- The Cubs have agreed to sign Kerry Wood to a one year deal with an option for 2013. This is just a feel good move for the Cubs especially with David Kaplan and others saying Wood was as good as gone a few days ago. Welcome back Kerry!
- The Cubs made two international signings that I may have missed. They inking 19 year old outfielder Yasiel Balaguert for 400K and pitcher Carlos Martinez, 20, for 250K. Both will be players to keep and eye on but will not impact the team until years down the road unless the surprise.
- The Cubs are watching the Cespedes and Soler situation very carefully. Cespedes price seems to be coming down which can really benefit the Cubs but a source recently told me they actually prefer Jorge Soler because his cost will be lower than Cespedes, he is much younger (19), and will be placed in the minors. Cespedes is likely to ink a ML deal where as Soler could end up with a deal much like Samadizja did and start in the minors.
-Here is a quote from Theo Epstein (via Bleachernation.com) on Matt Garza which says a lot-
“I’m hoping to talk to [Garza] this weekend [at the Cubs Convention],” Epstein said. “I’ve kept his representatives updated every step. But let’s downplay this. This is really more what has happened in the media than what has happened in reality. There was no attempt to shop him. This is not an everyday endeavor for us.
“As we do with all of our players, we weigh all of our options. Really I think very highly of Matt Garza. I think he’s a top-of-the-rotation guy, and I’m looking forward to him being on the mound for us this season. But we are being transparent about the fact that sometimes it makes sense to weigh your options and see if you can put yourself in a better position for the long haul.
“It makes sense for the organization to turn short-term assets into long-term assets. You can do that like we did with Sean. For one year with Sean Marshall we get five years of Travis Wood. But there is another way to do it. You can also find a contract extension that makes sense for both parties and create long-term impact that way.
“You hate to talk about it because you hate to have the player read about it, but we also want to be transparent as we try to set the organization up for the long haul.”
-The Cubs waived recently required Jeff Bianchi to make room for newly acquired Paul Maholm.
-Some Cubs officials are resigned to the fact Soriano will be in LF on Opening Day because Theo does not want to pay as much of his contract as previously thought.
-Two clubs that have some interest in Soriano are the O’s and Mariners but will wait until the FA market decreases before doing too much talking. There is a ton of cheap DH/OF types there.
-According to a source Theo had several calls on Carlos Marmol earlier this off-season but waited on pulling the trigger to get a better package. Since then the market for closers has dropped off significantly from Papelbon getting 4 years $50M to Ryan Madson getting 1 year $8.5M. So his value went from rumors such as Marmol for Morales or a Marmol package for Matt Harrison to non-existent and teams wanting the Cubs to pick up money on the deal. So it is likely the Cubs will hold onto Marmol until at least the deadline.
-The Cubs have talked to numerous teams about Marlon Byrd but want to trade Soriano instead. Both could be out the door by Opening Day.
-Nick Castellanos remains the sticking point in the Garza to Tigers trade talks. The Cubs want Castellanos and Turner plus two other young low level prospects.
-A very reliable source of mine said do not be surprised if the Cubs include a Josh Vitters and/or Trey McNutt in a Garza deal to get more/better prospects coming back to them. A perfect example would be Garza, Vitters, and McNutt for Jacob Turner, Nick Castellanos, Drew Smyly, Jay Voss, and fill in prospect/minor leaguer.
-On Twitter yesterday I guess correctly on the landing spot of Fernando Martinez, with the Astros.
Until Next Time....