Winter Meetings 2009 Day One
The rumor mongering Olympics begin today and instead of a Jake Peavy trade or trying to sign Kosuke Fukudome or Ted Lilly, it'll be about moving Milton Bradley and how much the Cubs are willing to pay for the privilege. Unfortunately I won't be around until later this afternoon, so I'm going to miss most of the morning rumors. Updates will go up top....
Sullivan says it's basically Rays or bust although the Cubs talked to 5 or 6 teams today about trades. The Mets seem to be out of the mix as a third team and that means Luis Castillo is out of the mix as well. The Blue Jays have emerged as the possible third team with some interest in Burrell as a DH. Sullivan also echoes that Cubs may have interest in Melky Cabrera if Yankees land Granderson with the Cubs on the outside of the Granderson sweepstakes due to their refusal to move Starlin Castro.
One major league manager said Monday he would gladly take Bradley, though he added his general manager wasn't interested because of possible negative reaction by the team's fan base. Another manager asked why the Cubs don't just bite the bullet and bring Bradley back rather than giving him away.
Can the "another manager" come and run the Cubs?
Whoever Ed Price is, he's tweeting that Brewers are closing in on a 3-year deal for Randy Wolf. I think that's good for the Cubs. I kind of like Randy Wolf, but he's not the 3.23 ERA pitcher he was last year and although he's been pretty healthy the last two years, he's had quite a few injury issues in the past.
Jayson Stark echoes that 2-3 teams have asked the Cubs about Bradley since Winter Meetings have begun and the money gap continues to hold up Bradley moving to the Rays.
Braden Looper would love to pitch for the Cubs. Hopefully the feeling isn't mutual.
A few notes from Bruce Miles...
The Cubs and Hendry like Heath Bell but "laughed off" rumors of trying to acquire him using Geovany Soto, Ryan Theriot or just about anyone else.
The Cubs will give Jeff Baker some reps in the outfield this spring to continue their creepy molding of him into Mark DeRosa. I wonder how much Baker feels like Kim Novak in Vertigo at this point.
Bob Nightengale at USA Today says the Tigers would like to move Granderson by this week and then Wittenmyer says the Cubs have heard nothing of the sort from the Tigers.
Ryne Sandberg will manage Triple A Iowa next year. Organizational soldier Bobby Dickerson is moving to...go ahead take a guess...the Baltimore Orioles of course.
Another ESPN Winter Meetings Live note:
Meanwhile, Buster Olney says for the Yankees to get Granderson, it will cost Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson.
So safe to say, the Tigers are only going to move Granderson for the right package, not just salary relief.
3:56 PM CST: ESPN Winter Meetings Live has this note:
From Peter Gammons: To get Curtis Granderson, the Tigers asked the Cubs for Starlin Castro and two prospects. The Cubs considered that to be too high a price.
3:50 PM CST: Q&A with Lou from the winter meetings including this gem about having a balanced lineup:
I don't think it matters anymore. Just keep people healthy on the field, and let's get people that can produce and let it go at that.
No fucking shit. Thanks for ruining the 2009 season with that bullshit.
Says that Alfonso Soriano is staying in the 6 spot and Zambrano should be winning 20 games every year with the stuff he throws.
3:20 PM CST: Brewers have strong interest in Randy Wolf according to Robothal.
3:!5 PM CST: Danny Knobler at CBS Sports says the Cubs are talking with up to 4 teams now regarding Bradley.
2:42 PM CST: And we're back...
Bruce Levine blogs about talks of Bradley for Gil Meche, which Wittenmyer subsequently shoots down. The Cubs were after Meche before the 2007 season, but he passed to go to the Royals, I believe citing that he'd prefer a smaller market than Chicago. Rumors creeped up again last year with Meche right before the Cubs acquired Harden and he shot those down as well.
- Cardinals are close to their annual pick-up-a-vet for Dave Duncan to fix...this time it's Brad Penny
- Phil Rogers says the Padres are trying to move Heath Bell and the Cubs could be interested. Rogers thinks if they do get Bell, it could mean Carlos Marmol is on his way out - most likely for Curtis Granderson. I can't ever recall one Phil Rogers rumor coming through.
- It looks like the Cubs and Yankees are fighting for the same center fielders, both coveting Curtis Granderson or Mike Cameron.
- Lou was on XM radio and said the Cubs is searching for a center fielder and veteran right-handed bullpen arm. Blamed 2009 on injuries and lack of depth and some tangent about making 11 or so changes to a 97-win team. When asked about Bradley possibly returning, he said Bradley had a tough year and he'll probably bounce back but we're looking to move him and some of the events of last summer were too much to bring him back. Has the "well, we have to dump him" pan ever worked in a team's favor? I mean, the team doing the dumping of course.
10:31 AM CST: This is a bit sketchy, but a report that Burrell has been moved to the Cubs and then the Mets, no mention of Bradley, but that must be the deal if true. (For what it's worth, it was posted about a half hour ago and no confirmation anywhere else, so I think someone's been duped).
10:10 AM CST: Another Sherman tweet that the both Cubs and Yankees are interested in Cameron and then he floats that Cubs have always liked Melky Cabrera.
- 3 teams are interested in Bradley: Rangers, Rays, mystery third team. All of them want the Cubs to pay more (as in just about all of Milton's last year) to get a deal done. For the Rangers, it looks like Kevin Millwood is the trading chip, for the Rays, it's Pat Burrell, for the mystery third team, it's a mystery player.
- Speaking of Burrell, Joel Sherman first tweeted that the Mets would consider taking Burrell for Castillo but are naturally worried about his defense. More recently he tweeted that "Rays growing less hopeful of swapping Burrell to Cubs."
-Bruce Levine blogged that Cubs are considering bringing back Reed Johnson and Rick Ankiel, Coco Crisp, Mike Cameron and Marlon Byrd are all on the Cubs radar.
I think that's everything worth mentioning at the moment, I shall be back with updates later in the day.
btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.
I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.
Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.
Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath of the Chapman trade:
SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete
EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin
There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.
And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .
I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.
I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.
Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).
chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).
The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.
McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.
There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.
to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.
I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?
And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?
We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.
Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place.
Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.
Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout) he was seen as a long-term project.
I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before.
I'm with Rob G and Johann here. It's not about Chapman as a pitcher. I just don't want to have to block out a real problem (the domestic violence) in order to try to enjoy the frivolous ball and stick game.
ROB G & BOB R: You're right. The QO can only be extended if the player spends the entire previous season with one club, so only the Yankees could have offered one to Chapman (if he wasn't traded). If an Article XX-B FA is traded during the season, the new club can't offer a QO. .