Saturday, November 21, 2009

Young Cubs Not Going Anywhere,,, New Free Agents...

- NO! That is the answer Jim Hendry gave when asked if Vitters, Castro, and Cashner are available. According to many Cub officials all three are off limits even for the likes of Roy Halladay.

- If the Cubs cannot acquire a guy for center field via trade (like Granderson) they may go for a middle of the road free agent signing. Some names being tossed around are of course Marlon Byrd and Mike Cameron. Cameron is the most affordable of the two and probably better offensive and defensively. Some other names being thrown out there are Rick Ankiel and even CoCo Crisp. I also would not count out Johnny Damon even though he is the most expensive out of the bunch.

- The Cubs remain interested in getting a guy who can play all three outfield spots but won't cost as much as Reed Johnson will. Some guys that fit that bill are Rocco Baldelli, Endy Chavez, and Scott Podsednik. I think Rocco or Pods would fit great on this team as a 4th outfielder but they have to deal Bradley first of course.

- The Cubs are still eyeing an upgrade at 2nd base but do not want to overspend for one. The Cubs hope is to trade Milton Bradley away and get Luis Castillo in return but that has not worked out yet. The Cubs also like Felipe Lopez, Orlando Hudson, Placido Polanco, and recently have been linked to Adam Kennedy. I think the Cubs should try damn hard to get Lopez, Hudson, or Castillo. All three are switch hitter, good defensively, and can be had for two years or maybe less. They can also be had for a decent price and with Lopez you get a guy who can play all over the field. Hendry needs to get one of the three.

- A nice situation would be the Cubs trading Bradley and getting Luis Castillo, signing CoCo Crisp, Rocco Baldelli, and Noah Lowry or Brett Meyers. Then trading away guys like Aaron Miles and Mike Fontenot to relieve some cash.

Until Next Time.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

First Day of Free Agency Notes...

- As expected the Cubs signed John Grabow to a two year deal worth 7.5 million dollars.

- Muskat of said the Blue Jays have contacted the Cubs about Roy Halladay. But do not get to excited Cub fans. The Jays have a list of players that they would want in return for Halladay and Bradley is not one of them. The article says that Starlin Castro would be apart of any deal which automatically veto's the deal because he is untouchable. The only way I deal for Halladay is if it does not include Castro and we work out a long term deal for Hallady before he is traded to the Cubs. Lot of "ifs" there.

- I was notified by two sources that the Cubs were indeed in final negotiations to send Bradley and Miles to the Rangers for Millwood but the Rangers wanted either Marshall or Guzman in the deal as well so it fell apart.

- There was a three way deal rumored where the Rangers would get Milton Bradley, Cubs get Luis Castillo, and the Mets get Kevin Millwood but it was quickly dismissed by Carrie Muskat and Bruce Levine.

- The Cubs added 5 players to the 40 man roster. They added Blake Parker, James Adduci, John Gaub,Welington Castillo, and Rafael Dolis. It brings the 40 man to 38 players. Still two spots and they should go to Thomas Diamond and Brad Snyder.

- The Cubs will still look to deal some arbitration eligible players maybe guys like Sean Marshall and Mike Fontenot.

That is it for now.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bradley Update... Cubs Sign Grabow.... Heilman Gone...

- Still no update on Millwood for Bradley and Miles, even though David Kaplan says they are in serious discussions. Which confirms it somewhat.

- According to Jayson Stark the Rays, Rangers, and Jays appear the likely places for Bradley.

- The Cubs signed Grabow to a 2 year 7 million dollar deal.

- Carrie Muskat says the Cubs cannot afford Reed Johnson or Rich Harden this offseason.

- The Cubs will not targer Pedro this offseason.

- Aaron Heilman was traded to Arizona today for lefty reliever Scott Maine and first baseman Ryne White. Heilman was a non-tender candidate so this is not a shock. Both guys look like two good prospects. I actually did not expect this type of return for Heilman.

- The Cubs are somewhat interested in Felipe Lopez but not if he breaks the bank.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bradley to Rangers Almost Done.. Grabow Ready to sign...

- First reported by David Kaplan that the Cubs and Rangers are in serious talks for Bradley. Bruce Levine also chimed in yesterday saying if the Cubs sent Bradley to the Rangers it would be for Kevin Millwood. Now I am hearing from my sources that a Bradley for Millwood (maybe including Aaron Miles) swap is in the final stages and they are just finalizing the money situation in which Millwood is still owed his signing bonus. I am also hearing that the Cubs may in fact pay Millwood's entire contract including the signing bonus if they can include Aaron Miles in the same deal which would offset the money some.

My source also stats that the deal could be done as soon as Tomorrow because the Cubs and Rangers both want to complete a deal before free agency starts on Friday. I will keep you updated on this as new info comes across.

- Grabow and the Cubs are nearing a deal worth 7.5 million over the next two years which may include an option for a 3rd year. The deal will be finalized before free agency starts Friday.

More to come....

Levine Updates Us... and An Unfounded Rumor....

Levine had some good notes yesterday so lets check them out-

- Levine thought Bradley would have been traded by now.

- He still thinks the Rangers and Rays are likely destinations for Bradley. If he goes to the Rangers Millwood would come to the Cubs and if he goes to the Rays then the Cubs would get Burrell. If the Cubs got Millwood they would likely keep him as their 5th starter and if they got Burrell then he would be flipped to an AL team.

- Starlin Castro will not be traded this off-season and the only way Cashner is traded is in a blockbuster deal. I am guessing Halladay.

- Levine says it is questionable if Aaron Heilman and Sean Marshall will be apart of the Cubs pen 2010. Both are good trade candidates for the Cubs.

- He says Esmailin Caridad will get a shot making the team along with John Gaub.

- Levine says no Mark DeRosa next season.

- The Tigers want good young prospects for a deal for Granderson and Levine said Josh Vitters would have to be included. That is a big chip for the Cubs.

- The Cubs are one of many teams interested in Billy Wagner. I think the Cubs have enough young players in their system that can fill out their pen next season. I rather spend the money on a 2nd baseman or outfielder.

- The trade talks surrounding Curtis Granderson are real according to Bruce Levine.

******Unfounded Trade Rumor******

I have done these in the past when I receive a trade rumor with no link or source and I can neither confirm or deny the report. This one caught my eye and has been sitting in my inbox for days now so I decided to pull it out with all the reports of Bradley either going to the Rays or Rangers and the Cubs interest in Granderson. So here it is-

Cubs get Curtis Granderson and Kevin Millwood
Rangers get Milton Bradley and Edwin Jackson
Tigers get Sean Marshall, Josh Vitters, Julio Borbon, Guillermo Moscoso, and Aaron Miles

The Cubs would be talking on some salary to get this done and also shedding a lot of it as well. Millwood is essentially owed 27 million with being owed 12 million in 2010 and a 15 million dollar signing bonus being paid 2011-2015. Granderson is owed 24 million over the next three season with a 13 million dollar club option for 2013. So the Cubs would be taking on 51 million dollars in contracts but the Cubs are also dealing some players so lets check their price tag.

The Cubs would be trading Milton Bradley and his entire contract to the Rangers which actually saves the Rangers money because Bradley is only owed 21 million and Kevin is owed 27 million. The Cubs also are getting rid of Sean Marshall (who is arbitration eligible likely to make $750,000 next season), Josh Vitters (who had a 3.2 signing bonus which has not fully taken effect, much like Millwood), and Aaron Miles (2.7 million next season). With all those totals the Cubs will be trading away 26 million in contract money. So basically the Cubs would be filling two holes this offseason and only spending 25 million in contracts. For those two players I would do this in a heartbeat.

The Cubs get a inning eating starter who is labeled the #1 starter in Texas but would be a back of the rotation starter in Chicago because of the Cubs strong rotation. He would likely fill in for Lilly until he got back in April then slide down to a #4 spot. He would provide the Cubs with veteran leadership and a guy who can chew up innings which the lacked last season.

The Cubs also get their left-handed above average defensive leadoff guy for CF. I expect his numbers to look in Chicago posting a .280 Avg, with 20 homers, 60 RBI, and 30 SB. He would provide the Cubs with much better chemistry in the clubhouse and he is known as one of the nicest guys in baseball. Truly a guy the Cubs need.

The Rangers come out good on this deal as well. They get another young starter in Edwin Jackson who is expect a good raise in arbitration but the Rangers would still be decreasing their payroll by acquiring both Bradley and Jackson by at least 4 million. The Rangers would then have a really good young rotation starting with Feldman and Jackson. Not to mention they get Milton Bradley back who would likely bounce back to the numbers he put up in Texas and lead the world in OBP hitting around Josh Hamilton. Just a good trade for the Rangers, don't you think?

The Tigers make out great in this deal. Not only do they get a core of young players but they get some of the best prospects in baseball. Josh Vitters is labeled the Cubs 3rd best prospect in their system and 31st best prospect in baseball by Not only that but they receive the outfielder Juilo Borbon who is the 43rd best prospect in baseball and he hit .312 with 4 homers 20 RBI and 19 SB is just 46 games with the Rangers. Guillermo Moscoso is really good young player the Rangers get. In 5 minor league season he has posted a 2.90 ERA with 26 wins and 15 loses with 59 games started. He is labeled the 12 best prospect in the Rangers organization and in the top 125 in baseball. The Tigers also get a young southpaw that can be a long reliever or starter for Detriot in Sean Marshall. Marshall would likely slip into the Tigers rotation and soften the blow of trading Edwin Jackson. The Tigers do not come out of the deal without taking on some cash though. They take Aaron Miles and the 2.7 million owed to him next season, the price to pay to get such young talent in this trade.

All in all this looked like a good trade for all team involved. It seemed somewhat legitimate so I decided to post it and let you be the judge. I cannot confirm or deny this "Unfounded Rumor" at this time. I will update you on this as it become available to me.

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Some Hot Stove Chatter....

- Grabow filed for free agency but the Cubs are likely to sign him to an extension before free agency starts on Friday.

- The Cubs will not offer Gregg or Harden arbitration.

- David Kaplan finally getting in on this Hot Stove chatter. He reports that the Winter Meetings will be very busy for the Cubs and Hendry. Jim felt he has made good progress in several areas and several deals could be closed then. The WM is in Indianapolis on Dec. 7th.

- Bradley will probably end up in Texas or Tampa but according to Bob Nightengale he may end up in Arizona for Eric Byrnes. Byrnes is owed 11 million next season and has interested the Cubs because of his all out attitude and the D'backs are in fact very interested in Bradley. Pull the trigger Hendry.

Til Next Time....