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.

- Jon Heyman's mea culpa on Peavy to the Cubs talk being on life support. Can't he just admit he got a bad tip instead of saying talks have upgraded?

- 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.

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Comments

Gerald Laird to Tigers for 2 prospects...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8910862/Source:...

Ibanez's intense training regimen

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8874364/Ibanez-...

The Peavy deal must be possible only if Marquis is traded. It seems like, if the Cubs have that one more or less in place, they would go ahead and do the sure thing rather than wait to develop a market for Marquis (not to mention acquire the LH bat). Those things may not happen until January, and by then the market for Peavy and/or Towers might be in completely different places from where they are now.

It's gonna KILL me to watch Vitters develop in SD's system, we've been wanting a young hitting stud to come up through our system for so long now. But honestly, if the 5 players are something like Marshall, Vitters, Pie, Hart and Cedeno, none of those with the exception of Marshall would have a meaningful impact on the 2009 Cubs. Meanwhile, we add the 2007 NL Cy Young winner to the rotation. I can hang with that.

One vote here for Bradley in the RF sweepstakes....

Finally, if Pie and Cedeno are in fact traded as part of a Peavy deal, the Cubs' bench will need some attention. Pie wasn't necessary, but Cedeno was the only guy on the bench that could play something resembling ML quality SS. Hendry will need to find a new utility IF with SS capabilities if Cedeno leaves.

Ne!f!

Looks like the cardinals have patched it up with Adam Kennedy cause they can't find anyone to take him without a big salary dump.

Also some speculation that at one time they were considering getting in on Peavy with Colby Rasmus as their bargaining chip but now are looking elsewhere

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.ns...

He says that until the Mitchell Report, Maddux was "an afterthought" and "considered less than special."

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=256412

Before Roger Clemens became Public Enemy No. 2 behind Barry Bonds, you rarely heard Greg Maddux mentioned as one of the best of his generation, let alone one of the best of all time.

What the hell?

Has this guy even watched baseball over the past 15 years?

it's the ESPN effect...BOS, NYY, NYM...and occasionally barry bonds and his team played some baseball, too.

personally, i just found out this very week there are 24 other teams in baseball.

damn liberal media!

Losing Marquis AND Marshall is a little dangerous since the Cubs need a five and a half man rotation as long as Harden is one of the starters. Thoughts by anyone on who might start five or ten times next season (there's also Z's fragile forearm and brain to consider) and still be serviceable from the pen? I think Marshall was more valuable than he's given credit for by most fans last season.

chad gaudin?

The Shark? Even Guzman. There are options there.

Why would losing Marquis and Marshall be dangerous when its being replaced by Jake Peavy? That doesn't make any sense at all.

Ok lets try and figure it out. We don't get Peavy, so we can maintain some rotation depth in case Zambrano or Harden go down and we can plug in Marquis and Marshall.

Soooo option #1 -- Zambrano/Harden, Dempster, Lilly, Marquis, Marshall

Orrrrr Option #2 -- Zambrano/Harden, Peavy, Dempster, Lilly, Gaudin (or any kind of scrub).

Yeah, when is the first bus out of town for Marquis and Marshall? Because option #2 kicks ass no matter what.

You are completely ignoring the fact that Peavy is a big injury risk, almost as big an injury risk as Harden. We are talking about going back to the days when 40% of our starting rotation was a big question mark. I am not saying that both of these guys will end up like Wood and Prior did, but it does make me uneasy...

Jace, you're overlooking that the essence of Cubbery is to trade your best prospect for a sore-armed pitcher.

Twice in one year will be a first, though.

Jake Peavy has averaged 194 innings in the past 6 (six) seasons. Harden has averaged 107 in the past 5. How can anyone possibly say the two are equal on the injury risk scale?? That's just plain blindness.

No one said that.

Donaldson wasn't our best prospect, either.

Gallagher was our best prospect, or at least the O's and and A's thought so. The A's probably think they got the two best Cub prospects (outside of Vitters) for Harden.

Levine of ESPN 1000 reporting Cubs talking to Mets and KC regarding Marquis.

Hah! I pegged Marquis to the Royals two weeks ago, bully for me! They are thinking of turning Kyle Davies into a reliever, so Marquis would be a good short-term solution for their rotation. We would need to take money back from them (i.e., Teahan), but the Cubs would still be saving some $$ here.

Unfortunately, if its the Mets, I can tell you who Minaya wants the Cubs to take off his hands in exchange for Marquis, and it ain't a pleasant thought. Just say no to that one, Jim.

Given Bradley's history of meltdowns and injuries, why would the Cubs (or anybody else) take a chance on him? I really don't get this at all.

You do know Bradley led the AL in OPS last year, right? When he's healthy, dude can hit. From both sides of the plate.

Yeah, Bradley can hit when he's on the field. But he's thirty years old and has played in 125+ games twice and has exactly one 500 AB season. Plus, he's friggin' crazy--and not in a good way.

This is a little unconventional and wouldn't give us the payroll flexibility we need, but why not just keep Marquis and go with a 6 man rotation? Zambrano and Harden both broke down by the end of the year, and Peavy needs any extra rest he can get as well.

Giving everyone an extra day the whole year is kind of like the Lakers only playing Kobe 30-35 minutes a night to keep him fresh for the playoffs. As long as that 6th guy is more than serviceable (which Marquis definitely is), it's a luxury that won't cost us many games and could help immensely down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Also, when one guy inevitably goes down with an injury you just go back to a 5 man rotation and you don't have to worry about stretching a bullpen guy out or getting someone from AAA to fill in.

"This is a little unconventional and wouldn't give us the payroll flexibility we need"

I think the payroll flexibility is the key. It seems clear that Peavy won't be coming over if Hendry doesn't feel he can dump Marquis and most of his salary.

The Hermida reference from Wittenmeyer is interesting, as there were reports earlier this off-season that Hermida's market value had dropped like a rock due to his diminished production and perceived lack of passion for the game.

If there is any truth to the Peavy rumor, which itself requires moving a chunk of Marquis' salary, we would have $7-8 million max to spend on a LH bat. That would seem to exclude Ibanez and Abreu immediately (even in this FA market), and while Bradley might be available at that price, a lower cost option like Hermida might be more plausible.

If the cubboard is bear now, imagine how it will be afer trading for Peavy and Hermedia.

So, are you advocating keeping the five players, if its the choice of gaining Peavy in the trade? Or "the cubboard" with one MLB useful player of the five? If, indeed, the rumor has truth to it.

If the cubboard is bear now

I like that!

I hadn't even noticed the spelling error on 'bare'. This is what happens when you work for too long with people who think 'u' is a word.

Everyone is an injury risk when you get down to it. You can go out and sign the healthiest player in baseball and by April he is on the DL and out for the year.

Unless your counting on the Nomar's and Bradley's of baseball to play 162 games then your a fool.

Peavy on the other hand is a highly durable pitcher. He went on the DL for a short period of time and came back and still pitched pretty damn good. If that is gonna scare you off fine, be scared. Cuz your gonna be scared all your life if that is enough to not want Jake Peavy.

He aint no pussy pitcher where little boo-boo's keep creeping in that put him on the DL for months at a time.

"He aint no pussy pitcher where little boo-boo's keep creeping in that put him on the DL for months at a time."

Sounds like someone is sour from a certain "I'm in pain" pitcher who never pitched for months at a time...a certain player currently in SD?

Chris Young?

Eric Show?

Mark Prior

I think they knew who you were talking about.

I would have to say that the "source" on the Hall of Fame voting is probably made-up. Dick Allen had 11 votes last time, so we are to believe that his support like QUADRUPLED among essentially the same exact group of voters. I am not buying it.

I agree. I personally don't believe the report.

If Harden is your #5 behind Zambrano, Peavy, Dempster and Lilly, then Harden automatically gets a number of skipped starts due to scheduling. He would be one heck of a dominating #5 starter, and that role would give him the occasional rest he needs during the season to hopefully stay healthy.

I have not seen Vitters. For you Wilkens bashers (you know who you are), it would seem that someone besides "Teflon Tim" likes him.

However, since the kid has not made it to AAA yet, there are no guarantees as to what kind of career he will have. Peavy is still young by pitching standards, and an infant compared to Clemens. What are the odds then, with MArshall in the fold, and no Peavy, that they'd win a World Series title?

Ronny Cedeno will be a career backup, or a starter on a team like the Nats. He is as dumb as a post.

IMO, Sean Marshall will always be a #4 or #5. BUT, he is a "lefty".

I don't see how Peavy makes us more likely to win a title. He's marginally better than the four guys we would have thrown out there, if we had won a game. When you measure that against the risk that Les Walron and Mitch Atkins will be making starts for us during the regular season, it doesn't really add up, in my mind.

Geez, you say some pretty stupid things sometimes. The above post is Exhibit A.

Please elaborate. I must have missed all those Peavy NLCS MVP awards ceremonies.

I should hope Vitters has value around the league, he was a #3 pick and was taken over Matt Wieters who has been rated the top prospect in all of baseball this year and it would look as of right now that he has a pretty good chance to start the year with BAL. Keeping in mind this was before the Cubs knew what they had in Soto as well.

i'd be shocked if wieters actually stuck around at catcher...he's such a big kid.

that said, his bat has been damn nice and he should progress pretty fast through their system.

I understand your point. However, I don't think Les is on the club anymore.

According to WSCR

Ronny missed out again. The committee elected Joe Gordon (who?).

Actually, Gordon (a 2nd baseman for the Yankees and Indians in the '30s) was elected by one committee. A different committee made up of 64 living HOFers failed again to elect Santo or anyone else to the HOF. What a crock.

Joe Gordon only one.

Poor Santo.

I agree starting pitching depth would become a problem. However, Peavy would become the defacto number one. What have we seen the last two years in the playoffs? Webb putting diapers on our hitters and setting them down on the bench. Lowe and Billingsly mowing our guys down one after the other. What have we had to respond with on our side?

Our pitching has let us down and struggled on the big stage. Demp choked this year. Lilly did last year. Z could not get it done this year. Peavy has the Cy Young Z is hoping to one day be consistent enough to get. We could trade Harden, Demp, or even Z possibly later in the year to get another starter and fill a position hole (CF, SS?) with quality, if needed. When you look to the playoffs, it is all about the top end of your pitching and getting Peavy makes the top end of our rotation that much better.

As an added bonus, he would take issue with any of our guys being thrown at this year, and would fit right in with Lilly in that regard. It does hurt to lose Marshall because young, left handed, cheap starting pitching is almost never available. You have to grow them yourself. And right now, we are not growing much as far as starters go in the minors.

Jake Peavy is 0-2 with 19 H, 9.2 IP, 13 ER, 4 BB, 5 K and a 12.10 ERA in the playoffs (both games versus the Cardinals).

I'm not sure using the playoffs and our pitchers choking is a good way to argue that Peavy should be on the Cubs.

He also got knocked around in the playoff game against the Rockies in 2007.

technically not a playoff game of course...but yes.

I actually think it is a playoff game. Playoff means when you're tied and you have to play one more game to decide the winner. Game 163's are 'playoffs'.

But regardless, his track record on these high pressure games, which have all been on the road is really bad.

You're playing semantics. Game 163 counts as a regular season game.

If two teams were tied on the last day and playing game 162 against each other would that count as a playoff?

I promise you that it is recognized as a regular season game, albeit a do-or-die must-win game for either team.

I realize that, but the there's a word for do or die must win games for other teams. The word is... wait for it... a playoff!

awesome, if you could please go back through the history of baseball and account for every other starter that went on the last weekend of the season facing the possibility of elimination and list it on their BR.com page for all of us.

in the meantime, it's still technically a regular season game and recognized as one. And not all playoff games are do-or-die.

I am not sure if the fact that the sports leagues bastardized the word to suit it's purposes proves your point.

Or you could use the google thing and search the phrase "one game playoff' and see if the top 50 or so hits don't come back as references to game 163.

Or you could get a dictionary.

once again you guys are arguing semantics. It's a one game playoff, yes, but it's not the POST SEASON.

There is a difference between a one game playoff and the {jimmora}PLAYOFFS{/jimmora}

Peavy is basically in his prime and is signed through 2013 at what will be a very reasonable contract if not downright cheap for a pitcher of his caliber. Very clean mechanics, no significant injury history. Marshall, Hart, Cedeno, and Pie are all nice and useful players to have but each of them are replaceable. The value here is losing Vitters, a top hitting prospect. But he is 3 years away and possibly headed to corner OF slot if defense doesn't improve. And as pointed out in #39, both Harden and Peavy will be tradeable if it goes south this year or next, we likely would have not much trouble getting a Vitters-like prospect back in exchange for one of them from a contender. Very little downside and huge possible upside to the rumored deal.

Are there two Peavys? Who's the one with 'very clean mechanics' and what does his team want for him? I only know of the throwing across his body, grunting with effort on every pitch Jake Peavy who pitches for the Padres and has had shoulder, elbow and forearm issues, including being on the DL last year with shoulder soreness.

I don't necessarily disagree with your mechanical analysis here, but I can make a similar risk claim about any of the other front-liners we might potentially go after.

CC has SERIOUS issues with his previous workload. Burnett's a Prior-lite with his injury history. Oliver Perez has NEVER pitched 200 innings. Smoltz has bigtime durability problems - to the point that he's probably a reliever the rest of the way. Pettitte's elbow is held together with tape and chewing gum. Ben Sheets is Ben Sheets.

Honestly, I'm of the opinion that it's a risk you're going to run if you acquire any available front line starter not named Derek Lowe. It just is. I wouldn't pay CC the kind of money he's talking after as much as he's worked the past few seasons. Derek Lowe and Peavy are really ones I'd feel comfortable chasing. Yeah, Peavy had shoulder soreness last year, but Carlos Zambrano had elbow soreness last year, too. I'm not necessarily worried about him as a big injury risk.

But, that's just my opinion on it. I can see how you can view Peavy as a risk, and that's fine. I'm not nearly as concerned.

I am worried about Zambrano, as well.

But yeah, Lowe is the guy I would chase if we needed a 5th playoff starter. I just think trading all those names to have Peavy pitch ahead of Lilly or Dempster in the playoffs makes little sense, even injury concern aside.

The rotation is the strength of the team. The bullpen is the weakness, followed by the offensive balance. Why we want to rape the farm system for a marginal upgrade.. I just don't get. When Dempster was unsigned it made some kind of sense. At this point.... I just don't see the upside. Get Johnson, he's nails in the playoffs and won't cost us anyone.

I'm either way on the trade, hard to pass up someone as talented as Peavy when the Padres are basically begging for the Cubs to take him off their hands.

The big thing is that he's signed for four years.  Of course, if he gets injured, that would suck, but it would also set 3/5 of your rotation through 2010 and 2/5 through 2012 and possibly 2013. Not bad...

So besides 2009, it's a deal for the future as well.

I agree, the fact that he's under club control through 2013 is the second-best part of any such trade (the best being that he's a Cy Young contender obviously). $22M in 2013 will be a bargain if he's healthy and effective, and if he isn't the club buy-out of $4M is not huge. Basically, barring major injury, Peavy will be a tradeable commodity for the life of this contract...that's worth trading Vitters for.

As for Peavy's mechanics, yeah, so he grunts and throws the ball hard. The grunting will drive up the price for those CBOT box on days he pitches. He whips his arm back after throwing. Though I don't remember the whip as much last year as before, perhaps that was the shoulder soreness or maybe a change in mechanics. Even with that, he has not missed significant time in his career.

Considering the NTC he has, he's not a very tradeable commodity for the life of his contract. Just like we're seeing this offseason, he basically said he wanted to pitch for the Cubs and if the Pads want to trade him they have to work that out somehow.

Actually it was elbow soreness but it obviously wasn't a big deal as he pitched again after coming off the DL and pitched pretty good with some of the leagues worst run support.

Lets take into account one fact. Mark Prior was considered to have flawless mechanics. How does he end up injured and never pitching if he has flawless mechanics like all the experts said?

One expert says one thing and another something else,it really doesn't mean a whole lot. The fact is Peavy takes the baseball most of the time and gives his team a shot to win. Thats all i care about. I really don't give a shit about the flawless mechanic guys who sit on the DL.

Tribco files for ch.11:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,463224,00.html

Levine was asked about this earlier and he said it would have no affect on the Cubs as they would likely be sold before they had to make any restructring changes.

FYI ... the Cubs are NOT part of the filing.

Jayson Stark says Cubs are prioritizing Ibanez and Abreu much higher than Bradley or Dunn, although they are looking at all four of them.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=...

Piniella might be thinking about Abreu and his 300+ career SBs when he talks about becoming "more athletic."

There are a lot of critics of Abreu's base stealing tendencies, mostly people who say that he steals when it doesn't matter. I don't know, just saying.

Abreu would add to the overall offense, I think, but doesn't he make more sense batting 1-3 than fourth or fifth? His strength these days is more OBP than batting average or power. He'd be a pretty good replacement for Lee in the third spot (Soriano, Lee, Abreu, Ramirez, Soto, DeRosa, Fukudome/Pie/Johnson, Theriot, Pitcher). I still think I'd like to see Fontenot get more playing time somehow, though. Seems like getting a RF means DeRo will have to be sitting or playing SS for Fontenot to get in the lineup.

Dunn and Bradley make more sense batting 4th or 5th. Although you usually don't want to see a Dunn .240 average in an RBI position, he still hits 40 homeruns most years. And Bradley may not hit siginificantly more homeruns than Abreu, but his slugging percentage could still be very high with lots of doubles. If he can stay healthy... ho boy.

I don't know, Charlie, I just looked at Abreu's numbers for the first time and was surprised by how good they are, even the most recent season.

Everybody should steal when it doesn't matter--it's called hustle--but most guys don't.

I'm just impressed when a solidly built guy keeps his legs in good enough shape to steal 20 bases at 34. But my main point was that Piniella uses the word "athletic" for people who run and catch, and that could only describe Abreu among the four OF'ers usually mentioned. Bradley may be athletic in some sense but he doesn't steal bases at all and his body breaks down, so Piniella can't be talking about him.

A couple points.

You can look on BR's splits on a player and it tells you if they're stealing in low pressure or high pressure situations. I looked at that probably a month ago and he was a pretty good high pressure hitter and baserunner.

Maybe Lou does define stealing 20 bases as athletic. I think you can pretty much sneak stealing 20 bases a year on pitchers who aren't paying much attention. However, Abreu is a really bad right fielder. Matt Murton bad.

Lou still thinks the Cubs aren't in on Peavy anymore, so I'm not exactly sure he's got his pulse on the Cubs offseason activity.

Lou knows what he asked for, at least.

Maybe more athletic just meant, goodbye Ward and Edmonds.

The first of the Cubs 15 minor league free-agents has moved on, as switch-hitting 1B-3B Matt Craig signed a minor league deal with the Florida Marlins.

The 27-year old Craig was a 3rd round pick back in 2002 (signed by VA-MD-NC area scout Billy Swoope) out of the University of Richmond, where he was a teammate of former Cubs Top 10 prospect OF Nik Jackson.

Craig should get a better shot with the Marlins than he ever got with the Cubs. I could see him making it to MLB as a back-up 3B-1B-SWPH. He's a slow runner and a below-average defender, but he has some power and he takes a lot of walks.

Tigers sign Adam Everett.

A vacuum in the field who just sucks at the plate.

Maybe he'll figure it out, ala Ozzie. If he could be a .290 hitter, he'd be a heckuva ballplayer. I am sure there will be much rejoicing by pitchers in Motown - or wherever they hide during the off-season when they hear that Everett is coming.

A's sign jerome "walking tragedy" williams.

What's the TCR consensus on a Marmol for Ethier swap? I would guess it would require a third team, though because the Dodgers seem pretty set in the bullpen.

Dodgers aren't set in the pen, Rosenthal just reported that reports on Saito aren't good and they're looking for someone. Either a closer or a set-up man to Broxton.

Nonetheless, the Cubs obviously wouldn't trade Marmol right now after pretty much parting ways with Wood.

Well, it seems like there's some better fits in the closer market (Wood, Fuentes, Hoffman) than in the RF market, hence the suggestion.

It's an interesting idea. The market for left-handed hitting right fielders is tight and not particularly impressive. I like Ethier better than any of the four suspects currently being considered. I'd hate to lose Marmol, but there are plenty of closers available currently. Having Gregg and Wood pitch the 8th and 9th respectively wouldn't be so bad.

Interesting idea -- you take the RF money and get a FA closer. What about Delmon Young instead of Ethier? Young is more likely to be moved.

Isn't Young wrong handed? The Twins may be interested in Cedeno, but not sure if I'd trade Marmol for him.

You're right. For some reason -- maybe it was the way he tossed his bat at the ump -- I thought he switch hit like his brother.

I'd do the Marquis for Jeff Baker swap. I'm really high on the guy. Big guy, has seen his power develop, particularly last year. He can play (relative term) anywhere but short. Career 262/319/468 guy. But, unfortunately for Jimbo, he's right-handed.

I'd pull the trigger on that one in a heartbeat.

I agree with not trading Pie now unless you can use him as a part to get a big player. I don't want to see Hendry sell low on Pie, like Hendry did to Pie's baseball twin brother Patterson. Might as well ride it out now and see if he can finally turn into a MLB player.

My 2 cents:

The window is now. By the time Vitters is an established major leaguer, the Cubs will have won with this team or not...Lou will be gone and so will most of the core team. You have to roll the dice and go for it.

I suggest a Marquis to KC for Ron Mahay trade. Mahay makes $4,000,000 so the Cubs would save a few bucks and get the lefty vet for the pen they need.

Other options for Marquis could be to the Tigers for Bobby Seay or in division to Cincinnati for Jeff Keppinger.

I also agree with Wes-Jeff Baker wouldn't be a bad pickup. Remember-trading Marquis isn't so much about who we'd get in return but the reduction of salary...

Also, who thinks Soriano could move to right? With his arm he'd be better than most of the options we're talking about. If so, I think Hidecki Matsui for Marquis would be an option...

think Hidecki Matsui for Marquis would be an option...
----------
not if you're trying to reduce the impact of Marquis' salary

Cubster wrote: "think Hidecki Matsui for Marquis would be an option...
----------
not if you're trying to reduce the impact of Marquis' salary"

Of course not but do you think Ibanez or Abreu would be much cheaper? Besides, maybe having a little jap buddy would be just what Fukie needs!

I don't think Matsui can play right field anymore, but trading him for Marquis would free up payroll since we would fill the $10 million slotted for right field.

You do realize that that is a derogatory term, right?

"The Denver Post says the Rockies don't have the cash to trade for Marquis..."

Weren't they in the fucking World Series two years ago?

And, Helton and Hampton are gone? They have one pitcher for fuck's sake that can pitch.

Holiday is in Oakland, they still have Helton

...and you probably mean Aaron Cook (we both saw how quickly things can go south on him and the rest of that pitching staff).

Cubs met with Milton Bradley sunday night. Sorry, Clue or Par-cheesy?

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=win...

Before Cubs sign Bradley they should have him talk to Jacque Jones and see if he still wants to come.

I probably should post this on the Santo thread, but as someone who saw Ron Santo play in his hey-day (1966-72) on many occasions I'd like to weigh in on the side that Santo belongs in the 'Hall of Very Good'. Maybe someone else who might have seen him play (like AZ Phil) would agree or disagree. I'm sure part of my bias is I would spend the next decade subtracting current members (starting with Joe Morgan and Bill Mazeroski) before adding anybody but the obvious (Greg Maddux).

I don't know any member under consideration by the veterans committee who more shamelessly promotes himself (directly and indirectly) than does Santo (Ed Sherman of the Tribune among his most vocal trumpeteers). Maybe that turns off a number of the HOF veterans. The sad fact is that there ARE players in the HOF with stats not equal to Santo. That being said, just because it's happened in the past doesn't mean we have to keep doing it.

I liked Santo as a player, but he was always behind Williams, Banks, Kessinger, Jenkins and Hickman as my favorites from that Cubs era. I would like to know the number of HRs that Santo hit with Cubs ahead by 3 or more runs and behind by 5 or more runs. It sure seemed like a lot. I just remember him as not being a Cub I wanted to see up to bat in a game winning situation.

Bottom line: I believe in a HOF that has players with the stats and stature of a Ruth, Mays, Aaron, Koufax, Gibson, Schmidt, and Feller. Then a 'Hall of Very Good' that would have the Joe Morgans, Billy Williams, Bill Mazeroski, et al.

I guess the problem is that all of those divides are subjective. I hate Joe Morgan, but if Schmidt is in, so should Morgan. There stat's are comparable virtually across the board, other than Schmidt's edge in the power cateogries and Morgan's edge in speed. And why is Bob Feller so special compared to a dozen other pitchers? The point is that it's a subjective process. If you have two hall's you'd maybe even have more debate than you do now since you'd have two cut-offs to debate.

You're memory is pretty good. BR shows splits for players by situation, and though Santo's Late and Close numbers pretty good, he really excelled in games who's margins were by more than 4 runs (.892 OPS).

Wait, what does that mean? Did he excel in games with 4-run margins or at-bats in which the game was already in a 4-run margin. The way you wrote it above, it is the former, and that doesn't make your point for you at all. Hitters do really well in games in which their team is up by 4 runs or more. We'd expect that. It tells us he hit when everyone else hit and in fact contributed to major Cubs rallies.

I believe it's games with a 4-run margin, it's also 1059 PA's compared to 5000-8000 PA's for the 1-to-4 run margins. He's also had an .874 OPS  with 2 outs and RISP.

Margins > 4 runs....

From Peavy Phils article-

"No Peavy deal will be completed until the Cubs' new owner is decided, sources say. The new owner would need to approve the addition of Peavy, who is owed $63 million."

So I'm guessing the trade won't happen until March?

plenty of reports saying that Hendry doesn't have to wait for that and all the new owners know what the payroll will be next year.

think Rosenthal is a bit behind on that one...

Nolan Ryan grunted, used it to intimidate on the screamer,101 m.p.h. on the old radar. Venus and Serena too...

has signed with the Yokohama Baystars in Japan. Now talk about a miserable team. I believe they set a record last season for fastest mathematical elimination from post season play. and yet i love them as much as i do the cubs.
god have mercy on my 3 sons...

Tell Real Neal. Earlier today he thought he was still on the Cubs. I wish him "sayonara".

E-Man, with his Rainman like ability to take exagerations literally, shinging through again. I shudder to think what would happen if someone bought you the wrong brand of tighty-whiteys.

HAHA! Thanks Real Neal!

All in good fun!

Wasn't it just last year I read Les got his first ML win with the Phils in quite a while as a starter?

"Stark mentions it possibly ending up being a three-team, 10-player "extravaganza"."

Phils get- Derek Lee, Marquis, Eric Show, Larry Bowa

Pads get- Marshall, Cedeno, Pie, Ty Griffin

Cubs get-Peavy, Ryan Howard

SWEET RELEASE!!!!!!!!!!

can you throw in a 25 year old Tony Gwynn while you're at it. We need some help in right.

Oh wait!!! Gimme Dave Winfield and Ozzie Smith too!!!!!!

I could imagine something crazy where the Cubs get Peavy and Huff
The Orioles get Pie, Cedeno, Hill, Hoffpauir and Kouzamnoff
the Padres get Jones , Olsen, Vitters, Marshall, and Colvin.

Is that even? Now my head hurts.

Man I thought Ty Griffin was gonna be the shit...him and Earl Cunningham and Jesse Hollins, damn what could've been...

"Miller says the Cubs are "leaning against" moving Sean Marshall."

Smart.

Wow. Looks like "Trader Jim" has been buying a lot of shots in Vegas.

"Towers said a deal "could happen quick" if Hendry and the Cubs agree to assuming not only Peavy's $11 million salary in 2009 but the remainder of the $63 million he's owed over the next four seasons."

Am I reading this wrong or are the Cubs trying to get the Pads pick up some of Peavy's salary?

Thought the same Jacos.....

My guess is that it is just a poorly written article, with the intent being centered around new ownership's willingness to assume Peavy's contract.

Okay, I can see that.

Sounded to me that is was speculation. This deal will go faster if the Cubs don't attempt to get money of the deal, when it gets to that point.

The only thing I could possibly see Hendry asking for money for is if the Cubs buyout the contract, to have SD kick some in.

If Hendry could swing money out of the Pads, he should get a statue on Clark and Addison.

Yeah, considering what a friendly contract he has, it would be surprising (i.e. stupid) for the Cubs to try to get some money for it.

it's not that friendly after 2009...

Werewithalls = balls? Testicles? Gónadas? Cojones?

WTH, the Cubs are giving up 6 players now just to get Peavy, and one of the six is DeRosa? Count me out.

wut?

Thanks CUBSTER!

Ain't the Winter Meetings FUN?!

I am guessing Jimbo makes the deal because he is in a situtation where he almost has no choice but to do it. His whole rationale for pushing Woody out the door was to have the payroll room to add Peavy. If he does not do it he would have broken up a pretty good back end of the bullpen and refused take draft pick compensation for that lost for almost nothing. They dont have the money to after Sabathia and the other FA starters (Burnett, Lowe, Sheets, Perez, Unit) are all inferior options to having Woody back, as I would rather have Marshall-Wood than Lowe/Burnett/Sheets/Prez/Unit-Gregg. Also if Dero is in this deal, that frees up another $4 million and combine that with the savings of a Marquis means they would have the cash to be players in the LH OF market, which I would hope is either Abreu or Dunn. Ibanez is a DH and Bradley is just too crazy for a club with championship aspirations to count on.

gonna start a new thread in a bit, but Piniella talked to Washington about Bradley

http://hotstove.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/12/cubs_...

so the Cubs would have to be getting a pretty decent prospect that they're keeping or their new left-handed hitting right fielder if they're giving up DeRosa, right?

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