Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cubs Quick Hits

- The Cubs have signed Kerry Wood to a one-year deal worth $3M and a option for 2013 of $3M.

- Soriano said he would accept a trade out of Chicago but only to a contender and the place has to fit him and his family well.

- The Yankees are looking for a power bat DH and rumors are circling about a possible AJ Burnett/Alfonso Soriano trade. On the surface the trade makes since because AJ will make $33M over the next two years and Soriano will make $54M over the next 3 so offsetting the money could be a hurdle though. Soriano is comfortable in New York having played there and the Yankees are undoubtedly contenders. This would look like a typical Cubs move but we cannot forget Theo is in charge now not Jim Hendry. Hendry would make this deal for sure but I am not so sure on Theo because it does not follow the direction they are heading.

- Not sure if the Montero/Pineda effects Garza trade value in a good or bad way but it does take the Yanks out of the equation. Several good things that comes out of it is the Tigers, Blue Jays, Rangers (if unable to sign Darvish), and Red Sox are likely to step up their efforts on Garza to make a corresponding splash. One thing that may affect Garza's value is the price of Pineda may have brought it down depending on the other teams involved.

- The Red Sox recently have been the most aggressive in conversations with the Cubs according to sources. I just don't see how the Sox have enough quality prospects to add Garza.

- I believe in the Tigers prospects so much I would trade Garza, Vitters, and McNutt for Turner, Nick Castellanos, and Drew Smyly.

Until Next Time...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cubs Rumors and News- Wood, Soler, Garza, Marmol, Soriano, and more...

- 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 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....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maholm, 40-Man, Wood, Hoyer, Garza, and More..

-The Chicago Cubs have come to terns with left-hander Paul Maholm on a one year deal worth $4.25M and an option for 2013 at $6.5M with a 500K buyout. This is an exceptional deal giving the fact most media outlets including myself thought the Cubs would offer a guaranteed two year deal worth something in the teen range. This is a great deal for the Cubbies.

-Because of this move the Cubs roster now is at 41 so a roster move must be made. Some guys that could be dealt, DFA, or released are Maine, Gaub, Coleman, or Mateo.

-Kerry Wood coming back to the Cubs is now looking less likely. On CSN he sounded like a guy that is ready to move on by saying great things about the Cubs and Chicago but said it around the saying “that will never change” which means someone maybe moving on.

-Earlier reports suggest Theo wants Wood on a 1 year deal worth about 2 million while Wood wants a 1 year deal worth market value which is 5 million or so. I hope in the end whether it is a million or 5 million he ends up on the north side of Chicago.

-Jed Hoyer still hopes to sign Kerry Wood and knows how much he means to the fan base.

-Jed says he offer Wood a substantial raise to the $1.5M he signed last year.

-Hoyer said he will prepare Shark as a starter but will be still open to sending him back to the bullpen depending on moves they do and don’t make between now and Opening Day.

-Hoyer said the Maholm signing is not a precursor to any other move. Did anyone expect him to say something different?

-Theo and Jed are in the same boat as the fans wanting to get a deal done with Kerry Wood to bring him back to Chicago for next year and beyond.

-David Kaplan shook the twitter world yesterday saying the Cubs and Tigers talks about Matt Garza progressing and later stated he means talks are past the preliminary stages which to me are is not a big rumor. A preliminary stage to me would be conversations after expressing interest.

-Rumors are circulating that the Cubs want both Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos in a trade for Garza. It is unlikely that will happen unless Theo is a miracle worker.

-I sent a tweet out yesterday purposing a trade that would send Matt Garza, Geovany Soto, and Carlos Marmol to the Yankees for Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Dante Bichette Jr. To me that would be ideal for both teams but the Yanks would have to go over the luxury tax to get that done. Something they are hesitant about.

-The Cubs are interested in bring back Rodrigo Lopez on a minor league deal. Theo and Co. were hell bent on adding depth to the rotation this year.

-According to Brett at Bleacher Nation talks between the Cubs and Tigers are progressing well but nothing is imminent.

-I am hearing the Rangers may come in to try to trade for Garza if they cannot sign Darvish. Rangers have a great farm system and the Cubs could ask for guys like LHP Martin Perez, 3rd Mel Olt, RHP Neil Ramirez, CF Leonys Martin, etc. The Cubs could also ask for young big league talent for Texas like Alexi Ogando or Matt Harrison.

-If the Rangers do not sign Darvish then I think the Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, and Jays are the only matches for the Cubs in a Garza trade. Other teams are either in the same division, do not need Garza or not in contention, or do not have the farm to acquire him. Yes I excluded the Red Sox from that list because they do not have the players the Yanks, Tigers, Rangers, and Jays have. So they are about as likely as the Astros acquiring Garza.

Until Next Time