Saturday, January 10, 2009

Levine Latest, Bradley's Contract Details, and Backup Catcher...

- The Cubs could restart talks for Peavy soon but the new ownership groups for both will have to agree on it according to Bruce Levine.

- Bruce Levine also said that the Cubs are eyeing Aaron Heilman and that Ronny Cedeno could be a fit for Seattle. Heilman for Cedeno would work for me. Heilman could be a starting candidate if acquired, spend time in the pen, or flipped for another player. Hendry is to said that he likes Heilman and has tried to trade for him earlier this year.

- Here is some interesting contract details from Cots baseball contracts on Milton Bradley. Milton will only make 5 million in 09, 9 million in 10, and 12 million in 2011. The kicker is that 2011 may become a club option with a 2 million dollar buyout based on Bradleys' health. I really like the deal now!

- There has been whispers that the Cubs may sign Blanco as their backup catcher again, once the ownership situation is resolved. The Cubs love Hank White and have even talked about him becoming a coach for the Cubs organization of some sort after he retires from baseball. I really hope Hank signs with the Cubs.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cubs Ink Bradley... More on Jake Peavy and the Cubs.

- As expected the Cubs signed Milton Bradley to a 3 year deal worth 30 million dollars.

-Lets run down the latest Peavy talk-

***** Fred Mitchell had this tibit from Barry Axelrod; "Hendry seems to be open to anything. There are some GMs you deal with who are all paralyzed by their caution and analysis. Jim is willing to get out there and make things happen. So I wouldn't put anything past him of any kind." He also said that he understood there was " a framework in place" for Peavy to be traded during the Winter Meetings and that framework could still be in place.

***** Kevin Towers spoke to the San Diego Union Tribune on Wednesday and said the proposal from the Cubs "would fill several holes" for the Padres.

***** This is a must READ! This is why I want Ricketts to win the bid! Very good read! Another reason why Peavy should be a Cub!

- In other notes, it seems Adam Dunn will not be a Washington National like once thought. The Nats GM said that they will not be signing anymore free agents this offseason. Adam Dunn was once thought to be heading to the Nats but now that looks unlikely. Dunn's top pick is still the Cubs but the Cubs only are interested in him if the trade Lee or Soriano. Giants are also interested.

- Jim Hendry has this interesting quote on patience-

"insisting his product shouldn't be judged until Spring Training opens next month or by Opening Day."

Sounds like he will make a key trade or signing to make us say WHOA!

- The Sun-Times say Chone Figgins is suddenly available via trade. A little too late for the Cubs unless they plan to use him at SS because they already have Miles and Fonty at 2b.

That is it for now, more to come!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

HERE WE GO! Peavy Talks Back On.

Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says "those close to Jim Hendry expect him to restart the Jake Peavy talks." This is because the Cubs have unloaded salary with Jason Marquis( and DeRosa) and Jim even said yesterday he wanted to add another pitcher before the start of the season.

Hendry would still have to get an OK from the new ownership before absorbing Jake Peavy's contract because his contract would have an effect on the 2010 payroll. The only players that signed this year that have effected the 2010 payroll are Aaron Miles, Ryan Dempster, and soon to be Milton Bradley, but that amount was already approved by the front office before the winter meeting began.

Wittenmyer thinks the new ownership could be in place in just enough time for the Cubs to make a deal for Peavy. He also notes Braden Looper and Tim Redding would be a better fit financially than Lowe( assuming they do not get Peavy). Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune wonders if Pettitte would be a fit( you know I do because he would likely just take a one year deal). The pitchers I have targeted are here.

I still think the Peavy deal will eventually get done. The Padres need to unload his contract and Peavy has made it know he want to be a Cub. Another reason is the Padres have already damaged the relationship with Jake Peavy and his agent. Jake thought for sure he would be a Cub and even signed autographs that said "GO CUBS GO'' in Vegas. So just having Peavy in a Padres uniform just won't do. Not only that, if Jake Peavy for some reason gets hurt during the season or spring training the Padres would be stuck with a massive contract and no one to unload it on because he is injured( you cannot trade an injured player). That is something the Padres can't risk, so they won't. I would not doubt Jake is in a Cubs uniform but Spring Training or the latest during ST.

There is just too much that has already taken place for him not to end up in Chicago!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Marquis for Vizcaino Done and Cubs Looking to Deal Soriano??

Here are some more rumors today-

- The Cubs completed the deal that sent Vizcaino to the Cubs for Jason Marquis. The Cubs could flip Vizcaino in another trade or hold onto him to fill Howry's role last year in the pen. The Cubs will pay 1 million for Marquis' 9.875 million and all of Vizcaino's 4 million dollar contract. So they end up saving 4.875 million next season by dealing Marquis.

- According to the MLB Network, the Cubs are quietly shopping Alfonso Soriano and the 6 year 106 million left on his contract. With Tex getting 8 years 180 million and Manny looking for 4 years 100 million it is no wonder why Sorianos' 6 year 106 million may look appealing. He is a decent LF with a lot of pop, and speed. He could also benefit by going to the AL by doing to DHing. There are several teams looking for a dynamic hitter including the O's, Dodgers, Mets, Braves, Nationals, and others. I am assuming the Cubs could get a good return for him as well as a team taking on a lot of his contract.

The one thing that makes me wonder is if Soriano is moved will another LF be in the mix during the trade or would they sign a guy like Abreu or Dunn to play LF to give them more balance in the lineup? Or could Soriano be apart of a multi team trade that could net the Cubs, Roberts, Peavy, or a player like that? Or would he even waive his no trade clause?

I have mentioned earlier this offseason that Soriano could be move and different scenarios. Lets see if this rumor has legs.

And Here Comes The Rumors...

Got a variety of rumors for everyone today-

- The Cubs are very close to completing the deal that would send Vizcaino to the Cubs for Jason Marquis according to Carrie Muskat. Dave van Dyck says the Cubs are "actively seeking more live arms, whether it be Jake Peavy or another starter to replace innings of Marquis." Either the Cubs do not have faith in Sean Marshall starting or they just value him more as a long relief lefty out of the pen.

- Ameet Sachdev of the Chicago Tribune says the Cubs' ownership situation could be resolved finally after bids were placed in late November. It still could take a while for them to go over negotiations and other things, but the good thing is the Cubs can now present the new owner with ideas about the team and see if they can raise the payroll anymore to get a guy like Roberts, Peavy, etc. I am pulling for the Ricketts Family.

- The Cubs did have interest in Derrek Lowe but his asking price is just too high.

- This is a great tidbit from Gordon Edes-

The Cubs and Padres appeared close to a deal for Jake Peavy in Las Vegas, but the Padres backed away, leaving the Cubs convinced that someone over Kevin Towers’ head pulled the plug.

This is totally different from what we heard during the Winter Meetings. I really hope talks start heating up again with new ownership getting close to taking place.

- With the Cubs interested in getting another arm lets take a look at potential trade possibilities and inexpensive free agent signings-

Jake Peavy- Should be the Cubs top priority right now with Bradley all but wrapped up.

Bartolo Colon- A free agent that would not even cost the Cubs a major league contract but could pay off in the end considering he was a 20 game winner when healthy.

Pedro Martinez- A nice veteran presence, decent #5 stater and could cost about half of what Marquis made and put up better numbers.

Mark Mulder - Could be his bounce back season. He was great in Oakland and good in St. Louis when healthy. Could sign a incentive laden deal with Cubs.

Andy Pettitte- The Cubs really like Andy Pettitte but only if his price comes down. He recently rejected a 1 year 10 million dollar deal from the Yankees, so that might not happen. I sure would like him as our 5th starter though!

Mark Prior- I know I will get ripped for mentioning his name but if the Cubs offered him a 1 year 1 million dollar deal with incentives, what is the hurt in that. Especially if he becomes healthy and pitches like he did in 03. And if he does not then all you wasted was 1 million dollars.

Kenny Rogers- A nice veteran lefty that could really help the chemistry in the clubhouse. He is a real competitor and could cost a fraction of the 8 million he make last season. His numbers were down last season but he played on an awful Tigers team.

Ben Sheets- This guys has had health issues which makes teams interest in him a little lower than I expected. He does have interest from the Brewers, Rangers, and Astros but how bout throwing an incentive laden two year deal worth about 8 million a season?? If healthy he is a #1 pitcher but that is a big IF.

Kevin Millwood- He is owed some money and is not as good as he use to be but still has that sinker working. Would cost the Cubs a minor league guy with Texas looking to shed payroll. Might give the Rangers a call.

Erik Bedard- The guys has had some issues in the M's organization but the Cubs showed great interest in him before traded there. Not to mention would fill out the rotation well.

Justin Duchscherer- Big fan of this guy and Oakland has made it known, no one is unavailable in that organization. He would cost some prospects but not near as many as Peavy. Got to love that 2.54 ERA last season. Did I mention he is still under team control and making a 1.2 million this year.

Roy Halladay- I know I am dreaming right??? Maybe not! We have heard the past two off seasons and during the deadline last year that Roy was secretly made available by the Jays. I think for the right package he could be had by the Cubs. He is in the final two years of his contract and owed 30 million. He is likely to hit the free agent market after 2010 and be the highest paid pitcher in MLB. He is a Cy Young candidate every year and a 20 game winner. Two problems woudl be payroll limitations and if the Cubs have the players to get a deal done or would they need to involve another team. Imagine what he could do in the NL Central!

That is it for now!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cubs Sign Bradley.

The Cubs have signed Milton Bradley to a three year 30 million dollar deal " with some options in the deal." Rosenthal says the two sides have to work through some language in the contract but it should not be an issue.

This is good news( even though I think Dunn is a better fit power wise). 3 years 30 million is a reasonable price considering Burrell got a 2 year deal worth 16 million. Burrell is a big time power hitter with low average, bad defense, and right handed. While Bradley hit for power and average, decent defense, and a switch hitter. Not to mention Milton is 2 year younger than Burrell.

Now is Bradley 2 million more dollars a year better than Burrell??? Absoultly!

Now if they can just trade Soriano, sign Dunn to play LF, and trade for Peavy, I would be extremely happy, but that will not happen.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bruce Levine Rumor Updates

Bruce has some more updates for todays so lets have a look-

- Milton Bradley is still expected to sign next week with the official announcement to take place at the Cubs Convention. Levine said it will be about 8-9 million a year for about 3 years. While Lee Hamilton said it is 3 year 24 million. Either one is reasonable.

- The Marquis deal is expected to be made official on Monday or Tuesday.

- Levine stuck to his reports last week that the Cubs new ownership will have to be in place for the Cubs to trade for Peavy and add his contract. He thinks the new owner could be in place in the next month. He also says he is hearing Josh Vitters, Jeff Stevens, Welington Castillo and Kevin Hart would go to San Diego in return for Jake Peavy. Also he says there is a 80% chance that this will happen and I agree.

- The Cubs are talking to Rich Aurilla right now and are interested in signing him to back up at 3b and 1st. The only way I support this is if Cedeno is traded because we already have Miles, Cedeno, Theriot, Fonty, and Hoffpauier as infielders, so they only way this works is if one is traded or Hoffpauier starts in AAA.

- Bruce is not sure whether Pie or Cedeno will be on the opening day roster or traded because both are out of options. He thinks trade talk for both will increase in the next 2 weeks.

- Here is a great link for Kaplan and DeRosa's interview.
Listen Now! (mp3)

What a class act!

That is it! For Now.