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.

(Cubnut)


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. 

(Rob G.) 


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
Cubs: Peavy
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.

(Cubnut)


 

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. "

(Rob G.)


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.)

12:21 AM CST: Bruce Miles gets confirmation from Hendry that he talked with Milton Bradley's agent. In a separate post, all kinds of fun info from Lou. The bullet-point summary:

  • 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...

(Rob G.)



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.)

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Comments

I've been maybe the biggest proponent of a Peavy trade but I'm not sure I like the idea of losing DeRosa. There's a lot of confusion out there, from the sounds of it -- is this a 3 team deal, a 4 team deal? Are the Marlins involved?

If this involves losing DeRosa, then I'm of a much different mind about the whole thing. I'd rather include Theriot somehow and look to sign Furcal.

If they do trade Dero, they could always play Theroit at 2b and get Furcal for SS or Brob could be in this deal if it is a 4 way with Baltimore.

Deal talk like this makes my head spin. Trading DeRosa away to make room for a left handed bat makes no sense. DeRo didn't have trouble hitting right handed pitching, his .842 OPS against righties attests to that, as do the 16 HRs he hit against them.

Okay, have to point it out: "There's a package there that would satisfy us..."

I shouldn't be on the interweb this late.

They can't trade Derosa, that would be a huge mistake. Right now with all of the overpriced outfielders who can't play RF, putting Dero out there for a good chunk of time, along with say Hoffpauir and/or a fourth/fifth type OF would be an acceptable move. Especially if it means playing Fontenot more, moving Theriot to 2b to share some time with Fontenot but being more of utility guy. Theriot really is just a utility guy after all, he's not a very good defender, mediocre to poor range, and only hits singles. He's not even a very good baserunner.

I'd love to see Furcal at SS and leading off, but I'm afraid he's priced too high. If they can't afford any of the $10 mil per year outfielders, I don't see how they can sign Furcal. He wants that or more, and at least 3 years. If they don't want a Dero/whoever platoon in RF they should be able to sign one of the outfielders for a 1 or 2 year deal for under $10 mil if they just wait. There are too many of these same LF/no defense/slow as a snail guys out there, someone is going to sign for way less than they wanted.

as much as i'd hate to lose dero...he's under contract for only 1 more year and fontenot at 2nd isn't exactly brutal (though i believe some in here dont like him at 2nd, i'd be fine with him as a starter).

be nice to have BOTH dero and fontenot on roster this spring, imo.

Indeed. What if it's either DeRosa (and the Phillies) or Marshall (and the Orioles)? Which one would we rather have?

I think Real Neal hit the nail on the head yesterday when he proposed saving the prospects and just signing Lowe. He's a guy with lots of playoff success and would probably get signed for less money on a 3yr contract than it will take to pay Peavy. Save the prospects to make a run at Roberts or an outfielder. It seems like we feel we have to buy Peavy just because he is on sale. My local Target store does the same thing.

If the Cubs don't get Peavy, then I'd leave the rotation as is. Free agents like Lowe are going to command a lot of money (much more than Peavy both next year and over the length of the contract). Plus, you'll be in a bidding war with the likes of BOS and NYY in order to get them. No thanks.

-edit-

Btw, there's no way Lowe and his other FA friends sign for less than 4 years, probably 5. And they'll sign for a lot more money as well.

Lowe's asking for $18 million per year for 5 years. I run that through the TLFC computer and it comes out $64 million for four years, which is about the same as Peavy.

I don't propose getting any of these guys. We have four guys I'm comfortable running out there in the playoffs already. I don't see the point of raiding the farm system for a fifth.

Have to agree with Rob G, and others if we trade DeRosa we better be getting back more than Peavy.

If having lineup balance matters as much as we're told, trading DeRosa may make sense given that: 1. DeRosa and Fontenot are not options for SS, and the Cubs will not be signing Furcal. 2. Trading DeRosa allows the Cubs to keep Marshall (or Vitters). 3. Or trading DeRosa adds Brian Giles, Luke Scott, Aubrey Huff, or Shane Victorino to the list of players coming back to the Cubs.

Huff or Scott could be the Cubs lefty slugging RF/#5 hitter. Giles could bat third. Victorino could bat leadoff or second. I'm not sure I see how trading DeRosa gets you anyone but Giles, though, and the Cubs would have to send some pitching along with DeRosa to get Victorino.

I don't think handedness actually matters this much, though. I mean, is Fontenot going to significantly outhit DeRo? It doesn't seem likely. I like the guy, but the only way our offense improves from last year due to Fontenot having more playing time is if either he or DeRo spends time at SS.

Brian Giles had an offer to be traded here at the deadline it was reported. He didn't want to go. Even to a contender in a pennant race.

I agree that even though DeRosa is in the last year if his deal, his value is immeasurable in that he is not a light-hitting utility man (ala Cedeno), but a very good 3rd base glove with a better-than-average bat with pop. And, he has avoided injuries during his stay with the Cubs.

However - if we got back So Taguchi from the Phils in the deal, that would be fine, I suppose.

Some morning news from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extra...

Cubs in "intense discussions" with Milton Bradley.

Peavy talks still going strong. If he's acquired, Marquis or Harden will be floated in trade offers.

"However - if we got back So Taguchi from the Phils in the deal, that would be fine, I suppose."

That is a joke, right?

.279/.332/.379 and he is 38?

You didn't see: ?

OH - I had "smile" bracketed. The brackets didn't show.

I would like Hudson for 2nd if we trade DeRosa, but i think he wants to go to the Mets.

I am sure if this deal goes down there will be players involved that no one was talking about.

Also i doubt we get any of the Philly OFer's because all they got are 3 now. Jenkins, Victorino, and Werth and Victorino isn't going any where i think.

But hey maybe the Orioles are finally gonna let Roberts slip out the door. *shrug*

I think I'm typical of most Cubs fans. I want them to acquire the best players (regarless of payroll restrictions) and I don't want them to give up any valued players currently on the roster. Unfortunately, that's not how the world works.

I'd hate to lose DeRosa, but you're not going to get quality without giving up quality. If a trade involving DeRosa brought back Peavy and a left-handed hitting right fielder (Huff, Giles, etc), it would probably be worth it.

BTW, Giles was opoposed to a trade last year, but I think it had to do with his 10/5 rights or something. He has apparently said that he would be open to a trade now. Also, not that I would want him for RF, but I think So Taguchi is a FA. I don't think he is with the Phillies at the moment.

Again - kidding on "So". But maybe he could be brought on as tutor and translator for Dome.

I'm calling B.S. on the Harden trade talk. We just gave up a boat-load of prospects for him. No way Hendry flips him this fast unless there is something the fans don't know about medically.

My interest is waning on this deal as time continues to go by. Jimbo continues to give up more and more to get Peavy and we're no closer to the deal getting done.

Perhaps if we wait long enough, Wes, maybe we can get Brian Roberts too, Hendry's other Great White Whale.

Actually trading Harden might be a pretty good idea.

You need to treat him with kid gloves to get him on the mound and keep him there. Plus he can bring back any variety of talent.

I said early on to involve him in the trade with Peavy.

I completely disagree MikeC. I don't think we will get fair value in return given the way he finished last season. If you are going to deal him, let him start the season strong and trade him at mid-season.

And we knew we had to treat him with kid gloves when we got him... that is no reason to deal him now.

As many of you are already hearing, our distinguished governor has gone down the river. One interesting Cubs angle, reported in the Trib:

Blagojevich and Harris conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.

As if bankruptcy wasn't bad enough, Blago had his thumb on the scales. A public hanging in center field during the 7th Inning stretch on Opening Day might clean up the curse ledger for us?

Levine on 9:45AM, Peavy trade not imminent. "It is obvious (with Tower's huge efforts in full-force...) that Peavy told Towers that the only team he wants to play for is the Cubs.

"There are some 'things missing' here" Cubs would need at least two day window for medical evals on the pitcher.

DeRo talks are certainly there - he is a great fit for Phils...do they have the prospects?

Hendry is "waiting back passivly" as much as he can to see what Towers develops.

Bradley is "front and center". Seriously being explored.

The rumor about Harden as trade bait sounds a bit like jibberish. What kind of lefty hitter would you get for Harden? Brad Hawpe maybe? With Bradley and Abreu out there in the free agent market and Huff likely available for less, I don't see much point to giving up 20 starts from Harden for offense.

Santo commenting on the HOF. I know he is upset, but sour grapes is not the way to go. Just keep quiet and see if you get in in two years.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3756458

If he's still alive in two years.

Well thats the problem with Harden, who says he even makes it to mid-season. He is healthy now, that is the key if your looking to deal him this off-season.

Found something interest on the Marlins and what a scout had to say about some of their trading chips...

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_baseball_marl...

"Kevin Gregg has those knee problems (patellar tendinitis) and you have to worry about that. He really bangs and twists his front leg when he lands, and that's where the problem is. He's not a closer. Not for me. Maybe you stick him back in the seventh inning like he used to be for the Angels, but the arbitration number ($4 million or more) is too high for that role."

Really don't wan't Bradley on the Cubs but if the money isn't to outrageous i guess its fine. I just don't to see a ton of cash go to someone whose career high in HR's is 22 and RBI is 77 after playing in the majors for the last 8 years.

I will expect 100 games out of him max and be happy if he can play that many in one season.

Lou seems confident that Kosuke will do better next season, which got me wondering how other Japanese position have done their second season. Better or worse?

Luckily there aren't that many in MLB so I looked them up. Here's their OPS+ for the first three years of their MLB careers (100 being average, the greater the number the better)

Did better after his rookie year

H Matsui 109 137 130

--------------------------------

Did worse

I Suzuki 126 120 112
K Matsui 88 72 74
K Johjima 103 101 64
A Iwamura 105 92 -
T Iguchi 104 97 92
S Taguchi 135 114 95

--------------------------------

K Fukudome 90 - -

The latest from Phil Rogers makes it sound like a done deal.

http://tinyurl.com/57opf3

Mark DeRosa to the Phillies for Garrett Olson.
Felix Pie to the Orioles for J.A. Happ.
Sean Marshall, Olson, and Happ to the Padres for Peavy.

The remaining stumbling block is which of the Phillies and Orioles gets Jason Marquis for half price?

I hate to give up DeRosa, but at least with that deal we'd get to keep Vitters.

DeRosa, Pie, and Marshall for Peavy is a better trade than Vitters, Pie, Cedeno, and Marshall for Peavy. DeRosa is a solid player but he is not that much better than Fontenot at 2B. What that trade would mean is that the lefty RF Hendry acquires needs to be more reliable than Bradley...I'm not comfortable with Reed Johnson, Fuld, and I guess Hoffpauir as our back-up RF options if Bradley is the starter.

Agree completely DC Tom. If we trade DeRosa, we need to stay far away from Bradley.

I'm actually on the Bradley train, I think. I don't happen to recall all of his attitude issues, but it seems to me that many of them dealt with the fact that he cared a little too much about himself and the team he played for. Not lack of effort or trouble with teammates (Jeff Kent aside, but can we really blame him for that?)

This is a fairly cheap way to pick up a 280/370/457 guy. I'd take him. Although, the injury history is a bit of question mark, but I guess that's why he'd come on the cheap.

Wes, I've no problem with Bradley's production. The problem is that you can only count on him for 80-120 games or so, and that means that if you sign him, you absolutely *have* to have a solid back-up in his position.

DeRosa would definitely fit the bill as a solid Bradley back-stop. But if you trade DeRosa to get Peavy, signing Bradley becomes problematic because then your back-up options are Reed Johnson, Fuld, and maybe Hoffpauir. I'm just not comfortable with that.

DeRosa was a significant part of the offense last year, more significant than DLee as a matter of fact. You're going to have to replace that somewhere, and although Fontenot's alright, I'm more comfortable with him in a backup role than as a starter. Perhaps we make a run at someone like Uggla? Especially if Vitters is not included. Or hell, just trade DeRo straight up for Utley (/sarcasm).

Well I too hope this Peavy saga doesn't become the 2009 version of Roberts. Peavy is a luxury to obtain, and I hope we don't press too hard to get him. I am perfectly happy trading all of the farm to try and win in this window of two to three years. Vitters is stuck behind Aramis for the few years.

As for trading DeRo, he is relatively cheap but if you can package him and Marquis together to make it work it wouldn't be bad. I think keeping Marshall (cheaper 6th starter) as an insurance policy for Peavy and Harden is essential. We don't want to be pressed into the situation of having to push Smarzja or Gudain into the rotation and weaken the bullpen which will be essential in keepin the rotation healthy for the season.

With the Brewers set to lose CC and Sheets and the Cards not doing too much in the offseason and Houston trying to deal Lee or Tejada. This division should not be that difficult to win with the team we have now. So concentrating on having a balanced team for the playoffs is essential.

Dealing Marquis and DeRosa and putting Mike Fontenot at 2b and picking up Peavy and waiting on the RF prices to drop could keep the budget reasonable for the tribune company. I have no doubt that Marquis will be traded once the free agent market clears.

Just don't let this peavy thing prevent us from figuring out the bullpen and RF situation...Abreu is the best fit! Hi OBP and takes pitches. 2 years is enough for him!

What about Tavarez in CF? Suprised we haven't heard much about him...he could add another dimension we don't have on this team speed.

Isn't Willy just a worse version of Juan Pierre? Hits for a lower average, and until this year, never swipped more than 40 bags anyhow. Just don't see how Taveras is any better than Slappy McPopup, and we all know how that worked out

Willy can actually throw, but yeah to me he's a non-tender candidate. He could be a better fit than Johnson, but not so much that I'd trade anything even vaguely useful for him. He's certainly fast.

If we trade DeRosa, the much maligned Cedeno moves up to 2nd string 2B and 3B. We'll need another someone at least capable of backing up AramRam.

Craig Reynolds will be plying his trade in iowa. Surely we can get a Mike Kincaid type guy to stick in Iowa for the year. Chances are that if Aramis goes down for a significant time. Were screwed regardless.

That is why we're hearing about the Rich Aurilla rumors.

Grain of salt alert.... ("A friend of mine was in a group in a Las Vegas bar on Sunday night that included Jake Peavy...and the word is Peavy is fired up to join the Cubs.")

http://blogs.suntimes.com/fullcourtpress/2008/12/j...

I would give up Vitters and keep Marshall. Who really cares about a player that doesn't fit into this teams plans over the next 3 years. But i am sure SD wants ML quality talent in return as well.

I just jammned a pen in my eyes.

Mike, Vitters is allegedly the kind of talent that could be pushing for a major league job by 2010, and run off a long string of ASG appearances. Marshall's upside is #3 starter. I doubt there's a handful of people in baseball who would trade Vitters for Marshall.

Maybe we can send them Ryan Harvey instead. There were a bunch of "baseball people" who were really high on him too. Hell he even put up huge numbers in A ball. Vitters hasn't even progressed that far.

Are any of us all that confident that Cubbie player development can turn Vitters into anything useful at this point? I can't think of the last cubs High school prospect that has made any impact at all? Corey Patterson I suppose?

Try to understand this....Vitters is a nobody, a nothing, doesn't matter to how this team is currently structured. If we plan on ripping the entire franchise apart in the next year or two fine keep him. Otherwise he is expendable to keep talent on the roster at the major league level to help us win a World Series.

That is the only goal of this franchise at the moment and Vitters isn't going to help one single bit at age 18 in A ball.

Vitters is the flavor of the month right now. The untouchable prospect. I trust our franchise to develop positional talent as much as think Bin Ladin will win the Nobel Peace Prize next year.

Just because the organization has a bad record on developing position players lately doesn't mean they should give up--bringing Wilken in was part of a plan to get better.

Yes, we all want to win the World Series as soon as possible. But I for one would like to be competitive in 2012, as well. The Cubs are in a large enough market to compete every year, unlike, say, the Marlins who have to go through cycles of having a good team and then gutting their team--the Cubs shouldn't have to do that.

The only way to get a prospect like Vitters is to come in last in the NL (below the Pirates), like we did in '06. In that sense, he's irreplaceable. But apparently you can always get an ace pitcher who has started to scare his GM with one or more trips to the DL.

BTW is Theriot the best positional player since Mark Grace to be developed by the Cubs? And if so isn't that kind of sad?

I am trying to think...i can't really can't think of anyone else off the top of my head.

Have we won any Rookie of the Years since Grace came up?

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but other than Soto, Jerome Walton.

There's this guy named Soto, comes to mind for some reason...

Hehe Duhhhh Soto, and he wasn't even a top prospect till recently. One of those diamond in the rough kinda guys.

The Cubs 'problems' right now don't get addressed by trading for Peavy. No matter how hard you close your eyes and wish that they do.

They've already got half their payroll committed to starting rotation. It's a little bit foolish to say 'Man, I wish that we could gets some payroll flexibiity to get this Peavy guy, to further restrict our payroll flexibility for four more years.'

Two years from now, wouldn't it be nice if we could retire Aram out in Los Angeles and play our hot rookie, instead of being stuck with three RH first basemen, averaging $17 million a year, and looking to try to sign a third basemen for another $15 million?

I want to make sure I'm understanding this correct. The Cubs have one of the best rotations in MLB. Padres really feel the need to shed some payroll and trade Peavy. Peavy has no trade claus and the Cubs, at this time, is the only interested team he will waive it for. Padres need the Cubs to make this deal, Cubs don't need Peavy. Make the Padres one low ball offer that doesn't include DeRosa, Marshall or Vitters and walk away. If we get him for a steal, great. I feel we need to keep some trading chips and roster flexibility to address whatever unforeseen injured/ineffective player developes during the season.

You obviously don't understand.

Here's a Hendry quote:

I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're in here talking about Peavy. Not a game, we're talking about Peavy to be there. I know I'm supposed to lead by example. I know that. I know it's important, but we're talking about Peavy. ... How the hell can I make my teammates better by getting Peavy? They are supposed to be used to playing with me anyway. So my game is going to deteriorate if I don't put Peavy with those guys?

So the Cubs are suffering from a case of Peavy envy.

Jim Hendry has the street cred of an Allan Iverson if he says that.

that Phil Rogers is a nincampoop (yeah, I'm bringing it back).
-------------
I LOVE the word Nincompoop, but my spell checker likes this version better!

actually, I always thought of Rogers as more of a Captain Wrongway Peachfuzz.

http://bullwinklejmoose.com/images/peachfuzz1%2075...

google gave me that spelling, I do not argue with the google. The google knows all.

Beginning at 5 PM EST yesterday and extending through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning, MLB clubs are prohibited from outrighting players to the minors.

So beginning today, if a club whose 40-man roster is full wishes to clear space on its 40-man roster for a Rule 5 pick, the club would have to place the player it wishes to drop from the 40 on the Designated List, and then would have up to ten days to either trade or release the player.

Here is the 40-man roster status of all 30 MLB clubs as of yesterday afternoon (a club with no open slots on its 40-man rosters Thursday morning cannot select players in Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft):

2008 RULE 5 DRAFT ORDER:
1. WAS - ONE OPEN SLOT
2. SEA - FOUR OPEN SLOTS
3. SD - THREE OPEN SLOTS
4. PIT - TWO OPEN SLOTS
5. BAL - TWO OPEN SLOTS 
6. SF - ONE OPEN SLOT
7. ATL - ROSTER FULL
8. CIN - ROSTER FULL
9. DET - TWO OPEN SLOTS
10. COL - ROSTER FULL
11. KC - TWO OPEN SLOTS
12. OAK - ONE OPEN SLOT
13. TEX - ROSTER FULL
14. CLE - ONE OPEN SLOT
15. AZ - TWO OPEN SLOTS
16. LAD - TWO OPEN SLOTS
17. FLA - ROSTER FULL
18. TOR - ROSTER FULL
19. STL - THREE OPEN SLOTS
20. HOU - THREE OPEN SLOTS
21. MIN - TWO OPEN SLOTS
22. CHW - FOUR OPEN SLOTS
23. NYM - FIVE OPEN SLOTS
24. NYY - ROSTER FULL
25. MIL - FOUR OPEN SLOTS
26. PHI - THREE OPEN SLOTS
27. BOS - ONE OPEN SLOT
28. TB - TWO OPEN SLOTS
29. CUBS - FOUR OPEN SLOTS
30. LAA - THREE OPEN SLOTS

And then MLB clubs must decide by Friday whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible and auto-renewal players.

other stuff...

Rockies with some interest in Henry Blanco, Casey Blake signs with Dodgers.

Dodgers want Furcal back now.

Indians interested in Kerry Wood.

If the Braves accomplish even half of what they are rumored to be involved with, they could be a force to be reckoned with in trying to get to the 2009 WS.

I hope Rogers is right. These Vitters rumors have been wearing me down. (I don't want to hate Hendry.) As for Pie, I was afraid the Cubs would give him away for nothing, and this is not nothing. It's a shame that he's blocked right now by Fukudome, who was a worse hitter July-October than Pie ever was, but that's the reality of the financial commitment they've made to two outfielders. If Pie succeeds in Baltimore, I can become a part-time fan. They're just up I-95, and my oldest son is a fan.

If Vitters doesn't go now, he will probably be our most viable trading chip at the July 31 deadline and will be moved to acquire whatever we need for the stretch run.

Those "insiders" at Orioles Hangout are back:

http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread....

Apparently the deal is suppose to be:

BAL gets: Pie and Marquis (along with $4 million)
CHC gets: Peavy
PHI gets: Derosa
SD Gets: Cedeno, Happ, Hill, Olsen, and Vitters

It seems to me that if we give up our starting 2b, our top prospect, our 5th starter and a two players who are MLB capable players in Pie and Cedeno that we should get something else than Peavy even if its just Luke Scott and Scott Hairston to platoon in RF.

I assume that's Rich Hill as I can't think of another Hill and it's nice to keep Marshall around. But losing DeRosa and Vitters plus $4M  is a bit steep w/o getting a prospect or as you say, Luke Scott at least.

Koyie

I meant Hill from one of the other organizations.

Would hate to lose Koyie "Three-Finger" Hill though....

Grant

Bunker

oh, oh, oh!!!

I want to play...

Hamburger 

Henry

"You're a pistol, you're really funny. You're really funny."

cue up "Yakety Sax"...

BENNY!

What's so special about Happ that he's worth DeRo?

And I still don't understand what the Orioles are going to do with Pie.

Also, what happened to Pie for Olsen? Now it's Pie and Marquis plus $4 million for Olsen? If they were taking on Marquis's whole contract, then sure.

The Peavy deal got significantly worse in that rumor.

Uhhhh since when are Pie and Cedeno MLB capable players? Pie can't hit a fucking curveball and Cedeno is the dumbest player in baseball probably.

About the only thing either are capable of is catching a baseball, but you kinda need a clue how to hit and not get picked off 1st about a dozen times.

The only value Pie has is that he is young and some other organization might think they can turn him around. Other than that i don't see other teams salivating at getting Corey Patterson version 2.0. Pie isn't as valuable as he was a few years ago.

I can't beleive I am saying this, but I actually agree 100% with Mike C on this. But I wouldn't trade Pie unless it is part of a big deal. I hope Hendry doesn't just trade him to trade him like his baseball twin brother Corey Patterson.

This is the second time you've brought up Hendry allegedly selling short on Patterson. What value did he have at the time? And hasn't he proven that lack of value since?

Cedeno and Pie both have the talent to be gold glovers and can be used as pinch runners. As a defensive whiz for a team with a loaded lineup or as pinch runners and defensive replacements off the bench they have some value. I am not saying they are stud prospects, but they are capable of being a 24th or 25th player on a MLB roster. Combined with losing Derosa and Marquis along with Vitters, I think we need more than Peavy for 4 mlb players and our top prospect.

I agree. Giving up DeRo and Vitters means we better be getting Peavy + something else of value that we need, like a RF, or a SS that hits better than Theriot. I don't see the Orioles, Phillies, or Padres giving up any SS talent, so we'd better be getting a decent RF slugger, or we'd better be keeping DeRo and Vitters or Marshall and Vitters.

Cedeno and Gold Glove should not be in same sentence.

"Cedeno is not or will never be a gold glover."

see, it works...

ESPN saying Peavy deal not close...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3757369

Story says the Cubs want to land their LH RF first (Man, we just wnet through that mess last offseason). And not sure they can swing it financially.

Also a mention the Cubs are looking at Randy Johnson.

Stark and Rosenthal (12:15 pm Update in the post) must have the same source because it's the exact same story.

Yeah.
2005, LH RF--Jeromy Burnitz
2006, LH RF--Jacque Jones
2007, Jones to Center, LH RF--Cliff Floyd
2008, Pie/Johnson in Center, LH RF--Kosuke Fukudome
2009, Fukudome to Center, LH RF--Bradley? Abreu?

At least the price keeps going up?

Errr nevermind front page news got it.

Count me in favor of Randy Johnson!

"A Chicago Cubs source vehemently denied reports that a trade for Jake Peavy is imminent, telling ESPN.com Tuesday that the club is not "remotely close" to a deal for the San Diego Padres ace..."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3757369

(cough) 3/44 (cough)

indians.mlb.com says the Tribe is close to signing a 2 yr deal with Kerry Wood

the fun part of that is the Indians play at Wrigley this summer.

He'll be a great fit closing games against the WSux too.

At least were going to get 2 draft picks for losing Kerry.

We did not offer arbitration to Kerry. My understanding is that that means no compensation for him signing elsewhere...

check your sarcasm detector....

Your sarcasm detector is broken.

Jinx!

it's like we were separated at birth, except one of us was raised by Belgians.

There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and Belgians.

I have all my hair and no cats...

Krod and Mets close to a 3/37M deal...

O's interested in Izturis...hahahahahahahbwahahahahahahaha!!!

Burnett getting the most interest from Red Sox, yanks and braves it seems like...the talk about the Cardinals seems to be false.

Radio report that Braves and Wsox talking about Dye.

R. Hernandez to Reds for Ryan Freel and a prospect might be done soon.

Yesterday, Wil Collins picked up his PGA Tour card in dramatic fashion by sinking this putt

http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AhVPjTyNzU1PntjWtp1rt...

to save par on the 108th and final hole of the Q-School tournament at LaQuinta. He was the last player to qualify at 19 under par.

All of which is notable BECAUSE his caddie was prominently wearing
a Chicago Cubs baseball cap (check the video at the link).

Pads beat writer has an update:

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/padres/2008...

It looks like they are not that enormed with Cedeno, Coste or Happ.

Little known fact: Rich Aurilia's middle name is "Santo".

Sounds like complete B.S. to me, but it's the Winter Meetings, so what the hell.....

–A crazy rumor making the rounds at the Bellagio in Las Vegas is that the Cubs would entertain the idea of possibly trading right-hander Carlos Zambrano in a blockbuster if, as expected, they acquire Padres ace Jake Peavy.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=1121

Why not just not trade for Peavy, in that case?

Cubs + Peavy - Zambrano = Cubs

Z has a full NTC. And would surely only waive it for a good NL team because of his love for hitting. Unles they get a huge haul back for Z, I don't see this happening.

Krod to Mets official according to Rosenthal, 3/37 with a 4th year vesting option that would take it to $51M

Sabathia has supposedly let the Yanks know he won't be accepting their offer. He apparentley feels that the Giants will be ponying up enough money to sign him.

I don't know if the Cubs are close or not on Peavy, but I'm not buying the "3-4 team trade is too complicated" nonsense. If Hendry can't understand the trade, I'm sure he can find someone who does.

I do not think its too complicated, its just we need more back if it is as O's hangout said it was, Hendry just needs to get something more back than just Peavy.

I have a feeling that some of these "reporters" are filing any story possible, to justify spending their company's money in Vegas. Some of this shit, well, is such shit.

Levine was on ESPN 1k and stated that reports that a trade is not close is just politicking among the teams involved and expects a deal to get done. Levine was the first one on this story when the print guys were dismissing the idea of getting Peavy.

Freel got traded to the Orioles - let the 'He's going to replace Roberts at leadoff!' speculation run rampid!

From MLBTRADErumors

"According to John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times, the Braves are interested in Paul Maholm and Ian Snell but wouldn't be willing to trade Tommy Hanson."

Man, do I live in the wrong county!

I lived in Beaver Lake, Nebraska, all the wetness you could want.

Andy McPhail...

http://masnsports.com/2008/12/a-little-bit-more.html

Also, it's becoming more apparent that, barring a late change, the Orioles' shortstop options are down to one - Cesar Izturis. Two years at $6.5 million should get it done, though he might take $6 million.

wow, so $6M might get a player signed that no one is interested in at all...cracker-jack work there McPhail.

sometimes I wonder how many of the strings McPhail was pulling while Hendry was supposedly GM'ing.

goodbye theriot!

hehe...wonder what hendry/lou's value of theriot in any of this potential trade stuff is.

"One intriguing name on the Cubs' radar is Garret Anderson...."
=================
Methinks this rumor originated with Angelfan Wife.

...oh, and Rob, don't forget to take out the trash.

OK - this is insane.

Was just watching CSN prior to the Bulls game, they reported Foxsports.net reports a Peavy deal is done.

Anyone hear anything? 6:55 CST

chuck Garfein's Blog (reporter, CSN)

"Tuesday, December 9th at 5:48 p.m.

We'’ve spoken to a source within the negotiations that say Jim Hendry and Kevin Towers are very close to making the Peavy deal happen.

Jim Hendry is speaking to the media at 6:30 central time. We'll know more then."

http://csnchicago.com/pages/new_landing/?Chuck-Gar...

I have not heard JH as of yet.

Fuck you Garfein!

And now, this from "Hot Stove Blog". "Progress...", Towers

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

Are you going to go all righteous indignation on us when the Cubs trade for Peavy? Just keep in mind how that worked out for Chad with the Izturis trade.

What? What are you reading into this? I am not advocating strongly any position on trading for Peavy, if in fact there is any trade that has been agreed upon. And there has been nothing confirmed for which to pass judgement on. IF the team got rid of Cedeno, Marshall, and Pie, I wouldn't shed a tear. Further than this, I am not a fan as much.

On the other hand, when one goes out on a limb vehemently on a player that sucks eggs - myself included, the opinion is fair game.

Anyway, you do all of your urinalysis from afar, not even stepping foot in Wrigley. And boast about it, right? OR did you make it to your first game after ten years last year when you sprung for 500 level seats.

Voyeur.

I recall your ass was thrown off this board a couple years ago, right?

This got weird.

I was talking about getting all worked up over some reporters' blog not having the content you wanted "Fuck you" I think was the exact quote.

"Anyway, you do all of your urinalysis from afar, not even stepping foot in Wrigley." This is just childish squared.

"OR did you make it to your first game after ten years last year when you sprung for 500 level seats."

I haven't been to a game in two years. However, that doesn't make you smart, the two are not correlated in anyway. If you're the TCR poster who goes to the most games, they may be inversley correlated.

"Voyeur." How many of the Cubs players are you having sex with?

"I recall your ass was thrown off this board a couple years ago, right?"

No.

Real Neal also makes predictions on occasion as well. I recall the prediction that Fukudome would hit ".275 .350 .400" for the month of September last year (http://www.thecubreporter.com/2008/09/01/game-138-...) He of course went .178 .288 .289 and we never heard anything about it.

We all make bold stances and predictions, and most of the time we are wrong, which is why we are fans and not pundits or work in the industry.

And then there was the smart guy who said this about my Theriot prediction for September:

"I'd expect him to hit about .280 .360 .305 for the rest of the way." (He hit .278 .360 .316 so I was pretty much exactly right)

Wiscgrad about blew a gasket!

"But let me get this correct. You basically expect Theriot to completely tank, hitting 25 points less than he has on the year, getting on base 30 percentage points lower, and slugging SIXTY points lower"

And he's been dying to crow about it ever since, even though he was just as wrong as I was - with the caveat that manager's decisions interferred with Fukudome's chances to rebound.

Your overall prediction was that Fukudome would significantly outplay Theriot over the month of September. So what does that say about your predictive abilities when you were correct on how horrible Theriot would play and yet Fukudome was still significantly worse? And yes, if you suck, the manager won't play you.

You even started doing updates comparing the two players until you realized a few days into September you were going to lose and then never mentioned it again. Until now where you try to spin it that you were right.

You said that Fukudome would do better over the month of September than Theriot and said "OK, Mr Smart pants, slim to none. What's that like 1%? I'll give you twice those odds, $100 bucks against your $5000 (or whatever you can afford to lose), two Cubs tickets against 100 etc. Deal?"

You are lucky I didn't take "the deal" but I am guessing you would have found some way to spin the bet so that you were right anyway, voiding it probably because Fukudome "would" have done better had Lou played him more, etc.

Have your doctor check your meds.

Oh shit, I have no comeback for that one. You got me! Congrats man!

"You are lucky I didn't take "the deal"

Yes, I am lucky you're a pussy. It saved me $50 bucks.

"but I am guessing you would have found some way to spin the bet so that you were right anyway, voiding it probably because Fukudome "would" have done better had Lou played him more, etc."

What makes you say that? Sounds like a pussy thing to do, I guess you're just projecting.

The facts are that there were two players, I was right on one and wrong on the other and you were right on one and wrong on the other. What kind of convuluted mind would look at those facts and come away thinking he had 'won' a meaningless internet argument, and then harbor it away in the 'Oh I am going to burn The Real Neal so bad with this day' file in the cesspool he calls his mind.

Your kind of convoluted mind.

Congratulations, Wisgrad, you won the internet.

I won the internet? Awesome! I had thought you won with the med line, thanks for clearing that up.

"I guess you're just projecting."

Nice use of a psychology term. You get points just for that. Now I'm just waiting for someone to bring up counter-transference.

I know Freel has logged some time at second base, but is he a realistic replacement if the Orioles move Roberts?

Roberts will need to be replaced two ways, batting leadoff and playing second. I assume that the Orioles aren't going to, for instance, bat Cedeno leadoff.

Okay I just got done splitting a bottle of Coppola Claret with the little lady(happy bday my turtle dove!) and watching the "Dark Knight" at about 6:30.

So are you telling me the Cubs are getting Roberts and Peavey?!??!?

WTF????

WHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~~!!!!!!!!!

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