Friday, January 20, 2012

Talking Trades, Firing Up Free Agency, and Invitees

Let’s get caught up on some rumors and news…

- The Cubs and Yankees are still talking about a Phil Hughes/Ryan Dempster swap but money is the hang up right now and the Yankees maybe asking for another prospect in return.
- The Cubs are currently farther apart with Matt Garza in arbitration than recently thought. Garza wants $12.5M in arbitration and the Cubs want to pay him $7.95M. With those figures you can bet Garza will lose the case if it goes to arbitration.
- Many feel this is Garza’s way of putting his mark on wanting off the rebuilding Cubs squad. The Cubs will not benefit from seeing his per year price go up.
- The Cubs are going hard after another Cuban not name Soler or Cespedes. The Cubs have been really active in International players recently and have serious interest in 18 year old lefty Gerardo Concepcion. We first heard his name 2 months ago but nothing has came of him since now because he is about to gain residency thus becoming a free agent.
- I talked to three different sources that say the Cubs are likely to sign 2 of the three Cuban player (those players include Soler, Cespedes, and Concepcion).
- The Cubs officially signed Jason Jaramillo and Rodrigo Lopez to minor league deal with invites to ST.
- A recent rumor bouncing around the web is that Soriano actually turned down a trade to the O’s. If that is true then what a shame.
- Here is something of interest that I heard from a source. The Cards have offered Prince Fielder a 6 year deal? I have not been able to confirm from other sources but I thought I would pass it along.
- The Tigers may still have some small interest in Marlon Byrd or Alfonso Soriano. I really do not see then going after the two especially with Matsui and Vlad still on the FA market.
- Teams interested in Matt Garza have reproached the Cubs according to Bleacher Nation.
- If the Cubs trade Soriano or Byrd they could trade or sign an outfielder instead of calling up Jackson.
- Sean Marshall says he would like to come back to the Cubs after the season when he is a FA.
- The Cubs have signed utility player Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league deal.
- The Cubs are expected to announce their list of non-roster invites to big league camp.
- In case you missed it the Cubs avoided arbitration with 6 players this week signing Jeff Baker at $1.375M, Blake DeWitt at $1.1M, and Geovany Soto to $4.3 M; Ian Stewart to $2.3755 M, Chris Volstad $2.655 M, and Randy Wells $2.705 M.
- The Cubs are still interested in bringing in a veteran utility infielder like Omar Vizquel, Bill Hall, and Alex Cora.
- The Cubs could also trade for a more established 2nd baseman. Theo and Co. are not exactly sold on Darwin Barney starting at 2nd next season. A cheap trade option would be Orlando Hudson.
- The Cubs have not and will not move off of their asking price of Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos from the Tigers for Garza. A source told me Turner and Castellanos for Garza has been on the table for a week.

Until Next Time..

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Rumor Here... A Rumor There

- Wrigley Field is rolling out some changes which you can see here for the 2012 season. I really like the addition without compromising the integrity of the ballpark. I watched what Theo and Co. did to Fenway and I cannot say enough great things about what he did there. If the same thing is done here Cubs fans can be nothing but happy.

- Jason McLeod said the players facilities are a challenge at Wrigley which is obvious. I heard from a really good source that the Cubs Brass including Tom Ricketts have met with architectural designers with the idea of adding player facilities below Wrigley Field itself. This would be a huge undertaking but the source had this encouraging thing to say "The plans they are rolling out and talking about will revolutionize the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and MLB in general. Players will want to play here even more, Coaches will want to coach here, and the Chicago Cubs will be looked at as the place to go in MLB."

- Another surprise thing said in CubsCon was the idea of Tommy John rebounding pitcher Robert Whitenack may break ST with the Cubs.

- The Cubs are willing to trade Matt Garza for Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos straight up says a source. In fact that trade is still being discussed and the Cubs have not backed off that asking price and probably won't.

- According to George Ofman the Cubs are more pressed to trade Garza then others may be reporting.

- In already a great off-season if the Cubs can somehow trade unload Soriano, trade Byrd to get some young minor leaguers back, and trade Garza for Jacob Turner and Nick Castellanos it would be the best off-season in my life-time.

- The Cubs are prepared to make "great" offers to both Jorge Soler and Yoenis Cespedes but are more "in" on Soler because of the Marlins rumored offer for Cespedes could be in the 6 year range around $50M+. If I am the Cubs and I am going to challenge that deal I better be right on how good he is going to be and hope he does not end up like a Kei Igawa or Wily Mo Pena.

- Oh in case you did not know. Prince Fielder is not going to happen! I expect him to sign a 6+
year deal worth over $175M with the Nationals.

- So as I am finishing up here a tidbit comes across my inbox that says the Cubs and Yankees are discussing a Ryan Dempster for Phil Hughes swap with the Cubs paying part of Dempster's contract. This would be another move for the future if it in fact happens; not to mention a wonderful move for the Cubs. You can find the 25 year old Hughes stats here.

Until Next Time...