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.
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.