Here is the latest on the Cubs front-
- Lance Berkman could be an option for 1st for the Cubs says a source to Tom Ricketts.
- Aramis Ramirez wants a multi-year deal. Here is what he said to Bruce Levine last night-
If I hit the marketplace I should end up with a two or three-year deal," Ramirez told Levine. "The reason is, there aren't a lot of third baseman available this offseason. But if [the Cubs] approach me, I'm sure we can get something done. But probably not for one year."
This is likely to be the next GM’s first decision and it will be a tough one. The Chicago Cubs do not have a viable option for 3rd base next season and the market looks really weak which makes trade value for 3rd baseman really high. One thing I would suggest is the Cubs exercise Ramirez 16M option for 2012 just to watch him decline it which means he forgoes the 2 million dollar buyout. If Ramirez accepts then you have him for another contract year and then you have guys like David Wright, Mark Reynolds, and Kevin Youkilis becoming free agents in 2012. If he declines then you don’t owe him anything. I really see it as a win/win for the Cubs to exercise the option.
- The Cubs are having internal discussions about moving Shark to the rotation. I hope they don’t do that again!
- The Cubs current front office has discussed possible replacements via trade for Ramirez if he does leave like David Wright, Alex Gordon, Mark Reynolds, and Ryan Roberts.
- Bruce Levine said the most likely candidate for GM next year is Rick Hahn.
- Levine says the Cubs will concentrate more on pitching rather than position players, honestly how do the Cubs not shell out a ton of cash for Fielder???
- Levine says the Cubs will have to think outside the box in trading for pitchers. He names J.A. Happ and John Danks as possible targets. Danks makes a ton of sense!
- Bruce would rather see the Cubs go after C.J. Wilson and trade for younger players than throw $25 million at Fielder. I think the Cubs should sign both Wilson and Fielder as two big pieces in moving forward.
- Levine says the Cubs budget next season will not exceed the $130M mark. That makes no sense because everyone (including Ricketts) compares the Cubs to the Yankees and Red Sox but having a payroll at $130M when the Yanks have a $207M payroll, Red Sox have a $163M payroll, and even the Phillies have a $165M payroll; the is no comparison. The Cubs need to spend up to $160M if they want to be compared to these teams. Otherwise they are comparing apples and oranges.
- By the way I know it has only been 8 games but LaHair is batting .500 with a .565 OBP with 4 doubles, 1 triple, and a homer. He is looking more and more like a late bloomer dare I say Jose Bautista.
Until Next Time…