Saturday, October 17, 2009

Finally An Update....

Sorry guys for the long delay... Lots of stuff going on but here is the latest Cubs talk-

- The Cubs have released So Taguchi. No shock there.

- Neal Cotts wants to pitch next season whether or not the Cubs tender him.

- Carrie Muskat said yesterday that the Cubs have asked the Rangers for permission to talk to Rudy Jaramillo. The Cubs are likely to add him as their hitting coach. He is a perfect fit and it seems the Cubs are even willing to over pay for his services.

- The Cubs are discussing a deal with many teams regarding Milton Bradley but no deal appears imminent.

- Jon Heyman has the Cubs a possible landing spot for Billy Wagner.

- Don't Laugh but I have heard from a couple of sources that the Red Sox are one of the teams interested in Milton Bradley. In fact one said that the Sox wanted to make a run at him last season as insurance for J.D. Drew and the struggling David Ortiz but backed off when he wanted more than an one year deal. Would the Sox trade Dice-K and the 28 million left on his contract for troubled but talented outfielder Milton Bradley and the 21 million left on his contract?

I would say yes! The Red Sox have already considered trading Dice-K at the deadline this year and said they would entertain offers for him during the offseason. Dice-K has a no-trade clause but may be willing to waive it to go to a team like the Cubs. There would be a familiar face in Fukudome (which could also benefit the Cubs) and the Red Sox would also be saving 7 million by trading him for Bradley. They could then use that 7 million to re-sign Jason Bay, make a run at Matt Holliday, or another top tier free agent. All the while they would get a guy who has a lifetime .277 AVG and .371 OBP even after the awful season he had with the Cubs. Yes, the Red Sox may have some chemistry issues with Bradley but they put up with Manny for years didn't they?! Milton would provide the Sox with an everyday DH and spot starter in the outfield. They could evenuse him in a platoon role with Ortiz since Bradley smashes lefties. I see this as more of a win for the Sox than the Cubs.

On the Cubs end of the deal they do take on another big contract pitcher which is not to exciting. But with Dice-K in the NL Central I expect his numbers to look a lot better than his numbers in Boston. Even though his numbers in Boston were not that bad. Mats would fit in the rotation nicely whether he is a 3rd or 5th starter. Not to mention the Cubs would be getting rid of clubhouse cancer Milton Bradley and strengthening their rotation while doing it.

I honestly believe this is a realistic deal for both sides and Jim and Theo should read this idea and get it done.

More Later......

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hudson Another Cubs Target.. Other Notes...

- Is there a free agent the Cubs are not interested in?!?! According to Ken Rosenthal at Tim Hudson plans to officially join the free agent market. Hudson who is just coming off Tommy John Surgery went 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA in 7 starts that started Sept. 1st. Hudson has always been one of the top pitchers in the game winning 29 games and just losing 18 in the past three years while posting an ERA of 3.41 combined in those 3 seasons. Since he will be declining his option, he is giving up 12 million guaranteed for next season. A lot of baseball guys believe Hudson will get a 2 year deal worth 16 million and others think he will get 3 year deal around 30-35 million. One thing is for sure the Cubs are interested in Hudson. The news with Tim Hudson heading to the free agent market intrigued the Cubs so much they have made him one of their "top targets" this offseason according to someone close to the Cubs internal operations.

I would love to see Hudson on this team. Having a rotation of Zambrano, Lilly, Dempster, Hudson, and Wells would be so dominate!

- The said Brad Hawpe could be a trade candidate given the cheap outfield talent of Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, and Seth Smith. said that the Cubs and Mets should have interest in Hawpe. Brad can opt out of this 10 million 2011 option if traded but I think if traded to the Cubs they may want to negotiate a new deal with him. He would be perfect in RF for the Cubs. The only question is do they have enough to land him?

- One SF Giant exec with veto power said we WOULD approve an Aaron Rowand for Milton Bradley trade probably because Rowand is owed 36 million and Bradley is owed 21 million. No trade is expected though because the team does not want to get him chemistry issues by trading for Bradley.

- Ricketts is due to take over the Cubs by late next week. The sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts Family was approved by Bankruptcy Court.

- Tom Ricketts and the rest of the Cubs' staff will have their first organizational meeting the first week of November to address the Cubs needs for next season. Word is the Cubs payroll will increase to 145-150 million next season. The Cubs current roster as it stands with no signing or arbitration is costing the Cubs 120 million. Which means with arbitration raises, new signing, and no subtraction of of money the Cubs will have nearly 25-30 million to spend in the 2010 offseason. That is a good amount.

- Reed Johnson returning to the Cubs is up in the air because of lingering back issues but both sides are confident they can work it out.

- Aaron Heilman is under Cubs control for next season and may be trade bait.

- The Cubs could sign Derrek Lee to an extension. Only adding on a year or two I assume.

Until Next Time......

Monday, October 12, 2009

Damon a Target....

According to the Cubs are looking at Johnny Damon for CF next season. Damon, 36, is reportedly looking for a two year deal and the Cubs could offer him a 2 year 20 million dollar deal to have him in the Friendly Confines. The Cubs could then move Fukudome to RF and maybe even a platoon role with Johnson. Damon hit .282 with 24 Homers and 82 RBI while stealing 12 bases. He also posted a .370 OBP. He could fill the role as their lead off hitter or even a two hole hitter. Damon would be a great upgrade to this team. If the Cubs could get Damon and Figgins I would be thrilled!

Slow day today... More to Come....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More on Bradley... Cubs Making Moves This Winter....

- Getting sick of Milton Bradley rumors??? We are too! That is why the Cubs will want to try to trade him as soon as possible, maybe right after the World Series, although that may be unlikely. The Cubs have set a self-imposed deadline of December 2nd to deal Bradley because they want to go into the winter meetings on Dec. 7th without him in Cubbie blue and addressing other needs.

-It should be noted that the Cubs could also look to see what the trade market is Jake Fox, Micah Hoffpauir, and Mike Fontenot. They also may just outright release Aaron Miles or trade him for another contract worth 2.7 million next season. How about Miles and Fontenot for Luis Castillo and his contract? Mets get 8 million in salary relief for the next 2 seasons. I bet they would do that.

- According to Yahoo's Tim Brown the Rays will only consider trading for Bradley if the Cubs eat most of his contract, that way the Rays could release him at any time and not take a financial hit. I am sorry the Cubs just won't do that unless you subtract Burrell and add Upton in the deal or keep Burrell and add Iwamura to the deal.

- This winter will be a busy one for Jim Hendry and new owner Tom Ricketts. The Cubs are reportedly looking at free agents and players via trade. The holes they would like to address one way or another as followed-

---Power hitting RBI guy for the outfield--- My guy- Brad Hawpe
---Good defensive, speedy, guy for 2nd base---My guy- Chone Figgins
---Maybe a veteran southpaw starter---My guy- Doug Davis
---Veteran for the bullpen--- Matt Herges

This is an good way to go about the offseason. You are making one trade and signing 3 free agents. With Hawpe making 7.5 million next season and a 10 million dollar option he is a steal for a guy who will hit .285 with 20+ homers and 80+ RBI. Figgins would be the Cubs big offseason price tag. He is likely to cost around 4 years 44 million but well worth it since the Cubs need a leadoff man. Doug Davis maybe the back of the rotation starter the Cubs have been looking for. He would likely cost the Cubs about 8 million a season which is not that bad. Matt Herges may come about 1 million for next season because of the flooded relief market. With these 4 players the Cubs will be adding about 25 million in payroll but could be subtracting money as well by getting rid of players like Bradley, Miles, Fonty, and others.

Here are my 2nd choices for the Cubs needs-
Power Hitter- Nick Swisher
2nd base- Orlando Hudson/Akinori Iwamura- It is a tie between the two.
Veteran Lefty- Randy Johnson/in house
Veteran Pen- Guillermo Mota/Kiko Calero

I would also like to add that the Cubs should sign Kelvim Escobar to a contract this offseason. He only pitched 5 innings this season because of arm problems but he is a very good pitcher with upside. He could basically go the route of Mark Prior and rehab until he thinks he is ready. Wouldn't you pay just a million to a guy that could help your team next season? The same guy that went 18-7 with a 3.40 ERA last season? I would!

One thing is for sure... This will be a fun offseason!