Saturday, November 14, 2009

More On Granderson...

- According to sources the Cubs Jim Hendry is "absolutely" interested in offering a prospect-heavy package to the Tigers for Curtis Granderson. Rogers says that Tigers GM Dombrowski spoke to Hendry about Granderson and other players in Chicago earlier this week. This refutes the report yesterday that they have not talked.

- Bruce Levine of talking baseball says that Granderson is the Cubs #1 target this offseason. Stating he is an ideal teammate and always gives 100%.

- Levine says the Cubs will have to trade Bradley before trading for Granderson. The Rays and Rangers are still the most likely destination for Milton.

- Levine disputed Phil Rogers report saying the Cubs should give up Castro, Cashner, and Marmol for Granderson. He says all three are untouchable and the Cubs have no interest in trading them. But Bruce does think that Vitters maybe in a deal for Granderson. He says the Cubs can have nice MLB ready players and prospects package to get a deal done.

- If the Cubs get Granderson they are likely to re-sign Reed Johnson because Granderson does struggle against lefties. There is also talk that the Cubs could sign Mike Cameron, Randy Winn, or Rocco Baldelli (who is close with Lou and the Cubs have always been interested in). All three players hit lefties really well.

Til Next Time!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Granderson Rumor has Legs.....

- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune talked to Jim Callis who suggested the Cubs are in the best position to acquire Granderson out of the Yankees and Angels even though their farm systems seem better. It should be noted that the Angels and Tigers have discussed a trade for Granderson.

- Phil Rogers tweets that the Cubs are not involved in trade talks for Granderson yet, 'but will become aggressive when the Tigers are ready for offers." This means either Davidoff of Newsday or Rogers are getting wrong info because according to Davidoff the Angels and Tigers have already discussed a trade and Rogers said the Tigers are not ready for offers. Interesting......

- The baseball blog "Dock of the Rays" likes the idea of swapping Pat Burrell for Milton Bradley and even wonders if they threw in Andy Sonnanstine can entice the Cubs to add more money. I am all for that! The Cubs then could package Burrell and Sonnanstine for Granderson or Phillips and still come out good!

- I am hearing that the Tigers have a lot of interest in Cubs young SS Lee, hitter Jake Fox, southpaw Tom Gorzalanny and Sean Marshall, Angel Guzman, and Chris Carpenter to name a few. Of course they would not get all these players in a deal for Granderson but it is not out of the question fo them to land four of them in a deal.

That's all for tonight Cub Fans!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fontenot Super Two, Granderson, and more.....

- Mike Fontenot was granted super two status which means he is arbitration-eligible and will cost the Cubs more money next season even though he does not deserve it. This means Fontenot maybe traded or non-tendered this offseason.

- The Rays are still discussing a trade that would net them Bradley and send Burrell to the Cubs but talks are moving at a snails pace.

- I have word that the Cubs will be "players" on Bradon Phillips regardless of his contract and the cost of players. Sources say Jim and Co. love the "attitude" of Phillips and how he is a "gamer."

- Jim feels goo about the meetings and says he has a good feeling that the Cubs will be able to make a few good moves before the Winter Meetings Dec. 7th.

- The Cubs will not have enough money to land Marlon Byrd at his asking price right now.

- Bruce Levine reported the Tigers as another team that is interested in Milton Bradley. The Tigers are one of the few teams this winter looking to subtract their heavy contract and replenishing the team with smaller contracts and younger players. The Tigers have made rumor headlines by making Curtis Granderson, Bradone Inge, and Edwin Jackson available via trade. The Cubs have strong interest in Granderson. Granderson is owed 25.75 million over the next 3 seasons and would be a good swap for the Cubs if they could include Milton Bradley in the deal. Bruce Levine said there is interest and the Cubs have kept in contract with the Tigers even as recent as today. One unfounded rumor going around is a three team trade where the Tigers would get Pat Burrell, Sean Marshall, Aaron Heilman, and Sam Fuld, the Rays would get Milton Bradley, and the Cubs would receive Curtis Granderson. With the Cubs, Rays, and Tigers all exchanging some cash one way or another. Paul Sullivan said the deal would include Starlin Castro and Carlos Marmol. Try again Sullivan, Castro is untouchable!

Either way the Cubs need to get Granderson and if they ship of Bradley in a deal to do so, man Jim would really redeem himself for the last offseason.

More to Come.....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Milton Bradley and more.....

- Paul Sullivan is looking at the Milton Bradley situation and sees the Rangers as favorites to land him. Even though the Mets seem to be in the mix with Omar Minaya even admitting to talking to Jim about Bradley and likely including Luis Castillo in a deal. The Rays are also still very much in the mix as well.

- Sullivan says the Cubs are in no hurry to sign Lee to an extension.

- Harden still really likes Chicago and will continue dialogue with them even though it is unlikely he will return.

- The Reds are looking to cut payroll next season because of ticket sales. So the Reds will look to trade away their expensive players to cut payroll and bring in some inexpensive players to fill out the roster. So players likely to be moved are Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, and Brandon Phillips. The Cubs are currently looking to upgrade at the 2nd base position and could go into talks for Phillips who was also centered around trade conversations last season. If the Cubs could get Phillips it would be a great chip for next years ball club and beyond.

- Bruce Levine has some notes today-
---- Jim has been trying to trade Bradley since Sept.
---- Mike Cameron is plan D for the Cubs.
---- The Cubs will look at the non-tender list in Decemebr before making a move for another outfielder.
---- The Cubs have some interest in Mike Gonzalez for the pen.
---- The Cubs do not like Dan Uggla because they want better defensive 2nd baseman.
---- He does not mind a trade involving Luis Castillo
---- The Cubs will probably only eat around 5 million of Bradleys contract.
---- Jim hopes to have a couple deals done by Dec. 7th.

- According to many sources the Giants and Blue Jays will not trade for Bradley.

Til Next Time.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More on the Hot Stove....

- According to reports the Cubs are intersted in Marlon Byrd. Byrd, a free agent, is coming off a career year and will be reunited with his hitting coach from Texas if signed by the Cubs. Byrd wants a multiyear deal which I just do not see happening. Hendry really likes Byrd but I think they should consider a guy like Johnny Damon or even Mike Cameron before Byrd who has only had one decent year since has been in the majors.

- The Cubs are said to want to deal Bradley before the GM meeting end. There is also talk that Bradley maybe willing to redo his contract to get a deal done.

- The Cubs have turned up the heat on talks with other clubs about Milton Bradley. Jim has been in talks with the Giants, Rangers, Mets, and Rays recently. I do like the idea of Castillo coming to the Cubs.

Until Next Time.....

Hot Stove Action....UPDATE....

UPDATE 12:45 PM-

- Bruce Levine has the latest in his blog today on Milton Bradley. He says the Rangers are in the thick of things and Milton could be heading back to Texas for Kevin Millwood if a deal is struck. He also says the Rays and Jim Hendry worked beyond midnight last night discussing a deal that would send Pat Burrell to the Cubs for Bradley which we have all heard before. The sticking point in all these deals is how much of Milton's contract will the Cubs have to pay.

- Jim says they are not necessarily looking to add a middle infielder because of how Ryan Theriot did last season and he expects Miles and Fontenot to have back bounce seasons, more posturing.

- MLBDailyDish says the Cubs could be players on Roy Halladay. Interesting......

The first day of the meetings are in the books so lets see what is going on...

- Kevin Gregg filed for free agency leaving only Chad Fox and John Grabow left to file. Rich Harden and Reed Johnson have filed and rumor has it that they will be with new teams next season. Fox could retire and Grabow and the Cubs are working on an extension.

- According to sources the Cubs have a formal trade offer from the Rays that would send Pat Burrell to the Cubs for Milton Bradley but the sticking point is the Rays want the Cubs to pick up almost all of Bradley's 2011 salary which is half the contract. The Cubs do not want to do that right now. How about Cubs get Castillo, Rays get Bradley, Mets get Overbay, and Jays get Burrell? Just a thought.

- Rosenthal said the Cubs have discussed the framework for a deal with the Blue Jays and Mets involving Milton Bradley. Ken calls this a long shot but the deal would involve Bradley going to the Jays, Lyle Overbay going to the Mets, and Luis Castillo going to the Cubs. Rosenthal's source says this has "some legs, but not much" while Sullivan is reporting Toronto "wants no part of Milton Bradley. Meanwhile Hendry said they have not given up on Bradley even though we know that is just posturing.

There is an update however from Bruce Levine says the report by Ken Rosenthal has "some validity to it" and also says there is no question the Mets and Cubs have addressed a trade that would involve Castillo to the Cubs for Milton Bradley. This report by Levine was made after the update by Sullivan.

I will keep you up on this one!

- Joel Sherman of the NY Post is reporting the Rangers would consider dealing for Bradley but the Cubs would have to eat a big chunk of his contract which reports out of Chicago say that in unlikely. Could the Cubs trade Millwood for Bradley? I would do that! Or how about getting the Rangers involved in the three way with the Mets?

- Rich Harden wants to return to the Cubs and his agent is likely to meet with Jim Hendry soon. The only way I retain Harden is for under 7 million a year.

- The Cubs are expected to sign lefty reliever John Grabow to a two year deal with an option for 2012.

- Zambrano's agent says there has been no talk about waiving his no-trade clause.

- The Cubs want Fukudome back in RF, so they will be looking for a guy to man CF. We have heard Rowand, Pods, Davis, Cameron, etc....

- On XM radio with Lee Hamilton the Cubs have talked to the Rangers about a Bradon McCarthy for Milton Bradley trade. I would do that trade.

- The Cubs will not be releasing Bradley by any means.

- Levine says Jim is working hard to move Bradley and want him gone during the GM meetings.

- Bruce Miles says that Hendry has had "talks with three or four other teams about Bradley in the last 12 or 13 days, but nothing is close"

- ESPN threw out the idea of an Bobby Jenks for Milton Bradley trade. Done deal for me!

- Bruce Miles says the Cubs are not fit for Chone Figgins. I am guessing a money issue.

- The Cubs are interested in getting a middle infielder but only for a one or two year deal because of the emergence of Starlin Castro.

- On the middle infielder note, here is a list of players the Cubs are interested in via trade or free agency-

Luis Castillo
Placido Polanco- only for an one year incentive deal
Orlando Hudson- same as Polanco
Mark DeRosa
Orlando Cabrera
Miguel Tejada

Day one in the books, day two here we come!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Cubs Notes From Meetings....

- Jon Heyman of 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!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Levine's Latest.....

- Now that the Brewers have Carlos Gomez it seems like Mike Cameron may come to the Cubs even though he is a backup plan if they do not acquire a young left handed guy for CF. We have heard the names Rajai Davis (even though he is a righty), Scott Podsednik, and some others.

- Bruce says Bradley will be traded in the next 30-45 days. I say he is traded in the next week at the GM meetings for either Pat Burrell, Gary Matthews, or Aaron Rowand.

- Many think Chone Figgins will sign with the Cubs. I think he will has well.

- The Cubs want back Reed Johnson but not for the 2 years 6 million he wants. I do not blame them.

- Bruce thinks Starlin Castro will be the Cubs starting shortstop around the All-Star break and also thinks John Gaub could win a pen spot.

- Bruce also think the Cubs should sign Orlando Cabrera to a one year deal. Not sure if I like that idea.

Til Next Time.....