Cubs Rumor Round-Up: Rafael Soriano, Mike Gonzalez, Cameron & More

- Assuming the package of Cubs prospects that Hendry is willing to offer isn't enough to pry Curtis Granderson from the Tigers, the Cubs may move on to signing Mike Cameron as their main focus. First, the Cubs will have to move Milton Bradley of course and then they could look to sign the 36, going on 37-year old center fielder. Lou raves about him and Cameron raves about Lou in the article, so chances are he won't end up in Lou's doghouse by April.

- He said, she said: Jon Heyman say the Cubs aren't close to dealing Bradley because they're only willing to eat up to $5M of his contract, but Will Carroll tweeted around 8pm CST last night that:

Cubs signing of Mike Cameron is waiting on deal of Milton Bradley, which has been "imminent" for about 72 hours.

- More on Cameron from the Tribune, and thoughts that Tampa Bay and Texas are the most likeliest landing spots for Bradley.

"For some guys it's a gift," Cameron, who played for Piniella in
Seattle from 2000 to '02, told the Tribune in '07 of playing for
Piniella. "And for some guys it's a curse. I've seen both sides of the
fence. For me, it was a blessing. It made me the player I am today. He
taught me a lot about the game, and he's one of the ultimate field
generals, probably the best manager I've ever had."

I covered Cameron earlier in the offseason, and the Cubs would get a decent but aging bat that drove in 10.7% of the runners in front of him last year (Not good, basically Bradley territory). He did much better in past years driving in runs and still seems to have the defensive chops to cover center field with the best of them. At 37 though, it should be a one year deal with maybe a 2nd year option, but I guess he gets more if Hendry is involved.

- The Cubs popped up on a list of suitors for Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez. Both were offered arbitration by the Braves and would cost the Cubs a 2nd round pick as the Cubs first round pick is protected this year. They'll have to move fast though as the deadline to accept or decline arbitration is Monday and at least in Soriano's case, they want to know what kind of offers are out there or they'll take up the Braves on arbitration.

- Bruce Miles has a Winter Meeting preview up, saying a right-handed outfielder compliment to Fukudome is on the agenda (assuming they move Bradley). That puts guys like David DeJesus and Rick Ankiel down on the Cubs wish list. Also mentions Texas and Tampa as the most likely spots for Bradley and if the Cubs do have to then move someone like Burrell, a three-team trade doesn't have to happen immediately. Also, expect a vet right-handed bullpen guy to be signed at some point.

- Lou doesn't rule out returning for 2011. Joy.

- Baseball Analysts covers "The Problematic Cubs Outfielder".

Thanks to everyone who discovered most of those links for me...


More stuff

Jon Heyman on Milton Bradley trade, Will Carroll on Mike Cameron signing with the Cubs...


You will notice in the Lou article,he does not guarantee to stay awake if he manages in 2011.

Cubs 1st rounder isn't protected. Only top 15 are.

The Cubs pick is protected because the 15th pick was a compensatory pick for the Rangers failing to sign Purke last year, and I don't believe compensatory picks are considered in regards to which picks are protected. As such, the next pick, I'm almost certain, is protected.

Not sure how that works?

Paging Az Phil

It's not the Cubs fault that the Rangers received that pick. I can't quote the rule but it would be shocking to me to see anything that contradicts toons' logic.

more confirmation if you need it

top 50%, it's protected

Rob, what's with the love fest for the word "though"?

plenty of Cubs blogs that don't use though or ellipses if you want...

but I wrote this and had to take off before taking a 2nd and 3rd pass at it...


It's a California thing.

Buried at the bottom of the Lou might return for 2011 article is this line:

"Piniella also said he has told Hendry he would like to add a middle-of-the-rotation starter, but that appears to be a long shot as the Cubs head to the meetings."

Also on Lou's list:

1. Lefty hitting corner outfield power bat
2. Lefty hitting backup catcher
3. 2 bullpen lefties
4. Latin backup infielder
5. Lefty batting practice pitcher
6. No more Milton

And, no more Aarons.

He must feel Hendry used an aaron judgment last year.

You forgot about speed and or athleticism.

Thank God for the Hawks....

Some snips from Joe Sheehan's run down of NL Needs at the Winter Meetings. A pretty good piece, and I think Sheehan is probably BP's best writer.

Cubs: they need to have a better offseason with respect to roster spots eight through 25 than Hendry has had the last few years

Cards: had tremendous run prevention in 2009, numbers that are almost sure to regress, so they have got to put a better offense on the field than they did to prevent a massive step backwards

Brewers: It may be that the only way for them to break out of the 78-84 win range is to trade Fielder

Reds: The ideal Reds week would include trades of Francisco Cordero and Arroyo, not for financial reasons but to add a major-league shortstop and center fielder.

Astros: We’re pretty close to what’s been coming for a while, which is a top-to-bottom rebuilding of the Astros that takes about four years.

Pirates: Look for the Pirates to troll the low end of the market, major-league free agents at low cost, non-tenders, minor-league free agents

Marlins: The Marlins remain a blight on the MLB landscape

Hope that's not too much.

marlins...the new expos...all the talent in the world, but they can't keep anyone after they "break them in" longer than a few years.

well, that and a couple of

The Expos weren't getting $30 million a year in revenue sharing, which was the point of the comment. I maybe should have put a bit more, but trying not to stomp on their copyright too much.

fun fact...the ex-expos owner owns the marlins.

revenue sharing doesn't work. they wanted (well, the yanks didn't want it at all for obvious reasons) unregulated use of the money and this kind of stuff tends to happen in that environment. the rich get richer because why do something you don't have to do unless you WANT to do it. the only incentive for putting money back into the field product right now would be if loria wanted a ring, and that's about it. both desires would be selfish, but one at least serves the fans (btw, thanks for the effort zell...140m, damn).

the marlins are valued at over 100m bucks more than they were bought for.

they use the "new stadium" thing as an's getting a little thin when they're spending less or barely more than they get in revenue sharing.

Which explains why their value is going up. Were I Loria I'd probably do the same thing until the other owners and players forced me to stop.

I would guess that they'll open the purse strings a bit when they move to the new stadium even if there's no change to the collective bargaining agreement, simply because they'd feel like they could make more money by spending an extra $20 million to bring in an additional 2 million fans every year.

Very interesting and free interview with Jeam Beattie over at BP. I think Loria was his owner, and he details a bit how the Expos were cutting spending across the board in his latter days.

nice interview. it's great some of these "legit" baseball guys are opening up to internet/blog/etc. reporters more and more these days with more than just a blurb or two.

Submitted by Dr. aaron b on Sun, 12/06/2009 - 12:19pm.
Not sure how that works?

Paging Az Phil


DR AARON B: The 1st round draft picks of the 15 MLB clubs with the worst records from the previous season are protected.

Rule 4 compensation draft picks clubs get for not signing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round picks are special picks that don't count as far as MLB free-agent compensation is concerned.

Also, a special Rule 4 compensation pick is only good for one year. If a club selects a player with a special Rule 4 compensation pick and doesn't sign that player either, the club doesn't get another compensation pick the next year as compensation for not signing that player.

speaking of troubled players...

anyone know if matt "i'm matt f'n bush" bush (SD/TOR(kinda)) is done being a drunk loser and trying to play again?

before his elbow fell off in 07 (and had to take 08 off) he was featuring a low 90s fastball. his hitting days are definitely done.

i don't think he played organized baseball last year unless his rehab center had one. has their second link of the weekend about Soriano possibly accepting arbitration from the Braves. I would think that would increase the pressure to trade one of their starters. Hopefully Hendry will be standing in the right place with some glowing scouting reports on Milton Bradley when that happens.

it's not official, but it seems the worst kept secret in baseball right now is mike cameron is gonna be the cubs big bat addition by subtraction for 2010.

i hope it's a 1-year deal...or a cheap 2-year.

Just like last year when the Bradley deal was held up by unloading part of Marquis's contract. Hopefully, now that someone is actually watching Hendry this will be a black mark on his record.

Odds of it being cheap and short aren't too good, not this early in the season. He's going to see Figgins and Polanco's deals and that's not going to work out to a 1-year deal in Cameron and his agent's minds.

Not a big fan of this one. I think a big part of his alleged defensive chops are a function of him taking catches from his corner outfielders. Not that that will be a huge problem in Wrigley, but if you can win 97 games with Edmonds/Johnson as your CF you'll probably be fine with Fukudome and some non-tendered pickup.

Right handed pitchers with power stuff are going to cruise through our lineup setting season highs for K's on a weekly basis.

It's just a signing that doesn't make us better, and spends a lot of money in a market where having money can get some nice depth.


Hendry will be much better served to hold onto his cash and bargain hunt in Feb/March

Hopefully he isn't planning on backloading this deal and hampering the 2010/2011 offseasons.

Paul Sullivan has a nice bit about Tampa Bay's manager Joe Maddon. Maddon believes that he would get along with Milton, as evidenced by a lunch he had with him last winter. Milton was a free agent trying to find $'s. I think he would get along with anybody that was offering multi million dollar contracts. Now, it is interesting if Tampa Bay departs with Burrell, whom the Rays are dissappointed with. Binding the Cubs pick up most of the money owed to Bradley next year, the risk for the Rays is limited and less pressure is on Milton to perform. His contract my be big, but the financial obligation from Tampa Bay would be minimal similar to the fan base. All in all, it probably would be a good fit for Tampa Bay and we would probably see Milton Bradley return to Texas form. At least this way he will not have any fans in the stands to throw the ball to with 2 outs (granted he sees playing time in the outfield).

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.