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.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.
it's been a while since joe's over-managed a game...it's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.
Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.
barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.
Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?