Cubs Rumor Round-Up: Granderson, Bradley, Castillo, Grabow & Byrd

Let's try to filter through all the rumor reports from the GM meetings...

Milton Bradley

We know Hendry has talked to the Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays, Mets and Angels and really only the Rays and Rangers seem to be showing any real interest and both want the Cubs to pay a hefty portion of Bradley's remaining contract. The two most discussed names coming back were Pat Burrell or Kevin Millwood. For those that thought Aaron Rowand or Barry Zito's contract could get it done, Brian Sabean said he has absolutely no interest in acquiring Bradley.

Robothal's latest said the Rays and Cubs were talking again yesterday and were just $2-$3M apart, but then stirred up some quotes describing the discussions as "worse than Chinese water torture." and "I wish cattle prods were legal." And if the Cubs do get Burrell, they'll probably just have to pay some more to ship to another team as he'll unlikely be a Cub next year considering no one thinks he belongs in the outfield anymore.

One of our most trusted readers heard on the radio from Bruce Levine that a deal for Bradley should go down in the next 3-4 days.

Luis Castillo

There was the bogus three-team rumor of Bradley to the Blue Jays, Overbay to the Mets and Castillo to the Cubs. That was quickly shot down and the Mets say they want no part of Bradley, but Minaya did say he might talk to Hendry about Castillo. Castillo had a nice bounceback year with the bat in 2010 and is owed $6M in 2010 and 2011. He does walk at a friendly 10.8% rate for his career and that's been higher the last few seasons. UZR doesn't like his defense the last few seasons, but he was battling some leg injuries. As part of some package to move Bradley's contract, then it's a reasonable enough move, if it's going to cost the Cubs any decent minor league talent though and adding on Castillo's contract, I'd hope the Cubs would pass.

Marlon Byrd

It looks like the Cubs will make a run at Byrd when free agency opens and the Texas beat writer at thinks it will take 3 years and between 18-24M to sign him, although he notes there isn't much demand for center fielders this year. That probably won't stop Hendry from offering Byrd exactly what he wants though. I ran through the numbers on Byrd yesterday, and he certainly wouldn't be a terrible player for the Cubs to pick up. I don't know about three years or $8M per, but he can handle all three defensive positions and brings a bit of power with him.

Curtis Granderson

The reports came out that the Tigers might look to try and trade guys like Edwin Jackson or Curtis Granderson to save a few bucks. Personally I think that either player is unlikely to get moved unless it's a package to rid themselves of one of their bad contracts in Dontrelle Willis, Magglio Ordonez or Nate Robertson. Nonetheless, Phil Rogers went nuts and said the Cubs must sell the fall the farm to get him. And don't get me wrong, I'd love to have Granderson on the Cubs. He plays pretty damn good defense, hit 20-30 HR's in Comerica Park the last few years and walks over 10% of the time and will be 29 next year. On the downside, he strikes out a ton and is basically a black hole versus lefties (.540 OPS against lefties versus .940 against righties over the last 3 years).  His contract owes him just $5.5M in 2010 and then goes to $8.25M, $10M, and a $13M club option with $2M buyout in 2013. That option goes up if he hits various incentives though. 

But, I don't know how available Granderson is yet and we don't know the market. As I said, Tigers would probably love to package one of their bad contracts with him and get a boatload of major league ready talent if they could and neither of that really fits what the Cubs have to offer which is mostly low level minor leaguers with lots of upside. I guess the Cubs could start offering Carlos Marmol or Geovany Soto, but obviously that's doubtful. Dombrowski and Hendry do seem to have a pretty good dialogue and relationship, so I'm sure the Cubs will at least approach the idea.

John Grabow

It appears destined the Cubs will sign him to an extension in the 2/7.5M range, probably with some sort of third year option. I'm pretty indifferent to the whole matter. Grabow was good for the Cubs last year and he's can get both lefties and righties out. On the other hand, he's a bit walk happy and I don't know if you should being committing dollars to the bullpen so soon with other holes to fill and likely plenty of talent still available in February and March.

If we were to believe the GM Meetings rumors, there's the possibility that this is your Cubs lineup next year. 

Castillo 2B, Fukudome RF, Lee 1B, Ramirez 3B, Byrd CF, Soriano LF, Soto C, Theriot SS



I'm indiffernt to Byrd and Castillo. I think they would be upgrades, but they bring their own deficencies. How could we fit them in our budget, and if can, we should go balls out for Figgins.

I think Theriot could be involved in any deal with Detroit. For example Granderson + Bad Contract for Bradley, Fox (or Fuld), Theriot + prospect. We would be left with Andres Blanco (a defensive upgrade) at SS and Miles (ugh!) until Castro is ready. We might have to re-sign Reed Johnson as a CF back-up since Granderson struggles against lefties. Reed is a .310 career hitter against lefties. Sorryano, Granderson and Fuku works for me. I realize I am probably in the minority here but I would rather see Uggla at 2nd than Castillo. I know his defense is weak but we sure could use his run production @ 90 RBIs which is what he has averaged over the last 4 years in a very defensive ballpark.

oh yeah, Tigers are gonna be falling over themselves for Ryan Theriot...

Nobody is going to to fawn over Theriot but Detroit needs to shed payroll and the players I have suggested would accomplish that. I'm not sure what it would take to get Granderson, but Hendry is a fool if he doesn't try.

Nobody is going to to fawn over Theriot but Detroit needs to shed payroll and the players I have suggested would accomplish that

So you say...

they're looking to shed some payroll, not all of it and the Cubs aren't in the position to add a whole bunch this year...


I like Granderson, no idea what it would take to get him though. I would already be thinking of Johnny Gomes as his platoon partner off the bench against lefties and Fuku playing CF on those days.

But I want to make sure crunch is ok with wasting his power in the leadoff spot first. Those 30 HR's would be much better suited lower in the lineup than leadoff.

Marlon Byrd is just a bad idea in the OF in my opinion. DO NOT pay for guys who have career years so far outside of their norms at age 32. Disregarding all of Miltons attitude problems the same case was made for not paying for a guy coming off a career year so outside of his norms at age 30.

Nice year Marlon Byrd and all, but he isn't ever going to match 89 RBI again. He was greatly helped by being a Texas Ranger with a home OPS of .897 and a road OPS of .742 over the last 3 years.

Absolutely do not pin your offensive hopes to a back up player coming off a career year at age 32. Spend your money on sure things, not lightning in the bottle players like Byrd and Milton.

I'm with Mike C here. Old retreads ain't gonna get us far in the playoffs. Wake me if we get Granderson, Figgins or somebody worth caring about. Burell? No thankee. I still want some pitching help. Our bullpen SUCKED.

The Phillies lost the WS because they didn't have Burrell. The Yankees won because the Phillies didn't have Burrell. Therefore, the Cubs need Burrell to win the WS. Proof.

i'm guessing 98 proof.

Marlon Byrd isn't a 3/24 player. He's just not.

he could probably be had for 2/16 or something. the 3rd year is totally unneccesary at 8m a year.

i know he's been banged up for a couple season, but tim hudson's contract announced today would have been worth much more $$ (even under similar conditions) just a couple years ago.

i'm kinda interested where the economics of baseball is right now as far as player value. there were some real "woah" surprise signings last year on the low end.

I think $8 million per year for Byrd is insane, no matter the length of the contract.

same. hendry's had a hard-on for the guy for 2 years, but i kinda always thought it was because he was looking to buy low on him. now i dunno.

wow...that was great.

there's a high quality mp4 of the original uploaded source for those that want it.

That's great.


Great stuff!

via Muskat twitter...

"The new world is bright and full of possibilities, and that excites both of them. Aroldis Chapman, who spent the first 21 years of his life shackled to an island..."

So, Jeff Passan, tell us what you think of Cuba.

Check out the photo. That guy is a beast. He's only 21.

You have to wonder if that's 21 in Tejada years.

What would it would take to snatch Carl Crawford from Tampa? The Rays have a number of good young outfielders, maybe a three team trade would get this done? I wouldn't be dissapointed if the Cubs had to eat most of either Badley's or Burrell's contract and gave up a prospect like Vitters to aquire Crawford.

Castillo- No thank you!

Grabow- Need to resign Grabow, Hendry wouldn't have to greatly over pay for his services. Plus you can't rely on Marmol to consistantly throw strikes and get ahead of hitters in the closer role(Another need is a reliable pitcher in the backend of the bullpen). A decent lefty pitcher is hard to find with out over paying or giving up good prospects. (I see Gaub in the bullpen in 2010).

Granderson- Is a good player, but Hendry would be stupid to give up the farm for him.

Scott Podsednik- Is an intersting choice for a fourth outfielder instead of Johnson. It would also depend on if the Sox don't resign him.

Bryd- I can see him in the outfield for the Cubs, since Hendry once had a hard on for him. I also see Hendry over paying for him as well.

I think Baker has more value off the bench and I would like to see Theriot move to second as long as Hendry can find a shortstop to play there until Castro is ready.

The Cubs should stay in Arizona!!!

You're alright with Pods and Byrd, but not Castillo? I can't find the logic in that. I can't even accuse you of racism.

In all seriousness, the only one of that trifecta of mediocrity I'd be even remotely interested in would be Castillo, but not too interested.

Carl Crawford, heck yea, who wouldn't want him? Of course, you'd have to give the Rays a reason to trade their best outfielder, maybe their best position player. That's a tough sell for any team, especially the Cubs. And when you're making a deal with a team like the Rays you can't throw in guys like Bradley or Miles as a sweetener, you'll have to throw in guys like Castro or Wells.

Just from a PR point of view, you can't trade Crawford in a deal where it looks like Bradley replaces him.

If they traded Kazmir, they can trade Crawford, though.

What would it would take to snatch Carl Crawford from Tampa?

a lot, when's the last time he played center fielder (although personally I'm sure he can handle it)

Podsednik - I'll take Fuld, and you probably want a righty there to platoon with Fukudome

Grabow - you definitely don't need to sign Grabow and I don't think you can count on Grabow to throw strikes either.

Scott Podsednik- Is an intersting choice for a fourth outfielder

Aren't 4th OFers supposed to be able to play defense?

Scott Podsednik is such a good outfielder that the Sox want to bring him back as a DH.

I know you can't rely on Grabow to throw strikes, but I do not want to see Neal Cotts back in the Bullpen. Marshal has done a decent job of what has been asked of him but he isn't a backend end of the bullpen type pitcher. I wouldn't be disapointed with Fuld as the fourth outfielder either. Just like Pods he has had nagging injuries though Fuld's injuries are due to his aggressive balls out defense. The reason I say Hendry needs to sign Grabow is because the market for left handed bullpen help is weak in my opinion.
Off topic, I just want to say I love this site. Very informative and you guys allow people to formulate their own opinion without jamming your own down the reader's throat. Most blog sites are just a bunch of people ripping on other peoples opinions were this site I do not see that.

Keep up the good work and keep on feeding us info on our team that most sites do not!

Ohman and Beimel both signed last March for about 1/2 apiece.

No reason at all for Jim Hendry to overpay Grabow in November. Other than it's Hendry's M.o to do such.

It's like a pinata. The stick is the agents of players the Cubs have targeted; the paper mache is the Cubs budget; and the candy is worth $140 million.

Ohman is a LOOGY, Grabow isn't.

Says who?

Anyone who has watched the games they are involved in or takes two minutes to check the facts.

Why would Hendry bring Ohman back? Piniella nearly blew a gasket once when he was on the team.

Beimel will sign for more this year than last year.

Southpaw makes a good arguement regarding Grabow. I have seen the criticism on the amount of money the Cubs are prepared to offer him, but the market for left handed set-up guys are thin. The Cubs have not had anything decent in this department since Stevie Eyre. I think the consensus is for Fukudome to move back to right field and for a new center fielder to be brought in, which is why Marylon Byrd will get a sizable contract offer from the Cubs. Ideally Crawford would make sense if he can hold down center at Wrigley. I think that the irony of the whole centerfield situation is that the departure of Jim Edmonds caused this mess. I am not implying that the Cubs should have signed Jim Edmonds at all, but he was valuable for many reasons during '08, more so because there was not anyone playing out of position, although someone may argue Theriot at short would be out of position. I do agree this site brings valuable insight and allows opinions to be expressed and is not dominated by egos.

Well Southpaw, not entirely true. Wait until Hendry makes more stupid moves and also when the season starts. You will see plenty of shit-slingers.

Recent comments

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  • Good work!

    John Beasley 41 min 48 sec ago view
  • crunch 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 7 hours 52 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 8 hours 16 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 13 hours 25 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.



    Rob G. 13 hours 27 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 14 hours 33 min ago view
  • On another topic....I returned to South Bend last night for the 2nd time this season (still haven't tried either the deep-fried mac & cheese sandwich nor "The Porknado", as the drive home is over an hour and that could get ugly), and was pleasantly surprised to find D. Underwood pitching in a rehab start. He looked good -- although, to be fair, these are low-A hitters -- fastball consistently at 94-95 (if the SB scoreboard is to be believed -- several pitches were clocked in the 30s...) and with good location.

    billybucks 15 hours 41 min ago view
  • he gains nothing, no advantage, no saving of resources, nothing...there is not a cost/benefit tradeoff...him letting the running game go on around him for others to control isn't gaining him an advantage elsewhere. it's putting him at a disadvantage even if it's not cashed in with a run.

    crunch 18 hours 21 min ago view
  • And out of respect for the rest of TCR, I'm done on this. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the other camp, but time to let it go. (Until the next Lester start. I kid.)


    Tito 18 hours 24 min ago view
  • He is putting himself at a disadvanage. But how much of one relative to the rest of his game? He's not Justin Germano -- he's inarguably one of the best SPs in baseball, issue or not. It would be more of thing to discuss ad nauseum if it constantly caused him to give up runs and lose games. But it doesn't.


    Tito 18 hours 34 min ago view
  • shouting down my points about lester with "well, it didn't hurt" is like saying it doesn't matter if a guy starts out walking 3 guys every inning as long it's followed by a K and a double play.

    it's like elevating ERA and wins to a high level while ignoring what it took to get there.

    crunch 18 hours 40 min ago view
  • I'm asking how much it has hurt Lester and the Cubs this year. Do you have that answer?

    I legitimately don't recall you answering that quesion, apart from the condescending silliness you just posted. So if you did answer specifically about the impact of Lester's issue, I'd like to re-read it. Thanks.


    Tito 18 hours 53 min ago view