Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Break for Us and the Cubs..

We are back from a long break so lets get caught up-

- The Rangers signed Brandon Webb to a one-year deal worth 3 million with incentives that could push it beyond 10 million for 2011.

- The Cubs continue to talk to the Rays about Garza but the Rays are still deciding on whether to hold onto him or trade him.

- The Cubs have checked in on Fausto Carmona but the Indians want at least two top prospects so that is about as far as talks got.

- The Daily Herald has a great article on Ron Santo and his last days here.

- The Cubs may go into ST with the pitching they have but Jim is still looking to make deals.

- Hak-Ju Lee could be called up in the middle of next season if he follows in Castro’s footsteps.

Until Next Time

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Webbing Together the Rumors...

Here is the latest on Brandon Webb-

- The Cubs remain interested in Brandon Webb according to sources but it appears the Rangers have the inside track maybe offering more money.

- Today we heard Brandon Webb will make a decision but now we are hearing that is not even true.

- We also heard he is nearing agreement with the Rangers but that was shot down as well.

- I am hearing the Cubs will not go beyond 6 million a year including incentives with an option for 2012. The Rangers may go 6-8 million a year plus incentives and an option for 2012. Maybe overpaying for a guy coming off shoulder surgery.

- I am less optimistic about Webb becoming a Cub than I was two weeks ago. I bet he signs with the Rangers because they will overpay to get him.

Here are the latest non-Webb rumors-

- ESPN Chicago says Jim Hendry needs to pull the trigger on a top of the rotation pitcher if they want to compete in the central. They name Matt Garza and Fausto Carmona. This is the first time we have heard Carmona’s name and could be a good option for the Cubs but they would likely battle the Yankees and Rangers stellar farm system.

- Many teams have called the Cubs about Robinson Chirinos and Hak-Ju Lee. Chirinos I view as a trading chip while Lee I view as being with the Chicago Cubs in 2012.

- WGN signed Pat Hughes to a 5 year extension. It is much deserved because he is one of the best in the game.

- Matt Garza will likely not be traded until the deadline according to reports.

- The Cubs are still shopping Gorzelanny and Fukudome, maybe even as a package. The Mets and Tigers remain interested in Tom while there are little to no interest in Kosuke.

- The roster is standing at 41 so a roster move is expected very soon.

Until next Time….

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Aces over Cubs and other notes...

- The Brewers made another bold move this offseason sending Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jermey Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi to the Royals for Zach Grienke. The Brewers have really made their rotation solid this offseason adding Marcum and now Grienke. Add them to Narveson, Gallardo, and Wolf and you have a really good rotation.

- With the Yankees, Nationals, and Rangers again missing out on another Ace expect them to up the pursuit of Matt Garza who is apparently not available now (just posturing). Clubs could also try to trade for Jeremy Guthrie but he is not in the same league as Grienke, Garza, and Lee. This hurts the Cubs because now their chance of landing an Ace is slim to none because a team will have to overpay for whoever they land. Something the Cubs will not do and I do not blame them.

- The Cubs are still in on Brandon Webb but are in no rush signing him. Bruce Levine calls him a project and may need time to be in game shape. I disagree, I think Brandon Webb will be ready by ST and this is the Cubs trying to drive down the price of Webb. They better stop fooling around because I can see the Nationals signing Webb very soon if the Cubs do not.

- Jim is shopping Gorzelanny and Fukudome aggressively. The Tigers and Mets really like Gorzelanny but not trade appears to be close. Fukudome on the other hand maybe tougher to trade.

- By now you have heard that rumored Fukudome for Rowand trade. It does not make any sense for the Cubs because they would be taking on two more years of bad money and only giving up one. Not a good trade for the Cubs which is why it was killed before it even got off the ground.

- With the signing of Kerry Wood it pushes Andrew Cashner to a chance to win a spot in the rotation.

- The Cubs would like to trade either Gorzelanny or Wells before the season starts. If they trade one away look for the Cubs to sign Webb soon after.

- Carlos Pena was paid a $2 million signing bonus, which went on the 2010 books. Pena will be paid $3 million in 2011 with the remaining $5 million paid in January of 2012 ... only $3 million of his $10 million contract will be counted on the 2011 payroll according to Bruce Levine. Pena is on my list for stand up guys.

- The Cubs may release Carlos Silva before the season starts if they cannot trade him.

Until Next Time..

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wood is Back and Other Cubs Notes....

- Kerry Wood signed a one year deal worth 1.5 million to come back to the Chicago Cubs. He turned down a multi-year offer from the Yankees and a one-year deal worth 3.5 million to pitch for the White Sox. What a class act Kerry Wood is and I want to say welcome home Kerry. The Cubs are expected to make a roster move before the signing is official on Friday.

- With the addition of Wood it gives the Cubs flexibility to turn Andrew Cashner into a starter. I think Cashner would excel in both relief and in the rotation.

- Rumors are running wild about the Yankees targeting Carlos Zambrano alot of it is media sparked stating that Zambrano might want to reunited with pitching coach Larry Rothchild in NY. Barry Praver, Z's agent, says the Cubs have not asked Zambrano about a trade and Z has not asked to be traded. A deal is unlikely according to my sources.

- Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs have enough prospects to put together a package for Matt Garza. He did say that Tom Gorzelanny, Randy Wells, and/or Carlos Silva would have to be traded.

- The Cubs are looking to trade Fukudome but will not just give him away.

- The Cubs still would like to sign Brandon Webb, if they do that they will likely trade Gorzelanny or Randy Wells.

- Rumors of the Cubs being interested in Joe Blanton are unfounded.

- Bryan LaHair and Brad Snyder got ST invites.

- The Cubs still have luke warm interest in trading for Darren O'Day and Chris Davis but the Rangers are waiting to see if those pieces are need to land a guy like Matt Garza.

- The Cubs checked in with the Twins about Francisco Liriano, the Angels about Jered Weaver, the O's about Jeremy Guthrie, and the Dodgers about Clayton Kershaw according to sources but talks did not go too far. One of the sources says the Cubs could re-start talks with the O's about Guthrie if they do not add Garza or Webb.

Until Next Time....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rumors Rounding out the Week.

- The Cubs are still very interested in trading for Matt Garza. The Rays said they are not pushed to trade Garza but will save at least 6 million by trading him now rather than the deadline.

- A Garza trade will likely include 4 prospects that are close to ML ready that are not in their arbitration years. Robinson Chirinos, Hak-Ju Lee, DJ LeMahieu, Brandon Guyer, Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Trey McNutt, and/or Josh Vitters could be apart of a package for Matt Garza.

- Players that won't be included in a Garza deal are Chris Archer, Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Brett Jackson, and Andrew Casher. They are untouchable according to Hendry.

- According to multiple reports Brandon Webb is the Cubs top target and he is expected to meet with the Cubs this week. His decision is expected to be made before Christmas with the Cubs and Nationals the top landing places for the former Cy Young award winner.

- Sources say if the Cubs sign Webb they will likely still try to land Garza because Webb does not cost players just money. If the Cubs do trade for Garza and sign Webb that means Gorzelanny has already been traded or will be soon traded after those transactions are completed.

- One source says do not be surprised if the Cubs make a flurry of moves before Pitchers and Catchers report. He says "it is not impossible to think that the Cubs could trade for Garza, sign Webb, and complete the long rumored trade with Texas that would net them Darren O'Day and Chris Davis to the Cubs." If that happens without giving up Colvin, Cashner, Castro, Brett Jackson, or Chris Archer then I would give Hendry an A this off-season.

- The Cubs are still interested in trading for Jason Frasor. Please do not make this move!

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Pena, Gorzelanny, Webb, Davis, and more....

Here are some notes from Day 3 at the Winter Meetings-

- The Cubs have officially sign Carlos Pena to a one-year deal worth 10 million dollars. Some of the money will be deferred. I must be going against the grain here but I think it is a good deal for the Cubs. The money maybe a little steep but I think the move from the AL East to the NL Central along with going to a hitter friendly ballpark will increase his numbers. Not to mention Rudy Jaramillo might be able to really help his swing. I expect Pena to hit around a .250 avg with 35 homers and 100 RBI next season. Looking at the market, if he puts up those numbers next season then he will be worth over 10 million a year for his next contract.

- Bruce Levine says the Cubs are interested in Ray’s pitcher Matt Garza. The Rays are indeed shopping to reduce payroll and gain prospects in the process. He is owed a pay raise from the 3.35 million he made last season. Levine does not say what the Rays are asking for but the rumor is the price is somewhat high at the moment. If the Cubs traded for Matt Garza he would be under team control through the 2013 season.

- The Cubs are aggressively shopping Gorzelanny and the Tigers are dangling Armando Galarraga in a trade for him.

- The Cubs called on Greinke but they are looking for a mid-level rotation type guy according to Jon Heyman.

- The Cubs may still try to swing a deal for Chris Davis and Darren O’Day. Rangers are still awaiting word from the Cubs.

- A source of mine says don’t rule out the Cubs getting a third team involved to acquire Matt Garza. The source said a deal that would send Garza to Chicago could send Gorzelanny to Detroit and prospects from both to Tampa.

- The Giants are looking for a “6th pitcher” in their rotation, basically a swing guy. Another Source says the Cubs could send Jeff Baker and Tom Gorzelanny to the Giants for Mark DeRosa and a midlevel prospect. DeRosa would assume the usual utility role for the Cubs. Money is close to being even in the deal. He did say a trade like this would mean the trade with Texas would not take place.

- If the Cubs trade Gorzelanny and do not receive a pitcher in return; look for them to acquire at least two pitchers, either via trade, free agency, or both.

- The Cubs might be close to acquiring Brandon Webb on a one-year incentive laden deal with a mutual option for the following year according to my source.

- It is very possible the Cubs could make a deal for Garza, then trade away Gorzelanny, and then sign Brandon Webb. Not necessarily in that order. That would be a nice rotation! Zambrano, Dempster, Garza, Webb, and a battle for the 5th spot.

- Now that Cubs have acquired their power hitting lefty they will push hard to trade Fukudome so they can give the full time gig to Tyler Colvin in RF.

- The Cubs could attach Fukudome to Gorzelanny in a trade to get him out of Chicago. We saw a similar thing happen when the Cubs traded Aaron Miles and Jake Fox to the A’s.

Until Next Time…

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pena A Cub?

First reported by Bruce Levine and confirmed by many others the Cubs and Carlos Pena have agreed on a 2 to 3 year deal loaded with incentives. No word on how this will affect the potential Rangers/Cubs trade but we should hear something officially announced by tomorrow.

Rumors Running Wild!

Day 2 of the Winter Meetings were anything but boring-

- The Cubs are actively shopping Tom Gorzelanny. They are looking to shed salary and gain prospects in the process. Gorzelanny is gaining interest from the Tigers.

- The Cubs appeared close to making a deal with Adam LaRoche when Carlos Pena stepped back into the picture. There was talk Adam was close to signing with the Cubs but those talks were silent, while Scott Boras and Jim had their 2nd meeting regarding the powerful Mr. Pena.

- The Cubs and Rangers appear to have a trade in place that would send Chris Davis and Darren O'Day to Chicago for Robinson Chirinos and pitching prospect Rafael Dolis. The word is the Rangers are just waiting for the Cubs to approve the trade.

Until Next Time...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Winter Meeting Day 1.

Winter Meetings day one is like a first date, a lot of talk but no action.

- Rumors sparked that the Cubs talked to the Dodgers about a potential James Loney deal but that was quickly shot down by a source close to the Dodgers saying he is not available.

- Mark Riggins was named the Cubs pitching coach today as expected.

- The Cubs are looking to trade Fukudome but only if they can get the acquiring team to take on half his salary.

- Sources say the Cubs offered Cashner and Colvin in a deal for Adrian Gonzalez but not Castro.

- The Cubs are still waiting for Carlos Pena's asking price to come down but that won't stop Hendry from meeting with Boras about Pena soon according to Carrie Muskat

- The Cubs offered Lance Berkman a one year deal worth 8 million in deffered payments but he chose to sign with the Cards for the same amount to play LF.

- The Cubs are very much in on Brandon Webb but are getting good competition from the Nationals. He could sign this week with one or the other.

- The Cubs like Yonder Alonso from the Reds but he is unlikely to get moved within the division.

- The Red Sox are now looking to add a complementary outfielder rather than a guy like Carl Crawford. Sources say the Cubs and Red Sox have had talks regarding a possiable Mike Cameron/Fukuodme swap or a Scutaro/Fukudome trade. Both Sox players make half the salary of Fukudome so a straight swap could happen. Cameron would be a good 4th outfielder and platoon guy with Colvin while Scutaro would be the Cubs starting 2nd baseman.

- Jim Hendry has had talks with the Royals about both Billy Butler and Kila Ka'aihue. He has also spoken with the Astros about Carlos Lee and the Yankees Nick Swisher. With Swisher and Lee it is likely contract like Fukudome, Zambrano, Ramirez, or Silva would have to go the other way unless the Yanks or Stros kicked in some cash.

Until Next Time..

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Lots Of Moves Affecting the Cubs...

- The Red Sox are on the verge of trading for Adrian Gonzalez and signing him to an extension around the amount Ryan Howard signed for to stay in Phillie. The Cubs reportedly made a trade offer to the Padres that was rumored to include Andrew Cashner, Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Carpenter, and another unknown player but the Padres were not impressed.

Once this trade if finalized it is likely the Red Sox will up their pursuit on Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth according to Buster Onley. The Sox want to acquire at least one of the two and if that is the case the Red Sox could make Jacoby Ellsbury available. Someone the Cubs have been linked to in recent weeks. The unfortunate thing is this will likely end the Red Sox pursuit of a third baseman which means they would have no interest in Aramis Ramirez.

After all this is said and done it seems A-Gone will not be a Cub and Aram will not be a Red Sox.

- According to sources the Cubs have interest in Paul Konerko but he is wanting a multi-year deal so I think this is just a pipe dream.

- The Cubs and Nationals have stepped up their pursuit of Brandon Webb and both have become the favorite to sign the former Cy Young Award winner.

- The Cubs still have interest in Chris Davis, in fact Bleacher Nation says the Cubs are about to acquire him from the Rangers for either Welington Castillo or Robinson Chirinos. Both are young catchers ready for the big leagues. It is likely Castillo gets traded because the front office is not to high on him but honestly I would trade Chirinos because Castillo looks the like the better overall catcher. After this move is made it will likely mean Hill will battle whoever is left for Geovany Soto's backup.

- If the Cubs complete the trade with the Rangers they could use the money they were going to spend on a 1st baseman to sign Orlando Hudson and Kerry Wood. Expect a domino effect when the Cubs pull off their first move.

- If the deal for Chris Davis falls through then they will likely sign either Carlos Pena or Lance Berkman.

Until Next Time...

Friday, December 03, 2010

A Cubs Legend Passes

Cubs legend Ron Santo died today in Arizona at the age of 70 of complications from bladder cancer. Ron spent 14 years in the Major Leagues at third base all but one with the Chicago Cubs. Ron Santo was well known for many things but being on the forefront of helping fight diabetes is what made him a hero not to just baseball fans but to everyone. Santo played 80% of his career with diabetes but concealed it for many reason. It eventually required the amputation of both his legs. He was a spoke person for JDRF and raised money and awareness for the disease that affects millions of people world wide.

During Ron Santo’s playing career he put great numbers. He batted .277 with a .362 OBP, 342 career HR, 365 2 baggers, in 2,243 games, all while battling diabetes. The other things that stuck out in his baseball career is his 5 consecutive Gold Glove Awards, he was 9 time All-Star, and Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winner. Santo lead baseball and the National League in so many categories during his era. Stats that were later passed by the great Mike Schmidt. Because of this there have been long debates on whether Ron Santo should or should not be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Most baseball fans in general agree he should be inducted while writers and the Veterans Committee disagree and have kept him out of the Hall since 1980 when he was first eligible. Ron Santo was a great baseball player and had his Cubs number 10 retired in 2003 saying “This is my Hall of Fame”

In 1990 the Cubs brought Ron Santo back to Chicago as the WGN radio color commentator working with play-by-play man Pat Hughes. From that day forward he brought my generation and other younger fans a glimpse into Ron Santo’s undying devotion to the Chicago Cubs. He was just like any typical Cub fan with the yelling, cheering, sadness, disappointment, and most importantly optimism. Not only do I think Ron Santo is a HOF player he is a HOF broadcaster. It just will not be the same tuning into WGN radio and not hearing Ronnie’s voice. He will be truly missed.

I was too young to see the Ron Santo era and did not have the privilege of meeting him but I like many fans, looked up to Ron Santo. He has accomplished so much in his life regardless of adversity. I will forever remember the times Ron giving it to Pat about the ugly sweaters he wears, the way Pat always insinuates that Ron has a ton of money, the day Ronnie yelled Ohhhhh Noooo! when Brant Brown dropped a fly ball against the Brewers, Pat taking about Ron’s rug, the celebration after the Cubs won the division in 2007, etc… We were truly blessed as fans to have Ron and Pat do Cubs game that is for sure.

Ron Santo was more than an announcer, an All-Star baseball player, and a Cubs fan; he was a fantastic person for everyone to look up to. He did so much for some many people and this is a very sad day for anyone who had a moment with Ron Santo. Ron is now clicking his heels in that Hall of Fame in the sky.

Thanks for everything Ron, you will be missed!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tendering and Signing

- Erik Bedard will not be a Cub, he signed a one year non-guaranteed contract with Seattle.

- Adam Dunn landed in Chicago, the Southside that is. He signed a 4 year 56 million dollar contract today. It is a little less than what he was asking but that could benefit the Cubs because he has drove down in the market for 2nd baseman some.

- The Cubs tendered contracts to all players eligible. Including Jeff Baker who will make over a million dollars next season. What a waste to tender contracts to Baker and Hill. STUPID!

- Carlos Marmol and the Cubs are in the early stages of an extension.

- The Cubs have interest in non-tender relievers from the Southside; Bobby Jenks and Erick Threets.

- The Red Sox are making a push to add either Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth to their outfield. If they do sign one of them then they could use Jacoby Ellsbury or JD Drew as trade bait for a 3rd baseman. It is unlikely that the BoSox would sign either Crawford or Werth and Beltre. This could spark more rumors involving the Cubs sending Aramis Ramirez to Boston for Ellsbury. We have already heard a lot of talk about the two before.

- The Cubs are interested in signing several non-tender candidates to contracts (mostly minor league) besides Jenks and Threets listed above. They like Edwin Encarnacion, Hideki Okajima, and Dustin Mosely.

- The Cubs are expected to be very busy over the next two weeks. Hendry hopes to have a 1st baseman, relief pitcher, and starting pitcher in place before December ends at the latest. He hopes to get the majority of his players during the winter meetings or at least set the ground work for trades or start offer contracts to players.

Should be really fun next week! As always we will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Rumors and a Riot!

Ryan Theriot is a Cardinal and he wasted no time taking shots at the Cubs. Here are some quotes from “The Riot”-

-"I'm finally on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry"

-"Once I got to pro ball, it was almost an afterthought," "It really wasn't talked about too much. It was like an unattainable goal. And now, being here with an organization like this, it's right there for the taking." – talking about a WS championship in Chicago and how it is different from St. Louis.

- "I won two divisions at shortstop"

I have to say I am not surprised at the comments since he took the Cubs to arbitration and lost. He has had a chip on his shoulder since then and held a grudge against the Cubs for making him change positions. I think all Ryan is doing is fueling a flame on the Cubs/Card rivalry and it is working. His comments are disgusting from a Cubs fan standpoint saying the Cubs did not want to win a championship is ridiculous and how HE won two divisions (my ass, the Cubs won two division with him at SS).

I for one am very happy that the Cards picked up Theriot. Now instead of cringing every time a roller goes to Ryan, I will cheer because I know even Carlos Zambrano can beat out a Theriot throw from short. Congrats Cards you got a utility player as your starting shortstop next season. I hope you enjoy the lack of range, arm, and OPS Ryan brings to the table!

- The Cubs major issue is they are strapped for cash so deals will have to be team friendly to happen.

- The Cubs think Carlos Pena is their guy because he brings great defense and power from the left side. Not to mention he is willing to sign a one year deal.

- The Cubs may have to expand payroll because their contract demands need to “get a realty check” according to Levine.

- Lance Berkman is asking for a one-year deal worth 7 million and the A’s might give it to him. If that is the asking price for Berkman the Cubs will pass.

- Brandon Webb is a big target for the Cubs.

- Adam Dunn will not be a Cub next season.

- The Cubs have no pressure to trade Fukudome. To me they may want to build trade value for him by saying they want to keep him.

- The Cubs checked in on James Loney but the Dodgers say he is not available at this time.

- Jason Frasor is staying with the Jays. He accepted arbitration.

- Mark Riggins is the favorite to be named Pitching Coach. An announcement could be made at the Winter Meetings.

- If the Cubs non-tender Hill and Baker they will likely go in house to replace them. But there have been rumors the Cubs like Bill Hall and Felipe Lopez both.

- The Red Sox have called the Cubs about Aramis Ramirez and are expected to talk more at the Winter Meetings.

Until Next Time…

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Hot Stove is Getting Hotter!

Here is the latest from the Hot Stove….

- The Cubs are interested in Orlando Hudson because they do not have complete faith in Darwin Barney or Blake DeWitt as a full time 2nd baseman. Hudson will likely get a one-year deal worth between 3-5 million coming off a down year. I hear Hudson becomes more likely if they acquire a cheap 1st baseman such as trading for Adrian Gonzalez or Chris Davis. Or maybe even signing a guy like Lance Berkman, Brad Hawpe, or Nick Johnson.

- Bruce Miles says the Cubs have no interest in Vicente Padilla and even stated they had a chance to get him the past couple seasons and passed.

- The Cubs planned on offering Javier Vazquez a deal but he signed with the Marlins before anything was offered.

- The Cubs also lost out on another pitcher in Jorge De La Rosa, he signed with the Rockies.

- After Jim evaluated the market for starters it seems Jim has turned his attention to in Bruce Levine’s words “former star pitchers who have had injury problems of the past few seasons.” The Cubs like Jeff Francis, Aaron Harang, Erik Bedard, and Brandon Webb.

- The Cubs have had conversations with the agents of most of the pitchers above and are asking for medical files and where they are in conditioning. The Cubs are also seeing what the agents contract demands are for each player.

- Jim Hendry loves Erik Bedard and almost traded for him in a couple of occasions but it seems their top target is Brandon Webb.

- The Cubs would love to bring Carlos Pena’s power and glove to Wrigley Field. It has been rumored that Pena maybe wanting to re-establish his value much like Adrian Beltre did with Boston. Bruce Miles said the Cubs would be “happy to sign Pena for one year” but they are not going to give many years to a guy like Pena.

- Lance Berkman is going to meet with the A’s on Tuesday but the Cubs are still interested. It all comes down to money.

- The Cubs are one of several teams interested in Jesse Crain according to Peter Gammons. He is a 29 year old Type B free agent righty who had a 3.04 ERA with Minnesota last season.

- The Cubs plan on offer contracts with Marmol, Marshall, Gorzelanny, and Soto but Koyie Hill and Jeff Baker could get tricky. If the Cubs do not like Hill’s or Baker’s contract demands then they will non-tender them. Paying anything over 1 million for each player is a mistake.

- If the Cubs non-tender Baker they could use that money to sign a guy like Bill Hall or Andy LaRoche.

- The Cubs do not expect to make any moves until Thursday’s non-tender deadline. The Cubs could find themselves a player or two in that group.

Until Next Time…

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Tangled Webb.

- Ed Price of MLB fanhouse said the Cubs are interested in former NL Cy Young award winner Brandon Webb. Webb is coming off shoulder surgery but has been throwing the ball this off season. His agent thinks he can throw 180-200 innings this season and be as dominate or close to as dominate as he was before the injury. The Cubs and Webb seem like a good match-up considering the Cubs money issues and Webb only wanting a one year deal loaded with incentives. To me this makes the most sense for the Cubs.

- Rosenthal said the Cubs and Brandon Webb have mutual interest but it is still early in the process. Sources have confirmed that Jim Hendry has contacted Webb's agent on more than one occasion.

- If the Cubs lose out on Webb then they will turn their attention to Erik Bedard or Jeff Francis. Both are in similar boats as Webb but with not as high of a ceiling. If I was Jim I would go for Webb and if I do not get him then go after Padilla or Harang.

- The Cubs have some interest in Brad Hawpe for their first base vacancy. I honestly see him more of a bench guy than anything.

- The Cubs view Chris Archer as a top 10 pitcher in the ML in a couple years.

- Brett Jackson will likely take the same track as Castro this season and get a call up around May.

- Chris Carpenter could be a option for the bullpen while Archer and Cashner could make their way into the starting rotation sometime this season.

Until Next Time...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Rumor that could Run Wild

Thanks to MLBTR for this-

Jacoby Ellsbury's reportedly strained relationship with the Red Sox and his attractiveness to potential suitors make him a strong trade candidate this off-season, according to Paul White of USA Today. Boston GM Theo Epstein has hinted that the Red Sox roster is in need of a "restocking," according to White, and Ellsbury could be a good fit for the Padres, Diamondbacks, Angels, Braves, Mets and Cubs.

On the heels of the rumor above comes this juicy rumor from my inbox-

The Cubs and Red Sox may revisit talks regarding Jacoby Ellsbury as soon as this week but it could get more aggressive once the Winter Meetings get underway. The Red Sox were reportedly very interested in 3rd baseman Aramis Ramirez who is exercised his 14.6 million dollar option for 2011. Aramis also has a 16 million dollar club option for 2012 with a 2 million dollar buyout. The Cubs and Red Sox have been trading partners in the past most notably when they struck a deal that sent Nomar to the Cubs. The Red Sox and Cubs have also had their share of blockbuster trades going bust. One of those busted deals had the Cubs acquiring Manny Ramirez and a young 2nd baseman by the name of Dustin Pedroia. In that deal the Red Sox would have received Aramis Ramirez among other players from a third unknown team. That unknown team would have received prospects in the deal as well.

Sources tell me this deal will involve more than just Ellsbury and Ramirez with the Sox looking for an outfielder in return and the Cubs looking for a prospect or two. The Red Sox could try to pull away Brett Jackson or Tyler Colvin but it is unlikely the Cubs would part with either one. The Cubs would love to give them Soriano but the Red Sox would require the Cubs to pay almost 80-90% of the contract for that to happen. The most likely scenario is for the Red Sox to acquire Fukudome or Marlon Byrd in the trade. The Cubs will have to pick up the tab on Fukudome or Byrd with the Red Sox paying all of Aramis Ramirez contract; that being said if the Cubs are paying off one of the outfielder’s contract then they will need compensation in the form of a mid-level prospect or two.

So in the end you have the Cubs acquiring an inexpensive speedy 5 tool outfielder and one or two mid-level prospects. The Cubs also rid themselves of one of their pricey veterans along with getting younger. They do leave a large void at 3rd base but a temporary fix would be moving Starlin Castro or Blake DeWitt to 3rd or bring up Vitters , signing a cheap free agent like Jorge Cantu, Eric Chavez, Ty Wigginton, or Miguel Tejada; or make a trade for a third baseman. Lost in this trade is the Cubs removing 14.6 million dollar off the books for this season and at the very least 2 million for 2012. The Cubs could use the 14.6 million they have saved by trading Aramis to acquire a starting pitcher, 1st baseman, and/or a set-up man.

The Red Sox also get a really good deal. They get rid of yet another player that they are having issues with in Ellsbury and acquired a 3rd baseman in Aramis Ramirez who could battle for the AL MVP if the stays healthy enough to. This takes out the possibility of the Red Sox signing Adrian Beltre who is expected to sign a deal around 4-5 years around 50-80 million dollars (the A’s already offered 5 year 64 million) so it also saves them money as well. Instead of spending that large amount the Red Sox will be on the hook for at the most 21 million over two seasons for Aramis Ramirez. The Red Sox also essentially get a free outfielder to fill Ellsbury’s void. Fukudome could benefit from platooning with Mike Cameron although Marlon Byrd would give them clubhouse leadership, a player that gives 110% all of the time, and steady numbers throughout a season. Both would fit well in the mold of players that have come and gone through the Red Sox roster. The Red Sox could also use the money they were willing to give to Beltre and sign a big name free agent Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford or a mid-level guy like Magglio Ordonez, Hideki Matsui, Valdimir Guerrero, or Rick Ankiel. They could also trade for Justin Upton like they have been rumored to be interested in.

Rumors run wild this time of year, just thought I would give you a heads up on this one.


Could this be a blockbuster in the making or just another bust? Only time will tell!

Until Next Time….

Boy, I am Stuffed..... full of rumors..

Happy post Turkey Day everyone! Hope you are not too full because here are some left over rumors from the days past-

- If the Cubs cannot trade for Adrian Gonzalez they will turn their full attention to Carlos Pena. Pena is the Cubs top priority right behind A-Gone.

- The Cubs seem to have moved on from Adam Dunn and his large contract expectations.

- The Cubs have called on Lance Berkman. Lance is also being courted by the Oakland A’s who view him as a 1st baseman/DH type. Berkman does not agree, he sees himself as a 1st baseman/outfielder and as a guy who wants to stay in the NL. Bruce Miles stats free agent wise Lance is #2 behind Carlos Pena but other names are in play.

- The Cubs continue to talk to the Rangers about Chris Davis and he could fill the void for the Cubs next season. Davis is a power-hitting strike out machine who is only 25 years old. The Rangers are asking for Wellington Castillo or Robinson Chirinos in return which is a fair asking price. If the Cubs cannot land Pena, Berkman, or A-Gone he seems the best fit giving the price and age of Davis.

- Adam LaRoche, Lyle Overbay, and Nick Johnson also are rumored to be on Hendry’s list.

- The Cubs are continuing to look at Grant Balfour, Jason Frasor, and Kerry Wood as their set-up man vacancy. Wood seems the most likely of the three to sign with the Cubs.

- The Cubs really like Vazquez, Garland, Millwood, Harang, and Padilla for their starting rotation. Vazquez seems to be on the verge of signing with the Marlins while Garland seems to be headed to LA.

- Randy Wells spot in the rotation is not guaranteed and he could be replaced by Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, or Jeff Smardzija. Chris Archer will likely start in AAA next season although he could become the dark horse if they others don’t look sharp.

- The Cubs will offer Jeff Baker a contract but it will be of the take it or leave it variety.

- Don’t rule Starlin Castro to move to 2nd base sometime next season if Hak-Ju Lee looks good in ST. The Cubs have already made it know he will get time there is off-season.

- Former 44th overall pick by the Orioles in the 1999 amateur draft Scott Rice signed a minor league deal with the Cubs. He is a 6’6 lefty who has not lived up to expectations. He will add depth to say the least.

- Cross Aubrey Huff and Victor Martinez off the free agent wish list. Huff will stay with the Giants and V-Mart signed with the Tigers.

Until Next Time….

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hendry and Levine Talk Cubs....

- In a shocking move Larry Rothschild left the Cubs to become the Yankees new pitching coach. Larry wanted to be closer to his family and since his family lives in Florida and the Yankees have ST there it is a good fit. Larry is widely considered one of the best pitching coaches in the game but of course has been under fire for many years for what he has done with Carlos Zambrano, Rich Hill, and others. I wish him the best. The Cubs are expected to add a pitching coach over the Thanksgiving holiday. Mark Riggins, Mike Mason, Lester Strode, and Dennis Lewellyn are top candidates to replace Rothschild. Mark Riggins is the favorite.

- Greg Maddux does not want the pitching coach job or else he would be named it right now. Maddux wants to concentrate on this family an d learn more about baseball operations.

- The Cubs want Tyler Colvin to be an everyday player, even if that means him playing 1st everyday and acquiring a right fielder. I would like the idea of putting Colvin at first and signing Vlad to platoon with Fukudome in RF.

- Crane Kenney assured Hendry he would have flexibility to make a move or two and Hendry also said he would be discussing a trade or two with Randy Bush and Oneri Fleita.

- The Cubs are very interested in Chris Davis according to Levine.

- Javier Vazquez is on the Cubs radar. He could actually sign before Dec. 1st with all the teams interested in him.

- Chris Archer will likely start the year in Iowa but by May or June there rotation could be Zambrano, Dempster, Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, and Chris Archer. Shark and Wells could be traded from now until then.

- The Cubs re-signed Bryan LaHair to a minor league deal.

Until Next Time...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Updating the Meetings..

Updates for the meetings-

- It is uncertain that Blake DeWitt will be the Cubs starting 2nd baseman next season. Darwin Barney could replace him if he has a good ST and the surprise candidate is Hak-Ju Lee, although the rumor is if he breaks camp with the Cubs he will play SS and Castro will play 2nd base. Lee has better fielding tools, speed, range, and arm than Castro. I cannot wait to see both playing together in ST.

- The Cubs believe they have a future ace in the making in Chris Carpenter.

- Carlos Zambrano will not be traded. He will not waive his no-trade and the Cubs will not ask him to do so. The Cubs also may hold onto Fukudome as their 4th outfielder. He did well under Quade and Kosuke does better when he has limited ABs. He is not an everyday player and does not have the stamina to play 150+ games either.

- Marmol will get a nice raise this year. He will likely make 4-5 million for 2010.

- The Cubs have not talked to Adam Dunn’s agent and are instead looking for an above average defensive 1st baseman for next season. Rumor has it that Pena is at the top of the Free Agent list.

- Jim Hendry meant with a lot of agents during the meetings and also a lot of teams. He meant with the Rangers to see if they could match in a potential trade. The Rangers want a young up and coming catcher and the Cubs are looking for a young left-handed 1st baseman. It is rumored the Cubs could offer Wellington Castillo or Robinson Chirinos for 25 year old first baseman Chris Davis.

- The Cubs are meant with agents for Javier Vazquez, Aaron Harang and Vicente Padilla.

- Micah Hoffpauir signed a one-year deal to play in Japan.

- Jim Hendry had talked trades with the Royals, Rangers, Rockies, Yankees, and Red Sox over the past two days but nothing is imminent according to sources.

- The Cubs would love to bring Kerry Wood back to Chicago.

Until Next Time….

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Latest Cub Rumors from the Meetings

- The Cubs are very interested in James Loney if the Dodgers officially make him available. The Dodgers are looking for a power hitting first baseman and could look to trade Loney and sign someone like Carlos Pena or Adam Dunn. The rumored asking price for Loney is really not that bad. The Cubs could obtain him for a good prospect and a mid-level prospect.

- The Cubs have no interest in Justin Upton or Stephen Drew according to sources. The Cubs like the outfield they have and are likely to go into next season with Blake DeWitt at 2nd and of course Starlin Castro at SS.

- Westbrook signed with the Cards, leaving the Cubs with rumored interest in Garland, Millwood, and Vazquez. Why is there no love for Brandon Webb?

- Bruce Levine cannot confirm or deny interest in Jacoby Ellsbury. I can see them going after Ellsbury if they trade Marlon Byrd.

- Levine said the Cubs could trade Marlon Byrd if they find a run producing outfielder. I think trading Byrd would be a mistake because he brings more to the table than just baseball skills.

- Levine says these meetings are a precursor to the deals that will be completed within the coming weeks. The Cubs are rumored to be ready to make a "huge push" toward Adrian Gonzalez. Even if that means trading Andrew Cashner or another one of their stud prospects.

- The Cubs are evaluating the trade front for 1st baseman and have interest in Billy Butler, Todd Helton, Kila Ka'aihue, Nick Swisher, and Luke Scott

- Hendry is encouraged by recent talks with other GMs and said he has been talking more trades this year than in years past.

- The Cubs signed Scott Moore to a minor league deal.

Until Next Time...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trying to Deal...

- GM meetings run Tuesday and Weds. but most GMs stay there the whole week.

- Most teams lay out the frame work for trades this week and complete or revisit them by the Winter Meetings in December.

- Hendry is looking to make two or three solid additions rather than one big splash.

- The Cubs top target is to trade for Adrian Gonzalez, there 2nd choice is Carlos Pena if he comes at a better price (cheaper than Dunn).

- If the Cubs fail to get one of the two they will turn there attention to stop gaps like Adam LaRoche, Aubrey Huff, Nick Johnson, Lance Berkman, and Lyle Overbay.

- Westbrook, Millwood, and Vazquez have made the Cubs watch list.

- Jim will try desperately to unload Fukudome, even for another bad contract. Luis Castillo for Fukudome or Oliver Perez for Fukudome deals has been rumored. Along with Fukudome for Gil Meche.

Until Next time…..

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cubs Rumors....

- The Cubs could have some interest in trading for Gordon Beckham if the White Sox decide to trade him.

- The Cubs are are keeping tabs on B.J. Upton since the Rays are believed to be shopping him and the asking price is reasonable.

- The Cubs and Red Sox do not have interest in trading Fukudome for Dice-K according to sources.

- Carlos Beltran would be open to playing RF and waiving his no-trade clause. How about Fukudome and Silva for Carlos Beltran. The money would be almost even and he could play RF for the Cubs with Colvin playing first.

- Ryne Sandberg might land a job with the Phillies.

That is all for now, until next time....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Levine Latest and More...

The latest from Levine and others-

- The Cubs have no interest in trading for Dan Uggla.

- Zambrano and Soriano have untradeable contracts.

- Aramis Ramirez could be traded and I have heard the Cubs have already received calls from the Red Sox and Angels about Aramis.

- The Cubs first choice to play first for them is Adrian Gonzalez followed by Carlos Pena then Adam Dunn.

- Levine backs up what we have been hearing which is Hak-Ju Lee will be one of the players involved in A-Gone trade talk along with Jay Jackson and Chris Archer.

- Levine says Starlin Castro and Brett Jackson will not be involved in trade talk. Carlos Marmol will not be involved with a potential Padres trade.

- The Cubs think Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson will be impact players at the ML level.

- Hendry has not received the 2011 payroll numbers but the Cubs are not expected to spend big on free agents this winter.

- Sean Marshall is enjoying being a reliever.

- Add Jake Westbrook to the list of pitchers the Cubs like. Brandon Webb is still my pick.

- Levine says it is still a possibility that Tyler Colvin is the Cubs starting 1st baseman next season.

- Brandon Guyer needs another year in the minors.

- The Cubs are talking to teams about Fukudome.

- The Cubs have interest in bring Bill Hall in as a utility player much like the role DeRosa filled for them a couple years back. He would likely fill in for Jeff Baker, who is expected to be non-tendered.

Until Next Time….

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Gonzalez to Cubs Looking Better and Better!

Adrian Gonzalez could be the 2011 first baseman and beyond, Levine stated yesterday that the Cubs would “love to add Gonzalez.” Levine said the Cubs are one of many teams that have an eye on A-Gone and that if the Cubs did trade for him the Cubs would give up three to four top young prospects.

The Cubs are not going to have a lot of money to spend on free agents unless they trade away some of there large contracts so they may be more involved in the trade market. There are many reasons Adrian Gonzalez is so appealing to the Cubs 1) He is only owed 5.8 million next season 2) If the Cubs traded for him they will likely work out a long term deal with him before the deal is completed, giving them stability and production at 1st base for many years to come 3) Adrian has stated he likes Chicago and loves playing in Wrigley 4) He has posted 30+ homers and 99+ RBI in the past 4 season in a pitcher friendly park and division 5) He is only 29 years old 6) The big money owed to him will not effect the Cubs until the start the 2012 season which is when 38 million dollars will come off the books (Adrian will likely get 23 million a season) 7) The Cubs have a nice quanity and quality of prospects to land Gonzalez. All these reasons make the Cubs chances better than most teams.

The big question is what talent do the Cubs have to part with? Don’t worry Cub fans Starlin Castro is staying put but the same cannot be said for Andrew Cashner. According to my source the Cubs would have to give up Castro or Cashner in any deal for Adrian Gonzalez. The Cubs will not give up Castro in “any deal” because SS like him are hard to come by. The Cubs are more willing to give Cashner because of past experiences with Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, and other pitchers that have had promise but failed to live up to expectations. The Padres are looking to fill numerous voids with the players they acquire via A-Gone trade. They are looking at starting pitching, CF, and middle infield. The players the Cubs could look to trade and the Padres may have interest in are Brett Jackson, Hak-Ju Lee, Josh Vitters, Jay Jackson, Chris Archer, Andrew Cashner, Ryan Flaherty, Chris Carpenter, Tyler Colvin, and Brandon Guyer. Any three to five of those prospects could be apart of a potential Gonzalez deal. I think Josh Vitters, Andrew Cashner, Tyler Colvin, and Hak-Ju Lee would get Gonzalez on the Nothside. Only time will tell.

Until Next Time..

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Free Agency Starts and So does the Cubs Rumors...

- The Cubs payroll will be down this season but how much is still a mystery. But the rumor is Adam Dunn will likely sign elsewhere unless he takes a discount to come to Chicago.

- The Cubs may look at Victor Martinez or Aubrey Huff to fill their void at first base next season. V-Mart will likely command 10 million a season which to me does not make sense for the Cubs. They should have two lists, one that includes free agents like Carlos Pena and Adam Dunn and another that have one year rentals such as Lance Berkman and Nick Johnson.

- The Cubs might need to trade Fukudome before adding any significant free agents according to Bruce Levine. The same thing happened with Milton Bradley last season.

- John Garland might be on the Cubs wish list. Garland is a good competitor and has playoff experience but I think they should go after Brandon Webb.

- Adrian Gonzalas is available via trade and the Cubs are expected to give the Padres a call. Rumor says Cubs would want a 24-48 hour negotiating window with Adrian to lock him up, if a trade is reached. The Padres reportedly were scouting Jay Jackson, Brett Jackson, Brandon Guyer, Hak-Ju Lee, Josh Vitters, Tyler Colvin, Wellington Castillo, Geovany Soto, and others at the end of last season and in off-season baseball. The Cubs will not trade Starlin Castro though.

- Koyie Hill is likely out of the Cubs picture next season, they could look at veteran backup but are likely to go with with one in house.

Until Next Time..

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Day 2 Rumors and Notes....

Here are some rumors and news from Day 2-

- The Cubs have an interest in former Nationals/Yankees/Marlins 1st baseman Nick Johnson. Johnson has a .401 OBP but has been plagued with injuries throughout this career. He has not complied over 140 games in a season since 2006 and is 33 years old. Having said that if Hendry goes cheap then Johnson would be a nice pickup. Although the Cubs might need to pick a platoon partner giving his injury woes.

- Jim Hendry and the Cubs are very interested in Kerry Wood at the right price. Rumors said Wood would like to come back to Chicago.

- Jim Hendry laid out the Cubs needs this off-season: Starting Pitcher, 1st baseman, and a reliever.

- Aram exercised his option as expected.

- Chris Archer will likely be added to the 40-man roster and may even break camp with the Cubs.

- Hendry and Quade view Colvin as an everyday player next season.

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Day One in the Books...

UPDATE- According to Bruce Levine Ryne Sandberg will not be apart of the Cubs in any capacity. Jim says it is Ryno's decision but the door is always open here. Bob Nightengale twitted that Ryne Sandberg even turned down the bench coaching position on Quade's staff. I honestly do not believe he was ever offered the bench coaching job and I think this is spinning for Hendry. Good Luck Ryno!

Another long delay and more news and notes to update you on-

- The Cubs hired Pat Listach as there bench coach. He is a good pickup for Quade’s staff because he too has been through the Cubs system and can appreciate what he has in front of him.

- The Cubs will decrease their payroll from the 144 million they started with last season. How much is the real question and we do not have that answer yet.

- The Cubs have been recently linked to Jayson Werth but I do not see a fit.

- Aramis Ramirez is expected to exercise his option soon.

- CubbieCrib asked if Adam Dunn is worth it and throws out other names that could fill 1st base for the Cubs.

- The Cubs will entertain Kerry Wood coming back to Chicago but will not get in a bidding war for him.

- CCO.com runs down some important dates (at the bottom of the page).

- Free agency starts Sunday at midnight.

- Chris Carpenter is looking good in fall ball hitting 3 digits on the gun out of the bullpen.

The Cubs Organizational meetings started yesterday and they are going to discuss the payroll, if they the afford a left-handed hitter, starting pitcher, and bench help; also Carlos Zambrano’s future with the Cubs, how to trade Fukudome, Adam Dunn, Cashner’s future in the pen or rotation, could Jackson and Archer join the Cubs out of ST, and much more over the next 4 days. Here is the latest out of the meetings after day one is in the books.

- Brett Jackson’s fall ball season is over. He has a bacterial infection in his right shin.

- Nady is not expected to be with the Cubs next season.

- Aramis has until Midnight Thursday to exercise his option, which he is expected to do.

- Pat Listach said he would love Adam Dunn in Chicago. He also expresses the defensive concerns but says Dunn wants to get better defensively and will work very hard to do so.

- The Cubs may have to get creative this winter to acquire the things they need which includes trading Fukudome and maybe Carlos Silva.

- The Cubs do have interest in trading for Adrian Gonzales according to Bruce Levine.

- The Cubs have several options via free agency if Adam Dunn is too expensive. They also have Tyler Colvin who would be the most cost effective.

- The Cubs have 125 million committed to next season with arbitration raises which does not leave much flexibility.

- The Cubs have a lot of interest in Brandon Webb and Jorge De La Rosa.

- The Cubs may listen to offers for Carlos Marmol but will only trade him if they can get a “large package that fill a lot of holes.”

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No to Ryno, No to Money, and Maybe a OH-NO Off-Season..

- Gray was sent to AAA Iowa and removed from the 40-man roster.

- Levine states Fukudome is very likely to be traded.

- Zambrano is likely to be shopped but unlike to be traded due to his no-trade clause.

- Levine also said the Cubs may not have enough money to sign free agents unless Hendry gets creative again this winter.

- Byrd says Orlando Hudson would be a great addition to the team as far as a leader in the clubhouse. I agree but Levine says DeWitt will be the starting 2nd baseman next season unless the find money to sign Hudson.

- The Yankees will likely outbid the Cubs for Kerry Wood this off-season.

- Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson, and Chris Archer will likely make it to the Bigs by late summer according to Bruce Levine.

- Jim Hendry’s biggest priority is Adam Dunn but Hendry can only sign him if he trades a big contract for next season.

- According to multiple reports and sources the Cubs are front runner to sign Adam Dunn.

- The Cubs will try very hard to trade Soriano.

- Ryne Sandberg will not have a place on the Chicago Cubs according to Bruce Levine, but management would like him to manage the Iowa Cubs again next season. Sandberg was told "that a coaching position would not be available at the Major League level" What a slap in the face, the Cubs should at least offer him the bench coaching position and let him determine whether he wants it or not!

- Ozzie Guillen said if his bench coach Joey Cora went elsewhere he would welcome Sandberg to the South Side to replace him. That would be hard for me to take.

- Pat Listach is likely to stay in Washington unless he gets a managerial job in the ML.

- Ken Macha is now the favorite to land the bench coaching position on Quade’s staff.

Until Next Time…

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dunn, Sandberg, and a Winning Move..

Here some nice tidbits…

- Matt Sosnick said last week on “The Baseball Shot” that he expects Adam Dunn to sign with the Cubs. He stated it will likely be a 3 year deal worth around 40million. I for one hope the Cubs sign Dunn and I am one of the few I am finding out. Dunn brings something to the table a lot of players cannot 35+ homers and 90+ RBI from the left side of the plate.

- Levine says the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are considering talking to Sandberg about positions in their organizations.

- Sandberg is likely to stay in Iowa if not offered a position in the ML. With all the changes in coaching this season it is likely he will find a bench coach or base coach position on a ML team. To be honest the Cubs need to offer Ryno the bench coaching position to at least show us fans they are trying to keep him here!

- Hak-Ju Lee will begin 2011 in AA and is still projected the shortstop of the future. If Lee makes it to the Show it will likely push Castro to 2nd or 3rd base. That gives you a good idea how good Lee is and how good of range and versatility they feel Castro has!

- There is a lot of debate whether the Cubs will go into this off-season looking to win or build for the next free agent class. The Cubs will definitely show their hand on who they have starting at 1st for them in 2011. If it is Adam Dunn or Carlos Pena then say goodbye to trying to get Pujols, Gonzo, or Fielder. If they go with a stopgap like Berkman, Overbay, LaRoche, etc... then they will be major players for the free agent class of 2012.

- Pat Listach is still the favorite to land the bench coaching position of Quade’s staff.

- Want to win next season? I offer this trade: Soriano, Jay Jackson, Josh Vitters, Tyler Colvin and a midlevel prospect for Chone Figgins and Ichiro Suzuki. The Money is close to the same with the Cubs contracts around 72 million and the M’s around 70 million. Both teams take on money while the Cubs are building for the now and the M’s are building for the future but have Soriano and Colvin to immediately help the big league club. Although trading Ichiro is unlikely there has been talk around the team regarding him and his trade value. Here is the lineup with those additions with adding Adam Dunn to the mix and trading Fukudome, a great mix of speed and power!

1.Ichiro Suzuki RF
2.Chone Figgins 2b
3.Aramis Ramirez 3b
4.Adam Dunn 1st
5.Marlon Byrd CF
6.Geovany Soto C
7.Starlin Castro SS
8.Brett Jackson LF

Until Next Time….

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quade, First Base, and More....

Here are some news and rumors from Levine and others…..

- Three different teams wanted to interview Mike Quade according to Jim Hendry. I would say that too if I wanted to make my hire look better than it really is.

- There are a lot of teams interested in Adam Dunn and he will likely seek more than 10 million a season for 3+ years, which maybe out of the Cubs price range.

- Jim Hendry will have to do some tinkering with the roster because his budget right now does not look very promising.

- According to some media outlets Quade was picked because the Cubs did not want to put Ryne in a losing situation. It is easier to fire Q than Ryno.

- Cashner is OK with either being a closer of the future or starter. The Cubs have not made a decision yet what to do with him.

- Quade says keeping Rothschild and Jaramillo on his coaching staff is a no brainer.

- Q would like to have his entire coaching staff in place by Novemeber 1st.

- Pat Listach and Ken Macha are rumored to be the leading candidates for the bench coach position.

- Rumors are going around that Ryno will be the new Blue Jays manager but if he does not land a manager job in the ML he will likely be asked to be on the Chicago Cubs coaching staff.

- Levine says Nady will not be back next season and he also says it was Tyler Colvin’s decision not to play first last season because he was not comfortable making the transition since the Cubs were still trying to win games.

- Levine is still lobbying for Orlando Hudson but says right now Blake DeWitt is the starting 2nd baseman.

- Carlos Silva is not creating much buzz on the trade market.

- The Cubs like Adam LaRoche, Lance Berkman, and Lyle Overbay as stopgap first baseman for next season.

- The Cubs really like Jorge de la Rosa but he will likely be out of the Cubs price range. He maybe looking for Ted Lilly money.

- If the Rangers make arbitration eligiable lefty C.J. Wilson available the Cubs will come running, the same goes with Zach Grienke.

- The Cubs may call the Giants regarding Mark DeRosa this offseason. They like his leadership, versatility, and maybe view him as there next starting 1st baseman or maybe a platoon partner with Tyler Colvin (if he plays first next season).

- The Cubs will not bid on Cliff Lee next season but do have interest in Carlos Lee to maybe play first base for them.

- The Cubs would like to trade Silva, Soriano, Fukudome, Grabow, and Zambrano but don’t know if they will find potential trade partners for them. Not to mention the Cubs are looking to shed salary and want there trade partner to take on a “vast majority” of the money owed to those players.

Until Next Time….

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quade is the Guy... But the Right One?

The Cubs have officially announced they will have Mike Quade remain as manager for at least the next two seasons. Quade signed a two year deal with a team option for a third year. He spent 4 seasons as a third base coach for the Chicago Cubs and before that he spent 4 seasons with the Cubs minor league system including outfield coach and manager. Quade; an Illinois native, knows the Cubs very well and has paid his dues in the Cubs system which gained him leverage over the other candidates for the job. Mike; in his short term as Cubs manager’ gained respect from the players and management, notably Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Dempster, Jim Hendry, and others. He has worked with young players in the minors and majors on fundamentals thus having the balance of working with veterans and rookies. If anything Quade is a safe pick and does have the all tangibles of a big league manager, whether that translates into success at the Major League level for a full season remains to be seen.

I also have various questions regarding the process on this situation. If they wanted Quade, why did they wait so long to hire him? Did Hendry actually endorse Quade and did Ricketts want Sandberg (if so, that is weak)? Is Hendry appointing Quade as manager a make or break move for him? What will happen to Sandberg? Who will be on Quade’s staff? All these are questions that need to be answered sooner or later.

I just want to say I feel it is a mistake naming a manager before the WS concludes. The main reason, Joe Girardi! Mike Quade would have still been there after the WS as would Ryne Sandberg because the Cubs did not grant any request for teams to talk to them. They would have still had them as there 2nd and 3rd options if Joe wanted to stay in the Bronx. The Cubs needed to take a gamble and wait to see if Joe would come back to Chicago. He has won everywhere he has gone, he labeled Chicago as his dream job, he is a Cubs fan, former Cubs player, and a fan favorite. Jim Hendry needed to wait for him because he would have hit a grand slam in having him as the Cubs next manager. I have to say the blunder of not waiting for Joe maybe right up there with signing Soriano to an 8-year deal or giving Milton Bradley a guaranteed 3 year deal.

I also want to say that I think it is a true mistake not giving fan favorite and Cubs icon Ryne Sandberg a shot at managing the Cubs. It is now likely that Ryne will manage elsewhere before Quade’s time is up in Chicago. So not only are the Cubs failing to bring back a Chicago staple in Girardi but they may lose one of the most beloved players in Cubs history. If you lose Quade so what! By not hiring Sandberg you are telling him to find work elsewhere because the Chicago Cubs do not want him.

I honestly feel this is a true mistake on Jim Hendry and Tom Ricketts part. Not waiting on Girardi and not giving Sandberg a shot maybe the worst move made by Jim Hendry while GM of the Cubs. This hire will likely define the entire Hendry Era as we know it and unfortunately for him it won’t be good.

To me a lot is going to depend on who Mike Quade brings in for his coaching staff and what Jim does this off-season. So far I am not in favor of the direction the team is heading. I do want to say I am willing to give Mike Quade a chance but to me if his first season does not result in a winning one it will be hard to look forward to the next season with him at the helm.

Until Next Time….

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ricketts Talks....

According to Bruce Levine, Tom Ricketts as talked to Mike Quade, Ryne Sandberg, and Eric Wedge about the Cubs management vacancy. A decision could be made very soon according to sources but I think it is likely that it will last another week or so before an official announcement is made. According to the media there is actually "no known favorite" but it seems the flavor of the day is Eric Wedge who had his meeting with Ricketts today.

Carrie Muskat said today that Bob Melvin also met with Tom Ricketts. I do not expect him to be a legit canidate for the job. Jon Morosi said Don Wakamatsu is still in the running but it is unknown if he has meant with Ricketts. I have heard that Don is considered for a bench coach position if Wedge or Melvin get picked to manage the Cubs. I also heard if Sandberg is named manager he will bring in former Cubs and coaches on to his staff. Mark Grace? Glenn Allen Hill? Pat Listach?

Until Next Time....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quick Rumor for You.....

This rumor just came across the wire to me via email. All I have to say is interesting.....

Cubs get Carlos Lee
Astros get Fukudome, Grabow, and Silva

According to the emailer the Cubs would plan on playing Carlos Lee at 1st base where he logged 20 games this season. The Astros would love to be rid of his contract even if it means trading for bad contracts or eating a lot of his. Lee is owed 37 million over the next two season while Fukudome is owed 13.5 million next season, Grabow is owed 4.8 million, and Silva is owed 11.5 for 2011 with a $12M option with a $2M dollar buyout for 2012. So there is basically only a 6 million dollar difference in contracts. The benefits for the Cubs is that they rid themselves of three contracts for next season and they can fill the holes with young deserving players. The benefits for the Astros are they shed two years of Lee for one year of 3 bad contracts. So they will say a lot more money on the nice 2012 free agent class that includes Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzales, and possibly Albert Pujols.

The emailer says if the Cubs make this deal they are hoping Lee will bounce back to his 2009 numbers where he posted a .300 average with a .343 OBP and drove in 102. If the Cubs can get that kind of production or close to it from Lee they will be in business in 2011. The emailer also said his numbers at Wrigley maybe the main reason why the Cubs want to trade for Lee. He has posted a .290 average with 20 bombs in 259 ABs on the northside.

If the Cubs were to go this route it would be different to say the least. There is one thing for sure you will hear more rumors and news like this as we get into the offseason.

Until Next Time......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cubs Shift Spending, Turn to Trade Market??

With the announcement that the Cubs are shifting more of there money to the draft this season and player development; not to mention the Ricketts announcing the smaller budget to spend for next season; the Cubs will likely turn to the trade market for a 1st baseman. The Cubs still consider Adam Dunn their number one priority this offseason but sources say he maybe too expensive and Hendry may not want to hand out a big contract again with the risk it blowing up in his face like Soriano, Fukudome, Bradley, and Zambrano. The Cubs have been rumored to be interested in low price free agents like LaRoche, Overbay, Wigginton, Nady, Huff, and Lance Berkman. The Cubs also like Carlos Pena but figure he could probably be out of their reach as well. Out of that group I think Huff and Berkman look like reasonable fits although I doubt Berkman would come to Chicago.

So..... with this said the Cubs could look to the trade market. Here is a list of players that could be available via trade. (No Adrian Gonzales or Prince Fielder rumors here)

James Loney- The Dodgers have been dangling his name out there the past three off season in order to get some high prized players. Since then his stock has decreased but he still has value. Loney hit .267 with 10 homers and 88 RBI last season. His numbers have decreased each of the last three seasons but you could see those numbers jump some going to hitter friendly Wrigley field. He is also only 26 years old and a good defensive lst baseman.

Kila Ka'aihue- The guy has raked in AAA and has done decent at the ML level. The Royals may make him available because of Butler at 1st or they could keep him and make Butler available. He again is only 26 years old, decent defensively, and has his best days in front of him. Definitely a guy you add to a young up and coming team.

Billy Butler- If the Royals want to keep Kila then ask for Butler. Butler has been a stud for the Royals hitting .318 with a .388 OBP, a decent defender, and good power hitter with his best days in front of him as well considering he is only 25 years old. He would come with a high prospect price though in the form of Hak-Ju Lee, Wellington Castillo, Jay Jackson, or Brett Jackson. Which I do not know if he would be worth that price.

Mike Napoli- A true power hitter with 26 bombs last season but older and not really an everyday player. Still could interest the Cubs.

Daric Barton- No one on the A's is ever off limits but he maybe as close as they come. A young up and coming good defensively 1st baseman who hits for OK power but has a tremendous eye.

Pablo Sandoval- Not likely to be available but the decrease in production could have the Giants at lease listen to offers for him. He is a true third baseman but has played first. Would do well in the power category at Wrigley and is a switch hitter. Not a bad option if you are Jim Hendry.

Luke Scott- The Cubs had interest when he was with the Astros and he has put up better numbers since then. He hit 27 homers this season while playing RF, LF, DH, and 1st. He would be very valuable to this Cubs team and cheap financially.

Todd Helton- Don't laugh the guy can still hit and could be a nice stop gap until the 1st baseman frenzy in 2012. He is owed 10 million over the next two seasons.

Nick Swisher- A great clubhouse guy who I have endorsed going to the Cubs for the past three season. He is post season tested, a switch hitter with power, who can play all three outfield positions and 1st. 20+ homeruns seasons since 2006!

Who do you like? For the future I like Kila, Butler, and Loney. For the present I like Swisher.

Until Next Time.....

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Manager Rumors and more....

- Bruce Levine is reporting that the Cubs managerial search is in phase two. The Cubs only have three serious candidates that will speak to Tom Ricketts and they are Eric Wedge, Mike Quade, and Ryne Sandberg. I honestly cannot see why the Cubs are considering Eric Wedge for anything besides maybe a bench coach. He is not that good of a manager and if you go with anyone in that group you go with Quade or Sandberg because they have been apart of the Cubs for some time and deserve a shot.

- Here is one to file away in your rumor file! The Cubs are drawing out the interview process as long as they can and hope the Yankees fall out of contention early so they can try to interview Joe Girardi. The Cubs front office does not want to look like they are “waiting on Girardi” which is why they have been making the “interviews and phases” very public. This is also why it is taking the Cubs so long to make a decision and why the Cubs do not have a definite deadline for a manager to be named. So in all actuality Mike Quade, Ryne Sandberg, and Eric Wedge are all backup plans because if Girardi wants the job it is his.

- Sources say an unknown team has asked to interview Mike Quade, it is unsure whether the Cubs have granted that request or not.

- Doug Russell of WSSP tweeted that Bob Brenly is close to becoming the Brewers manager but the Brewers are denying that report stating they have not begun the interview process with anyone. Bob Brenly says he has nothing to say right now on the matter. Also sources say that if Brenly is announced the manager he would name Bob Melvin his bench coach. He was also interviewed for the Cubs manager position.

- Speaking of bench coaches, if the Cubs hire Mike Quade he may appoint Ken Macha as his bench coach. This would be a bad move by Quade because Macha has been under fire in Milwaukee for not relating to players, having no fire, and making constant baseball manager blunders. I think if Quade is hired he should name Pat Listach or Dave Martinez as his bench coach. Even though David Martinez stated he would interested in the Cubs manager position if he was asked.

- If Bob Brenly does go to Wrigley North then Dan Plesac would be the leading candidate to replace him. I say why not Mark Grace?!?!

- Jim Hendry also interviewed Don Wakamatsu but he was never a serious candidate but could find spot on the Cubs staff.

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Cubs Rumors.....

- Bruce Levine says the biggest name coming to the Cubs will be Adam Dunn and the biggest name leaving will be Kosuke Fukudome.

- Quade looks to be the favorite to land the Cubs manager job according to many sources. One thing is for sure is that Ryne Sandberg will not be the bench coach if he is named manager.

- Levine expects Jim to announce the Cubs next manager toward the end of October.

- Adam LaRoche is one of the few first baseman the Cubs are looking at if they lose out on Adam Dunn and Carlos Pena.

- Scrap the Mark Reynolds chatter, Levine said there is no interest in the slugger.

- Bruce also said the Cubs may move Colvin to first base and go after a left-handed hitting RF but not Crawford because he may end up just like Soriano. If the Cubs did go that route they would likely go the trade route because of the lack of power hitters in the 2011 free agent class.

- The Cubs will not trade for Adrian Gonzales this coming season, but could sign him when he becomes a free agent.

- Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano will be with the Cubs in 2011 according to Jim Hendry.

Until Next Time...

Friday, October 01, 2010

3rd Base Swap Meet!

We heard earlier this week that the Red Sox are extremely interested in acquiring Aramis Ramirez. The Cubs are also at least listening to offers for Ramirez among other players. Aramis is expected to pick up his 14.6 million dollar player option for next season which included a 16 million dollar club option for 2012 and a 2 million dollar buyout. So he will come with a pretty high price tag, one the Cubs might have to pony some money on.

Also if the Cubs did trade Aramis Ramirez they would have a glaring hole at the hot corner with no one in house to replace. This brings up the latest rumors circling the web, the Cubs interest in Mark Reynolds. The D'backs are looking to get cheaper, younger, and more fundamentally sound in the field and at the plate. Kevin Towers wants to bring in small ball to Arizona, something he also preached in San Diego. The rumor is the club is looking to deal players like Stephen Drew and Mark Reynolds for young prospects.

Now, Jim Hendry and Kevin Towers have a good working relationship which is a bonus but the fact of the matter is they will have to get three teams involved which I have a feeling this is where this rumors spawned from. Here is what we are hearing.....

Cubs get Mark Reynolds
Dbacks get Jacoby Ellsbury
Red Sox get Aramis Ramirez

I can see why this would be a legit rumor. The Cubs will get a younger, more powerful, and better defensive 3rd baseman, the Red Sox will hope that Aramis Ramirez will have a bounce back year and player pepper with the Green Monster at Fenway, and the Dbacks would be getting a good defensive leadoff hitter that already joins one of the most exciting young outfielders in the game with Justin Upton. This would also possibly allow the Dbacks to trade Chris Young for some good pitching or exciting young infielders.

The hang up with have to be Aramis Ramirez no-trade clause but he would likely waive that to go to Boston where they would contend next season. Aramis could also enjoy some time in the DH role to keep him healthy the whole year. The only other hang up would be money. Jacoby is owed basically nothing and will receive his first year of Arbitration next season. But Reynolds is owed 13 million over the next two season and has a 11 million club option with a 500K buyout for 2013. Aramis is owed 14.6 million next season with a 16 million option or 2 million dollar buyout for 2012. So money will have to exchange hands. I could see the Cubs taking on the 7 million dollar owed to Mike Cameron for next season to balance out the money some but I have a feeling the teams will all have to pay a portion of the contracts that exchange hands.

It will be cool to see if this rumor gains steam because honestly I can say I like the deal for all teams involved.

I will keep you updated!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Here We Go.......

Sorry the updates have been few and far between but lets get caught up!

- Xavier Nady could be apart of the 2011 Cubs if he signs a similar deal to this year.

- Tom Ricketts has not made any decision regarding next year’s payroll but thinks it will be slightly lower than this season. Which means the Cubs could spend upwards to 40 million on next year alone.

- Mitch Atkins was DFA.

- The Cubs have really like how Mike Quade has handled the ball club but he would be a tough sell for fans if he is the Cubs next manager.

- There is not timetable on hiring a new manager according to Jim Hendry. But he would like to get something done shortly after the World Series if not sooner.

- Bob Brenly withdrew his name from the Cubs manager consideration stating it is not a fit for him personally or professionally at this time.

- The Cubs are scouting Victor Martinez, Adam Dunn, and Carlos Pena for their first base vacancy. They are also said Xavier Nady and Tyler Colvin could be in the mix. It is said that Dunn is the number one with Carlos Pena a close 2nd. The Nationals reportedly are NOT going to offer Dunn an extension but offer Pena that money instead.

- Bruce Levine stated once again that Orlando Hudson will be the Cubs starting 2nd baseman next season.

- Bruce also said the Cubs could trade Marmol, maybe to the Yankees for Chamberlain, Gardner, and Montero? I would do that in a second!

- Josh Vitters’ work ethic is being questioned by media and scouts around baseball.

- Brett Jackson will likely take the same route as Starlin Castro did to the big leagues next season.

- Levine says Hoffpauir days with the Cubs are likely over.

- The Cubs may hold onto Koyie Hill because they do not see Castillo as ML ready yet. That is so much BS!

- Carlos Zambrano seems to have found his pitching groove and will likely stay with the Cubs unless the team trading for him takes on at least half his contract and gives up players as well.

- The Mets may try to trade players like Reyes and Wright while there stock is high. The Cubs will have interest in both Wright and Reyes. The Cubs were interested years ago about trading for Reyes and having him play 2nd base so I am assuming there is still interest. The Cubs, just like any team, would prepare for a bidding war for David Wright. They would likely play him at his nature position of 3rd base and put the injury prone Aramis Ramirez at 1st. I would not be shocked to see the Cubs offer up Cashner, Marmol, Brett Jackson, Hak-Ju Lee, or Jay Jackson in a package for Wright.

- The manager position will likely be between three candidates; Joe Girardi, Ryne Sandberg, and Mike Quade.

- Regardless of what Ozzie says he is not a candidate for the Cubs job.

- Kerry Wood could find himself back in a Cubs uniform next season. The Cubs are looking for a veteran presence out of the bullpen. Not to mention insurance in case the Cubs trade Marmol over the winter.

- The Cubs may have some suitors for Fukudome next season but only if they pay most of his contract or take a bad one in return.

- CubbieCrib takes a look at the payroll situation for next season and I hope the Cubs follow what they laid out. I think adding Adam Dunn (14M), Orlando Hudson (5M), Kerry Wood (6M), and Brandon Webb, Justin Duchscherer, or Vicente Padilla (8M) would really round out and make this team very competitive next season. With these additions it would likely place the payroll around 133 million for next season before arbitration raises and other players non-tendered or traded.

Until Next Time…..

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Search.....

- The Cubs will interview Don Wakamatsu for their manager position.

- Adam Dunn will be the Cubs top priority and a lot of sources expect the Cubs to offer him a multi-year deal.

- Zambrano is up to his old song and dance. He says after this contract he expects to retire to spend more time with his family.

- Tha M's have interest in interviewing Ryne Sandberg for their Manager vacancy. If I were Sandberg I would not step anywhere near Seattle.

- Some really good quotes from Ricketts-

"We have to have a manager who really understands ... the scrutiny you get and (must) be able to handle those periods in June when you lose three games in a row and people start talking about Year 103 of the curse. We have to someone who understands what they're getting into."

Ricketts said the team will be younger going forward and the new manager must be able to teach fundamentals as well. The Cubs are looking for their next manager to be with the organization "for a long time."

"I think we're going to bring in someone who has in their mind that this is their job and their position forever."

To me that says it can really only be 4 candidates for the job; Ryne Sandberg, Mike Quade, Joe Girardi, and maybe even Bob Brenly. Brenly has been named a candidate recently and said to get an interview in the near future. Bob Brenly has been an announcer for the Cubs 2004 and has been very insightful and critical of the Cubs during that time which points out the passion he has to manage again. I look at him as a viable canidate.

- Levine says the Cubs starting 2nd baseman this coming season will be Orlando Hudson. I would love to see O-dawg in Cubbie blue. His defense at 2nd is among the best in baseball and he is a switch hitter that can handle the bat. Ideal #2 hitter in the lineup but also could see him hitting leadoff or 7th. This move would place DeWitt as a super utility player and to back up Aram at 3rd which is his natural position. It would also likely place Baker in another uniform considering how inexpensive and good Darwin Barney is doing. Not to mention the Cubs could get Hudson for a one year deal worth 5 million or so.

- Bruce also thinks every player will be made available this winter except Starlin Castro. He says even Carlos Marmol and Tyler Colvin. Trading our young talent is not the way to build this ball club. The Cubs have done this in the past and it has not worked. I expect if Marmol and Colvin are available they should have a HUGE price tag to essentially make them unavailable.

- Levine also thinks Jay Jackson will break camp with the Cubs as their 5th starter. I can see that.

Until Next Time.....

Look for more frequent updates as we get closer to the World Series and into the off-season. It should be another fun one for the Cubs and here at Hot Stove Cubbies!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quick Hits....

- Aramis Ramirez will be with the Cubs next season. Aram has said he will in fact exercise his option for next season.

- The Cubs will interview former D'backs manager Bob Melvin for the Manager opening. Fredi Gonzalez turned down an opportunity to interview with the Cubs. Fredi was rumored to be the top choice of Jim but not it seems he will be the next manager of the Braves.

- Quade will start many rookies against non-contending teams so management can take a look at players that could contribute next season.

- The Cubs may choose to hold onto Carlos Zambrano considering how he has pitched. In my opinion if they can get someone to take on most of his salary I say trade him.

- The Cubs may look at Padilla and Webb to add to the rotation next season.

- Darwin Barney looks like he will be on the big club next season. As does Welington Castillo as Geo's backup catcher.

Until Next Time.....

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Finally an Update!

I want to apologize for the long delay in between updates but here is the latest-

- The Cubs will do all they can to lock up Adam Dunn this off-season to play first for the Cubs. Jim Hendry is said to have made Dunn his number 1 target.

- Don't think the impressive play of Blake DeWitt will hinder the Cubs upgrading at 2nd base for next season. The Cubs are deciding internally whether to keep DeWitt at 2nd base or have him a a super utility role and as the primary backups to 2nd and 3rd. Rumors are going around that they Cubs may try to trade for Brian Roberts, Brandon Phillips, Dan Uggla, or Ben Zobrist. There are also whispers that they could take another run at free agent Orlando Hudson or Omar Infante (who has a 2.5 million option for 2011).

- To make this an even better off-season it looks like management will take the approach I and so many others feel is the right way to go. The Cubs will keep there young core that includes Randy Wells, Carlos Marmol, Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, etc... and surround them with impact players like an Adam Dunn. They also will be looking to trade or out right release players who do not want to be in Chicago or do not fit the guidelines they are looking for. Which means players like Soriano, Grabow, Fukudome, Baker, and maybe even Zambrano will not be in Chicago Cubs blue next season in one way or another.

- Gordon Wittenmyer says that Fredi Gonzales has become the Cubs top candidate to fill the management job. He has some past with Hendry and could be a viable replacement but I do not see him as a top candidate by any means. I think regardless if the Cubs offer him the job he will be the next to manage the Braves. It has been speculated for some time now and there is no way he picks the Cubs over the Braves. I think it is Joe Girardi's job if he wants it, otherwise look at Ryne Sandberg to be the Cubs next manager.

- Jim has or is about to interview Pat Listach, Ryne Sandberg, Eric Wedge, Bob Brenly, Fredi Gonzales, Mike Quade, and rumored Joe Girardi. Jim would like to have his new manager hired before the organizational meetings which are after the World Series.

Until Next Time...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quick Hits.....

- Jim Hendry has already interviewed one candidate for the manager position. Former big league manager Eric Wedge received a face to face interview with Jim Hendry over Weds. and spent all day Thursday together. Although I think Wedge is a decent manager, he does not fit what the Cubs need. The Cubs need a guy who is connected to Chicago in some way. I still think there should only be three candidates; Bob Brenly, Ryne Sandberg, and Bob Brenly.

- Joe Girardi does his best politician impression and side steps the Cubs manager vacancy and his interest in the job.

- Anyone who says Joe will not entertain the idea of becoming the Cubs next manager is crazy. He has a special place in his heart for the Chicago Cubs and that is something the Yankees can't offer.

Until Next Time...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lou Pinella to Step Down...

Lou Pinella will step down as Cubs manager after today's game. Lou is stepping down because of his mother's failing health. Jim Hendry told Wittenmyer today that Mike Quade will take over for interm manager not Alan Trammel. He also said Quade will be interview for the full time job this off season but Alan Trammel will not get a chance to interview.

This tells me a couple of things. Jim Hendry has a short list of candidates and he is not willing to just hand over the job to someone in the organization. This also tells me that Ryne Sandberg is not his #1 choice because if he was then he would be managing the team after today.

To me there should be only 3 candidates the Cubs and Jim should consider. Bob Brenly, Ryne Sandberg, and Joe Girardi.

Until Next Time...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cubs Chatter....

- Tyler Colvin has been taking grounders at first base. He played there in High School along with some in College so it is not totally new to him. He is expected to play some games there starting next week. The Cubs are seeing if he can handle the position because if he cannot then they will likely target a left-handed hitting 1st baseman this off season.

- Rosenthal says the Cubs will bring in at least one new starting pitcher regardless of what they do with Zambrano. Chatter says the Cubs still really like Ted Lilly (as do I). I also think they should look at Brandon Webb, Jake Westbrook, Carl Pavano, or Javier Vazquez. I am not going to even mention Cliff Lee because the Cubs cannot afford him.

- Rosenthal also said the Cubs number one need is a power bat for RF or 1st depending on where Tyler Colvin plays full time. At first base we have heard the Cubs have interest in Carlos Pena and Adam Dunn but they could also check out Lance Berkman, Aubrey Huff, or Lyle Overbay. None of the latter three impress me at all. As far as players for RF the Cubs #1 target should be Carl Crawford but he will cost a ton of money. Others the Cubs could take a run at is Johnny Damon, Adam Dunn (defense in RF would be scary), Rick Ankiel (not bad), or Brad Hawpe. Even though he is not left-handed, Jayson Werth would be a nice addition.

The Cubs could also trade for an outfielder or first baseman. They should call about Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Luke Scott, Nick Swisher, Kila Ka'aihue, or Adam LaRoche. Those players maybe available via trade this winter. Two other players that will likely not move but the Cubs should check in on is James Loney and Justin Morneau. Dodger fan and management are growing tired of the lack of power from the hot corners and the Twins could look to cut some cost by getting rid of Morneau. The Twins are also worried about Justin's health so they could deal him while his stock is still high.

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lee Gone! More to Come? Notes....

UPDATE!- The Cubs have traded Derrek Lee to the Braves for three prospects. The Cubs are also saving some cash in the deal sending 1.7 million of the 3.4 million left on Lee's contract. The Cubs received a nice return for Derrek by nabbing right-handed pitchers Robinson Lopez, Tyrelle Harris, and southpaw Jeffrey Lorick.

Robinson Lopez is a 19 year old righty with a good curve ball and low 90's fastball. He ranks 16th best prospect in the Braves system.

Tyrelle Harris is a 23 year old righty was the Braves 19th round draft pick in 2009. He is a strike out pitcher and could contribute to the Cubs in a couple years.

Jeffrey Lorick is a good lefty pitcher at just 22 years old. He pitched in Class A ball and had a 2.32 ERA.

This was a much better return the Cubs got compared to what I thought they would. I commend Jim Hendry on this deal and I wish Lee the best.

- According to Bruce Levine the Cubs and Braves are discussing a trade that would send Derrek Lee to the Braves. David Kaplan also confirms this and says the Cubs are close to sending Derrek Lee to the Braves. The only that will hold this up some is the bulging disc in Lee’s neck that has held him out since Monday. Kaplan did say that the “trade is nearly done” though. Rosenthal says the deal “has legs” and Crasnick says they are “way along in the process.” Lee is expected to accept the trade. No word on who the Cubs would get in return but there is some speculation that it could be a PTBNL. One thing is for sure the Cubs will not get a good return for the struggling Lee.

- The rumor that the Braves were interested in Aramis Ramirez maybe still in play because they view him as a good replacement for Chipper Jones beyond this season. The Braves still need an upgrade at 3rd base if they do not shift Troy Glaus over there. Although there are other reports that state the Braves are not interested in any long term players like Chone Figgins or Aramis Ramirez.

- The Cubs are still looking to deal Fukudome, Baker, and Nady but no word on if they have been put on waivers yet. Same goes with Aramis Ramirez as well.

- The Cubs are unlikely to target an outfielder this off-season unless they trade two of Marlon Byrd, Soriano, and/or Fukudome. The Cubs are less likely to deal Byrd because of this leadership, smaller contract, and hustle. The Cubs would like to deal Soriano and Fukudome but may not find takers because of the amount of money owed and the production of each player. I am still hearing the Cubs want to get a big lefty bat for 1st base if they do not move Colvin or Aramis there, they want to upgrade there bullpen with solid relievers, and maybe add a veteran starter to the rotation especially if they trade a Zambrano and/or Silva.

- According to sources close to the Cubs, their main target this off-season will be Adam Dunn. Jim Hendry internally admits he made the mistake signing Milton Bradley over Adam Dunn two seasons ago when Dunn was lobbying the Cubs to sign him.

Until Next Time….

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fonty Out, Barney In... More to Come...

- Mike Fontenot is now a San Francisco Giant. He was traded to the Giants before Weds. game. The Cubs received a 22 year old speedster outfielder by the name of Evan Crawford. More on him here. The Cubs then called up Darwin Barney to take Mike Fontenot's spot on the team.

- Rumor has it that Xavier Nady is likely to be the next out the door with the possibility that Jeff Baker could follow. The Cubs will also try to deal Fukudome but that is less likely with the amount he is owed and he will look like a more attractive pick up this winter rather than now.

- Joe Girardi could be the guy according to reports. David Kaplan said he feels even more confident today than he did a week ago when asked about Joe Girardi becoming the Cubs next manager. He says those close to him say Joe views the Cubs job as his "dream job." He went to Cubs games with his Dad as a child, grew up a Cubs fan, born in Peoria, went to Northwestern, came up through the Cubs organization, and played as a Chicago Cub. All those signs point out the rumor maybe closer to truth than we think. Here are some quotes from Joe in the NY Daily News-

"I have a responsibility to this club and the guys in that room, and that's my concern. People can speculate all they want, but that's not my concern right now. I don't really think much about it."

"I love it here. I've loved my time here," Girardi said. "I put my kids in school here and they're enrolled to go to school here next fall. There's going to be talk - I grew up there, I grew up a Cubs fan, I went to Northwestern, I lived in Chicago. But my concern is right now."

Not an outright No or Yes.... He should be a politician.

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The Cubs have placed Derrek Lee on the bereavement list and Geovany Soto on the 15 day DL with shoulder issues. The Cubs have called up Micah Hoffpauir and Welington Castillo. I am surprised the Cubs have not called on Bryan LaHair to replace Lee.

- MLBTR.com has an interesting thought about a possible Mets/Cubs trade. The Cubs would receive Oliver Perez (12million), Carlos Beltran (18.5 million), and Luis Castillo (6 million) for Carlos Zambrano (36 million). There contracts are basically a wash and the other thing that would benefit the Cubs is the three players the Cubs would received would be in the last year of there contracts, which would free up money for the 2011 free agency class. While the Mets could subtract three overpaid players and fill those positions with internal or free agent players. Carlos Zambrano seems to need a change of scenery and the Mets could be getting an ace if he returns to form like many think he would if he left Chicago. The Cubs could then in turn start Beltran in RF, Castillo as an utility guy, and Perez as a starter or reliever. The Cubs could put Colvin at 1st or use him as there 4 outfielder but they need to trade Fukudome first. Right now it is just a thought but makes a ton of sense for both clubs.

- No word yet on who has been put on wiavers and if anyone has been claimed yet. I will keep you updated.

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Quick Hits...

- Carlos Zambrano is expected to be moved back into the starting rotation on Monday against the Giants.

- The Cubs are expected to call up a slew of young players to see if they can contribute to the team next year. We have already seen the nice gem thrown by Thomas Diamond and a not too impressive performance by Casey Coleman (I am not worried though, I think this guy will be in our rotation sometime in the near future). Darwin Barney is the next player that will be called up according to sources. Other players that could make the jump before Sept. call ups are Brad Snyder, Welington Castillo, and Bryan LaHair.

- If the Cubs call up those players it is likely that Fontenot, Hill, Baker, and Nady could find themselves claimed off waivers or traded for a PTBNL once they clear waivers. Another option, which could happen for Derrek Lee, is the Cubs could place a player on the DL with an "injury."

- Just a reminder, a team can place ANY player on waivers. No matter if he is owed 1 million or 100 million, no-trade clause or not, etc...

- The Cubs could look at upgrading at the starting rotation, bullpen, and 1st base through free agency. You could see the Cubs sign Lilly again or Jake Westbrook for a starting pitcher, another intriguing name for a starter is Brandon Webb. The Cubs have interest in J.J. Putz and could bid for Kerry Wood's services once again. I am also hearing the Cubs want a big left handed bat for first base and will be targeting Carlos Pena and Adam Dunn. They could also look at a Aubrey Huff, Adam LaRoche, or Lance Berkman as second tier players if they loose out on Pena and Dunn.

Until Next Time....