Friday, December 16, 2011

Cubs Stove Talk Update...

UPDATE 11:00 PM- The Cubs are currently negotiating with Paul Maholm. No word yet if talks have progressed but he would be nice depth in the rotation and likely would end the Cubs pursuit of Joe Saunders if Paul is signed.

- Several sources (most notably the New York Post) are reporting that the Jays are believed to have won the bid on Darvish with a bid larger than $40M. There will not be an announcement until Tuesday or Wednesday
- I have not heard anything on how much the Cubs have bid but one source says it is large but not expected to win.
- Bleacher Nation has some great spin on the Jays winning the Darvish post. He says it probably takes them out of the Fielder race, it leaves the Rangers in the market for Matt Garza, and it may spur the Yankees on to wanting to acquire someone like Garza even more.
- The Chicago Cubs finally have their coaching staff together by finally naming Dave McKay as their 1st base coach. McKay is known for great outfield work with players and great base running knowledge. He will be a great asset to the team. McKay joins, Dave Sveum (manager), Judy Jaramillo (hitting coach), Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Jamie Quirk (bench coach), Les Strode (bullpen coach), and third base coach Pat Listach.
- Yoenis Cespedes has not taken up residency yet so he is not a free agent but that should change soon.
- The Cubs are still very much in on Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler as well.
- Believe it or not Chase Headley (my favorite target this offseason) is still on the Cubs radar. He is the most coveted and likely to be dealt by the Padres.
- The Red Sox, Rangers, Angels, and Royals all have interest in Carlos Marmol.
- It is hard to determine what is true or false with the conflicting reports out there so I will defer you to a site that has more patience that I do on the Fielder front. Bleacher Nation has an “Obsessive Prince Fielder Watch” found here.
- The Cubs maybe waiting on Darvish before actually engaging in on talks with pitchers like Rich Hill, Joe Saunders, and Tim Wakefield.
- The Cubs maybe also be waiting on Darvish to make moves in general with all the smoke and no fire the past week.
- Want two other names the Cubs are interested in? Omar Vizquel and Wilson Betemit. The Cubs view both these players in the utility role because they are good defensively; can play multiple positions well, and in the case of a great clubhouse guy and mentor Vizquel provides those intangibles.

Until Next Time..

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rumors Going UP and DOWN...

Rumors have slowed down for the Cubs but there are some still out there so let’s take a look-
- Multiple reports are saying the Cubs are interested in CoCo Crisp. If that deal is made my source says look for Byrd or Soriano to be heading out the door.
- The Cubs are one of 10 teams interested in Luke Scott. The Cubs view him as a bench player and nothing more.
- The Cubs did in fact bid on Yu Darvish and depending on what you websites you visit depends on who they thing won the bid. I have seen the M’s, Blue Jays, and Cubs all as rumored to win the bid. One source says the Darvish high bid was REALLY high so we will have to see.
- The Cubs remain interested in lefty Joe Saunders and have talks with his representatives. A two year deal worth around $14M-$17M sounds about right.
- The Cubs do have some interested in a reunion with Rich Hill.
- If you have not heard the Aramis Ramirez Era with the Cubs have officially ended with him signing with the Brewers. Aram was one of my favorite players on the Cubs until last season when I realized how selfish of a player he is. I am thankful for his years as a Chicago Cub but I am glad the Cubs are moving in a new direction.
- Matt Garza is now rumored to be in line for a possible extension according to reports. So it sounds like he will either get an extension or be traded.
- The Cubs have offered contracts to all their arbitration eligible except Koyie Hill who is now a free agent. Thank goodness.
- More talk about Jason Varitek has come up in respect to the Cubs backup catcher position. At Hot Stove Cubbies we mentioned this 3 weeks ago.
- The talk with the Cubs and Prince Fielder is increasing of late. It is hard to judge is there is movement on that front but a late report last night suggested Boras is seeking a 10 year deal for Fielder. I am betting the Cubs don’t go beyond 6 for him.
- The Cubs are still very much interested in Kendry Morales who was tendered a contract. But his asking price is way too high for a guy that has not played baseball in 2 years.
- The Cubs are also very much interested in Ike Davis but his asking price is “unreasonable” according to a source close to the Cubs. It sounds like the Mets would rather hold onto Davis.
- The Cubs took a nice step forward in improving Wrigley and the area around it by purchasing the land across from the field occupied by McDonalds. They will keep the McDonalds in that location but will use the rest as an entertainment project.
- David Kaplan feels a 5 year deal worth $25M a year and a 6th option year would be enough to get Prince on the north side. I think that is what the Cubs are offering but I am not sure Prince would jump at that especially if an American League team is offering 7 to 8 years.
- Peter Gammons comes out swinging by saying the Cubs are willing to pay 15 million of the 18 million a year left on Soriano contract to get him traded. I honestly say I can see that getting an American League team interested.
- Gammons also says a Zambrano trade might happen in the next couple of weeks and speculates that the Marlins is the likely landing spot.
- Of course there is a conflicting report with Gammons that says Z might be more likely to stay with the Cubs than go.
- The Cubs have some interest in veteran knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield. I like that idea!
- The Cubs are still very much in on several International free agents like Cespedes, Chen, and Soler.
-The Cubs are interested in a sign and trade with the Yankees for SS Hiroyuki Nakajima. He is a 29 year old right-handed hitter with great number in Japan. He has never hit below .300, his lowest OBP is .361, averages about 16 SB a year, and has hit over 20 homeruns the past 3 years. Definitely a guy I could see the Cubs interested in.. Whether it is a nice bench player or even starter at 2nd if he can produce similar numbers to what he did in Japan.
Until Next Time..