Cubs Rumor Round-Up: Granderson, Padilla & TCR Friday Notes
a lot of ground to cover here, let's get to it...
UPDATE: Muskat previews the Winter Meetings and says up to three teams are interested in Bradley. Talks have happened with the Tigers for Granderson but not looking good at the moment. Reed Johnson is welcome back and Mark DeRosa is out of the Cubs price range.
- Mlive.com has a pretty detailed report on the negotiations between the Cubs and Tigers so far for Curtis Granderson. The Tigers wanted Carlos Marmol or Starlin Castro as the headliner in a trade and they've been deemed untouchable (that always works out well for the Cubs). They did do some previous scouting on Jake Fox last season and he could of been of interest as part of the package, but they'll have to get him from the A's now. Names like Josh Vitters, Jay Jackson, Andrew Cashner and Hak-Ju Lee are thrown around, but they don't quite bring the right mixture of major league readiness and prospectdom that the Tigers are craving.
- A very sketchy rumor of the Cubs having interest in Vicente Padilla.
- Chone Figgins to the Mariners for 4/36 according to Rosenthal. A bit pricey, but such is the cost of dabbling in free agency.
- My favorite article of the last 48 hours over at NESN.com proclaims, "Cubs May Be Primed to Throw Loads of Cash at Jason Bay". You see that headline in your Google Reader and immediately start wondering how did everyone miss the scoop on that one? Then you click the link written by Evans Clinchy, who graduated from Tufts University with a degree in English and you start to wonder if Tufts University must be some online diploma factory.
Mr. Clinchy goes on about how the Cubs would be some good fit for Bay because they've thrown money at outfielders before, without offering any type of inside source or made-up source or even a guy that looked like Jim Hendry at the coffee shop saying the Cubs have any interest in Bay. He completely ignored or just didn't bother to research that the Cubs have very little payroll flexibility this offseason, want to move Fukudome to right and are having a hard time getting anyone to take Bradley without paying most of his contract.
- Here's Arizona Phil's take on Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer from the comments.
Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time post-2010.
I have seen quite a bit of Morla out here over the past three years(he was at Extended Spring Training 2007-09), because the Cubs play mostly the A's, Giants, and Angels in Minor League Spring Training, EXST, and Instructs. He is somewhat comparable to Robert Hernandez, a bit raw but with some upside.
And I saw Spencer play quite a bit in his college days at Arizona State and then a little bit in Minor League Camp (ST), and I would compare him to Micah Hoffpauir (1B-LF-RF). While Hoffpauir is the better defender at 1B, Spencer has a stronger arm and is a better corner OF, although he can play 1B, too.
If Hoffpauir spends the entire 2010 season in the big leagues, he will almost certainly qualify for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2010, so the Cubs may be thinking about Spencer as a possible replacement for Hoffpauir in 2011.
He also says Jeff Gray has one minor league option left. With the Cubs swapping Miles and Fox for Gray on the 40-man roster, they have 3 open spots at the moment.
I know there's a lot of hand-wringing going on over losing Fox or more appropriately having to move Fox to get the A's to take on $1.7M of Miles and his contract. I think the Cubs did okay on their prospect haul - of course I thought the same thing when they traded Michael Wuertz to the A's - and no matter what you believe in Jake Fox's talents, they for some reason were under-appreciated and not going to be utlized by our four million dollar manager. Better to get something, than nothing for a guy who was out of options.
Speaking of, a good time to mention that I completed entering all the transactions between the Cubs and the rest of the league at Wiklifield. You can find the link on the top menu bar under Wiklified and "Transactions by Teams" which takes you to the current 30 major league franchises. On each page is the Cubs record vs the team, broken out by decade as well and then the transactions and some other tidbits. The A's and Cubs have hooked up quite a bit over the last six years as you can see. Starting with Michael Barrett for Damien Miller in 2003 and so far 3 trades already in 2009 (Wuertz, Roquet and now the Fox/Miles trades)
- The folks at Cubscast are pushing a "Dawson4thehall hashtag blitz" for this Tuesday. I think that means it involves Twitter, and you can support the cause by following their instructions. And then explain to me what the hell hashtag means.
- I was slow on getting this link up, but our pal Tim at Cubby-Blues put together a get-well card for Ted Lilly, including get well wishes from some fans.
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.