Saturday, January 16, 2010

Byrnes a fit... Other Tidbits.

- The D'Backs have designated Eric Byrnes for assignment and would love to trade him but unfortunately he has not trade protection so they will likely eat the 11 million he is owed and be released. The Cubs should have some interest in Eric Byrnes even though his numbers are not has good as Dye, Sheffield, or Nady. The good thing about Byrnes is he plays all out all the time and can play all three outfield spots very well. Keep an eye on Byrnes.

- No information on Jason Bourgeois yet so it is likely the Cubs will wait until he becomes a free agent to make their move. One thing is for sure they are very interested in the switch hitter.

- Kevine Kouzmanoff was traded to the A's so he will likely not be in cubbie blue anytime soon.

- The Cubs are waiting and being patient in their pursuit of an outfielder that can platoon with Fukudome. They are waiting to see how low the price will go on these veterans. Although Hendry did say at the Cubs Convention he was going to add two or three players in the next two weeks.

- has great info on the Cubs Convention. I suggest you check hit out!
Here is some highlights-
## The Cubs will go into the season with either Fontenot or Baker at 2nd base.
## The Cubs are not actively pursing a starter but a right handed reliever.
## Hendry will add a couple of players in the next two weeks.
## Soto lost like 40lbs and looks great!
## Fukudome and Theriot will bat one and two or vice versa with Byrd batting 5th in the lineup.

Until Next Time....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Names... New Rumors....

- The Cubs are one of 5 teams who like Jose Contereras. The others are the Cards, Rockies, Phillies, and Padres.

- The Cubs already have watch Ben Sheets throw some but they are going to get a closer look on Tuesday where he will throw for about 10 teams. Hard to see the Cubs signing him to an incentive laden deal with that many teams interested.

- Reed Johnson is still on the Cubs radar for the fourth outfielder spot.

- The Cubs invited 19 non-roster invites to Big League Camp. There are 3 guys on this list I can see making the Big Show to start the season, they are Bobby Scales, Andrew Cashner, and Brad Snyder. With Snyder being the most likely out of the three in my opinion.

- The Tribune says the Cubs are looking for a right-handed platoon player with Fukudome in RF and said they have interest in Nady and Dye. Nady has good numbers against lefties posting a .308 Avg, .383 OBP and has similar numbers at Wrigley. Dye on the other hand not as impressive hitting .287 with .366 OBP. One source says the Cubs interest in Dye is sincere but will not go about an one year deal worth 3-4 million.

I will ask this again why not Sheffield? A career .307 hitter against lefties, .405 OBP and .929 OPS. His lifetime stats are better than Dye and Nady, he can play both corner spots and first (better defensively than Dye but not Nady), and will cost a lot less than Dye or Nady. I understand he has "attitude" issues but he is not like Bradley, trust me on this! The Cubs should pick up Shef over both Nady and Dye.

- The Cubs like Kiko Calero but are worried about his shoulder issues.

- Jim Hendry is discussing potential deal with the Padres, Blue Jays, and Rockies according to Levine. The players I am speculation that could be involved is the Padres Kevine Kouzmanoff, the Blue Jays Frasor or Travis Snider, and the Rockies Ryan Spilborghs.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Latest From Levine.....

UPDATE- 11:30am- The Cubs are poised to acquire Jason Bourgeois from the Astros according to my sources. The Astros recently designated Bourgeois for assignment. The 28 year old hit .316 with .354 OBP while playing all three outfield positions in AAA. He is a switch hitter logged 541 games at 2b, 228 games in the outfield, 119 games at SS, and 6 at 3b in his minor league career. He can steal a base and plays really good defense. He should be a really good addition for the Cubs. Here is his stats.

Here is the latest from Bruce Levine who is in Phoenix for the owners meetings. They are expected to have all 30 GMs in attendance and the possibility of a mini Winter Meetings is expected. Lets check it out!-

- The Cubs have discussed trading Sean Marshall, Fontenot, Gorzelanny, and Guzman in possible deals that would get them a fourth outfielder or veteran relief pitcher. I am surprised they are dangling Guzman.

- Levine says Guzman is the most likely out of the bunch to bring back an outfielder or setup man. The Cubs are unsure about the stability of Guzman's arm.

- The Cubs should extend Derrek Lee's contract.

- Jim Hendry will have to be a bottom feeder this winter because Ricketts has frozen payroll.

- Ryan Theriot will be moved to 2nd base eventually with Starlin Castro at SS. Levine said he would not be shocked if he moves Ryan in ST if Castro gets off to a good start.

- The Cubs see Shark as a starter and he will have every opportunity to earn that spot. My guess is he will either be a starter for Chicago or sent to AAA as a starter.

- The Cubs have talked to "a few teams about trades" for a right handed reliever. He mentions Jason Frasor.

- Money is an issue. What is new?

- The Rox want a bullpen arm for Ryan Spilborghs.

- The Cubs have not interest in Felipe Lopez according to Bruce Levine's source. I may have to give up on them acquiring a 2nd baseman.

- The Cubs signed right-handed reliever Jeff Kennard who was 3-1 in 40 games for the AAA Reds team last season with a 2.83 ERA.

- There will be a lot of minor league signings with invites to ST in the next 10 days.

- Little FYI for all you out there. Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly will all be free agents after the end of 2010 with Aramis Ramirez having the opt-out clause after the 2010 season. Aram can opt out of his contract and become a free agent for the 2011 season. If all those players leave the Cubs would remove 40 million dollars off of their 2010 payroll with just those three players leaving (though I hope we retain all three for 2011, especially Aram). That would put their payroll around 100 million to start the 2011 off season if those three decided to leave. Something I found interesting.

Until Next Time....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sheets in the Wind....

- According to the the Cubs are going to make a run at Ben Sheets. Sheets is wanting a two year deal around 10-12 million per year. The Cubs think they can land him with an incentive laden deal which to me is unlikely. His health is a concern so I do not see a fit for the Cubs in my opinion. Muskat tweets that Sheets contract demands do not fit the Cubs budget. I think the Cubs should target a guy like Doug Davis over Sheets. Davis will command less money, is a lefty, and has pitched 200+ innings 4 of the past 6 seasons. The Cubs need a durable pitcher a decent price not a fragile one for more money.

- Muskat also said the Cubs are still searching for a right handed reliever. John Smoltz is the answer. I still do not think a reliever is a priority with our good young relievers in AAA that could fill the Chicago pen.

- On a side note, I feel if the Cubs do not sign Gary Sheffield as their veteran bat, that can play the corner spots in the outfield, I will be very upset considering he fills all the needs for the Cubs laid out by Jim Hendry. Not to mention he kills lefties and hits great at Wrigley. Perfect platoon partner for Fukudome and valuable DH for inter league play! Check his stats here.

Until Next Time...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Maddux Come Back... More.....

- Greg Maddux is back with the Cubs as an Assistant to the General Manager. Maddux will be responsible for assisting coaching staffs at the Major and Minor League levels in Spring Training, assisting in the development of the Cubs minor leaguers during the regular season and assisting Hendry and the baseball operations department in talent evaluation. I think this move could be a potential grooming for a coaching position with the Cubs. For 2011, Ryne Sandberg Manager and Greg Maddux Pitching Coach!

- Could Maddux's good friend John Smoltz be next. According to my sources, Smoltz has labeled the Cubs along with the Cardinals, Mets, and Phillies as his preferred destinations to pitch next season. John would like to start and sign a Major League contract to do so. If signed by the Cubs he would start off in the rotation until Lilly came back then would be used as a swing man/late inning reliever or even move down to the 5th spot in the rotation. Maddux might be a good influence on getting Smoltz to Chicago.

My 25 man roster for next season with three additions. Adding Orlando Hudson, Gary Sheffield, and John Smoltz. Honestly I bet you can get all three for under 10 million combined for next seasons salary.

1. Theriot SS
2. O. Hudson 2b
3. Lee 1st
4 Aram 3b
5. Byrd CF
6. Soriano LF
7. Fukudome RF
8. Soto C


9. Sheffield LF/RF/1st
10. Blanco IF
11. Baker IF/OF
12. Hill C
13. Snyder OF


14. Zambrano
15. Dempster
16. Wells
17. Smoltz
18. Marshall


19. Marmol
20. Grabow
21. Guzman
22. Berg
23. Gray
24. Samardzija
25. Caridad

Until Next Time....