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.)
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.