Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cubs Not Close With New CF... Trade Route?

According to Ken Rosenthal at the Cubs have not picked or have a favorite for CF next season. He mentions the same names of Byrd, Pods, and Ankiel. Labeling Ankiel as a less likely option.

Ken does mention the Cubs could go the trade route naming Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera as potential targets if they are made available via trade. We have heard Melky's name already this offseason but Gardner is a new one.

Gardner is a young speedy left-handed hitting CF. He batted .270 with 3 homers and 26 SB last season in 248 ABs. Gardner plays really good defense and I would love if the Cubs got this guy but would he block the way for Cubs prospect Brett Jackson who is reportedly two years away from the Big Show?

Cabrera is also a good guy but could eventually block Jackson as well. He hits for more power and is a switch hitter which would really benefit the Cubs but is not a leadoff or big power hitter. The Cubs covet a big hitter or speedy leadoff hitter or both for CF. Not one in between like Cabrera. Cabrera plays good D and has a OK bat. He hit.274 with a .336 OBP with 13 homers and 10 SB.

In the same article Rosental mentions the Cubs contacted the Nats about Nyjer Morgan but the Nationals want to hold onto the speedy outfielder. He would be ideal for the Cubs. He hit .307 with 3 homers, 42 SB, and a .396 OBP last season. The Cubs need a guy like this! I think the Cubs should keep calling the Nats and making offers to them for Morgan. It could not hurt.

With the new information on the Cubs exploring the trade market for a guy for CF, lets look at some other players the Cubs should targer-

Rajai Davis- Still the guy I want the Cubs to add above all other Centerfielders. He is young, inexpensive, good defender, speedy, great average, good arm, and great guy.

Dexter Fowler- A switch hitter who plays really good defense and one of the fastest guys in baseball. Rox could be listening to offers but it is unknown right now. Good, Young, and Inexpensive. A great combo!

B.J. Upton- Had a down year so the Rays are not wanting to trade him while his stock is low. Should be a guy the Cubs should target.

Chris Young- Same as Upton, a down year and struggled at times but Young cost more cash than any one of these. Could be made available soon and the Cubs should call them.

Unti Next Time...

Talking Baseball..Other Notes...and thoughts...

Bruce Levine has the latest in Cubs rumors-

- The Cubs and Nationals are leading candidates for Matt Capps. The Nats already offered Capps and one year deal worth 4 million.

- Capps was on Talking Baseball and said that he loves Chicago and Wrigley, Closing games is not a big priority for Capps because he just wants to contend, and that his wife really gets along with Grabow and Grozelanny. This points to him signing with the Cubs in my mind.

- The Cubs are looking at Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, and Marlon Byrd for CF according to Levine. Bruce Levine likes the idea of Rick Ankiel playing CF for the Cubs but it seems Byrd is their top choice.


I want to outline what I think the Cubs should do next to make this team contend next season.

Step one- Sign Marlon Byrd or Rick Ankiel to a two year deal. Would be the Cubs starting CF next season.
Step two- Sign Kiko Calero or Matt Capps for the setup job in the pen.
Step three- Sign Orlando Hudson or Felipe Lopez to play 2nd for the Cubs next season.
Step four- Trade for Ty Wigginton or Nick Swisher to strengthen the Cubs bench next season. Wigginton is a poor mans DeRosa and would be very good off the bench and offer pop as well. Swisher a good clubhouse guy would be ideal as well playing 1st and the corner spots in the outfield as well as some center.
Step five- Sign Gary Sheffield or Rocco Baldelli as the Cubs 4 outfielder and platoon partner for Fukudome. Sheffield and Baldelli kill lefty pitching and Sheffield would be another impact bat off the bench much like what the Cubs had in Cliff Floyd and Ward a couple years ago. If the Cubs go Byrd I could see them pursing Swisher and Sheffield and if they got Ankiel they would likely move to Baldelli and Wigginton.

I know the the Cubs would have to spend some coin to get this done and give up some talent but it would be worth it. The Cubs could use Marshall, Grozelanny, Fontenot, and some other young players for trade bait to get Wigginton or Swisher. I think the Cubs could get Wigginton for Marshall and Fontenot while Swisher might cost some good prospects and cost the Cubs more money wise. Money wise the Cubs should go with Byrd, Lopez, Capps, Wigginton, and Baldelli. Talent wise the Cubs should go with Byrd, Hudson, Capps, Swisher, and Sheffield. The Cubs should go for talent!

Lineup RHP
Hudson 2b
Fukudome RF
Lee 1st
Aram 3b
Byrd CF
Soriano LF
Soto C
Theriot SS

Lineup LHP
Theriot SS
Hudson 2b
Lee 1st
Aram 3b
Sheffield RF
Soriano LF
Byrd CF
Soto C

Until next time.....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bradley For Silva... More....

I first want to say sorry for not updating you right away on the Bradley for Silva deal but I have been busy with Christmas and such. Here is your updates for today-

- Here are the final notes on the Bradley for Silva swap. The Cubs sent Milton Bradley and his entire contract to the Mariners for Carlos Silva and the 25 million left on his contract. The good news is that the M's sent 9MM to Chicago which save the Cubs 6 million. I consider this a win for the Cubs. With all the talk about the Cubs having to eat almost all of Bradley's contract and how potential suitors were quickly losing interest getting the M's to take Bradley, hand over Silva, and 9MM is a really good job for Jim Hendry.

I do want to say that I am not a big fan of Silva but with Silva's average numbers in the AL he could benefit by changing leagues much like Padilla did with the Dodgers. He could be used to fill Lilly's spot in the rotation then when he comes back he could go to the pen or slide into the 5 spot in the rotation. One issue is Silva's durability but that is not a concern for me right now because how happy I am not to type another Milton Bradley rumor.

- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is saying the Cubs are close to signing Marlon Byrd. I really hope the contract is not bloated like Bradley's was. I would be happy with a 2 year 12 million dollar deal but nothing much more than that.

- Bruce Levine says the Cubs want both Byrd and Capps. If the Cubs added Capps for low money I will be very pleased. I still think after signing a CF the Cubs should then turn their attention to an everyday 2nd baseman like Hudson or Lopez.

- The Cubs have a lot of interest in Kelvim Escobar and are finalist for Matt Capps. Adding both would really help out the pen.

- If the Cubs signed one or two relievers it could make Sean Marshall, Shark, and other relievers or starter available via trade. The Cubs may look at the trade market for a platoon partner for Fukudome, bench player, or starting 2nd baseman.

I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Levine's Lines....

UPDATE- I received a email from Bruce Miles and he said there is no truth to a fire sale before the season and it is unlikely that Jim is fired before the 2010 season as well.

- Levine still thinks once the Cubs trade Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell, Jim will send Burrell to the Mets for Luis Castillo.

- Levine said the Mets need RBI production and Burrell can provide that for them even though we have heard the Mets are not interested in Burrell.

- Levine stated if the Mets signed Bay or Holliday it would not handcuff the Cubs. Burrell would either have to sit for a while or be the platoon partner for Fukudome in RF next season. Whoa!

- Once again the Cubs do not need to trade Bradley to sign free agents. Then why have we not signed anyone?

- The Cubs are considered long shots to sign Aroldis Chapman. Boy would I like to add him to the rotation.

- Byrd is still the Cubs top priority and have stepped up talks since the Cameron signing.

As far as the fire sale goes I am looking into it more but do want to say I am not just pulling this out of the air. I have receive numerous emails on the possible fire sale and it just made sense to me to post it. My sources want to stay secret for various reasons and I respect that and I hope my readers will to as well. If I come across a link or someone confirming a rumor I will post it on my blog. I will back it up with that, this I promise you.

Thanks for reading and posting. I will keep you updated on the Cubs rumors and news as it develops.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cubs Outfield Update....

- Now that Mike Cameron is off the market the Cubs have been pursuing Marlon Byrd more intensely. The Cubs still want to trade Bradley before they sign an outfielder but Paul Sullivan says the Cubs do not have to trade Milton before signing Byrd.

- Sullivan did say nothing is imminent as of right now.

- Carrie Muskat said the Cubs are considering Rick Ankiel, Reed Johnson, and Scott Podsednik. I see Johnson only as a fourth outfielder, same with Pods but Ankiel should be the Cubs top free agent CF target and not Byrd.

- Muskat also says Byrd is the Cubs top choice among free agents although they have not ruled out bring Johnson back. If the Cubs do sign Byrd I think they should sign an outfielder to platoon with Fukduome. My top choices are Vlad, Sheffield, Baldelli, then guys like Gomes, Nady, and Winn.

- Now that the Jays are about to obtain Brett Wallace there is talk they will now trade Lyle Overbay to free up a spot and cash. Why is this important? I am hearing once the Jays acquire Wallace, Lyle will be heading to the Mets in a "three to four team trade" that will likely involve the Cubs and Milton Bradley. No word on what the Cubs would receive but I am speculating it would be Luis Castillo. In that scenario the Jays would receive Bradley in the three team trade which has been rumored before. In the possible 4 team trade I am thinking the Rays would be the 4th team sending Burrell to the Jays, Bradley to the Rays, Overbay to the Mets, and Castillo to the Cubs. Lets hope something comes of this and the Cubs just rid themselves of Bradley and his off season of rumors.

- The Cubs were one of the teams that watched Aroldis Chapman throw. With the Red Sox bidding 15 million total for Chapman over an unknown amount of years I can see the Cubs topping that number. I would like to see the Cubs offer Aroldis a 4 year deal worth 20 million bucks. They of course have to have the money to do that.

Unti Next Time.....

Cubs Losing Out... Bye to Jim Hendry? Fire Sale?

Here is an update for the latest concerning the Cubs....

- The Cubs will not have guys like Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee next season but that is no shock to anyone. But losing out to guys like Matsui (which they had some interest in), Cameron (their number one off season target), Figgins (a guy that was on their wish list), and still having club house cancer Milton Bradley is a shock to everyone.

- According to the Tribune the Cubs now have Marlon Byrd as their top off season target. His agent is the same as Bradleys and probably in order to land Byrd they will have to overpay like what they did with Bradley. Just do not do that!

- We have heard all along that the Cubs will trade Bradley and there is "no way he is on the north side next season" but in a section on MLB Daily Dish it says the Cubs may approach Bradley about staying. If they is the case then we need a new GM and fast.

- Back up plans if they lose out on Byrd are Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel. Pods cannot handle CF but he does provide a legit lead off hitter but that is where I draw the line for complements for Pods. He is not the answer. Ankiel on the other hand is intriguing to me. I think he would be better than both Pods and Byrd but that is just an opinion.

- If the Cubs get a left handed hitting CF they may look for a right handed fourth outfielder than can play CF as well. The ideal candidate for the Cubs would be Rajai Davis. He can play all three outfield spots, hits for average, great defender, and true leadoff man stealing 41 bases last season. But that makes to much sense for Jim so it will not happen.

- The Cubs were considering a trade for Juan Pierre earlier this off season but that quickly went away when he was traded to the southside.

- Levine says that the Cubs will trade Bradley to the Rays for Burrell sooner or later maybe even this week. Of course we have heard that before. It should also be noted that the Cubs will not save any more this year by trading Bradley. The only money they will save is in 2011 and that may not even be possible. According to the Tribune the Cubs need about 10 million to add to payroll to contend in the NL Central (especially since Matt Holliday is likely to sign with the Cards). I think the Cubs need to add 15 million to payroll this season because they need a starting 2nd baseman (Hudson or Lopez), starting CF ( Ankiel or someone through trade), bench players ( need at least two), pen guy (not as big of a need but still a need), and starter (lets face it with Lilly out, Z's inability to stay healthy, the Cubs need depth). That would chew up 15 million easily.

- Rosenthal says the Cubs are in pursuit of free agent Joel Pinero. That is interesting because Jim says the Cubs will not add a starter and Joel is looking for 10 million over 4 years. If we cannot even add a backup infielder then what makes him think we can add Pinero?

- Ron Santo signed a three year extension with WGN radio yesterday. At least that is some good news.

- All revenue this season will go back into Wrigley then payroll of the Cubs.

- Capps wants to close games and likely priced his way out of the Cubs reach.

- Rumor has it that if Jim does not successfully unload Milton Bradley without releasing him he will be terminated after the 2010 season or sooner according to Cub officials. The back loaded contracts, no trade clauses, and long term deals have really hurt Jim and the Cubs. The Cubs are also not thrilled with the state the ball club is in now because every move Jim Hendry has done or been working on has been mistakes he made last season.

- If Jim Hendry is in fact fired before the beginning of the season it will like prompt a fire sale. According to sources the Cubs would wait until players like Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Johnny Damon, etc find homes then make players like Carlos Zambrano, Fukudome, Soriano, and many other players available. By doing that they would have a market for those players by shopping them to the teams that lost out on Lacky, Bay, Holliday, Damon, etc. I should note that even players like Ryan Dempster, Aramis Ramirez, Ted Lilly, and Shark have all also been linked to the fire sale. Those are players I would hold onto if I was in their position. To be honest I hope it does not come down to a firesale and the Ricketts family committ to 2010 but if they are just going to put a band aid on a broken arm then I would prefer they just start up the fire sale.

Until Next Time......

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some Morning Notes...

- Bruce Levine feels that the Cubs bench needs a make over. Besides Baker, Blanco, and Hill, I agree. The Cubs need inexpensive veterans to fill out their bench. I think the Cubs should sign Alfredo Amezaga and Nomar or Mientkiewicz or Hinske to build up the bench. Ideal situation would to pick up Hank Blalock or Garrett Atkins to provide power off the bench but they are likely to cost too much cash and looking for a starting job somewhere.

- The Cubs have interest in Matt Capps according to the Tribune. They also have interest in Kiko Calero.

Until Next Time....