Winter Meetings 2008 Day 1
Bumping this back up top as I think we all know that they've crushed Santo's little heart again.
10:34 PM CST UPDATE: Bruce Levine was on ESPN-1000 AM, from his hotel room (soaking his feet) at the Bellagio. All he added was that any Jake Peavy deal might include either the Orioles or Marlins as the additional teams to make the deal happen but he didn't sound like he had info that was recently updated on this. --Cubster
10:04 PM CST UPDATE: Corey Brock on mlb.com says the Peavy trade legwork is done. "There's a package there that will satisfy us. There's a deal in the way of names. It comes down to does Jim (Hendry) have the wherewithall to make it happen?" said Towers. It could be as extensive as a 3 or 4 team transaction possibly including one or both of the Phillies/Orioles. Not much in terms of specific names other than Peavy but at least there are some quotes from Kevin Towers that sound like a transaction is possible, at least meeting the Padres threshold for a deal. --Cubster
8:53 PM CST UPDATE: Last one before I call it a day, Scott Miller at CBS also talks about the Phils being involved in the Peavy talks. Miller says Vitters, Hart and possibly Marquis would go to the Padres with Phillies prospect, J.A. Happ going as well and possibly catcher Chris Coste. What the Phils would get is unclear, although they do apparently like Mark DeRosa and are interested in an established veteran starting pitcher which makes you wonder if Miller misheard about Marquis going to the Padres instead of the Phils in this deal.
Miller states the obvious that the Padres wouldn't be thrilled with getting Marquis in the deal but the Cubs would have to pay almost half the contract and I assume the Padres would look to move him eventually. The Padres and Cubs have also talked about Cedeno and Angel Guzman and Miller says the Cubs are "leaning against" moving Sean Marshall.
8:27 PM CST UPDATE: More from Stark that the Padres are only talking to the Cubs and that progress needs to be made by Thursday or Towers is pulling the plug. Stark mentions it possibly ending up being a three-team, 10-player "extravaganza".
7:55 PM CST UPDATE: ESPN saying the Cubs met with Milton Bradley on Sunday.
6:53 PM CST UPDATE: Rosenthal says the Phillies "have emerged" as the possible third team in the Peavy to Cubs trade talks.
The Denver Post says the Rockies don't have the cash to trade for Marquis.
5:49 PM CST UPDATE: O's are interested in Felix Pie and if I read it correctly, it sounds like the Cubs will only trade him for Garrett Olson if they can immediately flip Olson as part of the deal for Jake Peavy. As has been discussed, Lou isn't too keen on Pie's strike zone judgment.
5:33 PM CST UPDATE Lou is in Vegas apparently, showing off that he's still got his pulse on the game asking a group of Seattle reporters if Ibanez can play right field? Shouldn't Lou be answering that question? Lou seemed intrigued that J.J. Putz is only making $5.5M next season.
5:00 PM CST UPDATE: MLB Hot Stove Blog also talks about the Rockies, Marquis and Jeff Baker and makes it sounds like there isn't much of a match at the moment.
3:25 PM CST UPDATE: I'm making a bit of an assumption here, but Miles in the comments on his blog seems to be indicating that the Rockies want to move outfielder Jeff Baker for Jason Marquis, but the Cubs aren't interested in that.
3:16 PM CST UPDATE: The Sun-Sentinel says the Cubs and Marlins haven't talked about Hermida in "quite a while".
3:00 PM CST UPDATE: Pretty much the same story at the offical MLB Hot Stove Blog that Rosenthal was saying. It's the Cubs or bust and if Towers isn't certain by Thursday that a deal will get done, he's pulling Peavy off the block.
2:43 PM CST UPDATE: Rosenthal has a quote from Towers saying the Cubs are the only team the Padres are talking to about Peavy. There was a brief conversation with the Dodgers that didn't go anywhere. Towers says he should know by the end of the meetings if a deal will get done or whether to drop it. Towers repeats that Peavy does not have to be moved.
2:13 PM CST UPDATE: Stark is back and says the Cubs have checked in on all four left-handed hitting corner outfielders (Dunn, Abreu, Ibanez and Bradley) and that Ibanez and Abreu are higher up on the Cubs' wish list. Funny that Dunn and Bradley would be the two that would be on top of my wish list. He also says the Marlins want more than prospects for Hermida and it's unclear if the Cubs would be willing to deal from the major league roster.
Stark also has a source saying that the interest for Marquis has been barely a "nibble" . The Cubs have relayed to teams and agents that they could add payroll now with the understanding that they would subtract some later, rather then the reports that they had to move money first before acquiring anyone.
1:49 PM CST UPDATE: Tigres interested in Kerry Wood as well.
12:36 PM CST UPDATE: Jon Heyman mentions that Towers envisions a way to get the deal done with just the Cubs and Padres.
12:15 PM CST UPDATE: Ron Santo didn't make it, but some Yankee named Joe Gordon did who was on the pre-1943 ballot. Santo was on the 1943-1987 ballot and received just 60.9%(75% was needed) of the vote. I think that was his last hurrah, sadly. Cubnut has a post above if you want to chime in on this one.
12:10 CST UPDATE: Bruce Miles weighs in and says that Fontenot is really not available and the Cubs would like three lefties in the lineup on most days. He says Ronny Cedeno is definitely a trade candidate and possibly a non-tender candidate. The only other bit of news is that the Padres are worried about some hand/wrist issues with Vitters.
- Phil Rogers also mentions the Cubs offering Marquis to the Mets.
- Jayson Stark thinks there is zero chance Peavy will get dealt by the end of the meetings. He also mentions the Cubs need to move some contracts before adding any and throws out Jeremy Hermida/Cubs interest as well.
- Listening to XM radio this morning, I believe it was Peter Pasquarelli saying that Bobby Abreu would be a good fit for the Cubs lineup but that he has been noticeably skittish going back on baseballs and worrying about running into the wall. That can't possibly be a good thing with Wrigley and the brick. He also said he's heard that Milton Bradley's knee is quite better and could let him play 100-110 games in the outfield.
- Rays might be having some talks about Hermida and there have been no indications that they've been involved as the third team in the Peavy/Cubs deal according to the St. Petersburg Times.
10:11 AM CST UPDATE: Always reliable reader, "jacos" relays a radio report from Bruce Levine that the Cubs are trying to pawn Jason Marquis to the Mets or Royals. Off to the commute, be back in a couple of hours.
9:56 AM CST UPDATE: Will Ron Santo get the call today? One site is saying him, Dick Allen and Joe Torre have made it. Official announcement is at noon CST.
9:42 AM CST UPDATE: Wittenmeyer says their is a buzz the deal will get done today, indicating the five Cubs are Marshall, Hart, Vitters, Pie and Cedeno and a deal is already in place for Felix Pie to the O's for Garrett Olsen.
He also say Jeremy Hermida and free agent Milton Bradley are high on the Cubs wish list and that the Cubs discussed Khalil Greene with the Padres before he was moved to St. Louis.
- A story on how Towers enjoys dealing with Hendry and that Hendry has already steered him away from one prospect with possible injury issues.
- Rosenthal says the Cubs may look into Rich Aurilia if they move Ronny Cedeno or Mike Fontenot.
- Roch Kubatko in Baltimore says their is a buzz that a deal for Peavy will get done today, although he neglects to mention the Cubs in the article.
- Mets and particulary the Texas Rangers want in on Kerry Wood.
I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date on the Cubs rumors floating around today and the rest of the Winter Meetings.
To start you off, Bruce Miles says Raul Ibanez, Bobby Abreu and Milton Bradley are on the Cubs' radar. He reiterates that Marquis is most definitely on the trading block and Jake Peavy is still very much on the table.
- BP floats a "wild rumor" that the Rays are the third team involved in the Padres/Cubs trade talks. It involves Brian Giles going to the Rays apparently and probably a séance and some animal sacrifice as well. The writer says the O's want Pie and Cedeno if they're going to be the third team and that the Padres seem intent to get five players in the deal. If five players is all they need, may I suggest Rich Hill, Ronny Cedeno, Donald Veal, Ryan Harvey and Mark Holliman. Phil Rogers would consider that a great deal.
- Same BP article says Kerry Wood may make an appearance at some point in Vegas.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune says the framework of a 5-for-1 deal is in place and Padres are "confident" that they can get Sean Marshall, Josh Vitters and Kevin Hart in a deal, then the elusive extra pitcher from a third organization and possibly Cedeno as the 5th player.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!