2010 Winter Meetings Day Two

10:32 PM CST (Rob G.): Reader QuietMan does it again with this Bruce Levine radio report. Levine speculates that Pena is going to cost around 2/14 with either a 3rd year vesting option or a club option.

- He puts A. Galarragga for Gorzelanny out there.

- Says Chris Davis is a back-up plan if they don't get Pena..

- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Cubs have interest in Chris Davis but aren't going to give up much.

7:32 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Miles pees all over the Davis/O'Day rumor.

6:05 PM CST (Rob G.): Joe Cowley tweeting some nonsense about Konerko to the Cubs.

6:00 PM CST (Rob G.): Ed Price tweets that a deal is in the works involving Chris Davis and Darren O'Day coming to the Cubs.

And fwiw, I don't believe getting Chris Davis would prevent the Cubs from going after Pena, LaRoche and the like. No way the Cubs are handing him Davis the 1b job. My guess is he's a utility option (as he can play 3b as well) and Rudy Jamarillo project for the future.

4:23 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Levine radio report thanks to one of our awesome readers.

- Detroit with interest in Gorzelanny (Link from Detroit papers here).

- Ignore the LaRoche talk, Cubs making push for Pena on a 2-year deal with a possible 3rd year option.

Link to ESPN Chicago saying Cubs will meet with Pena's agent again later today.

4:16 PM CST (Rob G.): It seems everyone expects Konerko to sign with the White Sox. Orioles will be "in on" Derrek Lee if the medicals check out.

- Kevin Gregg has more than one offer, possibly of the multi-year variety.

- Teams are showing interest in Rich Harden, possibly as a reliever.

- Matt Garza is another top starting pitcher that could be moved with the Brewers and Rangers mentioned at the moment.

4:14 PM CST(Rob G.): How I love Wrongway! His last tweet.

Look out for the . They're rekindling Matt Garza talks with Rays. Possible deal could include supposedly "untouchable'' Matt Cain.

Whoops.

3:55 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Miles though doubts the Cubs interest in LaRoche.

3:46 PM CST (Rob G.): Scott Miller takes it a step further and says the Cubs would like to close a deal soon with LaRoche.

2:48 PM CST (Rob G.): I guess Carlos Pena is going to be too expensive. Morosi says Cubs are going after Adam LaRoche.

12:31 PM CST (Rob G.): The Cubs and Webb's representatives have a meeting scheduled this afternoon according to Jerry Crasnick.

12:21 PM CST (Rob G.): Some nuggets from Bruce Levine's chat.

- Colvin is Plan B if the Cubs don't find a first basemen they like. Even if they do, Colvin will work on the position to give Quade some flexibility during the season.

- Fukudome is on the block, but only if Hendry knows he's getting another left-handed bat, either in the trade or ready to sign.

- The Cubs have talked relievers with Toronto and Texas with Jason Frasor's name coming up. There seems to be a Chris Davis for Robinson Chirinos deal that would work for both teams but the Cubs want to expand it and get a major league reliever in exchange for adding a  starting pitcher to the deal.

- Gorzelanny can be had, but only if the Cubs have a deal in place for another starting pitcher.

11:30AM CT (Cubnut): Rosenthal mentions "Kerry Wood" and "White Sox" together. Yeechhh! KR says Yankees also still interested in Kid K but won't deal with it until after Cliff Lee lands.


Day 2 of Operation .500

- The guy who voted for 2 Pirates in the Rookie of the Year voting this year is saying the Cubs are shopping Tom Gorzelanny "aggressively". I think in rumor speak that means Hendry called at least 2 other GM's.

- Hendry met with Scott Boras last night and brought his muscle with him, Greg Maddux. It's assumed they chatted about Carlos Pena, but don't forget Xavier Nady is his client too. I thought I'd put that thought in your head....Merry 'Effin Christmas!

- The same article says Cubs also have Adam LaRoche and Lyle Overbay on their radar.

- Brandon Webb is being courted by the Nats, Cubs and Pirates. The Cubs have been in talks with the Blue Jays, Rangers and Reds as well with only Chris Davis's name being mentioned.

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Comments

Nats, Cubs, and Pirates

One of these things is not like the others.

(Hopefully.)

Are you referring to the one which is signing big-dollar free agents this year?

That Jayson Werth signing almost makes the Soriano signing credible.

...but not quite

From the Levine chat:

Bruce Levine: There are some rumors out there about teams looking at Gorzelanny. But until Hendry knows he can get another pitcher I don't think he can trade his only left-handed option in the rotation. The Cubs are also looking at relief pitchers with Texas and Toronto. Jason Frasor's name has come up in talks again.

Not sure why Toronto would deal Jason Frasor unless the deal knocked their socks off. They lost 2 other late inning relievers to free agency.

Frasor's a Type A free agent, unless my memory is slipping.

Frasor accepted arbitration I thought?

He did.

my bad. I forgot.

Fraser signed a new deal. Accepted arb and I think signed a new deal. But now that I think of it, he can't be traded until June 1st, correct, AZ Phil?

That's the same situation the Reds were in with Dunn a couple of years ago. It doesn't matter if the guy is your own free agent, if you resign him you can't deal him until June 1st of the following season (or some lame minor league salary exchange). Maybe the arbitration part KO's the rule?

Submitted by Paul Noce on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 8:55pm.
Fraser signed a new deal. Accepted arb and I think signed a new deal. But now that I think of it, he can't be traded until June 1st, correct, AZ Phil?

That's the same situation the Reds were in with Dunn a couple of years ago. It doesn't matter if the guy is your own free agent, if you resign him you can't deal him until June 1st of the following season (or some lame minor league salary exchange). Maybe the arbitration part KO's the rule?

================================================

PAUL N: Jason Frasor (TOR) and Frank Francisco (TEX) were the two Article XX-B MLB free-agents who accepted salary arbitration offers last month, so they would have "no trade" rights through June 15th. Note that I mentioned Francisco as a possible target of the Cubs in a Gorzelanny trade, but upon further review that could only happen if Francisco waives his "no trade." (The restriction on trading an Article XX-B MLB FA prior to June 15th for a player contract and/or cash with a maximum aggregate value of $50,000 would not apply to a deal involving Gorzelanny until Gorzelanny signs a 2011 contract).

A couple of other things that happen when an Article XX-B MLB FA accepts a salary arbitration offer:

1. Unlike other players eligible for salary arbitration, the player is not tendered a contract on 12/2. Instead the player and the club just go directly to salary arbitration, exchanging figures during a ten-day period that commences on January 5th. (However, nothing prevents the player and his club from negotiating right along, and in fact the player and the club might ultimately agree on a multi-year deal before it ever gets to the point where the player and the club officially exchange figures, and if an agreement is reached prior to January 5th, the player would just withdraw from arbitration, which the player can do at any time).

2. The maximum 20% cut rule does not apply to salaries offered by a club to an Article XX-B MLB free-agent who accepts a club's offer of salary arbitration. For example, the Jays could offer Frasor the MLB minimum salary if they wish (not that he would accept it). But if Frasor asked for some goofy unreal salary like $10M, and the Jays offered $1M, the Jays would probably win in arbitration, even though Frasor made $2.6M last season and $1M would be more than a 20% salary reduction.

Bruce Levine: Yes, Texas wants R Chirronos, a hard-hitting 27-year-old catcher. The Cubs and Texas are looking to expand the deal where it would be Chirrinos and a pitcher going to the Rangers for Davis and a pitcher, a reliever off the big-league staff. That deal is still being explored by both sides.

why in the hell does TX need another catcher? just saying...

And why not let Chirronos play first based for the Cubs? He's gonna hit better than Davis.

r.chin's valuable off the bench...good catcher D...2nd/3rd capable.

boring power, though.

Another guy asks if the money the Cubs are saving on Lou being gone is going towards the payroll. Levine responds that they are saving about $3 mil replacing Lou with Quade, and another 300k replacing Rothschild with Riggans, but the money certainly doesn't appear to be going towards payroll.

I'll add that the advertising revenue Ricketts repeatedly promised would go into the team obviously isn't, either. Nice FUCKING Noodle. And all the other B.S. ads all over the inside and outside of the park. Not a penny going towards payroll, it's all going to Ricketts. It's his prerogative to do it (Bobby Brown), but don't lie about it.

Submitted by QuietMan on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 11:26am.
Bruce Levine: Yes, Texas wants R Chirronos, a hard-hitting 27-year-old catcher. The Cubs and Texas are looking to expand the deal where it would be Chirrinos and a pitcher going to the Rangers for Davis and a pitcher, a reliever off the big-league staff. That deal is still being explored by both sides.

=======================================================

Q-MAN: Maybe Tom Gorzelanny and Robinson Chirinos for Frank Francisco and Chris Davis, and then move Andrew Cashner to the starting rotation if the Cubs sign Brandon Webb but he isn't ready at the start of the season.

C. Davis does have a minor league option left if it turns out Soto can't throw well enough to be a catcher at the start of the season and has to play 1B for a while, and then a Soto/C, Davis (or Colvin) platoon at 1B once Soto is able to catch to keep Soto's bat in the lineup on days he's not catching.

C. Davis also plays 3B, so if anything happens to Ramirez the Cubs could go with a Baker/C. Davis platoon at 3B.

The biggest concern with Chris Davis is the extremely high K-rate, and he doesn't take a lot of walks either. He will leave a lot of runners stranded on the bases when he's in the lineup. RBI ground outs and Sac flies be damned.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

"that led first to an announcement in July that he planned to retire after the season and then eventually to the heart-wrenching decision, at the suggestion of the team, three weeks later to leave for home in Tampa to care for his ailing mother."

I always assumed the team told to f' off.

IMO, he quit May 2009

Said Piniella: ‘‘Look, it was time to go home. I needed to be home, and the team wasn’t playing well, so I just came home and did what I had to do.

‘‘I didn’t quit on anything. It hurt me more than anything else. We didn’t play well, and it hurt me. I take that personally. I don’t make excuses or anything else, but it hurts to lose, and it hurt me.’

adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn adam dunn

This is just another example of why the media sucks. Leave the guy alone, there's more important things to do than try to stir up shit that doesn't exist.

at least they did it with direct quotes rather than taking a single quote or an indirect quote and running with it...

woo offseason.

the guy who quit 2 other teams didn't quit a 3rd?

good for him.

I mean, what am I supposed to do, construct a lineup that maximizes how many runs we score? That's not my job. My job is to do what I did two years ago, then come in here and act like a petulant child for 10 minutes before going home to watch reruns of Riptide. If we had Raul Ibanez this year we would have been in the World Series!

My point is the guy left to take care of his ill mother. I can sympathize with that, doing the same thing now with my dad. To start ripping him for quitting when he didn't quit is immature.

To criticize him for his managing performance is a different story. He didn't do well here, especially the last couple of years, but the reason he left should be above criticism. Anyone would have done the exact same thing if they had a sick parent/child/spouse, etc.

I think it depends on the parent/spouse.

Just saying.

Cubs now looking at LaRoche, about time.

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6270...

aside from konerko or dunn this would be my #1 choice...hopefully 2 years or less.

I think I'd prefer him to Konerko. Last year sure seemed like a contract push for a 35 year old first basemen.

Bruce Miles comments from his blog:

Unless something has changed, like Boras overpricing Pena, I'm not so sure about this report. The Cubs have not liked LaRoche all that much during this off-season. I'd almost think they'd rather try Colvin at first than sign LaRoche. Let's see how the day pans out, but the Cubs people I talked to seemed surprised by this.

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 15:52

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4958#comments

it might be pushed by WAS making a huge move on Pena and people jumping to conclusions if it's a true surprise.

Levine on the radio...

Ignore the LaRoche talk. Cubs going hard after Pena. Talking 2 yr. deal possible option for 3rd year.

Detroit interested in Gorzelanny.

Asked about Paul Sullivan report of 15-20% payroll reduction, says not true.

ouch ... i'm not as against Carlos Pena as others ... but possible option for a 3rd? I can live with 2 years for whichever first baseman we sign (if we sign one), as it's to be expected in some respects. The guy could potentially serve as an expensive bench bat in the 2nd year. Option for a 3rd would suck, though.

as I said, can't imagine a 3rd year player option would ever get approved by the Cubs. A club option with a $1M buyout at best, just because I think they're giving Hendry and Quade 2 years and clearing the deck as much as possible past that.

mike quade on mlb network live from winter meetings:

"it's nice to be here and not looking for a job."

wtf is gary sheffield doing at winter meetings?

-edit-

and someone finally sticks a mic in his face...

he's there talking to young players about not blowing through all your loot...who brought him there to do it, i dunno.

he's also "not officially retired" and claims he "could have played last year"

he also says he's not at the meetings looking for a job.

Can Sheff play first?? (*ducks)

I as well saw Quade being interviewed on MLB.

The scroller reminded me how shitty we played last year against the Pirates, Reds and Astros. 5-15 against the Bucs?!!

He seems like a good fit for the shit he will be dealt this year. In other words, patient, knows the youngsters, and seemingly a smart man - who has reached a career pinnacle.

via paul sulivan's twittuh...

"Baseball Writers Association votes down proposal to add "Jerome Holtzman Award" for top relievers in AL, NL."

I predict the biggest announcement of an off season acquisition for the Cubs will be who replaces Ronnie in the radio booth.

not even worth posting cause it's the same ol' shit, but Nats and Cubs both like Pena, both want a defender at 1b according to Heyman

ye gods, bidding wars for guys who hit .196...as for santo's replacement, surely there's no way that dave otto gets serious consideration, right?

bring back howard johnson

Isn't Joe Morgan available?

nobody drawled 'ho jo johnson' quite like harry...

lou pinella on mlb hot stove live in a few minutes...

he's lost a little bit of weight and he thought chicago was a nice city.

Santo funeral procession ending at Wrigley

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/12/...

White Sox looking to move Mark Teahen? (Scot Gregor, Daily Herald)

"Now, he has to figure out a way to move Mark Teahen, who has nowhere to play.
Teahen is owed $4.75 million this season and $5.5 million in 2012.
Even if the Sox have to eat most of that money, they can save enough to add at least one quality bullpen arm."

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4960

I mention it here because Hendry has looked to acquire him in the past. Is he a fit now??

Don't know about his fielding, but he's as versatile as Baker and hits better (assuming a return to form). Will be only 29 in 2011.

Oh GOD NO!!

Not Tehan!!

Move along!

http://ozzie.mlblogs.com/

That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

Percentage ghostwritten: 98%

97% of that is getting rid of the expletives.

I don't know much about Pena, quite honestly, but he has a very strange career line. A .241 average, a .351 OBP, which is really pretty good -- he gets a ton of walks, and an .841 OPS. So I guess when he isn't striking out, he's smacking the shit out of the ball or guys are working around him. He sounds like a fun addition to Project .500.

an immensely talented player that couldn't put it together for 4 different organizations before going nuts in Tampa in 2007. He had very good years in 2008 and 2009, but was brutal last year.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/spl...

It was more like good April, terrifying May, great June, decent July/August, terrifying September.

K's a lot, walks a lot, hits homers, suppose to play good defense and supposedly good clubhouse guy.

No idea what the market is for him to be honest. I can imagine Cubs doing something like 2/15 with the 2nd year backloaded (maybe 5 the first, 10 the second). My guess is they're haggling over a 3rd year option at the moment which I have a feeling Ricketts is not gonna approve unless it's a club option.

Cliff Lee allegedly with two, 7-year/$20M per year offers on the table.

Wow, what an albatross of a contract that will be in about 3 years, unless he pulls a Jamie Moyer out of his hat.

"Brandon Webb's arm surgeron is at winter meetings assuring teams that Webb will perform "at a high level" this coming season."

ha.

And four out of five dentists recommend chewing Trident.

How much is Webb paying the doc to be at the meetings?

I'm thinking that since he's a surgeon, he's asking for a cut.

boooooo

Hi everybody!!!

Hiiii Dr. Nick!!!

updated Rangers/Cubs rumor up top

chris davis...

it will be neat to see 120 games of colvin at 1st next year. go colvin.

FREE BOBBY SCALES!

my guess is Davis is a long-term project/back-up plan.

I think they'd still go after Pena or LaRoche or someone else.

They do need a 3b men after this season and he'll be 25 entering 2011.

Perhaps Bruce Miles is out of the Davis O'Day loop:

No info
A Cubs person seemed surprised to hear this as did somebody close to the Rangers.

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 19:29

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4958

Or there's nothing to it.

*edit* Saw on a couple of message boards that Rafael Dolis is the other Cub involved. But no source on that.

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/profe...

don't see specifics though...

-edit- $3.3M apparently

I've got no problem with players going to 'the enemy", but pandering to a new team's fans by slapping your old team in the face is just douchey. I hope he sucks...um, more.

thanks for the updates today (not so)QuietMan

Crash Davis Award winner and long-time minor league slugging 3B Scott McClain has retired and will be a U. S. scout for the Hiroshima Carp (NPB). McClain played for the Carp in 2009.

After spending four seasons with the Seibu Lions in Japan, McClain had an absolutely outrageous Spring Training with the Cubs in 2005, hitting six HR in Cactus League action. All that got him was a ticket to Iowa (where he hit 30 HR), but at least he did get a "cup of coffee" with the Cubs later that season (13 games in September).

Now 38 years old, McClain hit a total of 365 HR in 20 profesional seasons (292 HR in 1783 minor league games, 71 HR in 268 games over the course of five seasons in Japan, and two HR in 44 MLB games with TB, Cubs, and SF).

McClain spent the 2010 season on the Iowa Cubs DL while rehabbing from post-2009 knee surgery, but was never able to get into playing shape so he wound up spending most of the season as a coach at Fitch Park.

"U. S. scout for the Hiroshima Carp (NPB)"

holy crap. what's that pay? meal money + travel/hotel?

Submitted by crunch on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 8:09pm.
"U. S. scout for the Hiroshima Carp (NPB)"

holy crap. what's that pay? meal money + travel/hotel?

===============================================

CRUNCH: He gets a 10% off appetizer discount at Benihana.

All the radioactive carp you can eat.

Shitty, didn't we like him, and the idea of him playing/coaching for us??

On a side note, is there really a Crash Davis award?!?! (I love it!)

Friend who knows Gorz said he TG was told he is going to the Rangers for Chris Davis and Darren O'Day. It could be bigger, that is just what the friend heard.

I suppose that would mean Gorz/Chirinos for Davis/O'Day.

Works for me assuming they're still going after Pena or LaRoche and a starting pitcher.

Agree. Link/source? (Or is it your friend that knows Gorz?)

yeah, I was piecing together the other reports and springs friend.

it's all speculation until Ken Rosenthal approves.

no harm no foul, I was mostly trying to interpret springs' post "out loud". (at which point I re-read and decided it was springs' friend)

I'm forever sorry sir, don't banish me........... ;-)

if that's the deal ... I'm decidedly eh about it. I like the idea of gambling on Chris Davis. that said, O'day's a middle reliever, trading Gorz likely means we go after a starter and the chances of us signing a guy better than Gorz is ... iffy. I'd also prefer keeping Chirinos around.

http://twitter.com/JeffWilson_FWST/status/123...

Cubs don't want to "part with much" for Davis.

smartest thing ive heard out of the cubs rumor camp all day...

And...courtesy of AOLFanhouse:

Its down to the Yankees or Rangers (minor league) for the Silent Towel I

http://twitter.com/tomkrasovic/status/1234031...

Bruce Levine was just on the radio. He says the Cubs are "very close to getting a deal done" with Carlos Pena. He speculated 2 yrs. $14 million with a vesting option or team option for a 3rd yr. Backloaded deal, of course.

Said the Tigers were talking Armando Galarraga for Gorzelanny.

The Cubs team doctor is checking out the medical reports on Webb.

He mentioned Davis too. My interpretation of what he said is that's a fall back plan to Pena. And LaRoche would be a fallback plan to that.

Again, radio report.

Eh ... Galarraga may be more consistent than Gorzelanny, but I don't see the point of that trade.

Why the hell would we want any part of Carlos Pena at age 32? and on a 2 year deal? Are we supposed to be good over the next 2 years?

Take your chances on Chris Davis...he is more than likely able to match Pena's power and average which isn't saying much. And if he actually improves he will only be 26 and not 34. And if a 26-27 year old minor league catcher is holding this us up....well good grief, what a joke.

Carlos Pena has an odd history in pro ball.

1st round pick of the Texas Rangers in 1998, then was traded to Oakland in a six-player deal in January 2002 where Ryan Ludwick and Gerald Laird went to Texas, then was traded again (this time to Detroit) in July 2002 along with Jeremy Bonderman in a six-player deal where Ted Lilly went to Oakland.

By 2006 Pena was so bad that he was released (not outrighted, released) by the Tigers at the end of Spring Training, was signed by the Yankees to a minor league contract and then got released off the AAA Columbus roster in July, then was signed to a minor league contract by the Red Sox in August and got brought up to Boston at the end of the season before getting outrighted to AAA after the season, then became a 6Y minor league FA, signed a minor league contract with Tampa Bay, got an NRI to ST 2007, did not make the Rays out of Spring Training, was sent to minor league camp, and then finally got called up (to stay, as it turned out) in April.

Pena proceeded to have a career year with Tampa Bay in 2007 (282/411/627 with 46 HR and 121 RBI), which netted him a three-year contract covering 2008-10 that bought out his last two arbitration years and first year of free-agency, during which time he has steadily declined to the point where he was when he got released by DET/NYY/BOS in 2006.

Why the Cubs would give him a multi-year deal at age 32, I do not know. There are red flags all over the place with Carlos Pena.

From Carrie Muskat...

"The Cubs may have found their next first baseman in Carlos Pena.

The Cubs continued discussions late Tuesday at the Winter Meetings with representatives for the free agent, and the team expected to hear more early Wednesday. A source told MLB.com the two sides had finalized a one-year contract, but a team official said it was too early to say the deal was done."

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

1 year $10 Million

http://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/123926...

3 things to take from it...

1- yow, 10m for a 7-8m talent?
2- why only 1 year? 2012 plans?
3- 10m on pena blown in 1 year rather than a 2 year deal where the money brunt can be backloaded...what's next if money really is super tight?

i still don't get overpaying this much and i don't understand how the team can throw an 2-3 extra million around without subtracting it elsewhere... *shrug*

My guess is that Pena and Co. were willing to take the deferred money that Berkman wasn't and the Cubs value him higher.

could be wrong though...

would solve a couple of my main issues i have with it, though...and makes sense.

2012 should be interesting if this is a 1 year deal.

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