Saturday, November 12, 2011

Quick Hits...

- The Cubs look set at the current managerial field. They have interviewed Pete Mackanin, Dale Sveum, Mike Maddux, and Sandy Alomar Jr. Alomar is considered a dark horse while Maddux looks like the front runner.

- Maddux and Alomar definitely did the best in their interviews in my opinion.

- There is an outside chance more guys could be interviewed but it is unlikely. The two Boston candidates have likely been removed because of an agreement not to raid their staff.

- Epstein said the Cubs are likely to be very active in the free agent market but that does not mean a ton of moves. He says by the end of it they are likely to sign a free agent or two.

- Theo and Co. are saying the Cubs are a long way from where they want them to be but that does not mean they cannot contend next season.

- Ricketts and Team Theo have the same vision with playing youth and developing the farm system. This could cause a player like Carlos Zambrano to be traded and Soriano to be released.

- The front office brass really likes Trey McNutt, Brett Jackson, and Junior Lake. Lake may even get a shot to win a spot out of Spring Training.

- There are reports that Terry Francona "deep down" wants to be the Cubs skipper. I seriously doubt that but even so I like Alomar Jr. and Maddux more than him.

- Greg and Mike Maddux have discussed being apart of the coaching staff if Mike gets the job but that is as far as Mike went on his comment.

- Yoennis Cespedes is for real and will likely get a deal that exceeds the 6 year 30 million dollar deal Chapman got from the Reds. The Cubs are extremely interested and could sign him to that deal. The guy looks like a cross of a younger Sammy Sosa (hitting) and Andre Dawson (defense) but with the speed of Carlos Beltran when he was with the Royals. He looks for real and I have not seen a guy with these tools at his "age." See it for yourself here.

- Of course there is talk out there about Aramis Ramirez coming back because interest is low and also rumblings the Cubs may make a play for David Wright but here are some other 3rd baseman on the trade wire the Cubs are linked to according to my source. Ryan Roberts of the Arizona Dbacks, Jack Hannahan of the Cleveland Indians, Chase Headly of the Padres, and yes even talk about Hanley Ramirez of the Flordia Marlins. Side note on HanRam, he may be the odd man out in Florida because of clubhouse issues and the pursuit of Jose Reyes. Trading Hanley and the bulk of this 3 years 46 million could allow the Marlins sign a guy like Reyes and Pujols or Fielder or Cespedes along with Madson. It should be noted Theo has high regards for Hanley. I could see a Zambrano and a couple of prospects for Hanley. I would love to get Hanley Ramirez and Gaby Sanchez in a deal together but that maybe asking too much!

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Cubs Rumors: Sizemore, Wright, Maddux, Sveum, Pitching, Big Z, Trade Partners, and Much More...

- Ken Rosenthal thinks Grady Sizemore can get a one year deal worth a base of $9 million. If that is the case you can but an X through the Cubs as a landing spot for him. I cannot see a team guarantee Sizemore that base salary. Now, I would give him a $5M base with incentives to reach 9 million.
- I am saying right now the Cubs will be players for David Wright. I am seeing too much smoke for there not to be a fire. There are talks internally about a trade and restructuring his contract and making it into a multi-year deal if they trade for him so they don’t have to pay him $15M next season and only have him for one year.
- The Cubs have been in trade talks with numerous teams according to sources and have talked to the A’s about Brett Anderson but not Gio Gonzales. The same source nothing is close on the trade front but it that could change quickly with a phone call.
- The Cubs viewed Jonathan Sanchez as a high risk/high reward player but did not want to pay the Giants asking price.
- Mike Maddux has removed his name from the Red Sox managerial interview process because of family issues. Maddux said Boston is just too far from Texas where his family is. He is still slated for the interview process with the Cubs on Weds.
- Maddux is now viewed as the front runner for the Cubs managerial position.
- Sandy Alomar Jr. is being considered internally as a possible candidate but they have not reached out to him yet.
- Mike Quade could make his way into the Phillies organization according to Ken Rosenthal.
- Catcher Steve Clevenger and Jeff Beliveau are being considered as compensation for Theo Epstein. A far cry from asking for Garza.
- The Cubs have named Joe Bohringer as the Director of Professional Scouting and will work under Jed Hoyer. Tim Wilken will work under Jason McLeod.
- Dale Sveum had his interview yesterday and here are some highlights-
***Prince Fielder is one of the best guys he has ever coached and has a strong relationship with him.
***Sveum and Mike Maddux are good friends and he thinks he will be a good manager someday.
***He really prepares for games by video work, stat analysis, among other things. Rumors say Sveum does more work into preparation than most do.
***Dale tries to keep his cool but he is an emotional guy. His nickname is “Nuts”
***When you are a big market team you are not thinking rebuild; you are thinking about a World Series, said Sveum.
- The Cubs could do addition by subtraction this winter. Theo and Co are reportedly looking to revamp the outfield to make it more athletic and better defensively. Rumors out there suggest Theo and Co. could trade away Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano, bring up Brett Jackson and add two guys through free agency or trades. This rumor stats Theo is looking to get younger in the outfield as well which is why the names Grady Sizemore (29 years old) and Yoenis Cespedes (26 years old) have been linked to the Cubs. I expect Sizemore to get a one year deal worth around $5M as the base salary with incentives. Cespedes is expected to get 5-6 years 30-45 million over those years. In the case of Cespedes he would be a nice building block for the Cubs outfield while Sizemore could be apart of the outfield for years to come if he bounces back from two injury filled low production years in Cleveland otherwise he could be a stop gap for Matt Szczur. Brett Jackson is expected to be apart of the outfield for 2012 as well. So with Cespedes, Sizemore, and Jackson in the outfield you have all guys with good speed, great gloves, good arms, and can definitely handle the bat. To me the move would make the Cubs be the most athletic outfield in the majors and would also fit the mold for building for the future yet contending now. This rumor actually makes a ton of sense.
- Want more information on Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes? Go check MLBTR.COM- The Cubs also have great interest in Chunichi southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and lefty Tsuyoshi Wada. Both are going to come very cheap on the free agent market and both have great upside. Check both here and here
- The Blue Jays have called the Cubs about Carlos Marmol and could offer up some young top pitching prospects for Marmol.
- The Royals have interest in Carlos Zambrano which is not news to HotStoveCubbies because I told you the interest was there back on Oct. 31st. You can find it here
- This will probably be a first on this site as well; Zambrano is drawing interest from other teams (and no not just the Marlins and Royals) like the Giants, Diamondbacks, and Mets (Mets would require paying 90% of his contract or taking on another bad contract i.e. Jason Bay)
- Kevin Slowey maybe a cheap option for the rotation if non-tendered said a source. He had a bad year and could come at a minor league deal.

Until Next Time…