- MLB.com reports that MLB clubs unanimously approve the Cubs transfer to Tom Ricketts. Ricketts will take over the day to day operations when the sale is closed at the end of the month. Glad this is basically over.
- Could Milton Bradley stay with the Cubs? Carrie Muskat talked to Jim Hendry and he left it open by saying-
"You deal with the cards you have now"
- I reported on Saturday that the Cubs could demote or get rid of hitting coach Von Joshua and look at maybe Ryne Sandberg as a possible replacement. The AP said the same thing Sunday night but also says that Jim Hendry would not name anyone as possible replacement for Von. I would be thrilled if Sandberg was the hitting coach!
- Lou said that Ryne Sandberg will be in the mix to succeed him as manager. I would also love to see that as well.
- The Tribune and the Sun-times run down some offseason moves for the Cubs.
====Both think it is Jim Hendry's top priority is to unload Bradley and do not think there is any chance he is brought back. The Tribune believes the Cubs could trade Bradley for a bad contract run producer. I would not mind a guy like Eric Byrnes or Aaron Rowand, either one would be ideal for the Cubs.
==== Grabow is looking for a three year deal and the Cubs are likely to give it to him. I like Grabow and he should be the start of a better bullpen next season.
==== The Tribune thinks that Fonty and Foxy are trade candidates.... It is hard to believe that Mike Fontenot has any trade value and I think the Cubs would be foolish to get rid of Jake Fox considering how good of a hitter he is. The only way I trade him is for equal value or a part of a mega deal that gets a power hitting RF, CF, or 2nd baseman. Otherwise, NO WAY!
==== Both see Zambrano with the Cubs next season.
==== The Cubs could go with Sam Fuld instead of Reed Johnson next season. Not sure how I feel about that.
- Bruce Levine has some Cub news-
==== He believes the Cubs will have their fifth starter be a combination of Marshall and Shark. I on the other hand believe they should go with Tom Gorzelanny or sign a veteran lefty. Doug Davis tops my list for pitchers.
==== He believes Esmailin Caridad maybe the late inning call guy they need. He deserves to be on the 25 man roster to start next season. He has nasty stuff and only walked 3 batters in 14 outings and striking out 17.
==== He thinks the catchers will be the same next season. No argument here, Soto will bounce back.
==== He believes Chone Figgins is the answer for 2nd base next season giving his high OBP, Avg, and SB. I think he should be the Cubs top priority this offseason as well.
==== He talks about trading Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell. Still not sold on that one even though Burrell is a decent hitter and has a career OBP of .363 but age maybe catching up to him.
==== He says Miles and Fontenot need to go and the Cubs need a stronger bench. He says Baker will be back and a move in the right direction. I think Baker, Reed Johnson, Jake Fox, Andres Blanco, and Koyie Hill are a good start of the bench. Levine mentions Orlando Cabrera as a short term stop gap. I do not agree with that.
- If the Cubs are serious about adding a good, low cost bench guy they should look at Jamey Carroll, Craig Counsell, or John McDonald. Or get an expensive one and sign Mark DeRosa!
- The Cubs are not only looking at the free agent market for a replacement for Milton Bradley, they are looking at trades as well. Four player that they have circled according to some Cub officials are Adam Dunn, Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton, and Brad Hawpe. These players are the Cubs top trade targets this offseason. The Cubs almost got Swisher before they signed Fukudome, Adam Dunn was willing to take a discounted deal to come to the Cubs before they signed Milton Bradley, Brad Hawpe is the Cubs dream right fielder posting a .384 OBP while hitting 20+homers and drive in 80+ RBI every year, and Upton would provide a cheap, talented, high reward guy they can get for below market value.
I think the Cubs are right on having these four players be their top trade candidates. Hawpe looks the most attractive out of the four followed by Dunn, Swisher, and Upton.
That is it for tonight Cub Fans.... Look for live chats to return this offseason!