Cubs Hot Stove Round-Up

Baseball's fourth season is about to warm up and I'll try and summarize all the gossip every couple of days.

- Ken Rosenthal says that Ryan Dempster won't sign with the Cubs before the Cubs exclusive negotiating window closes on November 13th. A rather wise move by him and his agent. There's no reason not to test the waters and see what is actually available for him as rival teams cannot discuss money over the next two weeks. He still may very well sign with the Cubs on a hometown discount, but that discount will be based on what the prevailing market is offering. Rosenthal speculates a four year deal for Dempster with the Cubs interested in three years. Rosenthal also speculates that if the Cubs cannot resign Dempster, they'll up their efforts on Jake Peavy, which sounds like a grand plan to me.

- Bruce Miles at The Daily Herald says Jim Hendry is ready for the GM meetings this week.

"This isn't a club that needs an overhaul," Hendry
insisted. "It's a 97-win club that just played very poorly for three
games in the postseason. When things settle in and a few weeks go by,
it's not like you need 15 new guys.

"You want to add three or four more guys or shuffle the
deck a little bit. It's the nature of the game. You make roster
changes. People come, people go. It's certainly not an overhaul club.
It's just a club that our goal is to make it better than it was at the
end of the regular season and get ready to take another shot at it."

Miles also suggest that the Cubs are more interested in bringing Kerry Wood back on a one-year deal with a couple of option years. It's likely that Kerry will get some guaranteed multi-year offers though, so we'll see how deep that Cubbie blood runs in Kerry.

- The Trib's Paul Sullivan reports the Cubs have fired Kosuke Fukudome's translator in hopes of finding someone who jells better with him, which I read as "has a better understanding of where the good strip clubs are in each city". Sullivan also guesses that if Fukudome is indeed moved to center field, either Felix Pie's days as a Cub are numbered or they'll find a leadoff hitting second basemen and move DeRosa to right field. The only leadofff hitting second basemen that go from the left side that I can think of are Brian Roberts, Chone Figgins and Akinori Iwamura, unless someone thinks Orlando Hudson is up for the job. I know Brian Roberts will be a hot topic again this offseason, but Andy McPhail did recently mention they'd like to extend him and I'm not sure Figgins or Iwamura will be available either.




Cubs futility sign updated on Sheffield-

I understand the concerns about Peavy's health, but it's amazing how reactionary baseball can be. A year ago, an exchange of Dempster for Peavy would have been unthinkable, but now, there are those among us that would rather lock up Dempster.

It's Jake freaking Peavy. The field is clear for the Cubs to make a move, and Towers is ready to deal NOW. Unload the farm system, get your draft picks for Demp and move forward to position players.

You don't think having 60% of the rotation filled by guys with a history of shoulder problems would be like the 2005-2006 days?

Yeah, it's a concern. But you're talking about three aces in the prime of their careers, none of whom have had major shoulder problems. Dempster, on the other hand, has had major elbow problems and is also several years older.

I'd be thrilled if Dempster returns, but if given the choice, I'd prefer Peavy. Hell, I'd prefer both of them to Marquis, but that's probably a pipe dream.

Well, Peavy's got elbow and shoulder problems. Elbow problems = TJ surgery and out for a year. Shoulder problems = Mark Prior.

I think if we trade for Peavy, that Harden should be part of the deal, maybe a three way trade to get a high end prospect. Otherwise it's just too much boom or bust for the rotation.

The other concern is Peavy isn't quite making FA money in 2009, but trading for him will approximate a big dollar signing. Dempster made what, $6.5 last year? Peavy is scheduled to make almost twice that.

Rotation of:
Zambrano $17.75
Peavy $11
Lilly $12
Marquis $9.75
Harden $7

: is a lot of cash ($59.5 million). Hendry will probably back load Dempster's contract. If Harden and/or Marquis go in trades, then there's a little more wiggle room for Peavy. Having Dempster and Peavy - don't see how that could work out after 2009, that would be like $60 million just for the top 4 guys.

At the end of the day, though, I'd prefer a rotation with the safe and steady guys over the high risk/reward guys.

At least with Peavy you know your getting a guy who will be good if healthy, with Dempster you dont know if this year was a fluke. some of Peavy's arm troubles could have very well been not wanting to risk pitching for a bad team during a dead arm period.

Peavy had a 99 ERA+ in 2006. For reference that's the same number Jason Marquis put up this year. For whatever reason, he gave up a lot of HR's that year.

fwiw, this guy has a rundown of Peavy's injury history

forearm, elbow and shoulder tendonitis...

no structural damage in his last MRI, but whatever..

Cards interested in Renteria, Fuentes

Brewers pick up Cameron's $10MM option and have or will offer CC 4/110

Nats interested in Adam Dunn


That's an obscene amount of money for a team with an $81M payroll.

" . . . either Felix Pie's days as a Cub are numbered or they'll find a leadoff hitting second basemen and move DeRosa to right field."

Rob, that EITHER/OR was AND in Sullivan's piece.

well thank god that's saved the Internet.

BB is on the 'list' of guys to be looked over for the Mariners' job.

The Orioles are wanting to dump Ramon Hernandez, I wonder if by offering to take him and part of his salary if we could get Roberts a bit cheaper.

Maybe we can take all the salary and get Markakis too? Har.

I don't think this will surprise anybody, but...

"Re-signing Dempster and Wood are Hendry's priorities, but he also is expected to seek a new leadoff man to push Soriano down in the order, a new right fielder to push Fukudome into a platoon role and middle relief help from both the left and right sides."

that's the same link in the post...

Take this as with a grain of salt:

Heard this from Simone Adamle:

but I heard that Hendry was playing golf with Kevin Towers about a possible trade for Peavy. Names brought up were Pie, Marshall, Ronnie Cedeno.

Allegedly this came from WMVP Chicago

If it was those three and only those three, all I gotta say is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

but I heard that Hendry was playing golf with Kevin Towers...

right, and after the round of golf they are going to #22's house for cookies and milk.

i stated my source

I've heard the speculation was Towers wants 4 players back from all teams he's talking with, including those 3 rumored - Marshall, Pie, Cedeno and apparently he wants Jose Ceda back as well. If the Padres do indeed want Cedeno then I'd be willing to bet Towers would make Hendry take K.Greene and his full contract in the deal as well.

also the Yankees signed Sergio Mitre

first link in the comments is a story about what Towers is looking for....


I'll confirm Chad's source -- I heard Bruce Levine report that the Pads are interested in a Marshall/Pie/Cedeno/Ceda package.

that would be beyond awesome...but I don't buy it

Apparently that may have been what the Cubs offered. Not gonna do it, Jim.

I am sure AZ Phil was all over this, but for anyone else who missed it, sounds like the Cubs got a 2ndish and 6this rounder out of Korea recently.

Rotoworld saying the Cubs traded nonprospect, RHP Matt Avery to the Nats for Brian Buchter, LHP non-prospect. At least our non-prospect is 21 (Avery is 25).

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Ain't the GM meetings fun!

Hendry feels Hoffpauir may help-

Dempster could be attractive to the NY teams-

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.