Pat Burrell. Seems like an even swap to me although I think the Cubs would have to kick in some cash to get it done. I really think the Cubs need to get rid of Bradley soon and if they do so and get Castillo, call it a victory for the Cubs.

- We talked yesterday about the Cubs looking at backup outfielders and also everyday guys for CF. We have three new names to the list and they are Rajai Davis, Nate McLouth, and Denard Span. The Cubs have continued their search for a possible replacement for Bradley and these three names have came up. Davis we have heard about some this offseason and would be a great addition to the Cubs even though he is a righty. Nate McLouth however the Cubs have always liked and the Braves maybe making available for a more power bat or to clear payroll to get a guy like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. McLouth is owed 11 million over the next two years with a 10.65 million club option for 2012. He would likely be a cheaper trade target than Granderson and cost less as well. Denard Span is intriguing as well. The Cubs were linked to Span during the deadline last year so there is no wonder why his name comes up again. Span is a young guy under team control for sometime so he would likely come with a heavy price tag but to me he would be worth it. I will keep you updated on these names as the Hot Stove starts heating up.

Until Next Time.....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Young Cubs Not Going Anywhere,,, New Free Agents...

- NO! That is the answer Jim Hendry gave when asked if Vitters, Castro, and Cashner are available. According to many Cub officials all three are off limits even for the likes of Roy Halladay.

- If the Cubs cannot acquire a guy for center field via trade (like Granderson) they may go for a middle of the road free agent signing. Some names being tossed around are of course Marlon Byrd and Mike Cameron. Cameron is the most affordable of the two and probably better offensive and defensively. Some other names being thrown out there are Rick Ankiel and even CoCo Crisp. I also would not count out Johnny Damon even though he is the most expensive out of the bunch.

- The Cubs remain interested in getting a guy who can play all three outfield spots but won't cost as much as Reed Johnson will. Some guys that fit that bill are Rocco Baldelli, Endy Chavez, and Scott Podsednik. I think Rocco or Pods would fit great on this team as a 4th outfielder but they have to deal Bradley first of course.

- The Cubs are still eyeing an upgrade at 2nd base but do not want to overspend for one. The Cubs hope is to trade Milton Bradley away and get Luis Castillo in return but that has not worked out yet. The Cubs also like Felipe Lopez, Orlando Hudson, Placido Polanco, and recently have been linked to Adam Kennedy. I think the Cubs should try damn hard to get Lopez, Hudson, or Castillo. All three are switch hitter, good defensively, and can be had for two years or maybe less. They can also be had for a decent price and with Lopez you get a guy who can play all over the field. Hendry needs to get one of the three.

- A nice situation would be the Cubs trading Bradley and getting Luis Castillo, signing CoCo Crisp, Rocco Baldelli, and Noah Lowry or Brett Meyers. Then trading away guys like Aaron Miles and Mike Fontenot to relieve some cash.

Until Next Time.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

First Day of Free Agency Notes...

- As expected the Cubs signed John Grabow to a two year deal worth 7.5 million dollars.

- Muskat of said the Blue Jays have contacted the Cubs about Roy Halladay. But do not get to excited Cub fans. The Jays have a list of players that they would want in return for Halladay and Bradley is not one of them. The article says that Starlin Castro would be apart of any deal which automatically veto's the deal because he is untouchable. The only way I deal for Halladay is if it does not include Castro and we work out a long term deal for Hallady before he is traded to the Cubs. Lot of "ifs" there.

- I was notified by two sources that the Cubs were indeed in final negotiations to send Bradley and Miles to the Rangers for Millwood but the Rangers wanted either Marshall or Guzman in the deal as well so it fell apart.

- There was a three way deal rumored where the Rangers would get Milton Bradley, Cubs get Luis Castillo, and the Mets get Kevin Millwood but it was quickly dismissed by Carrie Muskat and Bruce Levine.

- The Cubs added 5 players to the 40 man roster. They added Blake Parker, James Adduci, John Gaub,Welington Castillo, and Rafael Dolis. It brings the 40 man to 38 players. Still two spots and they should go to Thomas Diamond and Brad Snyder.

- The Cubs will still look to deal some arbitration eligible players maybe guys like Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot.

That is it for now.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bradley Update... Cubs Sign Grabow.... Heilman Gone...

- Still no update on Millwood for Bradley and Miles, even though David Kaplan says they are in serious discussions. Which confirms it somewhat.

- According to Jayson Stark the Rays, Rangers, and Jays appear the likely places for Bradley.

- The Cubs signed Grabow to a 2 year 7 million dollar deal.

- Carrie Muskat says the Cubs cannot afford Reed Johnson or Rich Harden this offseason.

- The Cubs will not targer Pedro this offseason.

- Aaron Heilman was traded to Arizona today for lefty reliever Scott Maine and first baseman Ryne White. Heilman was a non-tender candidate so this is not a shock. Both guys look like two good prospects. I actually did not expect this type of return for Heilman.

- The Cubs are somewhat interested in Felipe Lopez but not if he breaks the bank.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bradley to Rangers Almost Done.. Grabow Ready to sign...

- First reported by David Kaplan that the Cubs and Rangers are in serious talks for Bradley. Bruce Levine also chimed in yesterday saying if the Cubs sent Bradley to the Rangers it would be for Kevin Millwood. Now I am hearing from my sources that a Bradley for Millwood (maybe including Aaron Miles) swap is in the final stages and they are just finalizing the money situation in which Millwood is still owed his signing bonus. I am also hearing that the Cubs may in fact pay Millwood's entire contract including the signing bonus if they can include Aaron Miles in the same deal which would offset the money some.

My source also stats that the deal could be done as soon as Tomorrow because the Cubs and Rangers both want to complete a deal before free agency starts on Friday. I will keep you updated on this as new info comes across.

- Grabow and the Cubs are nearing a deal worth 7.5 million over the next two years which may include an option for a 3rd year. The deal will be finalized before free agency starts Friday.

More to come....

Levine Updates Us... and An Unfounded Rumor....

Levine had some good notes yesterday so lets check them out-

- Levine thought Bradley would have been traded by now.

- He still thinks the Rangers and Rays are likely destinations for Bradley. If he goes to the Rangers Millwood would come to the Cubs and if he goes to the Rays then the Cubs would get Burrell. If the Cubs got Millwood they would likely keep him as their 5th starter and if they got Burrell then he would be flipped to an AL team.

- Starlin Castro will not be traded this off-season and the only way Cashner is traded is in a blockbuster deal. I am guessing Halladay.

- Levine says it is questionable if Aaron Heilman and Sean Marshall will be apart of the Cubs pen 2010. Both are good trade candidates for the Cubs.

- He says Esmailin Caridad will get a shot making the team along with John Gaub.

- Levine says no Mark DeRosa next season.

- The Tigers want good young prospects for a deal for Granderson and Levine said Josh Vitters would have to be included. That is a big chip for the Cubs.

- The Cubs are one of many teams interested in Billy Wagner. I think the Cubs have enough young players in their system that can fill out their pen next season. I rather spend the money on a 2nd baseman or outfielder.

- The trade talks surrounding Curtis Granderson are real according to Bruce Levine.

******Unfounded Trade Rumor******

I have done these in the past when I receive a trade rumor with no link or source and I can neither confirm or deny the report. This one caught my eye and has been sitting in my inbox for days now so I decided to pull it out with all the reports of Bradley either going to the Rays or Rangers and the Cubs interest in Granderson. So here it is-

Cubs get Curtis Granderson and Kevin Millwood
Rangers get Milton Bradley and Edwin Jackson
Tigers get Sean Marshall, Josh Vitters, Julio Borbon, Guillermo Moscoso, and Aaron Miles

The Cubs would be talking on some salary to get this done and also shedding a lot of it as well. Millwood is essentially owed 27 million with being owed 12 million in 2010 and a 15 million dollar signing bonus being paid 2011-2015. Granderson is owed 24 million over the next three season with a 13 million dollar club option for 2013. So the Cubs would be taking on 51 million dollars in contracts but the Cubs are also dealing some players so lets check their price tag.

The Cubs would be trading Milton Bradley and his entire contract to the Rangers which actually saves the Rangers money because Bradley is only owed 21 million and Kevin is owed 27 million. The Cubs also are getting rid of Sean Marshall (who is arbitration eligible likely to make $750,000 next season), Josh Vitters (who had a 3.2 signing bonus which has not fully taken effect, much like Millwood), and Aaron Miles (2.7 million next season). With all those totals the Cubs will be trading away 26 million in contract money. So basically the Cubs would be filling two holes this offseason and only spending 25 million in contracts. For those two players I would do this in a heartbeat.

The Cubs get a inning eating starter who is labeled the #1 starter in Texas but would be a back of the rotation starter in Chicago because of the Cubs strong rotation. He would likely fill in for Lilly until he got back in April then slide down to a #4 spot. He would provide the Cubs with veteran leadership and a guy who can chew up innings which the lacked last season.

The Cubs also get their left-handed above average defensive leadoff guy for CF. I expect his numbers to look in Chicago posting a .280 Avg, with 20 homers, 60 RBI, and 30 SB. He would provide the Cubs with much better chemistry in the clubhouse and he is known as one of the nicest guys in baseball. Truly a guy the Cubs need.

The Rangers come out good on this deal as well. They get another young starter in Edwin Jackson who is expect a good raise in arbitration but the Rangers would still be decreasing their payroll by acquiring both Bradley and Jackson by at least 4 million. The Rangers would then have a really good young rotation starting with Feldman and Jackson. Not to mention they get Milton Bradley back who would likely bounce back to the numbers he put up in Texas and lead the world in OBP hitting around Josh Hamilton. Just a good trade for the Rangers, don't you think?

The Tigers make out great in this deal. Not only do they get a core of young players but they get some of the best prospects in baseball. Josh Vitters is labeled the Cubs 3rd best prospect in their system and 31st best prospect in baseball by Not only that but they receive the outfielder Juilo Borbon who is the 43rd best prospect in baseball and he hit .312 with 4 homers 20 RBI and 19 SB is just 46 games with the Rangers. Guillermo Moscoso is really good young player the Rangers get. In 5 minor league season he has posted a 2.90 ERA with 26 wins and 15 loses with 59 games started. He is labeled the 12 best prospect in the Rangers organization and in the top 125 in baseball. The Tigers also get a young southpaw that can be a long reliever or starter for Detriot in Sean Marshall. Marshall would likely slip into the Tigers rotation and soften the blow of trading Edwin Jackson. The Tigers do not come out of the deal without taking on some cash though. They take Aaron Miles and the 2.7 million owed to him next season, the price to pay to get such young talent in this trade.

All in all this looked like a good trade for all team involved. It seemed somewhat legitimate so I decided to post it and let you be the judge. I cannot confirm or deny this "Unfounded Rumor" at this time. I will update you on this as it become available to me.

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Hot Stove Chatter....

- Grabow filed for free agency but the Cubs are likely to sign him to an extension before free agency starts on Friday.

- The Cubs will not offer Gregg or Harden arbitration.

- David Kaplan finally getting in on this Hot Stove chatter. He reports that the Winter Meetings will be very busy for the Cubs and Hendry. Jim felt he has made good progress in several areas and several deals could be closed then. The WM is in Indianapolis on Dec. 7th.

- Bradley will probably end up in Texas or Tampa but according to Bob Nightengale he may end up in Arizona for Eric Byrnes. Byrnes is owed 11 million next season and has interested the Cubs because of his all out attitude and the D'backs are in fact very interested in Bradley. Pull the trigger Hendry.

Til Next Time....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More On Granderson...

- According to sources the Cubs Jim Hendry is "absolutely" interested in offering a prospect-heavy package to the Tigers for Curtis Granderson. Rogers says that Tigers GM Dombrowski spoke to Hendry about Granderson and other players in Chicago earlier this week. This refutes the report yesterday that they have not talked.

- Bruce Levine of talking baseball says that Granderson is the Cubs #1 target this offseason. Stating he is an ideal teammate and always gives 100%.

- Levine says the Cubs will have to trade Bradley before trading for Granderson. The Rays and Rangers are still the most likely destination for Milton.

- Levine disputed Phil Rogers report saying the Cubs should give up Castro, Cashner, and Marmol for Granderson. He says all three are untouchable and the Cubs have no interest in trading them. But Bruce does think that Vitters maybe in a deal for Granderson. He says the Cubs can have nice MLB ready players and prospects package to get a deal done.

- If the Cubs get Granderson they are likely to re-sign Reed Johnson because Granderson does struggle against lefties. There is also talk that the Cubs could sign Mike Cameron, Randy Winn, or Rocco Baldelli (who is close with Lou and the Cubs have always been interested in). All three players hit lefties really well.

Til Next Time!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Granderson Rumor has Legs.....

- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune talked to Jim Callis who suggested the Cubs are in the best position to acquire Granderson out of the Yankees and Angels even though their farm systems seem better. It should be noted that the Angels and Tigers have discussed a trade for Granderson.

- Phil Rogers tweets that the Cubs are not involved in trade talks for Granderson yet, 'but will become aggressive when the Tigers are ready for offers." This means either Davidoff of Newsday or Rogers are getting wrong info because according to Davidoff the Angels and Tigers have already discussed a trade and Rogers said the Tigers are not ready for offers. Interesting......

- The baseball blog "Dock of the Rays" likes the idea of swapping Pat Burrell for Milton Bradley and even wonders if they threw in Andy Sonnanstine can entice the Cubs to add more money. I am all for that! The Cubs then could package Burrell and Sonnanstine for Granderson or Phillips and still come out good!

- I am hearing that the Tigers have a lot of interest in Cubs young SS Lee, hitter Jake Fox, southpaw Tom Gorzalanny and Sean Marshall, Angel Guzman, and Chris Carpenter to name a few. Of course they would not get all these players in a deal for Granderson but it is not out of the question fo them to land four of them in a deal.

That's all for tonight Cub Fans!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fontenot Super Two, Granderson, and more.....

- Mike Fontenot was granted super two status which means he is arbitration-eligible and will cost the Cubs more money next season even though he does not deserve it. This means Fontenot maybe traded or non-tendered this offseason.

- The Rays are still discussing a trade that would net them Bradley and send Burrell to the Cubs but talks are moving at a snails pace.

- I have word that the Cubs will be "players" on Bradon Phillips regardless of his contract and the cost of players. Sources say Jim and Co. love the "attitude" of Phillips and how he is a "gamer."

- Jim feels goo about the meetings and says he has a good feeling that the Cubs will be able to make a few good moves before the Winter Meetings Dec. 7th.

- The Cubs will not have enough money to land Marlon Byrd at his asking price right now.

- Bruce Levine reported the Tigers as another team that is interested in Milton Bradley. The Tigers are one of the few teams this winter looking to subtract their heavy contract and replenishing the team with smaller contracts and younger players. The Tigers have made rumor headlines by making Curtis Granderson, Bradone Inge, and Edwin Jackson available via trade. The Cubs have strong interest in Granderson. Granderson is owed 25.75 million over the next 3 seasons and would be a good swap for the Cubs if they could include Milton Bradley in the deal. Bruce Levine said there is interest and the Cubs have kept in contract with the Tigers even as recent as today. One unfounded rumor going around is a three team trade where the Tigers would get Pat Burrell, Sean Marshall, Aaron Heilman, and Sam Fuld, the Rays would get Milton Bradley, and the Cubs would receive Curtis Granderson. With the Cubs, Rays, and Tigers all exchanging some cash one way or another. Paul Sullivan said the deal would include Starlin Castro and Carlos Marmol. Try again Sullivan, Castro is untouchable!

Either way the Cubs need to get Granderson and if they ship of Bradley in a deal to do so, man Jim would really redeem himself for the last offseason.

More to Come.....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Milton Bradley and more.....

- Paul Sullivan is looking at the Milton Bradley situation and sees the Rangers as favorites to land him. Even though the Mets seem to be in the mix with Omar Minaya even admitting to talking to Jim about Bradley and likely including Luis Castillo in a deal. The Rays are also still very much in the mix as well.

- Sullivan says the Cubs are in no hurry to sign Lee to an extension.

- Harden still really likes Chicago and will continue dialogue with them even though it is unlikely he will return.

- The Reds are looking to cut payroll next season because of ticket sales. So the Reds will look to trade away their expensive players to cut payroll and bring in some inexpensive players to fill out the roster. So players likely to be moved are Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, and Brandon Phillips. The Cubs are currently looking to upgrade at the 2nd base position and could go into talks for Phillips who was also centered around trade conversations last season. If the Cubs could get Phillips it would be a great chip for next years ball club and beyond.

- Bruce Levine has some notes today-
---- Jim has been trying to trade Bradley since Sept.
---- Mike Cameron is plan D for the Cubs.
---- The Cubs will look at the non-tender list in Decemebr before making a move for another outfielder.
---- The Cubs have some interest in Mike Gonzalez for the pen.
---- The Cubs do not like Dan Uggla because they want better defensive 2nd baseman.
---- He does not mind a trade involving Luis Castillo
---- The Cubs will probably only eat around 5 million of Bradleys contract.
---- Jim hopes to have a couple deals done by Dec. 7th.

- According to many sources the Giants and Blue Jays will not trade for Bradley.

Til Next Time.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More on the Hot Stove....

- According to reports the Cubs are intersted in Marlon Byrd. Byrd, a free agent, is coming off a career year and will be reunited with his hitting coach from Texas if signed by the Cubs. Byrd wants a multiyear deal which I just do not see happening. Hendry really likes Byrd but I think they should consider a guy like Johnny Damon or even Mike Cameron before Byrd who has only had one decent year since has been in the majors.

- The Cubs are said to want to deal Bradley before the GM meeting end. There is also talk that Bradley maybe willing to redo his contract to get a deal done.

- The Cubs have turned up the heat on talks with other clubs about Milton Bradley. Jim has been in talks with the Giants, Rangers, Mets, and Rays recently. I do like the idea of Castillo coming to the Cubs.

Until Next Time.....

Hot Stove Action....UPDATE....

UPDATE 12:45 PM-

- Bruce Levine has the latest in his blog today on Milton Bradley. He says the Rangers are in the thick of things and Milton could be heading back to Texas for Kevin Millwood if a deal is struck. He also says the Rays and Jim Hendry worked beyond midnight last night discussing a deal that would send Pat Burrell to the Cubs for Bradley which we have all heard before. The sticking point in all these deals is how much of Milton's contract will the Cubs have to pay.

- Jim says they are not necessarily looking to add a middle infielder because of how Ryan Theriot did last season and he expects Miles and Fontenot to have back bounce seasons, more posturing.

- MLBDailyDish says the Cubs could be players on Roy Halladay. Interesting......

The first day of the meetings are in the books so lets see what is going on...

- Kevin Gregg filed for free agency leaving only Chad Fox and John Grabow left to file. Rich Harden and Reed Johnson have filed and rumor has it that they will be with new teams next season. Fox could retire and Grabow and the Cubs are working on an extension.

- According to sources the Cubs have a formal trade offer from the Rays that would send Pat Burrell to the Cubs for Milton Bradley but the sticking point is the Rays want the Cubs to pick up almost all of Bradley's 2011 salary which is half the contract. The Cubs do not want to do that right now. How about Cubs get Castillo, Rays get Bradley, Mets get Overbay, and Jays get Burrell? Just a thought.

- Rosenthal said the Cubs have discussed the framework for a deal with the Blue Jays and Mets involving Milton Bradley. Ken calls this a long shot but the deal would involve Bradley going to the Jays, Lyle Overbay going to the Mets, and Luis Castillo going to the Cubs. Rosenthal's source says this has "some legs, but not much" while Sullivan is reporting Toronto "wants no part of Milton Bradley. Meanwhile Hendry said they have not given up on Bradley even though we know that is just posturing.

There is an update however from Bruce Levine says the report by Ken Rosenthal has "some validity to it" and also says there is no question the Mets and Cubs have addressed a trade that would involve Castillo to the Cubs for Milton Bradley. This report by Levine was made after the update by Sullivan.

I will keep you up on this one!

- Joel Sherman of the NY Post is reporting the Rangers would consider dealing for Bradley but the Cubs would have to eat a big chunk of his contract which reports out of Chicago say that in unlikely. Could the Cubs trade Millwood for Bradley? I would do that! Or how about getting the Rangers involved in the three way with the Mets?

- Rich Harden wants to return to the Cubs and his agent is likely to meet with Jim Hendry soon. The only way I retain Harden is for under 7 million a year.

- The Cubs are expected to sign lefty reliever John Grabow to a two year deal with an option for 2012.

- Zambrano's agent says there has been no talk about waiving his no-trade clause.

- The Cubs want Fukudome back in RF, so they will be looking for a guy to man CF. We have heard Rowand, Pods, Davis, Cameron, etc....

- On XM radio with Lee Hamilton the Cubs have talked to the Rangers about a Bradon McCarthy for Milton Bradley trade. I would do that trade.

- The Cubs will not be releasing Bradley by any means.

- Levine says Jim is working hard to move Bradley and want him gone during the GM meetings.

- Bruce Miles says that Hendry has had "talks with three or four other teams about Bradley in the last 12 or 13 days, but nothing is close"

- ESPN threw out the idea of an Bobby Jenks for Milton Bradley trade. Done deal for me!

- Bruce Miles says the Cubs are not fit for Chone Figgins. I am guessing a money issue.

- The Cubs are interested in getting a middle infielder but only for a one or two year deal because of the emergence of Starlin Castro.

- On the middle infielder note, here is a list of players the Cubs are interested in via trade or free agency-

Luis Castillo
Placido Polanco- only for an one year incentive deal
Orlando Hudson- same as Polanco
Mark DeRosa
Orlando Cabrera
Miguel Tejada

Day one in the books, day two here we come!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Cubs Notes From Meetings....

- Jon Heyman of said that the Cubs are among the teams interested in Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. I just do not see them being able to afford either one.

- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun Times said today "at least three more teams have contracted the Cubs about Milton Bradley. He also stated that the Cubs will be more involved in trades rather than free agency.

- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune runs down the Cubs offseason needs. He has listed finding a leadoff hitter, center fielder, and possiable middle infielder. He names Chone Figgins, Aaron Rowand, Marco Scutaro, and Miguel Tejada as possible acquisitions. But he states all this needs to be done after they trade Milton Bradley.

- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune says the Cubs will bolster their bullpen through trades. He also says the Cubs could be looking to fill a couple vacancies in their Opening Day rotation with Rich Harden expected to leave and Ted Lilly's health in question. I think the Cubs should sign Brett Myers to a two year deal and have him work the rotation until Lilly comes back then put him in the pen. I also think they should sign Noah Lowry to a one year deal. He is coming off injury and can be had for cheap but has the upside to be a solid #2 or #3 lefty starter.

- Big trade bait this offseason consist of Roy Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Dan Uggla, and of course Milton Bradley. If Crawford come available the Cubs NEED to get him!

- MLBTR has their top 50 free agents and where they might go listed. Only player listed going to the Cubs is Billy Wagner. I think the Cubs have to get a leadoff guy so a guy like Figgins is a must, but MLBTR has him re-signing with the Angels.

- According to a report for Baseball Prospectus the Cubs are shopping Geovany Soto. I do not think the is a very accurate rumor. The Cubs saw what Soto did in 2008 and I do not think they would give up on him and sell low after one season. Soto would not return quality players because of his down year and Koyie Hill is not a starter. I have a feeling he will bounce back and this report is absolutely false.

- In the same BP report they said that the Cubs may listen to offers on Carlos Zambrano but would have to be overwhelmed to deal him. The Yankees are looking for a starter through free agency or a trade according to many reports out of New York. With Zambrano being owed 74 million across the next 4 years a team like the Yankees could pursue him via trade. I think a very good trade money wise and talent wise would be Robinson Cano (48 million) and Nick Swisher (26 million) for Carlos Zambrano. If I were the Cubs I would even throw in a player like Ryan Theriot, Milton Bradley, Aaron Heilman, Jake Fox, Sean Marshall, or even Samardzija along with Zambrano to get that deal done. It would give the Cubs switch hitter with power, not to mention a good clubhouse guy in Swisher for RF. It would also give them their 2nd baseman for many years to come, who just so happens to be the best in the game.

As far as the obstacles that have to overcome to make this trade happen, there really is not that many. Zambrano does have a no trade clause but has reported he would waive it to go to New York or Boston if the Cubs wanted to trade him. Money is not an issue because Cano and Swisher contracts combined to exactly equal Carlos Zambrano's contract (if the Cubs included another player then the money situation would be uneven but there are ways around that). Would the Yankees even deal Swisher and Cano, I say yes because chances are Zambrano would do well in the NY and I know Yankee fans and personal would drool over the rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, and Zambrano as their top three starters. The Yankees then could fill the void at 2nd by pursing Chone Figgins, Polanco, Hudson, or many of the other talented 2nd baseman in the free agent maket. The Cubs in turn could look to the market for inexpensive pitching or a top of the rotation pitcher because they basically filled two needs the offseason in one trade without spending any money doing so. There is a lot of talented pitching out there for the Cubs to choose from so that should not be a problem at all. Just sounds good to me!

This is just a thought and not a rumor. But it looks really good on paper!

More to come as the Hot Stove get HOT!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Levine's Latest.....

- Now that the Brewers have Carlos Gomez it seems like Mike Cameron may come to the Cubs even though he is a backup plan if they do not acquire a young left handed guy for CF. We have heard the names Rajai Davis (even though he is a righty), Scott Podsednik, and some others.

- Bruce says Bradley will be traded in the next 30-45 days. I say he is traded in the next week at the GM meetings for either Pat Burrell, Gary Matthews, or Aaron Rowand.

- Many think Chone Figgins will sign with the Cubs. I think he will has well.

- The Cubs want back Reed Johnson but not for the 2 years 6 million he wants. I do not blame them.

- Bruce thinks Starlin Castro will be the Cubs starting shortstop around the All-Star break and also thinks John Gaub could win a pen spot.

- Bruce also think the Cubs should sign Orlando Cabrera to a one year deal. Not sure if I like that idea.

Til Next Time.....

Friday, November 06, 2009

More Hot Stove Action....

- The White Sox have officially acquired Mark Teahen and it is unlikely he is traded again this offseason.

- Brett Myers will not be offered a contract by the Phillies according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Cubs have some interest in Myers, especially with Ted Lilly's health up in the air.

- J.J. Hardy was traded to the Twins today and there goes another player the Cubs had interest in.

- Whether the Cubs sign Reed Johnson mainly depends on what they get for Bradley in a trade, if they trade him.

- Rich Harden and Reed Johnson filed for free agency today but Jim is still in contact with them and their agents.

- Hey folks, I think Starlin Castro may be the real deal!

- According to MLB Daily Dish, the Cubs could have interest in Scott Podsednik. I only see him as a 4th outfielder.

That is it for today.....