Saturday, January 17, 2009

Some Tidbits From the Convention...Other Notes and Rumors....

Here is some convention tidbits I gathered from various places-

- Sean Marshall is the front runner for the 5 spot in the rotation according to Lou.

- Yes, Jim Hendry did get BOOED at the Convention.

- Bradley threw out the first pitch of the Cubs Convention.

- Lou likes Aaron Miles' success leading off games. He is a favorite to leadoff. He also said Soriano is getting older so he may move down in the order. I agree with this somewhat, Miles has not been as good leading off besides last season though. I think Reed Johnson and Fukudome would do a good job leading off a ball game as well.

- Zambrano will get LASIK eye surgery to make him see the ball and strike zone better.

- Hendry's quote of the day-

"I promise you come Opening Day we will have a better team than we did last year."

- Hendry said maybe the Cubs will add a significant guy or maybe they won't but he does not think it would be right without out checking with the new owner before adding a player. Hendry added, "Maybe we can chase a bigger fish." Jim Hendry is not done "tweaking" his roster.

- Harden is going through extensive strength and conditioning this off-season.

That is it from the Convention, more to come I am sure!

Now onto other rumors-

- According to MLBTR there has been 8 teams that contacted Boras about new free agent Andruw Jones. I am hearing that the Cubs are one of the eight teams and one person told me that the Cubs plan on offering him a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. I think he will end up with a big league contract somewhere.

- The Phillies are considering trading Myers to create more room in payroll. They have 6 arbitration eligible player with Blanton, Howard, and Victorino being the big guys. Brett Myers would be the an ideal guy to fit the 4th or 5th starter spot. He is a gamer and I have been a big fan of his for a while now.

- Crane Kenney says that the Cubs sale should be finalized by opening day and the numbers of buyers should be narrowed down to one by month end.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some Cubs Tidbits.

- The Cubs have signed So Taguchi to a minor league deal that could be worth around 900K. This basically give the Cubs more depth in the minors in case of injury and gives Fukudome a country man in Spring Training.

- The Cubs have avoided arbitration with Ronny Cedeno. Ronny will make 822K in 2009, but is unknown with what club because he is a trade candidate.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cubs Could Sign Aurilia Soon... Peavy talk... Pitching..

-Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says that the Cubs have spoken to Rich Aurilia and may offer a one year deal to take Ronny Cedeno's spot and back up Aram and Lee. We have heard this before this off season and I think Aurilia would be a great pick up. I also think Doug Mientkiewicz and Nomar Garciaparra would be a good fit.

- Here is a tidbit from Paul Sullivan's article-

Hendry will meet with the new owner of the Cubs as soon Tribune Co. completes the sale. He'll then find out whether he can find a way to fit Jake Peavy's $63 million contract into the Cubs' budget.

- As far as the Randy Wolf rumors, I just think the Cubs should go with Sean Marshall in the rotation before they sign Wolf. Here is my top 6 pitchers they should go with-

1. Jake Peavy
2. Andy Pettitte ( would only take one or two year deal)
3. Ben Sheets ( would take one or two year deal)
4. Kenny Rogers ( one year deal maybe minor league with invite to ST)
5. Odalis Perez ( one or two year deal)
6. Pedro Martinez ( one year deal)

Other than those I think you have Marshall, Gaudin, Guzman, and Hart battle for the 5th spot.

That is it for now, I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bruce Miles Updates and Quick Hits.

Here is some good stuff from Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald-

***** He says Randy Wolf remains a possibility for the Cubs. I can think of better or worst candidates for the 5th starter position. I would rather have Marshall start and sign a guy with upside or veteran like Kenny Rogers, Pedro Martinez, Odalis Perez, Andy Pettitte, and my favorite Ben Sheets.

***** He says the Cubs are unlikely to sign Blanco but Bako remains on the radar. I just don't get this but right now it looks like Koyie Hill is the backup catcher (which I support). I also think there are better options besides Bako like Javier Valentin and Ivan Rodriguez( rumored he would have to take a minor league deal).

***** He says Rich Hill, Felix Pie, and Ronny Cedeno are out of options. All three could be traded before opening day with Cedeno the most likely to stay. Guzman is also a trade candidate because he is out of options but he will make the bullpen or could be apart of package of players to get "you know who."

Here is some quick hits-

**** Marshall is the front runner for the 5th spot in the rotation. Even over acquiring a veteran starter.

**** Bradley as of right now will bat 4th with Lee batting 3rd and Aram batting 4th. I do not know why they would have Lee still bat 3rd. He should bat 2nd, 5th, or 6th.

**** The Cubs could have interest in Paul Lo Duca. He was considered an elite catcher up until 2007 when his numbers really dropped off.

Noah Lowry a Fit??

Today on the Giants website they suggested that the club trade Noah Lowry that is just coming off some arm issues but he would have to have a good spring and show he is healthy before they trade him or Sanchez.

The Giants are looking for a big power bat to put in their lineup which lacks pop. The Cubs currently have some big bats in their lineup and are looking at some pitching( it also helps that the Cubs are looking to shed some money so they can get a leadoff guy or Peavy). What I would suggest is the Cubs call the Giants and see if they would want Soriano and most of his outrageous contract for Lowry. I would give the Cubs a lefty in the rotation or trade bait for a guy like Peavy. Not to mention that the Cubs would get rid of the majority of his outrageous contract and would allow them to pursue a guy like Abreu, Dunn, or Manny for LF.

I personally think Soriano has great trade value and the time to trade him is now because he is getting up there in age. The one thing that could be a sticking point is Soriano's no trade protection and the fact of how much we would have to pay of his contract.

Do not get me wrong, I do like Soriano but if we can get Peavy/Lowry and replace him with a Dunn in LF, I would be all for a deal to trade him.

Micheal Young Rumors Starting

This is probably not even worth noting but there has been rumors that the Cubs could be a fit for Micheal Young. The Star-Telegram said that Young could give the Cubs flexibility that they lost when they traded DeRosa. It also said that the Rangers like Rich Hill and Josh Vitters. What it fails to note is the contract that Young has, the Cubs would not asorb something like that without trading a big contract.

Insert speculation from Joel Sherman , he says the Cubs could trade Alfonso Soriano to the Rangers for Michael Young. This way the Cubs could then have the financial flexibility to trade for Peavy. It just does not make sense considering Young makes 16 million a year for the next 5 years and Soriano makes 16 million this year and 18 million after that. It is basically a push in how much they make in a year. How does that make us be able to afford Peavy. It really doesn't. Now it the Cubs got in a three way trade that traded Soriano to the Rangers and the other team got Young and the Cubs got prospects, pitching, or a leadoff guy I would be all for it! But that is not likely to happen. Here is my 2 ideas of a three way trade-

Dodgers get Micheal Young
Rangerts get Alfonso Soriano
Cubs get Matt Kemp and salary relief

Red Sox get Micheal Young and Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Rangerts get Alfonso Soriano and Rich Hill
Cubs get Jacoby Ellsbury and salary relief

Those are just ideas though.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cubs Sale Close??

The Cubs sale could be close but would have been announced last week if the Tribune company had not relaxed their deadline for one last final bid. The end is in site though according to the Chicago Tribune. Here is the article.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cubs Close to Signing Lefty

Thanks to my posters for this one!

- Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker is saying that the Cubs are close to signing left handed pitcher Ken Takahashi. This is still a ways away according to sources. Ken could allow the Cubs to add another Japanese player to their roster to make Fukudome feel more comfortable. I agree with this idea. Here is his stats. It looks like he has not started to many games, more of a long relief man. His ERA has fluxed quite a bit but could no hurt to sign him to a one year deal. It should be noted that he is 40 years old. Here has a great wind up and really good sweeping slider. Check out this video.

- To put this to rest fast the Cubs have no interest in Michael Young. He recently has came out and said that he wants traded. He is owed 62 million over the next 5 seasons so that does not appeal to the Cubs. The Cubs also do not want to trade Vitters for Young( which Texas is looking for a young 3rd baseman). He has been awful away from Texas during his career. The Cubs just have no interest in the 32 year old righty.

- Some good Jake Peavy news is that John Moores will likely be the majority owner for the Padres which means he will still have to cut payroll from 73 million to 40 million befor the season. The best thing is for the Cubs ownership situation to get resolved in Chicago as soon as possible. I have been told the feeling in San Diego is that Jake is gone. They need players to fill the field and no money to do it. While having a large contract and tremendous trade value in Peavy makes him as good as gone. Plus Jake's agent has said the would skip the WBC if traded to a new team so he can train with them which makes it sound it is just a matter of time. So things are looking good Cub fans!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Cubs Lineup and 25 Man Roster.

Here is my lineup, bench, rotation, and bullpen if the Season started today-

1. Soriano LF
2. Fonty 2b
3. Bradley RF
4. Aram 3b
5. Soto C
6. Lee 1st
7. Fukudome CF
8. Theriot SS
9. Pitcher

- Miles IF
- Hoffpauier 1st/LF/RF
- Gathright OF
- K. Hill C
- Johnson OF

1. Zambrano
2. Lilly
3. Dempster
4. Harden
5. Marshall

- Marmol C
- Gregg SU
- Cotts
- Gaudin
- Guzman
- Samardzija
- Vizcaino

Guys who just did not make it-

Cedeno- I do think he will likely be put on waivers or traded before opening day.

Pie- Same goes with Pie, they signed Gathright because he has better speed, defense, and more of an established hitter in the big leagues.

Hart- I see him starting in AAA Iowa or traded. Just does not have the stuff to stick.

Weurtz- My wild card. I think he could start in AAA and make his way to Chicago like last season. He just has a hard time throwing strikes. You could flip flop him with Guzman but Angel has a better arm than Weurtz.

Wells- Still has some work to do, even though he was a stud last season up at the big league level.

Fox- Coming off surgery once again, will start in AAA.

Of course this could change in a hurry if the Cubs sign another starter or trade for one. They could also sign Bako or Hank White. Plus to be rumored to have interest in Rich Aurilia. One question I have for you is this- If they have interest in Aurilia, why no rumors about Nomar, Doug Mientkiewicz, Craig Counsell, or Juan Uribe??? All them have similar numbers and are about as versatile.