- Jon Heyman of SI.com 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!