Winter Meetings 2009 Day Two

6:23 PM

Cross the Angels off the list...that leaves Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Twins, Athletics if it's an AL team. I'd go ahead and cross Indians and Twins immediately off that list and probably the Orioles as I can't think of a bad contract they'd want to move. Yanks, Red Sox, White Sox, Tigers or A's?

6:13 PM

Cross the Blue Jays off the list...mystery team indeed.

5:33 PM

Both Muskat and Wittenmyer shoot down the Mariners rumor...something is brewing though.

5:20 PM

The beat writers now chime in...Wittenmyer states:

It involves a three-team deal in which the Cubs would receive a player who would then need to be flipped to another team, but it's doesn't involve the long-rumored Tampa Bay Rays (ed note: or the Rangers).

Bruce Miles is a little more subdued:

The Cubs stated flatly this afternoon that no deal was imminent for right fielder Milton Bradley. There has been speculation that something could get done as early as tonight, but one Cubs person said Wednesday is a more likely date.

Sullivan agrees that Wednesday is more likely but still has the Rays and Rangers very much in the mix.

5:18 PM

More Tim Brown saying the M's and Cubs are talking Bradley for Silva..."nothing imminent".

4:47 PM

Tim Brown of Yahoo tweets it's not Rays or Rangers(as does Joel Sherman). He got a no comment from a Blue Jays official and then throws out Seattle as a possible destination with Carlos Silva coming back to the Cubs.

4:25 PM

Jayson Stark on the other hand, says nothing has changed much on the Bradley front.

4:22 PM

My bad earlier, I guess Schlereth was a Diamondbacks prospect, I thought he came from the Yankees. Anyway, Rosenthal tries to give some justification on moving Scherzer whom the DBacks felt was better suited to be a reliever.

4:06 PM

Wittenmyer tweets that a deal is close involving Bradley with a "surprise AL team".

2:49 PM

Some NL Central rumors from MLBTR...the Randy Wolf offer from the Brewers is a steep 3/31 and Blue Jays and Pirates might have been talking about a Ryan Doumit trade.

2:15 PM

Bruce Levine reports that Cubs could be on verge of trading Bradley, as soon as today. It doesn't really hint at who the team is or what player or players are involved. Also, and possibly related or possibly unrelated, Hendry has talked to the Rockies about some of their outfield depth.

2:02 PM:

A Jose Guillen for Milton Bradley rumor is quickly swatted down.

1:56 PM:

Don't forget about the #Dawson4thehall campaign on twitter. You can check out my misguided humor as well on twitter.

1:33 PM: 

Brewers taking a look at Kevin Gregg according to Muskat. As disappointing as Gregg was last year and by no means should the Cubs bring him back, I wouldn't be suprised if he thrived in a middle relief role or back-up closer. His home run rates were scary bad, but he did improve his walk and K rates last year.

1:08 PM:

Differing reports here, but it looks like a 3-way deal is going to happen between the Tigers, D'Backs and Yankees. Yankees get Curtis Granderson, Diamondbacks get Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy and the Tigers get Max Scherzer, Phil Coke,  Daniel Schlereth and Austin Jackson. Michael Dunn was in there instead of Schlereth at one point as well.

Quick reaction, D'Backs are retarded...I realize 2-for-1 gets the Phil Rogers seal of approval on a trade, but Scherzer is a better and cheaper pitcher than Jackson. Yankees have to give up a lot, but they're the Yankees, they can afford these kind of moves and end up with a left-handed power bat that can roam center field legitimately and take advantage of Yankee Stadium at a decent price over the next three years. Plus they make the trade without having to give up Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain. Tigers score with a heavy prospect load that will be most ready to contribute immediately, including stealing Scherzer for Jackson, which is just be fucking brilliant on their part.

Speculation will immediately lead to the Yankees possibly dealing Melky Cabrera and the Cubs being interested. First, I can't imagine what the Cubs would have to interest the Yankees, not like the Yankees make a lot of deals to bring in prospects. Second, with Granderson's struggles versus lefties, they'd be wise to keep Cabrera around to occasionally platoon.

Also, eff the Cubs. The Yankees score a legit center field/lead-off option and the Cubs are staring at an HGH-less Rick Ankiel (#1 on my guys I hate in baseball list) and Mike Cameron's aging skills. Bah humbug.

/end overreactionary rant

- Back to the bullpen, Cubs may have interest in Blue Jays reliever Brian Wolfe. Wolfe will be 29 next year and had two fine seasons in 2007 and 2008, but was released last year after an 8.22 ERA. He'd certainly be a good spring training invite option.

- Outfielder Ryan Church was DFA'd by the Atlanta Braves, not a bad 4th/5th outfield option, but the Cubs seem to want right-handed bat for that role.

11:11 AM:

- J.J. Putz is a bullpen arm I wouldn't mind the Cubs pursuing if his medical records aren't stored in a skull and crossbones trapper keeper. Fox sports says the Cubs are one of six teams interested at the moment.

- Heyman tweeted earlier that a possibly 3-way trade between Yanks, DBacks and Tigers could be back on that would involve E. Jackson and C. Granderson, but it would cost the Yankees up to 4 players including Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson.

- The Randy Wolf signing to the Brewers is on hold as the Mets have made a late push.

The morning headlines...

- The Mets would like to move Luis Castillo and replace him with Orlando Hudson, but they also want to wait and see on Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, which is a complicated way of saying it would take too long for the Cubs' tastes to get a deal done with them. The good news  - if there is such a thing when the Cubs are talking about eating $20M or so - is that Hendry can make a deal now and go over the projected budget as long as he fixes it by Opening Day. Dave Kaplan suggests this was not the case when Hendry was trying to move Sammy Sosa after 2004 and had to let Moises Alou go because of it.

- Kaplan also reiterates that Yankees seem to have the edge on Curtis Granderson but are also balking at the Tigers asking price - which presumably includes Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson. The Tigers supposedly asked for Starlin Castro and two higher end prospects from the Cubs.

- Mets and Brewers had some talks about a Corey Hart for John Maine swap.

- If you're a twitter user, don't forget the Cubscast campaign for Andre Dawson to the Hall appropriately starting at 1:20 pm CST.


Cubs linked to J.J. Putz...

Geez... Tigers want our new, shiny thing: Starlin Castro? No... he's the things dreams are made of.

Bah humbug.

Free Milton Bradley!

Lots of interest in Bradley

Wittenmyer says the Cubs have given teams permission to talk directly with Milton Bradley but nobody has bothered.

"The Cubs have not discussed Granderson as part of any multi-team deal. Two-way deals are hard enough to get done. What I've been told is that Hendry said to Dombrowski, "If you're going to trade Granderson, I'm interested."

Bruce Miles blog, yesterday

Wittenmyer also says Z has lost 15 lbs.

scroll way down at the bottom of the page

He's also building houses in Guatemala for the needy.

Finally matured?

Yeah... he doesn't even need a saw, he just breaks the 2x4s over his leg.

So riddle me this...why wouldn't the Cubs want the switch-hitting O-Dog? When I think Castillo, I think about him dropping that can of corn to lose a game for the Mets (last season?). Could we imagine that happening at Wrigley?

Becuase they need an outfielder and a middle reliever according to Piniella

The Cubs 'want' Castillo in that it would get rid of Bradley. Outside of dumping salary, I am sure the Cubs would be more interested in Hudson as well.

Per Wittenmeyer, if the Cubs take Burell, the flip may be to the Blue Jays for prospects.

Levine was on WMVP radio last night, and opined that that the next Cubs CF may well be Ankiel. He discounts the Cameron talk, citing Cameron's age and propensity for K's. Levine feels that Ankiel brings the right combination of youth, power, defense, left-handed hitting and affordability, especially since it looks more and more like the Cubs will be eating a substantial portion of Brqadley's salary.

"Cubs CF may well be Ankiel"

As long as he brings McGwire's work out bag.


Honestly, I'd prefer Cameron over Akiel. I wish I could explain why.

Ankiel can be the 2nd loogy

I can see the good and bad with both. Ankiel's more of a boom/bust guy, but he's likely to be cheaper and bats left handed. I'm not crazy about paying Cameron $8 million this year, but I'd really hate it if we were paying him the same next year.

There's going to be some nice FA's after 2010, it would be cool if we could afford one.

I was going to reply and say I really like Cameron's defense, but that's not completely honest: Rather, I like the memories of Cameron's defense. I have no idea how long he'll be able to provide plus defense in CF. Plus, Cameron is a great guy (and that's important in the post-Bradley era).

So while Cameron over Ankiel would give me the warm and fuzzies, I'm not completely convinced it would be the best thing for the Cubs... especially considering that next year like you said.

I'm confused, isn't Cameron the player with a failed steroid test on his resume.

banned stimulant, not steroid

might as well ban people for drinking too much coffee

Thanks for clarification, I'd also forgotten it was his second offense.

Maybe we can use him in the bullpen.

Hope he pays better attention to the warning track in Wrigley than he did in STL.

My goodness, this is shaping up to be a whale of a crapper of an offseason. The goal of our team is to dump a guy and sign a cheap guy for centerfield, that is the sum of the Chicago Cubs offseason ambitions. Meanwhile, all of the top H players are available (Halliday, Holiday) not to mention other top free agents, Jason Bay, etc. Look at the difference in who the Red Sox, Yankees, etc. are targeting this offseason, or other teams with real ambitions of improving themselves, versus the depressing goals of the hand tied Chicago Cubs.

All because we broke up a 97 win team in order to get more lefthanded.

I can only hope that was a joke.

The Red Sox and Yankees both are losing FA left fielders with big paychecks, so they're open to adding FA left fielders with big paychecks. That's not too shocking. If Soriano were coming off the books, we'd probably be looking at Halladay and Bay too.

The joke is that we are not really trying to improve the team this offseason. I suppose the point is that it gets frustrating to be locked into so much salary with so little flexibility, even via the trade route. How can a General Manager have anything left to manage when he can't move anyone, and has a payroll freeze? (by his own fault)

Backloaded deals and addition by subtracting Harden,Fox,Heilman,Gregg and Bradley.

I've got us penciled in for 105 victories in 2010.

The joke comment was directed towards Aaron. Had we brought back the same guys in 2009, we wouldn't have made the playoffs.

It's been two years in a row now that Hendry has had to move salary to add free agents. It's an awful business model - pay premium free agent prices, wait a year or two, then pay money to try and trade those players still on a premium contracts so that you can sign more players to premium contracts. But as long as management allows him to do it, he's going to continue to do so, apparently.

The one place where the minor league system seems ready to contribute - Hendry isn't even saving money there. He's signing Grabow and it looks like someone else, rather than giving more opportunity to Parker, Gaub et al.

His other position of minor league strength - where the Cubs can say they have legitimiate prospects spread across four levels - Hendry won't deal the most attractive asset to try and address some of his major league payroll issues.

So if the Cubs had signed Abreu and Orlando Hudson last year like we wanted. The cubs would have missed the playoffs?

Both of whom bat lefty--so same concept as Hendry's, just different names. Hendry picked Bradley and Fontenot.

Well, those guys cost about 4 million more than the two Cubs, so you have to figure out how to shed that payroll (unless Abreu had some incentives in which case you have to shed more).

With those two guys, we probably would have been pretty close.

Abreu 2.5
Hudson 5.4
- Baker 2.0, 2.0 and Fountainout 1.1 gives you:

2.8 more wins. We missed the playoffs by 8 games. So if you add some more wins (and don't subtract any more defense) for Abreu's RISP hitting, we may get there.

Aramis, Soto, Soriano did enough damage to the offense to doom our season.

I'll come back with Bobby Abreu signed for 5 FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS. There is no way, shape or form, now or last off-season, that you can make me believe MB over even one year of Abreu was a good idea. Bradley had a career year, yes, but as I've said before I'm sick and fucking tired of Hendry paying for guys that have career years elsewhere. Bradley's health was suspect, and attitude a constant problem, and coming off a career year. Sounds like someone I want to trade away 2 pieces to clear payroll in a hurry to sign. Are you fucking kidding me?

Without looking it up, he could have dealt Marquis (who was admittedly set to make too much for his role), waited to sign Abreu late like, I don't know, the Angels did, and still had a couple mil left over.

I've been a pretty big Hendry backer overall, defending Soriano and some other decisions he's made. But he screwed the fucking pooch last offseason, plain and simple, and he's still reaping those benefits this week.

And although I like Ankiel cheap from a fan/baseball perspective, I'd pay Cameron $8 mil to sit on the fucking bench if I thought he could improve some of the "culture" on this team.

Abreu signed for $5 million because he had no more teams to play the Angels off of. Had the Cubs and Angels both bid on Abreu he would have signed for more money, just like he did this off-season.

Abreu for more money still had a much better season than your hero Milton Bradley.

Really? I hadn't noticed. Thanks.

Evan Brunell has closed down MVN.

Word is that Granderson to the Yankees is close, according to Olney.

Cubs said to be interested in signing the recently released BJ's rhrp BRIAN WOLFE

Designated for assignment, which I believe makes him a FA if he refuses the assignment to the minors.

Hendry made some calls on Church a couple of years ago.

Think he still has some interest?

I'd like him to target Aubrey Huff.

Strong lefty bat that can play all for corners on defense. Probably be had for a 1 year 5 millionish contract.

We can bring Milton back as a 4th outfielder if we have to then.

I think he can be had for less than that - but at this point he probably plays corner defense about like Fox plays corner defense.

Supposedly the Granderson to the Yankees, Jackson to the Diamonbacks deal is done.

Detroit gets Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer and Phil Coke.
Arizona gets Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy
The Yankees get Granderson

Looks like a pretty good deal, though I wouldn't be surprised if the Yanks had one more guy going to the Tigers.

What's Melky Cabrera making?

Hopefully this will bode well for the fluidity of the market. Maybe it will even bode well for a Bradley to the Tigers for one of their BigBadThree starters.

Damn, I kind of like Granderson. Now I've gotta hope he's a bust.

So Granderson is good enough to warrant A. Jackson, Kennedy, and Coke?

But fucking Castro is untouchable? Untouchable always works out well for Hendry and the Cubs.

The rumors this offseason are brutal.

I don't know what the excitement is about Jackson. Whatever is special about him, it's not in the numbers. And I notice he played 25 games in left field, versus 12 in right (and the rest in center). Does that mean his arm is suspect? Usually that's what left field means.

Castro is a 19-year-old shortstop, for crissake. When Jackson was 19 he was in low A-ball, with 4 home runs and 151 strikeouts.

By the numbers, the Cubs have an overrated prospect, but it's not Castro, and it's not even Vitters. I'll give you a hint: he's 6-6 and he throws 98. But I wouldn't trade him either.

some of it is the yanks hype machine, but he's been pretty young for his leagues and held his own just like Castro.

He does K way too much though.

I'm not saying Jackson is great. I am just frustrated at Hendry's freaking untouchable tag he puts on some prospect every year, and then we give them away for a pack of Big League Chew 2 years later.

I just hope Castro becomes the stud they seem to think he is. I guess I just basically don't trust the Cubs decision making abilities on prospects for obvious reasons. Sorry for all the negativity.

I'm still relying on the Tim Wilken factor. His early draft classes are moving up the ranks and did quite well at Daytona in '08 and Tennessee last year. The one slowpoke is Tyler Colvin, and if you think he's a bust, look again at his numbers at Tennessee last year. 14 homers and 7 triples in 307 at bats.

Wilken loved Colvin's swing. Whether you agree or not, the point is he doesn't draft a position player unless he likes the swing. Felix Pie had five tools, but I don't think the hitting--and the swing--were at the top of the list. I don't think Wilken would have drafted Pie.

I agree that Wilken seems to definitely be improving the farm (which makes Hendry's arbitration decisions that much more frustrating), but I guess I am mostly just bitter because the fucking Yankees are getting Granderson. I've had a hard on for Granderson to be in the Cubbie blue for a while now. And yes I know he can't hit lefties, but how many good lefties are in the NL Central anyway? Wandy? I just hope that he totally falls apart now.

LOL. I just want to clarify, what flavor BLC exactly?? =)

Haha! In most cases, grape.

That's fine, but great prospects in the Cubs organization fizzle into Corey Patterson and Felix Pie.

Remember Felix Pie tearing up AAA ball? Remember how "untouchable" Pie was?

Not just to argue, but I have heard too many people on this site complain when Hendry does trade prospects. The complaint being that he is "giving away the farm". When he doesn't trade prospects then people complain that they never work out anyway. I think some people want it both ways.

I think that, for the most part, if you examine those comments you'll find that you're talking about two different groups of people that don't overlap a whole lot. Of course, I haven't gone back and examined those comments--so it's just a guess based on my memory of threads around here for the past few years.

If your point is that Hendry would have a group of fans angry at him in either situation--a different group of fans--then I can get on board with that. Not that I care; I want him to do what I want him to do, not what other people would be happy with.

I am sure that you are right about there being two groups of people. I just find it amusing that when we don't trade away a prospect there is a lot of complaining on this site about holding on to the "next Corey Patterson" and when we do trade them there is a lot of complaining about giving up a great prospect.

Maybe there different people?

Castro is also a middle infielding prospect that can hit.

Here is the link (from MLBTR):

Submitted by The Real Neal on Tue, 12/08/2009 - 12:48pm.
Designated for assignment, which I believe makes him a FA if he refuses the assignment to the minors.


REAL NEAL: The Braves have ten days to either trade, release, or outright Church to the minors (although Church has enough MLB Service Time where he can refuse an outright assignment to the minors and become a FA).

A player is usually DFA'd when a club believes it can get something for him in a trade instead of releasing him or losing him to free-agency and getting nothing back in return.

Since Hendry reportedly had an interest in Ryan Church a couple of years ago, and since the Braves 40-man roster is full (which is why Church got DFA'd now instead of getting non-tendered on 12/12), I wouldn't be bit surprised if the Cubs acquire Church for a minor league player who is not on the Cubs 40-man roster.

Guess he got tired of always promoting the Red Sox.

Rockies looking at him for closer role...

Bruce Levine: Cubs talked to Rockies about Bradley, deal (with someone, not COL) might be imminent.

My presumption is that the Cubs are asking about Dexter Fowler, if Colorado decides it wants Carlos Gonzalez to play center field.

Knowing how Hendry operates, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he thinks Ryan Spilborghs is his centerfielder of the future.

I guess Brad Hawpe is also a possibility, though I'm not sure how that money would work for the Cubs.

Hawpe is barely a RF'er besides his arm...

I would guess Spilborghs would be of the most interest as a back-up, right-handed CF option...

Well yeah, it would obviously necessitate Fukudome staying in center field. Between that and the money, I don't think it's likely, but I certainly wouldn't rule anything to be beyond's Hendry visionary geniusish.

A comment on the Cubs' Facebook page:

"I'd package Soriano and Bradley together to Toronto for Halladay and free up a ton of money to go after young outfielder and a closer."

Problem solved.

GM in training

I hope that idea speaks more to the idiocy of a facebook commenter and not to the cliche of an idiot Cubs fan.

The arms are broken on his lay-z boy

Needs new training wheels...

al gore approves.

As mentioned in the header of Rob G.'s post. "Bradley will be traded maybe as early as today". He also stated that he would be traded back during the meetings in Chicago. The lack of details makes it hard to be credible, although Levine is not one for just fluff.

You are correct, the dirtbag.

(is the "the" in you name pronounced thee?)

I do declare.
(said with a southern accent)

Yeah, I've quit buying that Cry Wolf story a while ago. At some point he'll get traded, I guess, but until I see the press conference, I'm not believing any of it.

I don't know how a team who wants him just doesn't wait the Cubs out until ST and then call Hendry's bluff.

Hendry trying to create a market for Bradley....utilizing his resources. Gordo tweets.

I was thinking the the Yankees may be a good spot for him, but I can't really think of a bad contract they have to trade. Obviously the New York media is supposed to be tougher than the pitchfork carriers in Chicago, but I think their clubhouse would probably be better able to take him, and they have to replace Matsui's and Damon's bats (if they don't bring one of them back).

It could be the suddenly jobless Mekly for Bradley and some cash.

Sean Marshll for Melky Cabrerra?

The bullpen is questionable enough. Cabrera made $1.4 million last year. Marshall a whopping $450k.

Gammons to MLB network apparently...

if c.silva is a cub any time soon hendry can f'n blow me.

Tim Brown tweets that the Mariners could be a possible destination for Bradley with the Cubs getting Carlos Silva in return. Excuse me if I am not particulary overjoyed about this one.

try reading the posts first my friend...

Joel Sherman is reporting that the Rangers are no longer interested in Bradley. I think it is the Cubs are no longer interested in having the same conversation about money.

Hopefully it means that they came a lot closer on money with this mystery team.

There's a perverse part of me that wants it to be for Carlos Silva, and let the Cubs trot them out there 32 times next year. By the end of the season, I'd bet Milton wouldn't seem like such a bad guy.

Miles says tomorrow on the Bradley trade:

Ozzie Smith on what makes a good manager:

"Managing is a very difficult job, and it takes a real special person with a great knack for handling people to be successful because you’re blending so many different personalities into one cohesive unit"

Hey Lou, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

yeah, that's managing alright.

too bad dave miley and ozzie weren't friends. i doubt anyone will let miley near a team after his CIN incidents where the inmates ran the prison.

Usually they call these things the _________ sweepstakes but I've noticed nobody's calling it that in this case. We need a new name for this kind of situation. The Milton Bradley NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)? What, exactly?

It reminds me a little of Yucca Mountain.

The Ryan Church Sweepstakes?

I'd scratch the A's off that list. Their treatment of Bradley and presumably vice-versa lead to probably the most acrimonious breakup of Milton's storied career.

prolly so

Here's my idea of a surprise American League destination for Milton Bradley,

The White Sox

Bradley for Alex Rios, even up

-Rios was drafted in the first round by the Blue Jays when Tim Wilken was still running the amateur draft there, so there's that connection.

-He has five fat years remaining on his contract but, importantly, the obligations for 2010 and 2011 are just about equal to what the Cubs owe Milton Bradley. The Cubs' goal of not eating MB's salary would be met. But, and this is a big butt, the Cubs get saddled with the last three years of Rios' contract---Not that big backloaded contracts ever stopped Hendry.

-both Bradley and Rios are CF/RF'ers

-The Cubs have buyer's remorse with Bradley

-The White Sox, Ozzie at least, have buyer's remorse with Rios

White Sox | Rios's slump perturbs Guillen
Sat, 12 Sep 2009 22:31:27 -0700

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Chicago White Sox OF Alex Rios went 0-for-4 Saturday, Sept. 12, giving him an .082 average in his last 16 games. Guillen was critical of Rios, who's batting ninth in the order, but reiterated that there will be better days for the outfielder next season. ''What have I seen from Rios? A lot of outs,'' Guillen said. ''The only batting-ninth guy making $5 million was me. ''This [expletive] is making $10, $12, $14 million, he ain't going to be batting ninth [in 2010]. I'm going to make sure he earns his money. But right now, I have to put him there because he's struggling. Next year, if we have Rios batting ninth, we're in deep [expletive] again.''

The Ozzie and Milton show would be the best reality TV in that genre's sordid history. Far and away. It would be a sportswriter and TMZ beat writer's dream.

That would be great. I'd love to give Rios a shot.

Let me add the two players' average stats. According to ESPN, here's what they produce per 162 games (not that MB ever approaches that many in a given season):

RIOS .281 .330 .444 .774, 16HR 77RBI 88R 22SB
MILT .277 .371 .450 .821, 20HR 76RBI 86R 13SB

Rios gives you more speed on the bases. Bradley gives you more, well, more being on the bases. Other than that, they're remarkably similar.

Rios can play Center and play more than 100-120 games.

He's much younger as well.

Any Bradley deal will be a turd sandwich. At least Rios is servicable.

You cannot get a player that plays in 160 games to do what Milton Bradley does in 120 games....according to Milton.

i doubt Cubs would take on the salary unless Wsox offered to split the last 3 years.

I doubt Williams is dumb enough to keep Bradley in Chicago just so he can be angrier and a bigger target.

Don't poop on my parade.

I think the deal is a stretch, but very well thought out.

It has been reported that the Sox are interested in Matsui, but appearently Williams said that he would need to be able to play the outfield, which does not appear likely. The White Sox are looking for a DH and have been rumored to want a bat that is not limited to a DH role, which would fit the Milton bill. According to Cot's Baseball contracts, Rios is owed: 10:$9.7M, 11:$12M, 12:$12M, 13:$12.5M, 14:$12.5M, 15:$13.5M club option ($1M buyout)

Assuming the Sox take Bradley and the $21 million left on his deal and the Cubs assume the next two years on Rios, that would leave roughly $37.5 million left on the Rios contract (if you include the $1 million buyout). In reality, Hendry is looking to take on a bad contract for one or two years, but shed payroll too. In this case he would technically be adding payroll (even if the two teams split the remaining dollars on Rios), but it would come in the form of the infamous Hendry defferment plan and allow for some of the other contracts that are expiring to obsorb the shock of adding payroll over the next few years. The question is, would you rather eat $21 million and have no player to show for it or avoid eating $21 million, but commit to an additional $15-17 through 2015.

also, why have a 5-year headache with Rios when you only have a 2-year headache with Bradley?

unless they really believe they can turn Rios around...

Cause Rios is awesome a couple years ago. Plus we've got the most expensive hitting coach that money can buy. Plus Rios is dreamy.

This is true.

Your image on Rios is a bit freightening

Anyone else here think there will be no Bradley deal this GM Meeting?

I have a bad feeling about this, and about the 2010 Cubs season.

Then again, I thought the Bears would win 9 games this year too.

Unfortunately, from everything I read and hear, the amount the Cubs have to eat on Bradley dictates the level of FA they can entertain signing. Man, Jim Hendry left quite a mess after last year.

some people see keeping bradley vs. the alternative as a positive considering the names thrown around.

that seems he's as good as traded at this point even if a buyer hasn't shown up yet.

I believe that if Bradley gets traded it won't be until ST.

And 2010 will suck because of the pitching.

yep. pitching.

paging Santa Rob--anyone else getting an error when trying to reply?

maybe we will get big news tonight...

^^ well hell, nevermind, that seemed to work...

Page has been slow today...lot's-o-traffic today, Rob?

yeah, no more than yesterday...

server was acting up a bit, clearly in mourning over the demise of

That was very sad actually. First site I ever professionally blogged for.

The Yankees could be the mystery team as I am sure they would love to dump Kei Igawa. Maybe something like Bradley and Marshall for Igawa and Cabrera.

Gosh, don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure Igawa sucks.

I'd rather have Silva, let ol' Larry try his Dave Duncan routine....

Igawa only has 8 million left on his deal (4 each over '10 and '11) which is actually a steal compared to Pat Burrell, Luis Castillo and Carlos Silva. Plus we get a useful player for CF in Cabera.

I'll be honest, I stand corrected. Not a bad idea. I thought Cabrera was a lot better hitter than that. He's still young, and in theory in line to take over LF for them next year, but having said that, this does make a little sense, especially if they get serious about resigning Damon.

I still think however that there's more chance of Silva being serviceable in a ML uni than Igawa, and we'd still have to throw in money on this one, so I don't see it.

The Tigers' 40 man roster is going to be overloaded with the Ganderson trade. (42)

So maybe a couple of their bad contracts?

Then finding them a new home.

Random sportswriter bashing of the day:

Pudge Rodriguez.

Rosenthal: "In other words, he does not figure to be a strong mentor for the Nationals' young pitching staff, which at this some point next season figures to include right-hander Stephen Strasburg."

And "Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus likes the Ivan Rodriguez signing for the Nats, partly because Pudge could help develop Stephen Strasburg."

Fuck, seriously??

I make fun of Bradley for getting all the hype of being an offensive force with a zero track record and now people want Alex Rios.

By all accounts Rios is the polar opposite of Bradley but my god is he an over rated piece of crap. He has been the focus of so many trades in our fantasy league in the belief he is goo,d that is not even funny.

Rios is a very boring hitter. He has some speed but isn't too fast, he has some power but not too much power, he isn't a big run producer but he isn't a wasteland either. He is just joe blow average who gets paid a lot of money when other teams are sporting much cheaper options who get the job done just as well. Rios is nice when he isn't expensive but he is worthless now.

I take offense at the namist term "joe blow average".

Let me make this clear: Alex Rios is gorgeous. I don't know what other statistic you need, but there has been a handsomeness black hole on this team ever since Alex Gonzalez left in 2004. Ryan Theriot and Corey Patterson had tried to fill the void, but it just wasn't good enough.

Corey Patterson was pretty damn handsome, but when it came down to it, he just wasn't tall enough.

Mark Derosa was fairly handsome and had the stubble going, but he was like a 9.5--not quite there.

Good point, I forgot how the ladies liked DeRosa...even more than Cool James. Valid point about Patterson too. Angel Pagan was another I missed.

Are you kidding me? Mickey Morandini was a god amongst the trailer park set!

Yeah, he went to the Bob Brenly school of handsomeness. Rod Beck is probably up there too...but I'm talking about the hole left by A-Gonz. He clearly filled the Morandini hole (heh heh) but left a new one upon his departure.

My wife always thought Michael Barrett was good looking. Stupid women.

Let me make this clear: Alex Rios is gorgeous.

Even I don't get this gay in a no-homo way.

Why would you want to look at it in a no-homo way?

Would you look at it otherwise?

Saw this out there, anyone confirm?

Orioles get:

Milton Bradley

Cubs get:

Ty Wigginton and Koji Uehara

Some sorta exchange of money to balance out salaries!

That would good a lot too.

Yeah, those two together don't make MB's '10 salary

late night meeting between trio of Cubs higher ups...


I imagine Crane Kenney saying, "The best you can fucking do for Bradley is Carlos Silva??? Get out of my sight until you drum up another horrific contract we can consider taking on. Oh, and Dunkin Donuts opens at 5 AM sharp, and I like crullers, so don't disappoint!!"

"WTF do you mean, let's keep him, he'll have a bounce back year?!?!"

Or maybe "The man's a billionaire, guys, like real billions.... You saw how much he paid for the team, you don't think he'll have us whacked?!?"

Maybe it's just a clink of a glass and a hooker?

EDIT: Tiger's wife, involved? She's probably bored by now, and TMZ needs a new angle.

Planning on new ice rink opening this week end next to Wrigley.

Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode:

"Hey look at George, he's really giving it to t-bone..."

Wittenmyer shoots down Bradley for Silva, shoots down Cubs as a match for Melky, and speculates that the Bradley deal is either with Detroit or Toronto, but not for Vernon Wells.

Magglio Ordonez? Shit, at this point, let's just keep Milty and deal with it.

Magglio and two wheelchairs...hope RF is handicapped accessible. Maybe the can get him a h/c parking spot on the RF gate

Submitted by John Beasley on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 5:46am.
Wittenmyer shoots down Bradley for Silva, shoots down Cubs as a match for Melky, and speculates that the Bradley deal is either with Detroit or Toronto, but not for Vernon Wells.


JOHN B: I would think the Tigers are probably the "mystery team," since this team suddenly appeared right about the same time Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson got traded and the Tigers got two lefty arms for the pen (Coke and Schlereth).

LHP Nate Robertson is making $10M in 2010, and I would think he would probably be the next Tiger on the move. Bradley is making $9M in 2010 and then $12M in 2011, so the Tigers would net a $1M savings off their payroll in 2010, and would probably get Bradley for substantially less than $12M in 2011 since the Cubs will almost certainly pay at least half of Bradley's 2011 salary no matter where he ends up. And the Tigers might figure they can always trade Bradley later in the 2010 season or prior to 2011 if they want a further reduction in payroll.

If it's a three-way deal, that would probably mean Robertson would get moved to a third team, and that could be just about anywhere (possibly to the Mets for Luis Castillo?).

And if the deal is indeed "3/4 done," that probably means four players are involved, with three having been agreed upon, with the only hang-up being the identity of the 4th player (probably a prospect).

E-Man Shoots Down Wittenmeyer, Sullivan, Levine:

I am sticking by my opinion that MB will not be moved this GM Meeting. Bradley has turned out to be the elephant in the room that comes with so much baggage, that the sell gets tougher daily. What a waste of talent.

Hendry must be selling hard to find a third team. I wonder if the Cubs do not save any money here but get an actual workable piece to their puzzle. If Bradley is dealt to Detriot and the Cubs take on a portion of Bradley's contract for next year, then deal Robertson to a third team, but agree to take on a portion of Robertson's contract for '10, they may end up with something more than a bucket of balls or a fungo bat.

I meant the Cubs would take on a portion of Robertson's contract for this year.

Submitted by thedirtbag on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 8:08am.
Hendry must be selling hard to find a third team. I wonder if the Cubs do not save any money here but get an actual workable piece to their puzzle. If Bradley is dealt to Detriot and the Cubs take on a portion of Bradley's contract for next year, then deal Robertson to a third team, but agree to take on a portion of Robertson's contract for '10, they may end up with something more than a bucket of balls or a fungo bat.


DIRT BAG: Dave Dombrowski gave Jim Hendry his first job in pro ball, and the two are still very good friends.

That doesn't mean Dombrowski would take Bradley just to help Hendry out of a jam, but having a friendly relationship with a couple or three GMs from the other league (Dombrowski, MacPhail, and Beane) can come in handy when you need a willing trading partnet. It's no coincidence that Hendry makes most of his trades with those three teams.

I think this trade scenario makes the most sense given the teams remaining and the complexity. I think most would agree that the pitcher's market is limited especially the dollars involved. Robertson could be moved at the right price, but it is hard to imagine the Cubs not having to take on any of that '09 salary without getting a bad contract in return. The Bradley-Rios swap is well thought out, but I think that there is way to much negotiation that would need to take place as far as the dollars remaining to Rios. I also think there would be little chance that Kenny Williams would agree to bring Bradley to the south side. Just seems like it would be shuffling deck chairs. Cliche, but true.

As far as receiving usable talent for MB at this point, I have a hard time believing the Cubs can do better than Ordonez, who was OK last year despite all the hoopla about his declining skills. If he were the Cubs' starting RF in 2010, I would project him to be about a .300 hitter with 15 HRs, an 820 OPS, .980 fielding percentage and -5 UZR/150. The Cubs are not going to get that level of talent - on a one-year deal no less - from any other team.

Of course, I don't actually know a) if the Tigers would do that deal; b) if the Cubs are actually OK with playing Kosuke in CF for another year; and c) how the money would work. But I think before we start making wheelchair jokes, we should think about the possibility of Carlos Silva trying to suit up for this team in 2010 and then make due with the best of a bad situation.

Submitted by thedirtbag on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 8:29am.
I think this trade scenario makes the most sense given the teams remaining and the complexity. I think most would agree that the pitcher's market is limited especially the dollars involved. Robertson could be moved at the right price, but it is hard to imagine the Cubs not having to take on any of that '09 salary without getting a bad contract in return.


DIRT BAG: If Bradley goes to Detroit for Robertson, and then the Cubs move Robertson to a 3rd team and eat half of his 2010 salary ($5M), and even if they get only prospects back in return, that's still a $4M net savings in payroll for the Cubs in 2010 that can be spent on or applied toward a free-agent of the Cubs choosing (presumably Mike Cameron). So as GMs like to say, "that's almost like making a trade."

Phil what is your take on the centerfield options, assuming they have the payroll to add (ie. Byrd, Cameron, Podsednik, etc). Who do you think would be the best fit? I am not particular to givin Byrd a 3 year contract and the same goes for Cameron. I like Cameron as a short term solution (1yr with maybe a vesting option in 2011).

Submitted by thedirtbag on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 8:53am.
Phil what is your take on the centerfield options, assuming they have the payroll to add (ie. Byrd, Cameron, Podsednik, etc). Who do you think would be the best fit? I am not particular to givin Byrd a 3 year contract and the same goes for Cameron. I like Cameron as a short term solution (1yr with maybe a vesting option in 2011).


DIRT BAG: Mike Cameron for a year at $7M with a club option for the 2nd year (with a buy-out) would be OK.

And I still think the Cubs will try to acquire Ryan Church from Atlanta (Church was Designated for Assignment yesterday.

I'd feel better about clearing payroll to sign a free agent if someone other than Hendry was picking the free agent and negotiating the deal.

The Yankees traded RHRP Brian Bruney to WAS for a PTBNL who will be the Nats #1 pick in tomorrow's Rule 5 Draft. The Nationals will technically make the selection, but the Yankees will be calling the shots, and the player selected will subsequently be sent to the Yankees as the PTBNL in the Bruney deal after the conclusion of the draft.

Not sure how much you can beat a dead horse, but I will try....

I still stand by my opinion.

Besides, if you have seen Paul Sullivan in-person or on tv, I am not so sure he is given only the scraps first.

Interesting line in the Paul Sullivan article from this morning....

But the long-awaited dumping of Bradley could come as soon as Wednesday, according to one Cubs source who expected "one of the teams" that had been rumored from Day One as the landing spot.

Consider the source, but commenter Joey Kittens says on MLBTR that Hendry was seen having breakfast with KW.

There's gotta be a good three degrees of separation from actual truth in there.

According to TB beat writer Mark Topkin...
"And, for what it's worth, Cubs GM Jim Hendry was seen having breakfast Wednesday with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf."

Alex Rios anyone?

This is a scenario, it was discussed yesterday, see above. There are alot of dollars remaining on the Rios contract. Who pays what?

Scott Linebrink in this case would be the lesser of two evils. Crossing my fingers now.

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  • Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales

    Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says

    crunch 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.

    I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.

    The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.

    I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.

    The E-Man 2 hours 42 min ago view
  • I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.

    With that said in reverse order:
    3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.

    2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.

    blockhead25 3 hours 25 min ago view
  • 1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
    2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
    3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.

    Charlie 5 hours 9 min ago view
  • Who's asking?

    jacos 5 hours 11 min ago view
  • #TeamEntropy

    CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.

    Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.

    Rob G. 5 hours 20 min ago view
  • I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.

    johann 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • any opponent preference for NLDS?

    Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.

    Rob G. 6 hours 28 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 11 hours 32 min ago view
  • Can't teach height and thinness

    jacos 13 hours 27 min ago view
  • Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.

    jacos 22 hours 57 min ago view
  • j.buchanan going friday...should something like it.

    crunch 23 hours 5 min ago view
  • Wow. I didn't know they could do that.

    Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.

    billybucks 23 hours 21 min ago view
  • Game is officially called...also officially a tie.

    Stats count, no make-up date of course.


    Rob G. 23 hours 23 min ago view
  • Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.

    billybucks 1 day 9 min ago view
  • rain delay...thanks obama.

    crunch 1 day 48 min ago view