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....


Anonymous said...

Jim is handling the off season well. He moved Bradley and got cash back. Now he is negotiating contracts with the Arb-eligibles and is in no hurry to sign either a CF or bullpen free agent, because he knows his best opportunities are via trade.

Unfortunately, however, that always makes you subject to other people's priorities and time tables.

Getting Buckholz was NEVER in the deals discussed. But getting Ellsbury is Jim's first choice to fill the CF/leadoff spot for the Cubs; and he is willing to wait as long as possible to see if one of two opportunities open that will allow the Cubs to make their move. In order to open that door, the Red Sox must either sign Holliday or make a move for Gonzalez of the Padres. In either case the Cubs could get Ellsbury for young pitching and prospects.

The Cubs have re-awakened to the fact that they really need a LH hitting CF AND leadoff hitter, whether that is tied up in one player or two. That eliminates your boy, Davis! After Ellsbury, Jim will make a move for Melky Cabrera. If those doors close, or he is forced by time and/or dwindling supply, he will look at the F/A CF players available, and leave the bullpen to last. Like you, from the 3 usually mentioned (Byrd, Pods & Ankiel)I would take Ankiel and stick him in the middle of the order and let leadoff revert to a flip-flop of Fukudome and Theriot.

Z isn't going anywhere, and the Cubs interest in Castillo is very limited, depending on the outcome of the CF situation. He'll be there and available if and when Jim decides to make an offer, because no one else wants him. The Cubs have limited interest in Contreras and the Spilborghs deal is in the category of "old news" and isn't likely to be resurrected unless the Rockies come to their senses about his value.

Levine is correct in saying that Jim's budget is limited, but it's not all THAT limited. Most people place the budget at $145M, and if that is indeed the case, including the $5.5M available THIS year from the Mariners, and after making reasonably overpriced estimates of salary increases to the Arb-eligibles, the Cubs should still have $16M to $17M, not $6M-$7M, to spend. That being said, however, if Jim thinks Ellsbury won't become available until July, he'll try and hold on to a chunk of that money until then.


Anonymous said...

I like Nick I's Tejada mention. I know his defense and range is not what it used to be, so I would even consider him at 2B if he is willing and if he is not better defensive than Theriot at SS. He could also spell Rammy at 3B.


Anonymous said...

You called it. Deal on the last day of the year. Just not what we may have hoped a la DeRo and Miles last year. Chi Trib Sports online is reporting breaking news that Cubs signed Byrd to 3 years $15.


allan jb said...

Why are you giving so much weight to Levine's statements? He's just another sports writer,isn't he?