- The Cubs have claimed catcher Max Ramirez off of waivers from the Red Sox. Max Ramirez (who is out of options) provides more competition for Koyie Hill and Wellington Castillo for the backup catcher position. Max Ramirez has ML experience but not to much success; he batted .217 with 4 homeruns and a .343 OBP in 45 career games. He has done very well in the minors though. In 7 minor league seasons he has hit .298 with a .396 OBP with 72 homers and although he has a bad .986 fielding% in the minors as a catcher but Koyie Hill had a .985 fielding% in 9 minor league season. In fact when you compare the two; Ramirez is younger and has a better bat while Hill has more ML experience, a better arm, and is a switch hitter. I think the Cubs should go into ST with an open mind on the backup catcher spot regardless of cost or age.
- The Cubs are still very much interested in signing utility players Nick Punto, Willy Aybar, Bobby Crosby, or Andy LaRoche to minor league deals with invites to ST. The Cubs are also very interested in signing some free agent relievers to minor league deals like Todd Coffey, Jose Veras, Manny Corpas, Alfredo Aceves, or Miguel Batista according to sources.
- I have had a lot of questions regarding the Halos/Cubs trade rumors. Word is the Angels want to spend money along with making their fan base happy which they are not right now. The Angels lost out on Cliff Lee, Adrian Beltre, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, and Adam Dunn. They are not giving up on getting at least an impact bat for this team. They have been linked to DH types like Vlad but they are reluctant to resign him because the declining health and defense. The Angels told baseball execs last year that they would shop Kazmir this off-season. They were even talking about a swap with the Rockies before they signed Jorge. All in all I give both rumors about a 25-30% chance of happening. Soriano and Shark both have no-trade clauses and that could be tricky, not to mention the amount of players and money that would be changing hands. I have seen crazier things happen during the off-season and this one makes more sense than some of those deals that actually went through, so anything can happen.
Of course I will keep you updated on the latest Cubs rumors and news!
Until Next Time…