Thursday, February 02, 2012

Concepcion Signs with Cubs and Other Rumors...

- The Chicago Cubs have signed lefty Gerardo Concepcion to a $7M Major League contract according to numerous media outlets. Since this is indeed a Major League contract then he will have to be added to the 40-man roster which means a corresponding move will have to take place. The person who gets the information and impact of this deal down perfectly is Brett at Bleacher Nation. Check it out here.

- I have to toot my own horn here because a lot of people love to point out when you are wrong so in turn I love to point out when I am right. I was first to report the Cubs mad3 an aggressive offer to Concepcion which you can find here and the first to report it being down to only three teams including the Cubs that Concepcion was to pick from which is found here.

- This deal does in fact make it more appealing for Soler and Cespedes to come to Chicago. One thing is for sure; if the Cubs can land Soler and Cepedes next this would be the greatest offseason I have ever seen in my life-time for the Cubs.

- The Nationals are looking to trade lefty Pitcher John Lannan because of the recent acquisition of Edwin Jackson. Lannan is only 27 years old and a lefty making $5M this coming season. How does this effect the Cubs? Well my source said the Cubs and Nationals talks about a possible Byrd for Lannan have heated up and then added that the Cubs would likely have to include a top 25 prospect along with Byrd to make the deal happen. Lannan is making $5M next season and Byrd will be making $6.5M. You can see Lannan's stats here.

- The Cubs are still very much interested in Adrian Cardenas who was designated for assignment recently. It it unsure if the Cubs would trade for Cardenas but I fully expect a claim to be placed if the A's go that route.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Who Talking, Who is Walking, and Who is Doing Both...

- Theo Epstein held a round-table event Monday and gives some good quotes on baseball and looking forward in Chicago.
- Matt Garza’s arbitration hearing is set for Friday which is really soon for a reason. The Cubs want to get the amount settled fast so they have the option to deal him because no team right now is interested in acquiring Garza. The reason is simple; they do not know the amount he will make next season. The Cubs submitted the bid of $7.95M while Garza asked for a whopping $12.5M. In a way you kind of hope they go to the hearing because I see it no way possible that Garza will be awarded a 7 million dollar bonus from last year to this year.
- The Tribune is reporting that the Ricketts family and key staff members are expected to travel to their new site in the Dominican Republic. Brett at Bleacher Nation has a great take on Ricketts trip to the Dominican and other possible reasons he is making the trip down there.
- Jim Hendry has falling pretty far by becoming a special assistant to Brian Cashman and the NY Yankees. The Yankees fit Hendry’s mold of signing players to big contracts with NTC on the later part of their career. BUUURRRNNNN!
- Levine spewed some knowledge over the past couple of days and had some interesting tidbits-
------- The Cubs are in need of middle infield help and are looking for a utility infielder. There are currently 4 non-roster invitees that could fit that mold with Alfredo Amezaga, Edgar Gonzalez, Bobby Scales, and Matt Tolbert.
------- Levine also says the Cubs are in search of a back-up catcher but again they have Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger as a backup for Soto plus non-roster invite Jason Jaramillo could fit the bill.
------- Bruce does not see Soriano as a part-time player. He will either be playing LF for the Cubs or being a DH for an American League team or being outright released.
------- Levine does not see the Red Sox getting a significant player in return for Theo Epstein.
------- The Cubs are concentrating solely on Cespedes and Soler and Levine things Soler fits the Cubs better and I agree. Although I still want both!
------- Theo and Co. are going with Jeff Baker as the backup first baseman for the Cubs according to Levine. There are still whispers that Dlee could make his way back to the north side.
- The Cubs and A’s are interested in signing Todd Coffey. I bet both are only interested in a minor league deal.
- Rosenthal says the Cubs had interest in signing Chad Qualls before the Phillies signed him.
- Bud Selig has said he has not received written arguments from the Cubs or Red Sox on the compensation case which clearly indicates nothing is close to being done.

Until Next Time…

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cubs Release Spring Training Invites

The Cubs have invited 21 non-roster players to ML Spring Training. February 18th is when pitcher and catchers report to Mesa but the first full workout is Friday February 24th. Lets check out those players-

9 pitchers-
Marco Carrillo
Manny Corpas
Jay Jackson
Rodrigo Lopez
Trey McNutt
Blake Parker
Dae-Eun Rhee
Trever Miller
Chris Rusin

3 catchers-
Michael Brenly
Jason Jaramillo
Blake Lalli

5 infielders-
Alfredo Amezaga
Edgar Gonzalez
Jonathan Mota
Bobby Scales
Matt Tolbert

4 outfielders-
Jim Adduci
Jae-Hoon Ha
Brett Jackson
Joe Mather

No one really surprising on this list but the list is somewhat impressive compared to most years. I think the infielders have the best chance to break camp with the Cubs along with some relief pitching. I think Brett Jackson has a 50/50 chance to break the camp with the Cubs and the rest have worse odds than that. Out of the 21 players I think (besides Jackson) Matt Tolbert, Alfredo Amezaga, Manny Corpas, and Jason Jaramillo have the best chance to break camp with the Cubs.

Some guys to watch is Jae-Hoon Ha, Blake Parker, Dae-Eun Rhee, and Trey McNutt. All could really surprise in Spring Training and give you a taste of the future.

Seeing this release gets me giddy because it means baseball is right around the corner!

Until Next Time..

Minor Signings, free agent rumors, and the Rays like Soto?

The Cubs have signed lefty Trever Miller to a minor league deal. Find out more about him here.
- Bobby Scales signed a minor league deal with the Cubs with an invite to ST.
- Jim Bowden said on twitter that teams involved in Cespedes have much different scouting opinions in terms of position and bat.
- According to a rival exec Bud Selig will give the Red Sox a significant player in return of Theo. I just do not see that happening.
- There is no timetable on the compensation issue for Selig according to sources.
- If the Cubs do sign Cespedes then expect a flurry of moves starting with Byrd and/or Soriano traded or in Soriano’s possible case released.
- The agent for Geraldo Concepcion has told more than 7 teams that they are no longer in the running for his services.
- My source said that Concepcion is down to 3 teams including the cubs to pick from.
- According to sources the Cubs have officially made an offer to Cespedes.
- Jorge Soler has not gained residency and it has not been determined if or how close he is from gaining residency.
- The Cubs are seen as front runners for Cespedes according to many reports.
- The Cubs and Yankees are still discussing a deal involving Dempster but are looking to address other more pressing needs first according to sources.
- The Cubs prefer to trade Garza than Dempster a source close to the Cubs.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting the Rays are linked to Geovany Soto and could be dangling Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis. Davis will make $1.5M next season and is 26 while Niemann is two years older and will make between $2.75M and $3.2M. If the Rays want Soto and are willing to trade Niemann or Davis straight up for him I say do it. Although I would prefer Davis to Niemann.
- If the Cubs do make the trade above you can expect them to then in turn trade a starter to make a spot for Davis or Niemann.
- Bleacher Nation says the Blue Jays have re-emerged as an interested party in Garza.