Winter Meetings Eve
'Twas the night before the Winter Meetings, when all through the hotel
Not a creature was stirring, not even Rosenthal.
The writers hung out by the bar with care
In hopes that a GM would soon be there.
Anyway, the Rumor Mill goes full tilt tomorrow as the Winter Meetings begin in Nashville. According to Kapman, the Cubs are searching for a starting pitcher and a right fielder. They also want a third baseman, but pickings are slim.
The Cubs are allegedly close to adding to their bullpen, signing Japanese reliver Kyuji Fujikawa according to Ken Rosenthal. The Cubs have yet to confirm the deal and we've been burned enough times by this point that it's probably best to wait for the offiial word. If he does sign, it's a 2 year deal for an alleged $9.5M guaranteed ($1M bonus, $4M each for 2013 and 2014 and a $500K buyout). There'se a 2015 vesting option worth $5.5M or up to $6M depending on games finished. If the option doesn't vest, Cubs hold a club option for $5.5M. You can see his impressive arsenal of pitches from this Youtube clip. It appears he has "closer" stuff, so even if he's not used in that role immediately, it seems like a reasonable enough deal. Many are speculating this means the end of Carlos Marmol as a Cub and I'm sure the Cubs will listen on offers. But nothing wrong with having more than one option for the late innings, regardless of who pitches what inning so I doubt it's anything imminent.
The other bit of news is John Sickels Cubs' Top 20 list. It contains the usual suspects with Baez, Almora, Soler, Vogelbach and Vizcaino leading the group. You can see past lists at Wiklified and I noticed that Javier Baez was the first "A" grade by Sickels since I started tracking in 2005.