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...