Saturday, December 12, 2009

Quick Hits....

- The Cubs tendered contracts to all players except Neal Cotts.

- The Cubs may move to add some players that were recently non-tendered. I am hearing the Cubs are interested in Alfredo Amezaga, Ryan Church, and Jonny Gomes but only for a low price. Some Cub officials think Gomes is a good platoon partner for Fukudome at a cheap price.

- Bruce Levine says Bradley will be traded soon and still thinks Tampa.

- Levine also says the Cubs left the meetings with the feeling some trades could get done in the next 10 days or so.

- The Cubs have talked to the Rockies numerous times about their outfielders. The Cubs really like Ryan Spilborghs and Dexter Fowler but are in love with Brad Hawpe. The rumor is the Rox are quietly dangling their outfielders, maybe for pitching and infield help. If the Cubs did trade for Hawpe they could then dangle Fukudome out their as trade bait or use him as a platoon in CF or a fourth outfielder.

- If the Rays are out of the Bradley race then the Cubs may trade Bradley for Matthews Jr. and use Matthews as their very expensive 4th outfielder.

- Sullivan said on 670 the score that after the Cubs move Bradley they will sign a CF with Cameron and Byrd as their top choices and Crisp, Ankiel, and Pods as backups.

- Sullivan also said they would like to sign 2 outfielders, one being Byrd or Cameron and the other one to platoon with Fukudome or a switch hitter that can play all three outfield spots.

Until Next Time.....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lots of Talk... No Action....

- The Cubs are expected to tender contracts to Fonty, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Jeff Baker, and Angel Guzman. They are not going to tender Cotts though but could sign him to a minor league deal to rehab.

- The Cubs acquired righty Arismendy Mota from the Nats for cash considerations. Mota has a career 3.73 ERA with a 12-14 record in 44 games started in his minor league career. I think this kid will make the team and take Patton's position on the roster. He went 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 16 games in the Dominican Summer League last season.

- Levine says there is a deal still on that table that would send Burrell to the Cubs for Bradley.

- Levine also says that the Red Sox are still interested in Bradley.

- Rick Ankiel may be looking for a 3 year deal worth big money. If that is the case the Cubs are not interested.

- Joel Pineiro is a name the Cubs are interested in but he could out price the Cubs. Seems likes the same thing we have been hearing about everyone on the market.

- The Cubs are interested in utility man Alfredo Amezaga. He could be non-tendered soon so the Cubs could get him for pretty cheap if they wait.

- The Cubs made offers to the Tigers for Granderson before he was traded to the Yankees but the Cubs did not match up well with the Tigers.

- Sullivan thinks Bradley will be gone by Christmas while Jim thinks the Cubs will "make a deal or two" before the holidays.

- According to sources close to the Cubs they have interest in CF Chris Young. Young who has struggled to produce a high average and OBP but has good power and speed has caught the interest of the Cubs. Young is owed 17 million over they next 4 seasons with a 11 million dollar club option for 2014. The Dbacks could be looking to relieve some payroll by dealing Young and the Young could benefit from new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. I think the Cubs would be better off targeting Rajai Davis but that is just my opinion. Or how about dealing Bradley to the Dbacks for Byrnes and Young? The Cubs would only be taking on an additional 7 million over the length of the contracts while filling CF and a platoon partner for Fukudome in RF. Sounds good to me!

Until Next Time....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quick Hits....

- Jim has met with Gary Close about Ben Sheets.

- The Cubs have interest in Scott Podsednik.

- Bob Nighengale says the Cubs are close to trading Bradley and it will likely be to the Rays while Tim Brown of Yahoo says the trade is in fact close but it is not with the Rays. That was last updated at 3:00 pm and no word since.

- The Cubs selected Mike Parisi in the Rule 5 Draft today.

- On a side note, I think it is time for the Cubs to do a mini fire sale. Players like Soriano, Zambrano, Fukudome, and Bradley need to go. Expenisve players like Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly, and Ryan Dempster should stay because they are good teammates and good ball players. I also think players like Theriot, Baker Wells, Marmol, Soto, etc should in fact stay with the Cubs because they are under control for a while. While players like Fontenot, maybe Marshall, Hoffpauir, and Patton do not belong either. Getting rid of these players and even a quarter of each of there contracts could really help the Cubs find out what young kids are ready for the big leagues and what players in the market make sense to the Cubs to pick up.

They just need to knock off this trading away little money here, little money there, and start making moves like you either want to win a World Series or rebuild. Tinkering around by mediocre trades and talent are not going to work. Plain and simple.

Until Next time

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

WInter Meetings Day 3- Late Edition

UPDATE- 9:10 pm- According to Baseball Prospectus the Cubs, Jays, and Rays are working on a three way trade that would send Bradley to the Rays, Burrell to the Jays, and the Cubs getting prospects from the Jays. Instead of prospects I am hearing the Cubs would obtain Lyle Overbay and that the Jays would also receive Micah Hoffpauir in the deal. The Cubs would then spin Overbay to another team. My guess is the Mets for Castillo.

- Bradley is still a Cub and maybe a Cub after tomorrow and into Spring Training.

- They mystery team was uncovered today as the Red Sox. The Cubs wanted Lowell for Bradley but the trade was denied. If the trade had gone through then the Cubs would have traded Lowell to another team. Someone like the Giants.

- Hendry indicated there is no deadline to trade Bradley and that he does not have to trade him in order to make improvements. Here is my question, then why have you not improved this team yet Jim!? Sign Cameron to play CF, sign Sheffield or Vlad to platoon in RF with Fukudome, and go get an everyday proven 2nd baseman. At least do that Jim!

- The Cubs will not release Bradley. That is a no brainer, they are hurting for cash.

- I am starting to think we need a new GM. Hendry has made some great trades in the past but last offseason and this Bradley situation is getting annoying. He has handled Bradley the wrong way and should have not made it look like he HAD to trade him. Jim also did too much "tinkering" last season by trading DeRosa, not offering Wood arbitration, signing Miles, trading for Gregg, and trading for Heilman. This season he made the mistake by not offering arbitration to Harden and the Bradley situation. He seems to me Jim is on the decline right now and unless he pulls a rabbit I think we need someone new as our GM.

Until Next Time....

Winter Meetings Day 3-Early Edition

Here is the latest from Gordon Wittenmyer-

- He says the Cubs are "ready to pull the trigger" on the Bradley trade as soon as the other team is. He states the other team is not Texas or Tampa. We have also heard it is not the Royals, Mets, M's, or Jays from other sources. We have heard it is indeed an AL team. I have heard it is either the Yankees or the Orioles. Do you have nay guesses?

- A Cubs source denies interest in Melky Cabrera.

- Their is no truth to the Bradley for Silva rumors. Thank goodness!

- The Cubs remain interested in J.J. Putz.

- Mike Cameron is at or near the top of the Cubs CF wish list.

- When the Cubs move Milton they could be in the market for a mid-level starter.


- The Sun-Times talked to a couple of sources that expect Cameron to sign with the Cubs.

- Kaplan feels a deal is in place that would send Bradley to the Rays and Burrell to the Cubs then Burrell to an unnamed team. Gordon Wittenmyer and Carrie Muskat have a different story though.

- The Mets are still not interested in Bradley but still are trying to move Luis Castillo to the Cubs according to the Tribune.

More Later.....

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bradley Gone Tonight? Weds? Ever?

Here is what we have heard on the Bradley front starting in order by time earliest to latest-

- Gordon Wittenmyer says a surprise AL team is close on a trade for Milton Bradley. That occurred at 4:12.

- Wittenmyer reports that the deal is "three quarters done" and three teams are involved not including the Rays or Rangers. 5:12

- Tim Brown says the Cubs and M's are taking about a Bradley for Silva swap but nothing is imminent. Please NO SILVA! 5:17

- Bruce Miles says no deal is imminent and a Cubs person tells Miles that the Cubs are likely to complete a deal tomorrow. 5:27

- Carrie Muskat says another AL teams is involved not the Angels or Mariners. 5:34

- A Mariner official shot down the Cubs-M's rumor according to Wittenmyer. 5:37

- Jordan Bastian of says Bradley is not a fit for the Jays. 6:03

- I am hearing a couple things now. One is that the Rangers, O's, and Cubs are in talks that would send Millwood to the O's, Bradley to the Rangers, and Ty Wigginton to the Cubs. That of course goes against what Wittenmyer has heard.

- The other thing I am hearing is the Yankees could be involved in the trade talks. With the Yankees acquiring Granderson they could look to move Nick Swisher for Bradley. Swisher would provide the Cubs with a platoon partner in RF, he could also handle CF as well, he played 70 games in CF for the White Sox in 2008. Swisher is not only a Chicago guy he is a great clubhouse leader that can play all around the diamond. He would be very valuable on this team.

I will let you know more on this as it develops.
In other news....

- The Cubs are interested in Melky Cabrera.

- J.J. Putz is being targeted by the Cubs.

- So Joe Castellano of XM Radio says the Rangers, Rays, and Royals are no longer interested in Bradley. Is that because a trade is near?

- Levine thinks Uggla could be a fit for the Cubs. Why I ask?

- Levine says Brad Hawpe could be a fit for the Cubs and the Rockies are listening to offers on him. In fact Jim has contacted the Rox about their outfield depth. I really like Hawpe! Get him!

- The Cubs have some interest in recently DFA Ryan Church as a fourth outfielder. The Cubs should send Fontenot to Atlanta for Church.

More as it comes in.....

Winter Meetings Day 2- Midday

Here is some rumors and notes for today so far-

- reported that the Cubs were close to completing a three team trade that would have sent Bradley to Tampa, Burrell to NY, and Castillo to Chicago but the Mets want to wait and see if they can land Bay or Holliday.

- The Cubs have talked to four teams about Bradley. The Rays, Rangers, Mets, and now Royals have all talked to the Cubs about Bradley.

- Jayson Stark said two or three more new teams have expressed interest in Bradley. I am hearing two possibilities are the Orioles and Braves.

- Levine said the Cubs could still spin Bradley for Castillo in a multi-team trade.

- The Tribune is reporting that the Cubs best shot is to trade Bradley to the Rays for Burrell then send Burrell to the Blue Jays for prospects. I am also hearing a 4 team trade could be in the works involving the Rays (Burrell), Mets (Castillo), Cubs (Bradley), and Jays (Overbay). The scenario is the same as the three team trade but instead the Jays get Burrell and the Mets get Overbay.

- Hendry said he talked to 6 teams about Bradley Monday.

- The Tribune says the Mets involving Luis Castillo in a Pat Burrell/Bradley trade is dead. They will not be saying that when it happens today or tomorrow. I honestly think by Thursday the Cubs will be rid of Bradley and have Luis Castillo is cubbie blue.

- Jim Hendry said he has spoke with "some teams" about options that have not been discussed.

- There is also a rumor that the Cubs could in fact be talking to the Royals about Alberto Callaspo and not Bradley or Meche. Even though the Cubs have been linked to Meche in the past. Could this be the other "options" Hendry is talking about?

- Big Z is working hard and has already lost 15 pounds. GO Z!

- Kaplan reports that Hendry can make moves or signings that put him over the payroll limit set by Ricketts, as long as he meets the budget number by Opening Day.

- The Cubs have interest in Brandon Lyon but only for the right price.

More as it develops.....

Monday, December 07, 2009

Winter Meetings Day One...

Here is some notes from day one-

TOP NEWS!!!!!- Ryne Sandberg will be the new manager of the Iowa Cubs in 2010. He will replace Bobby Dickerson who will be a roving minor-league infield coordinator. This is big for Sandberg and the Cubs. With Ryno's moving up through out the minors he looks like the next manager of the Chicago Cubs, at least that is how it is seeming to me.

- The Tigers hope to deal Granderson this week but that is news to Gordon Wittenmyer.

- Crasnick expects the Cubs to tender Mike Fontenot a contract. Maybe purely as trade bait because he does not make sense keeping him on this team.

- Dan Knobler of CBS Sports says two new teams approached the Cubs aside from the Rays and Rangers about a Milton Bradley trade. While Paul Sullivan says the Cubs are going to trade Bradley this week and that the Cubs are allowing the Levinson brothers (who are Bradley's agents) talk to other teams in an attempt to repair Bradleys rep.

- Bruce Levine says the Cubs and Royals met last night and discussed a Bradley for Gil Meche trade. The money matches up but my guess the Cubs will have to include another young player to get the deal done. Of course Gordon Wittenmyer shoots down another Levine report saying the Royals have not discussed Bradley. Is Wittenmyer always negative???

- There was a report today that the Mets would be interested in Pat Burrell/Luis Castillo swap if the Cubs did acquire Burrell for Bradley. That was later squashed by David Lennon who says the Mets have no interest in Bradley or Burrell.

- Joel Sherman said the Cubs remain interested in Mike Cameron but also have interest in Curtis Granderson and Melky Cabrera. Cabrera is a new one, kind of interesting but to be honest I like the other two much better.

- The Cubs will use Mike Fontenot and Micah Hoffpauir as trade chips this season because neither one figures into the 2010 Cubs.

- CBSN has some interesting news. The Cubs have Heath Bell on their radar. Bell converted 42 of 45 saves last season and is being shopped by the Padres. The Padres want a right-handed hitting CF, catcher, or middle infielder for Bell. In the article it says the Cubs would have to probably give up Soto or Theriot. I have really no issue trading Theriot but Soto I am a bit unsure of. It goes on to says the Cubs could then ship Marmol and another player to the Tigers for Granderson because Marmol is one of the players the Tigers like. If the Cubs traded Theriot for Bell then signed Tejeda or Cabrera to play short or sign Hudson or Lopez to play 2nd and Castro play short, I have no issue with the deal. It should also be noted that Jim Hendry laughed off this rumor but I still think it should be noted.

- Peter Gammons said on Baseball Tonight that he thinks the Bradley for Burrell trade will work.

- Phil Rodgers said Juan Pierre could end back with the Cubs. Much like I speculated yesterday.

- The asking price for Granderson is to high and rejected by the Cubs. They wanted Starlin Castro and 2 prospects for Granderson. That is WAY TO HIGH!

- The Cubs are still considering bring back Reed Johnson but he is gaining interest from the Padres.

- Soriano will bat 6th in the Cubs lineup next season unless " a lot changes."

- The Cubs may use a Gary Matthews Jr. for Bradley swap as a "last resort."

- Braden Looper wants to pitch for the Cubs according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. If he really wants to pitch for the Cubbies he should for about 1-2 million a year.

More to come as it happens.....

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dodgers, Cubs, Rangers, and Mets trade???

Okay this maybe just speculation or coincidence but here it goes. The Dodgers are looking to shop Juan Pierre and the 2 year 18.5 million left on his deal. They are reportedly discussing a three or four team deal that would net them a bad contract starter. So here is some speculation on my part-

Three team deal-
Cubs get Juan Pierre
Rangers get Milton Bradley
Dodgers get Kevin Millwood

Four team deal-
Cubs get Luis Castillo
Rangers get Milton Bradley
Mets get Juan Pierre
Dodgers get Kevin Millwood

Each deal has good/bad things with it. If the Cubs had a spot in LF open for Pierre I would welcome the trade but he just does not fit in CF, and the other two spots in the outfield are taken. The four team deal is definitely the best scenario and the most likely. I just wonder what bad contract starter could be coming to LA? Any ideas?

Just speculating.... Can't wait until Monday...

Day Before the Storm...

Today is the day before the Winter Meetings and here is some notes and rumors to get you through today....

- Rosenthal says despite the Rangers interest the Rays remain the front runners for Bradley.

- Jon Heyman says the Cubs and Rays are "not close" on a Pat Burrell-Milton Bradley swap. He also says getting the Mets and Luis Castillo involved is "not helping." I am certain Heyman is very negative to anything Chicago Cub related.

- According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Sun-Times the Cubs are interested and targeting Mike Cameron and Marlon Byrd but first must trade Bradley. Lou plans on meeting with Cameron's agent at the Winter Meetings. I just do not think the Cubs can afford Byrd. He is looking for a three year deal worth around 7 million a season. He made 3 million last season and with career numbers he is looking to cash in. Cameron on the other hand you can add for a one or two year deal worth half the amount Byrd is seeking. Plus Cameron is better in my opinion.

- The Royals expect Meche and DeJesus to receive interest at the meetings. The Cubs should have some interest in DeJesus. He is signed for 4.7 million in 2010 and a club option for 6 million in 2011. The Royals want young talent in return while cutting payroll so the Cubs could offer up a package that included maybe Mike Fontenot, Sean Marshall, or any of their young players under team control. DeJesus is a lefty who can play all three outfield positions. He batted .281 with 13 homers, and 71 RBI last season (which he has put consistently throughout his career). Definitely a guy worth calling about.

- Speaking of the Royals.... A while back the A's and Royals had failed talks on Alberto Callaspo. The Royals acquire Chris Getz which makes Callaspo available via trade. Royals GM Dayton Moore even confirmed that they are not pushing out any of their players but are open-minded on trading all of them. That should interest the Cubs very much. Alberto Callaspo is a 26 year old switch hitting 2nd baseman by trade but can play all around the diamond. Callaspo is not even arbitration eligible yet and provides the Royals with a very valuable trade chip they want to cash in. Last season he posted a .300 avg with a .356 OBP, 11 homers, 73 RBI in 155 games played.

The Cubs need to target this guy if they haven't already. He could provide the spark they need from the 2nd base position for years to come. Not to mention the expectation that Castro will soon be ready to play big league shortstop helps as well. The Cubs would then have one of the most dynamic young duo in MLB if they continue to live up to expectation, produce, and making leaps forward. I would even include a player like Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner, or Shark in a deal for Callaspo. That is how much potential I think this kid has!

- Levine stated that Jeff Baker will be a utility player next season splitting time between 2nd and 3rd base.

- Levine says Hudson will likely sign with the Rockies.

- Levine also said their is a 50% chance Castro makes the big leagues out of Spring Training. That is surprising.

- Levine says Juan Uribe and Khalil Greene could be backup players the Cubs should look at. I agree but only if they are bench players.

- Hendry says they are targeting an outfielder, a bench guy that can play outfield, and a bullpen arm.

- Hendry says he has a lot of things to talk about with other team in the Winter Meetings and the Cubs are going to be aggressive and try to get "things" done.

- Lou loves Mike Cameron and the feeling is mutual. I expect him to be a Cub unless they get Granderson.

- The Cubs dismissed the rumors that they are interested in Vicente Padilla. The only way the Cubs get a veteran pitcher is if the deal included Bradley going the other way.

- There is still a chance Lou is manager of the Cubs after the 2010.

- Bruce Miles says that Rick Ankiel and David DeJesus are not high on the Cubs list nor do they fit their needs. Kind of interesting.

- Jim Hendry does not feel he needs to add a starter regardless of Ted Lilly's health. Even though Lou would like to add a middle of the rotation starter. I like Doug Davis, Noah Lowry, Randy Johnson, and Brett Myers.

Looking Forward to Monday!

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