Winter Meetings 2008 Day 2
9:32 PM CST Embedded in this non news worthy Jayson Stark report that the Peavy deal isn't imminent because blah, blah, blah... is a Sportcenter video of John Kruk waxing euphoric on what Jake Peavy would mean to the Cubs in Wrigley Field if he brought them a World Championship. Go Kruk Go! (Cubster)
8:32 PM CST Jeff Passan from Yahoo sports says the "lone holdup" in the Cubs getting Peavy is that they need to off-load Jason Marquis and his $9.875 million salary. (Cubster)
8:29 PM CST: Rumor has it that Towers and Hendry will be drinking single malt scotch whiskey and discussing whether they are close to closing the really closely guarded information regarding the now 32 player deal involving the entirety of all MLB clubs. Bruce Levine had his stealth listening device against the door of Towers' suite although the meeting apparently was in Hendry's suite. Once BL firgured this out it didn't matter anyway as even a juicy report on ESPN 1000 was going to be pre-empted by the Bulls game tonight. David Kaplan's WGN radio show had a scheduled interview with "the phenomenal" Mrs. Katie Peavy but was pre-empted by WGN's news analysis of the Governor Blajojevich scandal. (Cubster)
7:46 PM CST: New rule, if you use the word "close" to describe any potential deal, you will be arrested and publicly flogged. Cory Brock is the latest at MLB.com.This comes four hours after he wrote talks were slowing and their was some reluctance on the Cubs part.
Nonetheless, the latest article has a quote from Towers that it "looks more
likely today than yesterday." and so on and so on. (Rob G.)
7:24 PM CST: Hey, the deal is close, no really, this is the one folks!!! Chuck Garfien at CSN Chicago is the latest to suck us in with that headline. He also said there was suppose to be a media appearance by Hendry at 6:30PM CST, but doesn't seem like that happened. (Rob G.)
5:01 PM CST: More from Wittenmyer:
"One intriguing name on the Cubs' radar is Garret Anderson...."
Yes, that's very intriguing that the Cubs want to field an inferior team next season.
- Stark says the Cubs won't move DeRosa unless they sign a left-handed hitting outfielder first and that the Phils and Cubs are both very interested in Ibanez. (Rob G.)
4:40 PM CST: Twitter post from Gordon Wittenmyer of the not-yet-bankrupt Chicago Sun-Times:
Cubs met with Randy Johnson's agent Monday night and sources confirm their plan to explore signing him if Peavy falls through.
4:20 PM CST: A summary just doesn't do this story justice...
I talked to a high-ranking Cubs official last night and ran that whole Carlos Silva-for-Kosume Fukudome trade rumor by him. He nearly choked on his beverage laughing. While the thing has a nice, symetrical feel to it, with both players owed three years and more than $30 million each, the official assured me he would "fall out of my (bleeping) chair'' if such a trade went through. And no, for the record, he has not heard that one is in the works.
2:39 PM CST: Yahoo has a story with a quote from Towers saying he doesn't believe the deal has "lost steam" in the last 24 hours (of course he doesn't, he needs the deal done more than the Cubs do). The article also says the four-team deal is a bit too complex for the Cubs' tastes and they feel they're giving up too much. Another Randy Johnson mention as well.
Unfortunately, I'm gonna go radio silent for a few hours here myself. (Rob G.)
2:15 PM CST: Padres beat writer, Tom Krasovic throws some more cold water on the fire, saying the Padres aren't really interested in J.A. Happ or Chris Coste or Ronny Cedeno for that matter. (Rob G.)
2:00 PM CST: BP has a "crazy rumor" that the Cubs would try and move Carlos Zambrano if they landed Jake Peavy. In an earlier update, Perrotto says the Peavy deal would be:
O's: Felix Pie
Padres: Olson, Marshall, Hart, Cedeno & Vitters
He indicates the Phils might make it a 4-team deal and send Happ and possibly catcher Lou Marson to the Padres presumably for Mark DeRosa.
- Indians are "close" to signing Kerry Wood to a 2-year deal. As Cubster pointed out, the Cubs play the Indians this season. (Rob G.)
12:58 PM CST: I love reports about deals that aren't happening. Stark says a Marquis for Aaron Heilman trade was discussed but the Mets wanted the Cubs to eat too much salary. (Rob G.)
12:15 PM CST: Stark says Mets, Phillies and Cubs are in the lead for Ibanez's services.
- The Cubs maintain that they are not all that close on a Peavy deal according to Rosenthal and are considering Randy Johnson as a back-up plan. Rosenthal is sticking with the story angle that the Cubs need to identify their new owner first before any deal for Peavy is completed and have to move the contract of Jason Marquis. They also want their left-handed hitting corner outfielder signed first. (Rob G.)
11:50 AM CST: Rogers calls the deal for Peavy "close", which is always a good time to remind everyone that Phil Rogers is a nincampoop (yeah, I'm bringing it back). Rogers indicates it's a four-team deal with the Cubs giving up DeRosa (to the Phils), Pie (to the O's), and Sean Marshall (to the Padres) and O's give up Garret Olson and the Phillies give up J.A. Happ, both of which go to the Padres. That deal doesn't sound too unreasonable actually, in my humble opinion.
- Roman Modrowski claims to have a friend that spotted Peavy at a bar in Vegas singing "Go Cubs Go!". He also says the Cubs may have to pay as much as $6M to move Marquis and his contract and the Cubs would try to sign Rich Aurilia if they move DeRosa.(Rob G.)
9:16 AM CST: Rob beat me to posting the Milton Bradley link (damn you!), but I was going to say that not having done an exhaustive study of Lou Piniella's success with "major personnel challenges," I think it would be fascinating to see how he handled Bradley. Lou has already dealt with the likes of Rob Dibble, Michael Barrett, and Carlos Zambrano in his managerial career.
Not Winter Meetings-related, strictly speaking, but I thought this was noteworthy:
Despite the fact that the Cubs and Wrigley Field were held out of the World's Greatest Newspaper Bankruptcy Filing, the Wall Street Journal sees trouble ahead for the sale of the team:
The bankruptcy filing throws a wrench in the sale of the Cubs, which Tribune had counted on to provide a cash injection. The company received three bids of at least $850 million for the storied team just before a Thanksgiving deadline for second-round offers. Monday, two of the bidding groups expressed deep frustration at a process they now expect will be substantially delayed because of the role the bankruptcy court will play in any transaction.
"This is an absolute mess," said the financial adviser for one bidder. "God know what happens now."
Tribune said the Cubs were excluded from the bankruptcy protection with the intent of minimizing the impact on the auction.
9:02 AM CST: Niick Cafardo at the Boston Globe with these tidbits:
- "Milton Bradley is in intense discussions with the Cubs."
- "The Tigers are eyeing Kerry Wood on a two-year deal."
- "If the Cubs obtain Jake Peavy, Jason Marquis or Rich Harden become trade bait. "
12:41 AM CST: Roch Kubatko in Baltimore says the O's haven't agreed to anything themselves yet. Of course, he also says, "Kevin Towers indicated that a trade was completed with the Cubs, as long as they agreed to absorb the right-hander's contract.", although I think Towers made it very clear that no deal has actually been reached or agreed upon yet.
- Wittenmeyer has a tempting headline of "Cubs 'very close' to closing deal", but the article just reiterates most of the other reports. It does say the Cubs are a bit "irked" by how forthcoming Towers has been with information to the media and that the Cubs would like to find their new left-handed hitting right fielder and move Marquis first, although he might end up being part of the deal. (Rob G.)
- Getting Fontenot more at-bats at second and shortstop
- Theriot will bat second or eighth leaving Soriano in the leadoff spot
- Samardzija will get stretched out in spring training but probably start the year in the bullpen
- Getting Hoffpauir plenty of AB's and playing time in spring training at first and the outfield
- And Kosukue's core training...
Alright, time to start a new thread and we'll try a team effort on thisone. Some of this was touched on by Cubster/Dr. Hecht in the previous thread, but it's big news.
12:02 AM CST: The talks seemed to have intensified with Kevin Towers saying that: "There's a package there that would satisfy us...Will they end up doing it? I don't know.” It seems to involve three, maybe four teams and possibly Mark DeRosa and Michael Wuertz or Angel Guzman with Kevin Hart and Ronny Cedeno's names being mentioned as well.
- The Philadelphia writers are picking up on the Phillies involvement as well and mentions Mark DeRosa as the key piece for them. In return they would give up J.A. Happ and possibly another prospect and that the Orioles still might be the fourth team to make this all happen. If the Cubs are giving up DeRosa, it would free up some payroll and give Mike Fontenot more playing time at second base, which would give the Cubs the three left-handed bats they want in the lineup (Fukudome, Fontenot and the new RFer). It would also make the team considerably worse unless the new RFer is Adam Dunn. I would hope that if the Cubs are moving DeRosa and Vitters they're getting at least a decent prospect coming there way from one of these teams. (Rob G.)
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.
The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.
That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.
On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!
KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.
Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?
Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.