Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Lot of Cubs Talk....

- Sources out of St. Louis said the Cubs have serious interest in Albert Pujols. Now I am still on the fence about Pujols unless he lands with the Cubs with a 5 year deal. This could be used to up the price on Pujols and hurt rival teams.

- Soriano is likely to be traded at the Winter Meetings according to a source of mine. He says that numerous lower tier AL teams are in on Soriano and the Cubs are "now" more willing to kick in cash than last year.

- The Cubs are looking to possibly add Chris Capuano for depth to the rotation. It is unlikely he would give a spot by signing a contract. He is a mid risk/mid reward pitcher and they type of guy you value as depth on your team.

- Theo Epstein says he has the best left-handed reliever in baseball and he will not move him in the rotation or much less to another team.

- Theo views are Garza are mixed because he says Garza is the type of guy he would like to build around but in return he could get a lot to build for the future.

- I will be the first to report this I am sure. The Mets have called the Cubs about Geovany Soto and the Mets may have moved on from Josh Thole or want a platoon with him according a source.

- Theo said he would like to add a power left-handed bat but is not going to force anything.

- The signing of DeJesus does not really affect Jackson according to Epstein. That is very telling.

- Opposing GMs think the Cubs trading Garza makes sense according to Jon Heyman of SI.

- Theo says starting pitching is the Cubs #1 priority at the Winter Meetings which starts Monday.

- Theo wants to build with a young core according to many media outlets. That is why Cespedes, Justin Upton, and Chase Headley are all running hot on the rumor mill. Headley is the oldest at 27.

- Building a young core and for the future could be a precursor to many things like getting rid of Byrd, Soriano, Zambrano, and others. It also could signal an interest in Fielder. Signing him to a long-term deal would build toward the future and enable a young foundation because he is only 27 years old.

- The Cubs have talked to the agents of Pujols and Fielder but many of my sources stat the interest in Pujols is to raise up the price and Fielder's interest is legitimate.

- Theo Epstein makes it sound like Brett Jackson will get some more time in AAA but a lot can change. He also says you will not see him too much in the Winter Meetings lobby next week.

- I think if the Cubs were to build for the future ideally it would signing Prince Fielder and Yoenis Cespedes; trading Soriano, Byrd, Wells, Soto, and Zambrano; trade for Chase Headley and Orlando Hudson; and acquiring a young package of players for Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol to build up the farm system. That would be my ideal moves towards the future of course with some filler moves in there as well by adding to the bench and the most important thing; getting pitching. Check out this nice lineup-

1. Brett Jackson CF
2. Orlando Hudson 2b
3. Yoenis Cespedes LF
4. Prince Fielder 1st
5. Starlin Castro SS
6. Chase Headley 3rd
7. Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger C (or a catcher through trade)
8. David DeJesus RF
9. Pitcher

I got to say I really like it a really balanced as well!

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DeJesus Signs, Ricketts Talks, and Other Juicy Tidbits

- The Cubs have signed David DeJesus to a 2 year deal with an option for 2014. David will make $4.25M in 2012 and 2013 while having an option of $6.5M for 2014 with a $1.5M buyout.
- Jed Hoyer says DeJesus will likely be the starting RF for the Cubs next season. He also stats DeJesus is an asset to the team direction of getting better defensively, taking more pitches, and running the bases better.
- Like I tweeted before @HotStoveCubbies DeJesus is a cheaper and younger Fukudome. Although he will not strike out as much as Fukudome did. The most he has ever struck out was in 2009 when he got punch out 87 times in 627 PA.
- Hoyer says they have not given up on Tyler Colvin but he has to earn his spot on the team.
- I am hearing Tyler Colvin maybe the compensation for Boston for the Cubs getting Epstein.
- One source tells me this move was made because the Cubs want finalize a deal to send Soriano to an AL team during the winter meetings. Theo and Co. wanted to be sure to sign DeJesus before making that trade.
- The Pirates are very interested in Geovany Soto. The Angels were until the made a deal for Chris Iannetta. The Angels sent Chatwood to the Rockies for Iannetta and boy would I have liked Chatwood in a Cubs uniform.
- Jason Varitek and Kerry Wood signing with the Cubs could happen very soon.
- Hoyer has been in talks with Erik Bedard's agent but then again he has been in talks with a lot of agents.
- Bruce Levine says a good piece to pick up for Garza through Texas would be Alex Ogando. I would agree with that!
- Chase Headley is the Cubs top choice for taking over 3rd next year. The Padres still like the idea of Marmol as compensation.
- The Cubs may look to Justin Upton if they cannot land Cespedes. The Dbacks could ask for Garza and/or Marmol for Upton but Upton alone is not enough for Garza. Marmol is another story. Upton is only 24 years old, a great defender, and he hit .289 with 31 homers, 88 RBI, and 21 SB last season. He makes $6.75M in 2012, $9.75M in 2013, $14.25M in 2014, and $14.5M so he is affordable for the production.
- BleacherNation has a great write up interview with’s Tim Dierkes.
- ESPNCHicago has Tom Ricketts speaking on free agency and much more. A must read!

Until Next Time..

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Quick Cubs News Update!

- Greg Maddux will not be rejoining the Cubs. He is likely to help out with his brother in Texas.
- The Cubs have named Jamie Quirk as bench coach.
- Cubs resign Crane Kenney on the baseball buisness side of things.
- Like promised BleacherNation has the case against Prince Fielder.

Until Next Time...

The Rumors are Heating Up!

Jim Bowden says the Cubs have been very aggressive with a wide range of free agents and trade talks.
- The Cubs will be listening on everyone according to numerous sources but most notably Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto, and Randy Wells.
- David Kaplan says the Cubs are “kicking the tires” on free agent outfielder David DeJesus. I just don’t see the need unless numerous moves are made in the outfield.
- The Cubs are interested in Ian Stewart and Chase Headley for their 3rd base vacancy. Both would be trade options although Ian Stewart would probably cost a mid-level prospect while the Padres could ask for Marmol for Headley.
- Matt Garza is gaining trade momentum for a number of teams but most notably is the Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees, and even the Indians.
- I am hearing the Indians want both Marmol and Garza. And they could be dangling Michael Brantley, Justin Masterson, and/or Carlos Santana. Getting Santana and Masterson would be ideal and a must for both Marmol and Garza.
- Pena and Ramirez are expected to decline arbitration.
- The Cubs are very much in on Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols according to many media outlets. The new CBA is effecting how the Cubs approach the off-season and could force the Cubs to spend an extra 20 million on payroll for next year. Thus it could force their hand in getting a big money, big bat 1st baseman for many years. From one source I am hearing the Cubs could be posturing some to drive up the price of their rivals. From another I am hearing the Cubs will not go beyond 6 guaranteed years for both and would likely increase yearly salary in exchange for less years. He even went as far as saying signing Pujols to a 4 year 160 million dollar contract with an option is not out of the realm of possibility. I see it as unlikely to pay someone near 40 million a season but I do trust in Theo’s judgment.
- A couple of pieces Theo and Co. really like and probably won’t deal are Sean Marshall, Starlin Castro, and Andrew Cashner.
- The Cubs will still be players on Yu Darvish if he is posted.
- Yoenis Cespedes is still a big target for the Cubs as well. The Cubs brass really like what they saw in the Dom. Rep.
- Ken Rosenthal has an update in regards to Pujols and Fielder saying the Cubs are more willing to go long term with a contract with Pujols than Fielder because Pujols is a better defender. He also says Fielder’s body is a concern which is why the Cubs would rather go short-term high dollar with him rather than Pujols. Now this contradicts what I am hearing and posted earlier in the post. I find it interesting they are willing to go longer for a guy who is 31 instead of a guy who is 27.
- Rosenthal has been all over today saying that several teams are “kicking the tires” on Alfonso Soriano but the teams expect the Cubs to pay a large portion of his contract. I am hearing 80% will have to be paid for the Cubs trade talks to start moving further along.
- BleacherNation has the case for signing Prince Fielder and it is a great read. They will have the case for not signing him later which I will post as well.
- Theo and Co. have been really quiet but leaks still happen maybe even on purpose. I am still amazed at the difference in the approach of the old regime and the new. Seems like my sources have been more active and right this off-season than most.
- Ron Santo will be up for the Hall of Fame once again but this time by the special ballot. We all will be pulling for Santo to be finally inducted.
- Muskat chimes in and says we will hear more about the coaching staff this week.
- Three newer names that are starting to buzz around trade talk in respect to the Cubs are Kendry Morales, Alex Gordon, and Mitch Moreland.