First Update of the year-
- Jim Hendry is trying like heck according to Bruce Levine to acquire Matt Garza. The Rays are insisting on at least 4 prospects in any deal for Garza. The Rays are asking for Hak-Ju Lee and Robinson Chirinos in any deal for Garza. The Rays also like Chris Archer and Andrew Cashner but they are off limits according to team officials. If the Cubs do land Garza it would immediately push them from rebuilding to contending next season. The move would also allow the Cubs to keep Cashner in the bullpen which would strengthen it even more than it already is. If this seems all too familiar to you we have been through this before with Brian Roberts and Jake Peavy. Lets just hope the difference is the Cubs get their man this time.
- There are still no takers on Fukudome according to Bruce Levine but I have heard different which I will tell you more about below.
- Carlos Silva will be viewed as a non-factor this year until he proves otherwise. He has no trade value and could be released in the spring.
- The Cubs are still interested in upgrading the pen and maybe looking at Jason Frasor as a trade candidate. The only way the Cubs will trade for him is if Cashner is in the rotation.
- Jeff Samardzija will make the team out of camp either as a starter or reliever because he is out of options. I am hearing Shark is gaining interest from multiple teams but only as a reliever. A snagging point is Shark’s no trade clause which HSC just found out he invoke last season when he rejected a trade to the Twins. He also rejected a trade to New York this off-season.
- Casey Coleman could be a dark horse candidate for the long reliever in the pen.
- Randy Wells better have a good spring or he might find himself back in AAA.
- The Cubs could still sign a veteran pitcher for the rotation. Cub officials say they have “kicked the tires on Jarrod Washburn and Jeff Francis”
- The Cubs are interested in adding depth to their bench. They would like to ink Cristian Guzman, Felipe Lopez, Willie Bloomquist, Wily Aybar, Fernando Tatis, or Andy LaRoche to minor league deals with invites to ST.
- In regards to Fukudome, there has been interest in him but only if the Cubs eat most of his contract or take a bad contract player in return. We have all heard the deal that went dead that would have sent Fukudome to San Fran for Aaron Rowand. HSC has learned the Cubs, Red Sox, and Mets had a three way deal that hit multiple snags before being put on the back burner. According to sources the Cubs would have received Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, the Red Sox would have received Carlos Beltran, and the Mets would have gotten Kosuke Fukudome, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Samardzija, and a prospect from the Sox. In this deal the Red Sox and Cubs would both be receiving cash for the contracts they taken on from the Mets because the Mets would be removing 18 million off the books for 2011 if they did not chip in any money at all. The Red Sox would end up adding payroll while the Cubs and Mets would decrease theirs for 2011 in this deal. How much the BoSox take on and how much the Mets and Cubs save are determined on how much money NY sends to Boston and Chicago. (Are you still with me)
There are three reasons why this deal never went through, one reason is Samardzija rejected a trade to NY and another was how much money was exchanging hands. The Mets did not want to pay over half of Beltran’s contract and that is the only way the Red Sox would have accepted the trade. The Mets insisted on Samardzija and a prospect if they were taking on Fukudome. The Shark vetoed the trade while the Red Sox and Mets could not agree on a prospect. A Mets official said they were asking for 2nd baseman prospect Oscar Tejeda, Outfielder Josh Reddick, or 3rd base prospect Garin Cecchini. They rank 7, 4, and 6 respectively on John Sickels Red Sox top 20 prospects of 2011.
In the end I wish this deal would have went through for the Cubs. The Cubs would have rid themselves of Fukudome and allow Colvin to play RF full time. They then could have brought up Brett Jackson or Brandon Guyer to play CF and move Byrd to the fourth outfielder role. It would have also given the Cubs a lefty in Oliver Perez who could be either the 5th starter or swing man in the pen. Luis Castillo would have been a welcome addition off the bench filling in for DeWitt and expanding his horizons by maybe playing some 3rd to get Aram a night off or when he gets injured. The other thing that sticks out is it would clear a roster spot be trading Samardzija since he is out of option and in the end this saves the Cubs money. No word on if this trade will be revisited but if I were Jim Hendry I would try to make it happen.
Until Next Time…