Thursday, December 06, 2012

Cubs Re-Sign Stewart and More...

  • The Chicago Cubs have re-signed Ian Stewart on a non-guaranteed one year deal worth $2M including incentives.  The Cubs could terminate his contract during Spring Training without take a financial hit.
  • Ian Stewart is the starting 3rd baseman but the Cubs would like to bring in a right-handed bench guy who can back him up says Gordon Wittenmyer.
  • Another move will have to be made once the other recent signings and acquisitions are final because the roster is now at 41.
  • Some right-handed bench players that can back up 3rd and fit with the Cubs are Hiroyuki Nakajima, Placido Polanco, Casey McGehee, Ty Wigginton, Yuniesky Betancourt, Ryan Raburn, Freddy Sanchez, Alex Gonzalez, Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge, and Jose Lopez.
  • Out of the group above I really lke Polanco, Wigginton, Sanchez, and Inge.
  • The Cubs will have a press conference for Kyuji Fujikawa tomarrow.
  • The Cubs are waiting out the outfield free agent class to see who is the last guy standing looking for a short-term deal and it is very smart. Especially with Bourn, Hamilton, Ross, and Swisher still available and only a handful a teams left.  Not to mention trade candidates like Upton and Soriano out there as well.  Cubs are poised to get a deal on the last man standing.
  • The Phillies are still very much interested in Soriano even after the trade for Revere.

Until Next Time....

The Last Day Of Winter Meetings... Hey Some Moves!

· The Cubs lost 4 players to the MLB Rule 5 Draft today. They lost OF Michael Burgess, P Starlin Peralta, INF Matt Cerda, and P Alvido Jimenez. None really hurt too bad but Peralta had the most upside but he may not stick with the Dbacks. What the Cubs could have lost and what they did lose is a big win for the Cubs.

· The Cubs did not partake in the AAA portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

· The Cubs took 24 year old pitcher Hector Rondon. He has had two elbow surgeries so there is considerable risk there but he has bounced back well. Toward the end of last season he was hitting 98 MPH on the radar and in winter league he is sporting a 3.71 ERA with 5 BB 10 H 11K in 17 innings. Scouts seem to really like him and he is a nice pick up for the Cubs.

· It seems like Jason Grilli will sign with the Pirates on a two year deal. Which means a Farnsworth/Cubs reunion is still possible!

· The Cubs are not in on Ryan Dempster and all the reunion contract talks are overblown.

· The Cubs did sign Nate Schierholtz to a one year $2.25M with incentives. It seems Schierholtz maybe the starting RF for the Cubs or he could platoon or this could be a precursor to a bigger signing or trade. Lots of “ORS” in play.

· I do not really care for the Schierholtz signing although the money and time is a good value. I just see Nate as only a 4th or 5th outfielder and if that is all he is on this team than it is a great deal. I can even say if he is a possible platoon with Sappelt or maybe a guy like Delmon Young then it seems OK. But if he is “the guy” for RF I just do not like it. See Schierholtz statshere and make sure to check out his splits for last season. He did well against righties so he has that going for him.

· With the Cubs interested in Grilli I am surprised to hear them not at least linked to Koji Uehara since he only signed a one year deal with the BoSox.

· The Phillies and Twins made a solid baseball trade today that was great for both teams. The Twins get Vance Worley and Trevor May while the Phillies get a controllable speedy CFer in Ben Revere. Just a great trade for both clubs.

· The Royals have some financial issues so they may be looking for a starter via trade where a team can take on that cash. Reports state they are not in on Anibal Sanchez because of money he wants. Reports also say that the Rays want Wil Myers plus more for James Shields which is like WHOA! So they Royals may wait until Spring to find a starter which benefits the Cubs since they could audition Garza in the Spring. I am still all for a Wil Myers for Matt Garza trade with the Cubs picking up most of the money.

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cubs Winter Meetings Run Down

The Chicago Cubs talk has been loud and frequent but actions have been bleak. This is a complete run down of rumors and news (in order of oldest to newest the best I can) so far during the winter meetings Cub style-
  • The Rangers could move Derek Holland which would interest the Cubs.
  • The Yankees could be interested in a Soriano reunion given ARod's injury woes.
  • The Cubs are interested in Jeff Kepinger but not at the 3 year 15M price tag. Yankees look the most aggressive. (Signed with the White Sox)
  • The Braves, Rays, Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies are have varying levels of interest in Soriano.
  • The Cubs front office has been up front with Marmol and Soriano on trying to move them. They all are working closely to get something done.
  • The Cubs will not just give up Marmol or Soriano but will take on most of the salary for a better prospects in return.
  • A mystery team is in on Anibal Sanchez and rumors are circulation it could be the Cubs.
  • The Cubs are very much interested in Jason Grilli. (Will make a decision tonight likely)
  • Jim Deshaies is the new Color Broadcaster in the Cubs TV booth.
  • The Cubs had no interest in Angel Pagan.
  • The Cubs are looking for either a RF or CF. There has been conflicting reports whether DeJesus will play RF or CF.
  • The Cubs could bring back Ian Stewart but also could look at Polanco and Chavez. (Chavez signed with the Dbacks)
  • The Cubs will add a player through the Rule 5 draft.
  • The Cubs have shown good interest in Jair Jurrjens who was non-tendered by the Braves.
  • The Cubs do not have the talent they want to give up for Stanton.
  • Cubs Den had a nice idea of signing Hiroyki Nakajima to play 3rd.
  • I followed up with Dee Gordon as a possible fit for 3rd but before I found out his asking price is "insane."
  • A number of free agents have shown interest in signing with the Cubs regardless of wins and losses.
  • The Cubs had interest in Yunel Escobar to play 3rd before he was traded to the Rays.
  • Nate McLouth could be a nice stopgap for the Cubs outfield and there is talk around him. ( He signed with the O's)
  • The Red Sox could package Lackey and Ellsbury together in a trade then go after Hamilton. This would provide financial flexibility for the Red Sox and the deal should interest the Cubs.
  • The Cubs have close 0% chance of signing Dempster who is looking for a 3 year deal.
  • The Phillies remain desperate for OF help and have been linked to Soriano for days now.
  • The Cubs have interest in Phil Hughes who the Yankees are shopping. Last season there was a Dempster for Hughes rumor so it seems the front office really likes Hughes.
  • The Rangers are entertaining the thought of trading Olt but only for a premier player. It would take a lot for the Cubs to trade for him but they are interested.
  • Cubs still are being linked to Michael Bourn but have also been linked to Dexter Fowler, Peter Bourjos, and CoCo Crisp.
  • The Cubs were in on Shane Victorino until the bidding got ridiculous a source tells me.
  • Ryan Sweeney remains on the Cubs radar for OF help.
  • The Cubs were never really in on Dan Haren even before he signed with the Nationals.
  • The Cubs should have interest in Scott Kazmir who has been throwing mid 90s in winter ball and gaining interest from many teams.
  • Carrie Muskat alludes the Cubs are talking to teams about RF then mentions Shin-Soo Choo.
  • The Rays are looking to move one of their starters pitchers, Shields, Hellickson, Cobb, Niemann, Davis, or Price. The Cubs have obvious interest in all the names listed.
  • The Cubs may or may not have interest in Curtis Granderson depending on who you follow on twitter.
  • The Cubs do like John Lannan but will not get in a bidding war for him.
  • Jason Grilli remains a strong target for the Cubs.
  • Bruce Levine speaks and hits us with possible trade of Garza for Myers but says it has never been discussed. You know I have discussed that on twitter a lot recently.
  • Unless something dramatic changes the Angels are not in on Carlos Marmol.
  • Mark Reynolds has been on the Cubs watch list according to Jon Heyman.
  • The Dbacks are looking to trade either Kubel or Parra but it is unknown of the asking price. The Cubs really like Parra because of his stellar defense and offensive upside. Kubel does not seem like a good fit.
  • The Phillies are putting Vance Worley and Trevor May out there to lure a OF bat. If the front office can land either one for Soriano it would be an amazing deal for the Cubs. Having said that it is not likely to happen.
  • The Cubs are considering Yuniesky Betancourt for 3rd base says Carrie Muskat. OMG NO!
  • The Cubs are not planning on using Bowden in the rotation even though they are stretching him out in winter league.
  • Marmol is the Cubs closer says Hoyer and Sveum… until he is traded. I added that last part.
  • The Dodgers OF Alfredo Silverio could be a guy they look at with their 2nd overall pick in the Rule 5 draft.
  • There could be a Farnsworth and Cubs reunion to which I say YES!!! Just for pure entertainment value, YES!
  • Levine has a good piece on Soriano and Marmol found here.
  • Already looking ahead to next year I am. If the Cubs pull a Nationals and sign a player (like Jason Werth) before they are ready to compete they should do it next season. Some players that would fit that mold for the Cubs are Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum, James Shields, and/or Josh Johnson. A lot of talent out there next season to make a move like that.
  • Patrick Mooney has a great piece on Brett Jackson and the direction of the Cubs outfield found here.
  • Cubs Den says the Cubs will have to overpay for Ellsbury which they will not do.
  • Joel Sherman says the Indians are leading in on Jason Bay with the M’s 2nd and the Cubs on the periphery to sign him. He is nearing a decision says Tim Brown.
  • Olney says the Cubs are not a fit for Ellsbury. He says the Red Sox are looking for young pitching in return.
  • Jason Grilli is close to a deal but does not say to who. Thanks to MLBTR.
  • The Twins made an offer to Liriano which impacts the Cubs less than it would several weeks ago.
  • So Youkilis has several offers and is looking them over. I wonder if the Cubs at least made an offer?
  • 5 teams have interest in Hannahan and the Cubs have been mentioned as a possible suitor but nothing more.
Until Next Time…