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 know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.