Cub Fans May Have Tribune Company to Kick Around Some More

Two developments on the ownership front:

As reported by Chris de Luca in the Sun-Times and noted by a reader under the previous post, there is z-e-r-o chance that MLB owners will approve beer-drinkin' regular guy/billionaire Mark Cuban as the next owner of the Cubs. According to de Luca, this seems to place "the group headed by John Canning, Jr.—(Commissioner Bud) Selig's personal favorite—back as the frontrunner."

On a related note, Friday's Wall Street Journal reports that Tribune Company may retain 50% ownership of the team anyway.

In recent weeks, an early plan to sell a 95% stake has fallen to about
half as suitors' ability to buy the team and its landmark stadium on
Chicago's North Side waned, according to two people involved in the
negotiations. On Thursday, bidders were preparing to receive a request
to submit new purchase proposals with financing details, those people

The shift in strategy is a result of the tight credit market and a
heightening fear that few, if any bidders, would be able to complete a
transaction once valued at more than $1 billion. Under the new
scenario, the windfall to Tribune would be far less.

"This will still generate substantial cash," said one person with
knowledge of the sales process. "We're talking hundreds of millions of

While the Cubs and Padres dance around a possible deal for Jake Peavy, there was another bit of Padres news this week that is very loosely connected to the Cubs.

Matt Vasgersian, who has done TV play-by-play for the Pads since 2002, is leaving San Diego for the job of lead studio host with MLB Network. Vasgersian, who worked Brewers games before heading west, was mentioned as a candidate for the Cubs job when Chip Caray left and was ultimately replaced by Lenny Kasper.

The greater connection between Vasgersian and the Cubs, however, lies in the fact that it was Vasgersian on the mic during a Padres game in May, 2006, when former Cub great Rick Sutcliffe stumbled into the booth (literally) and made his infamous drunken cameo appearance. (Kudos to Gaslamp Ball for retaining this unforgettable piece of baseball history.)



Sorry, I messed up the link to the Sutcliffe audio initially, but you should be able to hear it all of its drunken glory.

You remember that?


I heard Cuban was close to closing on some property in the northern burbs. Perhaps that's just a tool of his to show Selig that he's going to be around.

Someone may have posted this already but these are the Cubs minor leaguers who filed for free agency yesterday.

Mike Burns (AAA)
Hector Carrasco (AAA)
Adam Harben (AAA)
Billy Petrick (AAA)
Carmen Pignatiello (AAA)
Jason Stanford (AAA)
Matt Craig (AAA)
Robinson Chirinos (A)
Bobby Scales (AAA)
Andres Blanco (AAA)
Luis Figueroa (AAA)
Doug Deeds (AA)
Jason Dubois (AAA)
Josh Kroeger (AAA)
Andres Torres (AAA)

I wonder if AZ Phil can tell us who of these guys he thinks the Cubs should be most interested in bringing back.

I'd think Kroeger, Andres Blanco, Carmen Pignatiello, and Billy Petrick would be toward the top of that list.

I'm sure at least a few of those guys will be back as that was essentially half of the Iowa roster. Piggy and Petrick probably at the top of the list. Kroeger may want to go somewhere where he'll at least get a shot to break as a 4th/5th OFer.

Doesn't Zell have some ownership in the WSux? If a sale doesn't happen soon or if Tribune retains 50% of the Cubs, Isn't it time for them (who ever the powers that deal with this stuff) to force Zell to get off the conflict of interest throne.

Of course, if I'm getting my conflicts wrong then nevermind.

Latoya Hawkins signs 1 year deal with Asstros.

So much for 2009... guess Hendry will have to build for an eye on contending in 2010.

I wouldn't give up just yet. Greg Maddux is still out there, and he would make a great converted closer. Bullpen problems solved!!

Recent comments

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  • I'm guessing 3/30 and all the two foot long hot dogs you can eat didn't work

  • Yes! In a 12-way tie for first!

  • Shit.

    Blew my prediction! I had them signing Zimmerman and trading for another arm.

  • Damn wanted Zimmermann

  • Yeah, this market. Remember when Ted Lilly signed a 4/$40m with the Cubs? It was like "Well, I guess if you can throw a ball, that's what the 3 and 4 starters are all getting." I'm glad I'm not a GM. Of course, they're spending our money...

  • in this market that seems like a decent deal relative to the market.

    given that d.price will probably get 30m-ish a year, 22m for 29yo zimm doesn't seem bad. i wouldn't complain about him suiting up for the cubs. one less option gone...

  • Zimmermann 5/$110m with Tigers. Youch.

    And the updated predications page:

  • Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA. 

  • CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.

  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  •'re flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing