December 2008

Jim Hendry was on XM radio with Rob Dibble and his co-host...Stern something or other. The completely uninteresting highlights:

  • trading DeRosa was the toughest trade he ever made 
  • too right-handed
  • Fontenot and Miles at second base
  • No talks at all with Baltimore for "the player" (Brian Roberts)
  • couple of deals expected over the next few weeks, in 7-10 days they expect to add a left-handed hitting outfielder
  • seems content with the bullpen, Lou and Rothschild will figure out the closer between Gregg and Marmol in spring training
  • not going to the hockey game, currently visitng his brother in Louisiana
  • Soriano's just streaky, not worried about his playoff performance or wilting under the pressure
  • Sale completed within next month he hears
  • Payroll is set until new owner is named, had to move money to add money
  • humorous bit about not caring what the Yankees spend and he's spent plenty on his part and if he didn't, he probably would have been fired by now.

No mention of the Jason Marquis trade, but you have to assume it's one of those deals expected over the next few weeks.

On another note, this Stern fella sounds like a bigger idiot than Rob Dibble, which I didn't think was possible. He keeps harping about Brian Roberts and just called Mike Fontenot a "punch and judy" hitter.

Dr. Hecht's simulcast after the jump...

Bruce Levine of ESPN1000 is reporting that the Cubs have traded Mark DeRosa and the $5.5M on his contract for 2009 to the Cleveland Indians for three minor-leaguers, RHP Jeff Stevens, LHP John Gaub and RHP Chris Archer.

You have to think a trade, let's say for a certain pitcher from San Diego whom I dare not speak his name, is possibly forthcoming.

I'll try and get some info on the prospects in a bit.


UPDATE #1: Link from espn.com, although I think they have a typo on John "Caub".


UPDATE #2: I poked around a bit and none of the three prospects showed up on Baseball America's recent top 10 Indians' prospect list or John Sickels Top 20. In other words, this deal only makes sense if they're all headed to another city, let's call it San Diego, to give them the quantity of pitchers and players that they wanted in that trade for that certain pitcher, whom we'll refer to as J.P.

Scouting reports and biographies that I could piece together on the prospects after the jump....

Rob G: Sorry guys, the article Joe put up was just a cut and paste from the press release, apparently he didn't read the TCR Manual. :)

I kid because I care.

But as mentioned, the Cubs do sign switch-hitting infielder Aaron Miles for two years, the Trib says the deal is for $4.9M total and if it's an even split, that's $2.45M for this year. Miles hit 317/355/398 last season for the Cardinals after hitting 290/328/348 in 2007. He primarily plays second base with a 100+ games at short in his career. He's even dabbled in the outfield, but less than 10 games for his career including four in left field last season.

I think it's safe to assume an infielder is on his way out the door soon, most likely Mark DeRosa if yesterday's rumors are true, but possible that it's Ronny Cedeno or Mike Fontentot.

One of our readers ("DB") caught Steve Phillips saying a deal of Jason Marquis to the Colorado Rockies for relief pitcher Luis Vizcaino was "close". Famous last words of any rumor...

MLB Trade Rumors has it as well (apparently part of the update ticker on ESPN2).

Marquis is owed $9.875M and the story out of Colorado yesterday was that they couldn't "absorb hardly any of his $9.8 million salary this season." Cot's Baseball Contracts has Vizcaino as making $3.5M in 2009 and a $4M option in 2010 with a $500K buyout. That would still leave the Rockies on the hook for $6.375M and I'm going to guess that the Cubs are still throwing $1-2M more the Rockies way if this does indeed go down.


6:24 PM CST UPDATE: Reader "DB" is all over it today including an update from Bruce Levine on ESPN 1000. The highlights:

  • Marquis trade may not be competed until next week
  • Deal for Bradley is essentially done but also won't be announced for a week or two
  • Moving Marquis means the Cubs may once again hit up the Padres about Peavy
  • Hendry might try to spin Vizcaino if he does acquire him
  • DeRosa may still need to be moved if they go after Peavy

6:32 PM CST UPDATE: Troy Renck at the Colorado Post makes the deal sound pretty official, although he concurs with Levine that it likely won't be announced until next week. He mentions the Cubs sending $1M to the Rockies. If true, the Cubs take on at least $4M ($3.5M plus a $500K buyout for next year) and send $1M to the Rockies, netting themselves $4.875M in savings, a bit more if you count the $500K buyout towards next season's payroll.


6:50 PM CST UPDATE: Wittenmyer chimes in and says it's at least $875K going to the Rockies. I should also mention that Vizcaino was arrested on a misdeamoner DUI in Florida in October.


7:11 PM CST UPDATE: Rosenthal also says it would be less than $1M headed to the Rockies.


8;25 PM CST UPDATE: Bruce Miles throws a wet blanket on the deal saying it's possible but not done yet. Adding that the deal is essentially in the Rockies hands to approve.

Update: Loyal TCR reader Jacos points out my glaring omission of Bobby Murcer from the obit list. I think I scooted right past his name on the list of 2008 baseball deaths because I will always think of him as a New York Yankee despite his time with the Cubs and Giants, just like I will always think of Billy Williams as a Cub, despite his time with the Athletics. For the record, Murcer was acquired in trade from San Francisco for Bill Madlock in 1977 then traded back to the Yankees in June of 1979. In his two and a half years with the Cubs, Murcer had a couple of okay seasons--including 27 HR and 89 RBI in '77.


 

In the year just past, eight more men with various ties to our beloved Cubs left this world without seeing a World Series championship find its way to the North Side.

R.I.P. to you all, gentlemen...

 

John Buzhardt
(Died 6/15/08 at age 71 in Prosperity, South Carolina)

A right-hander signed by the Cubs as an amateur in 1954, Buzhardt pitched for the team in September of 1958 and all of 1959. In his two seasons in Cubbie blue, Buzhardt went 7-5, bouncing between starting and relief roles. The highlight of his Cub career was in June of '59, when Buzhardt threw a complete game, one-hit shutout at the Phillies. In addition to pitching for the Cubs, Buzhardt played for the Phillies, White Sox, Orioles, and Astros, ending his career in 1968 with a record of 71-96.

 

Don Cardwell (Died 1/14/08 at age 72 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

Two days after being traded to the Cubs by the Phillies in 1960, Cardwell no-hit the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. If you haven't seen the grainy black & white footage from the WGN broadcast that day, you should.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah and so forth. The Angel Fan Wife was kind enough to get me a Ryne Sandberg jersey, plus some wonderful Marquette gear, so I guess I ended up on the nice list. I would love to hear what Cubs goodies some of you received.

As for the current Cubbies, here's what a few of them unwrapped.

Alfonso Soriano - Jugs Curveball Pitching Machine

Aramis Ramirez -  "The Art of Cockfighting" (always good to brush up on the basics)

Jason Marquis - $100 Crate and Barrel gift card 


Ryan Dempster
A.J. Burnett baseball card 

Rich Harden - stack of hand towels (give it a sec)


Ted Lilly
- Star Trek Holodeck to let him pitch in 2008 playoffs

Carlos Marmol - copy of K-rod's contract

Jeff Samardzija - a slider

Carlos Zambrano -a Livan Hernandez baseball card

Geovany Soto - Rick Wilkins' locker

Ryan Theriot - The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Baseball & Softball

Derrek Lee - 2005

Cubs Fans - a World Series Title (comes in gift card form and can only be redeemed in October, never expires but not accepted every season)

As always, feel free to fill the gaps for others associated with the Cubs.

Tags: 

Despite a past association with current Cubs manager Lou Piniella and rumors that the Cubs had him in their sights, Walnut Creek, California native Randy Johnson has signed a one-year deal with the Giants for a reported $8 million plus bonuses,.

Particularly before Ryan Dempster was re-signed and then when the Jake Peavy deal fell through, Johnson was identified by fans and press alike as an affordable free agent option to bolster the Cubs staff.

Once Dempster was back in the fold, it was easy to get excited about the thought of Johnson replacing Jason Marquis as the Cubs' fifth starter. Also attractive was the thought that if Johnson came to the North Side, the Cubs would never have to face him: Johnson's career mark against the Cubs, spanning 14 starts, is 13-0, 1.84, with 142 K's in just 102 2/3 IP.

The Chicago Tribune had a story on Melissa Isaacson's blog where readers got the chance to play GM for a day. I wanted to take a few seconds to point out some of the choice cuts.

If I could be a GM for a day, I would choose to be the GM of the Cubs. The only real order of business on my plate for that day would be finding some way to get rid of Soriano, who is the biggest face of the failure of the last two years in the playoffs? Soriano. Hopefully I could find a way to get rid of Soriano and then Hendry could take back over and do whatever it took to sign Manny Ramirez to replace Soriano. - Jim Fannin, Morris, Il.

What I can't understand is why everyone is so quick to get rid of Soriano. To me, moving him to get Manny Ramirez doesn't make sense. Do you really think Manny is done being Manny? Do you think he'll just come here and be a model player? I understand that people dont like Sori's contract, but to throw him and his production to the curb is just silly. I'm also sick and tired of the playoff production excuse for why people justify moving a player. I'm fine with Sori on this team. If moved to the middle of the order, he can be a very good run producer for this team. Am I wrong?

I'd be the Cubs GM for a day: 1) I'd make the deal for Jake Peavy (in the proposed three-team deal). 2) I'd trade for Brian Roberts (take whats left of the value of our minor leagues and a position player or two like Cedeno or DeRosa and trade them for a World Series win). 3) I'd sign free agent Milton Bradley and play him in right and platoon Reed and Fukudome in center. 4) I'd sign free agent Randy Johnson (figuring that Marshall is gone via trade for Peavy). I'd like the Big Unit on our side for once. - Keith Davi, Lansing, Ill.

Come on Keith, trading for Peavy and then signing Randy Johnson? So that gives us six pitchers for five spots. Brilliant GM'ing. Also, Ronny Cedeno doesn't have any value as a trade piece right now. Teams know he's out of options and doesn't have a role on this team. There is a really good possibility he'll be designated for assignment this spring and be available for nothing.

Dunn can play first and Gathright can play RF and be a pesky leadoff hitter -- assuming he can learn to take a pitch or two. - Brad, Twin Cities, Minn.

Pesky? What makes a hitter Pesky? Why do all the speedy guys or small guys get labeled that?

If I were GM for a day: I would try to get Manny Ramirez and Jeremy Bonderman. I would keep Soriano, move Ryan Theriot to center, AKA Mickey Stanley in 1968, and insert Rodney Cedeno at short and DeRosa at 2nd, and move Hoffpauir to first. Ramirez would play right, Soriano left. Bring up Sam Fuld, I think that is his name and use him as a spark plug. Bring Ryan Sandberg up to be tutored by Piniella so that there is continuity when Piniella retires. Finally stop trading and build the farm system with pitchers who can pitch. The Cubs do not need flame throwers, they need pitchers. - Mark Nielson

Good God, this guy is just retarded. I cant take this anymore. I open it up to you. Play GM for a day.

Since season's bitterly abrupt end I have been busy putting finishing touches on my first book, Far From the Trees: The Troubled Sons of an American Neighborhood. If nothing else the gang hereabouts should like the cover design. You can check that out without even buying the book, though it goes without saying that I hope you do both.

Copies can be ordered through either Amazon or Barnes & Noble online; hopefully a wider distribution is forthcoming - the book has gotten off to a tremendous start here in Des Moines. The local independent bookstore where we held a launch party immediately sold out of its hundred copies and has a waiting list of more than 200 and counting in anticipation of their next shipment. Amazon quickly sold out of its first batch.

Far From the Trees is a composite memoir from the neighborhood where I grew up; sort of a before/after the wild '60's seasoned with Cub angles throughout - forgive this shameless self-promotion offered for your consideration.

Happy holidays everybody - here's to a healthy 2009!

MW...

In keeping with the ongoing story of the Chicago political scene, the Peoria Chiefs (A) have decided to auction off "Senate Seats" this season.

The other day, one of the guys sent out an e-mail to all the other writers at TCR. He mentioned that he had setup something called Twitter. I have heard of it and seen people around me using it, but I've decided that I'm sticking to Facebook. There is something magical about being able to endulge in something that would probably be considered a high school website and get so addicted to it that you find your grandma wants to be your "friend". That being said, I put the twitter out of my mind until I saw this:

WITH a cry of "holy f**king s**t", a US man is believed to have made
history by "Tweeting" the aftermath of a plane crash just moments after
the accident.

Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) user Mike Wilson was on board the Continental Airline’s 737 in Denver, in the US mid-west, when it slid off the runway during take-off yesterday. 

At
least 58 people were injured after the Texas-bound plane slid off the
runway – sheering its landing gear – and dropped into a 12m ravine.

A fire then broke out, damaging the entire right side.

Just moments after the plane came to a rest, Mr Wilson used his
mobile phone to send a message to all of his Twitter followers: "Holy
f**king s**t - I was just in a plane crash!”~ (View Full Story)

Since there is no news, I thought maybe I'd tie this into the Cubs is some sort of way. It's obvious that this Mike Wilson cat is addicted to twitter. I liken it to the addiction that we have with the Cubs. The other day I see AZ Phil's post about a new minor league coach with the name Pevey and I got excited. We're so thirsty for news that, in a sense, we're just waiting to swallow the first bit of news that comes over the wire. Things like twitter make that happen. It's there you get nuggets that say someone just saw Ryan Dempster running or Lou Piniella in Nordstoms with his shirt off and rumors begin to fly. "Is Ryan Dempster training for a marathon?" "Is Lou Piniella secretly a gay pole dancer?" Is that a good thing? I'm not sure. It certainly makes for an interesting transition to the new way news and media is reported.

I'm not sure when, or if, I'll rock the twitter. What I do know is that I won't be doing it as a plane is crashing, unless of course that plane is carrying me back home from a Cubs World Series.

 

Tags: 

"Cubs Club is the online fan club for die-hard Cubs fans. Members
receive many exclusive benefits such as a subscription to 2009 MLB.com
Gameday Audio, ticket opportunities, special merchandise offers and
much more. New for 2009: Be sure to check out this year's two new levels of membership."

--Cubs.com

 

You don't have to check out the two new levels of Cubs Club membership; Ed Sherman, posting on his blog for Crain's Chicago Business, has checked them out for you:

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated, but I am finally feeling somewhere close to normal finally. I know you were all worried. 

A whole lot of nothing going on, but Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Mark DeRosa will play in the WBC. I know we were alll waiting for that shoe to drop. Kosukue Fukudome had already been named to play for Team Japan.

In two-day rumors news, Dave Kaplan on WGN radio reported that Adam Dunn's first choice is to play with the Chicago Cubs at a "fair offer". The Cubs first choice is to have Adam Dunn play somewhere else and sign Milton Bradley. The other rumor is that somehow Tim Redding is possibly holding up Jason Marquis getting traded. It seems whomever "loses out" on signing Tim Redding between the Rockies and Mets may pursue our dear fifth starter.

I'll slowly get back in the flow as the week goes on...otherwise enjoy the holidays.

No time like the holiday season to be grateful for what we have... and to keep in mind that there is always... Room for One More... 

There is a new rookie in the TCR bullpen and as a result, I've picked up my Dora the Explorer backpack and have assumed the position. Hmmm, perhaps that didn't come out right. All kidding aside, I wanted to take a minute to mention just a few things I do and do not bring to the table.

I bring.....

  • A strong distaste for Derrek Lee and maintain that he is the most overrated first baseman in all of baseball.
  • A love of the farm system, though not nearly as much as the farm crazy AZ Phil has. He's my idol. I hope to one day be able to be half the man he is.
  • A heavy heart over the loss of my favorite Cub, Kerry Wood. I can still remember the day I skipped work for no other reason than to watch him pitch in his rookie year. What game was it? None other than the 20 K game. From that point on I was in love.
  • A hatred of Bleed Cubbie Blue and all the smug attitude emitted Al. Long ago I was told not to mention this, but what the heck? True story, Al was not their first choice: I was. I turned it down.
  • A strange list of favorite Cubs over the years that includes Rey Sanchez, Frank Castillo, Steve Trachsel and Joe Girardi. For some reason I never liked the good players.

I don't bring....

  • The ability to kiss Jim Hendry's butt when he makes a poor decision. He's been given the resources and it's time to get it done.
  • The patience to wait till I'm 80 for a championship.
  • The language in my posts that caused TCR to move from MVN, but I can still be ok, right?
  • A love to go to Wrigley Field. Call me crazy, but it's gotten frustrating to spend $100 and be surrounded by way too many drunks. If the stadium was filled with sane people throughout, I could rationalize it. It's TV all the way for me, though watching a drunk in any other circumstance for free is a fun assignment.

Hopefully that will give you an idea of who I am. I'll do my best to be active in the comments, so feel free to fire off questions. I'll submit to the grill. Roast away.

 

Hey, anyone see a Frank around here, Frank Wren...the guys at Liberty Media Group have sent someone down to talk to him. They're a bit concerned over recent developments.

I've been thinking of Joey Gathright as a Doug Dascenzo For The New Century, but Geoff Young, author of the Padres blog Ducksnorts and in this case writing for Baseball Digest Daily, paints an even uglier picture.

Enjoy Geoff's post for yourself. All I'll quote here is this:

...what Gathright did in 2008 has been accomplished a mere 15 times since 1901.

Effective immediately, Joe Aiello of "View From The Bleachers" is
joining us here at TCR. Joe started his blog back in October of
'03--the "Dark Time"--and over the years he turned VFTB into one of the
true stalwart Cub blogs.

We're thrilled to have him.

Update (11AM, CST): Cubs.com site makes it sound official. Per ESPN, Gathright will get a one year deal at $800K. Gordon Wittenmyer at the Sun-Times also weighs in with this confirming article, as does Paul Sullivan from the Tribune.


This is far from being confirmed, but I have found several links saying the recently non-tendered KC Royal, Joey Gathright will be finding his way to the Cubs roster. Apparently a report by Jesse Rogers on WSCR-AM mentioned that he's been signed (around 6pm Monday evening). Carrie Muskat then posted this odd mention of Gathright at Cubs.com. Noting that the 27 year old speedy, no power, lefty hitting OF could be added to the roster soon. She also reminds us that Gathright played for Lou Piniella and stole 20 bases for Tampa in 2005. Finally, in an interview with Joe Castellano on XM radio monday night, Cubs superscout Gary Hughes (special assistant to GM Jim Hendry) mentioned that "we're going to add a speed guy". He didn't name names but it sure seems odd to have this confluence of soft information match up all at once.

Maybe Jim Hendry wants Gathright for his jumping skills. You can see his famous car jumping video here. The Cubs can use anyone who can top Dodger pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and  Gathright garnered attention when he jumped over Kuroda avoiding a tag in a spring training game last year. It certainly isn't based on his hitting prowess, 263  .324  .308  are his career splits vs righty pitching.

If the Pitcher Jumping, Car Jumping, 5th OF is signed to a contract, does that hasten, ala Snagglepuss, an exit - stage door left for Felix Pie?  I'd like to see Pie get one more chance but it seems like he may literally as well as figuratively be running out of options. In any event, it's hard to get too worked up over the 25th roster spot in December, particularly when the starting right fielder has yet to be sorted out.

I've put my notes from the Gary Hughes interview after the jump...

So ends the saga of Jake Peavy to the Cubs for 7 or more players. But is the deal really dead? In fact, even the Brian Roberts deal isn't exactly dead. These kind of non-transactions take a "life" of their own. So I thought we might play a little game. One of the more common cliche's is "the best trade is often the one not made". So I'm asking for you to reach back and see what you can remember as to rumored trades that never occurred but if they had been made, would have been one gigantic mistake for someone or maybe even a timeline changer in the course of baseball history. Sosa for Soriano circa 2000 comes to mind. I'm sure there are some good one's out there to remember. Please help.

Kerry Wood passed his physical with the Cleveland Indians and has signed a 2-year/$20 million contract with an option for a third year based on "a vesting mechanism."

As reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer...

Wood, 6-5, 211 pounds, lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife
Sarah and their two children. It's believed that the Indians moving
their spring training facility from Winter Haven, Fla., to Goodyear,
Ariz., this year played a part in Wood coming to Cleveland.


GM Mark Shapiro also added right-hander Joe Smith earlier this week
at the winter meetings to pitch in front of Wood in the pen. Smith was
acquired in a three-team, 12-player trade with the Mets and Mariners.


"The signing of Kerry Wood brings to the Cleveland Indians a
powerful presence in the back of our bullpen and in our clubhouse,"
Shapiro said. "Kerry fills our need for a closer and fits our team's
culture perfectly as he is a dominant talent and an outstanding
teammate and person."

Tags: 

No suprise here, but the Cubs end up offering contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players that Arizona Phil went through this morning.

They even got Chad Gaudin to sign a one-year deal already, terms have yet be to be disclosed.

This seemed like a no-brainer to me once they dropped the Jake Peavy pursuit. None of these guys will be making much and all could provide some sort of usefulness next season.


6:10 PM CST: It looks like Neal Cotts signed as well. Sullivan says Gaudin will get $2 million, and Cotts will get $1.1 million.

1:20 AM CST: Add Reed Johnson as well for $3 milllion.

Today is the day when contracts are tendered to players on MLB Reserve Lists who are unsigned for 2009.

As reported in multiple places, including here, the Cubs are baling out on the Jake Peavy trade talks. Writes Ken Rosenthal:

The Cubs were frustrated by the Padres' attempts to seek five or six
players for Peavy with one team executive saying, "They're looking for
a Herschel Walker-type deal."

UPDATE: The Cubs lost three players in the 2008 Rule 5 Draft this morning, one in the Major League Phase and two in the AAA Phase.

1. Donald Veal, LHP - selected off AAA Iowa roster by Pittsburgh Pirates with 4th overall pick in Major League Phase.

2. Yusuf Carter, OF - selected off AA Tennessee roster by Oakland A's in AAA Phase.

3. Mark Holliman, RHP - selected off AA Tennessee roster by Milwaukee Brewers in AAA Phase  

The Cubs did not select any players, but they did acquire RHP David Patton from the Cincinnati Reds in a cash transaction after the conclusion of the draft. Patton was selected from the Colorado Rockies by the Reds with the 8th pick in the 1st round of the Major League Phase, and so the Cubs will assume the Rule 5 obligations (Patton must remain on Cubs 25-man roster for the entire 2009 season--or at least 90 days on the active roster if he spends time on the DL--before he can be optioned to the minors).

The 24-year old Patton is 6'3 175, and was selected by Colorado in the 12th round of the 2004 draft out of Green River CC in Washington. He struggled as a starter his first two years in pro ball before turning his career around after a move to the bullpen in 2006. He throws a hard breaking ball and has an above average fastball, and so he could project as an MLB reliever. The only problem is, he spent the last two years pitching in the California League (Hi-A), and has yet to throw even one inning of AA ball, although he did get into nine games with the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the AFL post-2008 (an atrocious 9.24 ERA and 2.13 WHIP in 12.2 IP).  

All three of the Cubs players selected in today's Rule 5 Draft were 2005 Rule 4 Draft picks (Veal in the 2nd round out of Pima CC, Holliman in the 3rd round out of Ol' Miss, and Carter in the 12th round out of El Paso CC), and this was the first Rule 5 Draft for each player.

Veal is still only 24, and was rated one of the Cubs top pitching prospects for most of his time with the Cubs, before falling out of favor in 2008. Veal has a plus-curve and a 93 MPH fastball, but he has struggled with his mechanics throughout his pro career and tends to hit his pitch limit before he can get through five innings. To help him throw fewer pitches-per-inning, the Cubs had him junk his curve in favor of a more-pedestrian slider in 2008, and that could have led to his downfall. I suspect the Pirates will have Veal try and get back to where he was before the Cubs started messing with him. I have projected Veal as a future MLB reliever for some time now (I would compare him to Arthur Rhodes), and I believe that is his best chance to have success at the MLB level. He is very effective against left-handed hitters, and pitching more often but without a pitch limit (as will be the case if he works out of the bullpen) should help him find more consistency with his posture, release point, and arm slot.    

The 25-year old Holliman was a "Friday Night Starter" (ace) at Ole Miss in his college days, and he had some success as a rotation starter the first half  of 2006 and 2007 with the Cubs at Daytona and Tennessee. But then he would hit a wall at about 110 IP and was unable to finish strong. With it becoming increasingly obvious that Holliman lacked the stamina to throw the 180 innings per season needed to remain in the starting rotation, he was moved into a middle-relief role at AA in 2008, and that appears to be his future.

Drafted out of JC ball as a catcher, 23-year old Yusuf Carter was moved to RF his second year with the Cubs. He has a plus-arm and plus-power, but he is also a very raw hitter (226/275/409 hitter in 298 career minor league games) who strikes out a lot and rarely walks. He would have had to win a job as the 4th outfielder at Tennessee in 2009 if he had remained with the Cubs. He is the nephew of retired MLB star outfielder (and ex-Cub) Joe Carter.

When a Rule 5-eligible player is placed on a AA reserve list in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft (as was the case with Holliman and Carter), it usually means the player's club sees the player as having a 50/50 chance of getting released in Spring Training, and so the club is happy to get $12,000 for the player. And since they were selected in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, Carter and Holliman will not be offered back to the Cubs. They are gone.

Veal's situation is a different matter, however, as he has to remain on the Pirates 25-man roster for the entire 2009 season (or a minimum of 90 days if he spends time on the DL) before he can be optioned to the minors. So it is possible that the Cubs could get Veal back, if the Pirates decide they can't afford to keep him in the big leagues for an entire season and if the other MLB clubs aren't interested in assuming the Rule 5 requirements. 

 -- AZ PHIL  

====================================== 

Well it was nice knowing you all, can't say enough about each and every reader...you guys are the best, really. But now that The Cub Reporter has gone national, well, see you losers. Please send media requests to Rob G., I hear Arizona Phil and Transmission are particulary photogenic.

All kidding aside, we did get a mention in USA Today yesterday, well actually reader "DC Tom" did for one of his comments on Ron Santo missing the Hall of Fame. Who and how they unearthed that comment I'm unsure of, but we'll take it. 

I'm 98% sure that I won't be able to keep up with the rumors today as I'm fighting a nasty cold and honestly, if I read one more headline saying the deal is "close" or "closer", I'll  beat the offending reporter with their own keyboard.

Hopefully Arizona Phil or someone else will cover the Rule 5 draft today.

Tags: 

10:32 PM CST: Here's a new name in the mix, Chone Figgins, from an article in the LA Times blog. Apparently the Cubs have asked the LA Angels of Anaheim about the leadoff batting, switch hitting, infielder/outfielder. The Angels don't have a good idea of what they would want in return until they get beyond the possibilities regarding Mark Texeira or a new closer such as Brian Fuentes. File this under good stuff that could get put in the ol' Christmas stocking on Dec. 24th. (Cubster)


9:40 PM CST: Jayson Stark writes that the Peavy deal "doesn't seem so inevitable anymore," adding that all the reports of the Cubs' willingness to move Mark DeRosa have really chummed the trade waters:

Since word leaked out that DeRosa might be available, the Cubs have
been bombarded with calls from other clubs interested in DeRosa. So
some of those teams report that Cubs GM Jim Hendry is telling them he
might deal DeRosa separately, but he doesn't really want to deal him at
all. So that, said one source, "has opened up a whole 'nother can of
worms."

(Cubnut)


9:20 PM CST: Bruce Levine with his evening update on the show (ESPN 1000) with Carmen and J. Hood said that Kevin Towers, if he does get Jason Marquis, expects that he can flip him in a secondary trade for additional prospects or more cash. Apparently Hendry and Towers met for 90 minutes earlier this evening and if a deal gets accomplished he doesn't expect it to be announced until late weekend or early next week, if you include physicals and possible ownership signoff issues.  (Cubster)


6:47 PM CST: Levine must have been at the same lunch as Bruce Miles, but he got that a deal for an outfielder should be done very soon, either Raul Ibanez or Milton Bradley, with the odds favoring Bradley. (Rob G.)


5:07 PM CST: The rumor queen is back saying that, oh just maybe they will move DeRosa in the right deal. She then regurgitates a Steve Phillips story that the deal could be DeRosa to the Phils for Happ or pitcher Carlos Carrasco and shortstop Jason Donald and then those two prospects plus Felix Pie, Josh Vitters and Jason Marquis (and you have to assume cash) to the Padres for Peavy.

- Bruce Miles says that Randy Johnson is still very much in play if the Peavy deal doesn't happen, the Twins and a number of other teams are interested in DeRosa if he is available and Gabor might be back as an NRI this spring competing for the backup catcher job. Lou also said he believes the left-handed hitting outfielder will come to the Cubs via free agency and not trade. (Rob G.)


3:03  PM CST: All kinds of bullshit floating around now...

We've got BP and Jon Heyman saying the Cubs need to move Marquis and his contract before finishing the Peavy trade.

- A few odd WSCR radio reports that Hendry is just keeping the trade talks alive as a favor to Towers in hopes that another team will swoop in. I can't say that makes an ounce of sense. Followed by another WSCR radio report that Towers may just keep Peavy. Always a good time to point out that WSCR's sources are trained monkeys living at the L-station stop on Addison.

- Muskat-love says DeRosa is staying put.

- Sullivan can't get anything out of Hendry and throws a monkey wrench in there with, "According to some reports, manager Lou Piniella said
the Cubs have little interest in Peavy, which is contrary to everything
that has been said and written over the last two months."
He also mentions that some think the Padres are trying to move Peavy before he blows out his elbow, not because they need the money.

He says Sean Marshall is off the table but Josh Vitters is in and Marquis needs to be moved. Then throws in some stuff on the outfielders.

- Heyman also had a note saying the Mets asked the Cubs about some of their relief pitchers (shrug). (Rob G.)


1:52 PM CST: Bruce Levine has a blog?  Claims the current deal being discussed is DeRosa to the Phils for Happ and a second prospect and then sending Happ, Vitters, Hart and Marquis plus $3-4M for Peavy. It makes it sound like the Cubs would keep the 2nd pitching prospect from the Phils.

Levine also mentions a possible trade in the works for an outfielder.

The Kerry Wood deal sounds likes it's going to be 2/20 with some sort of option and they're just waiting for the physical. (Rob G.)

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested on corruption charges.  The most prominent charges involve allegations that he essentially tried to sell his pending appointment of a successor to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Obama.

However, the indictments also include a charge that Blagojevich threatened to make assistance in the Tribune's efforts to sell Wrigley Field conditional on the Tribune firing members of its editorial board who had criticized his administration and even called for his impeachment.

Not wanting to pre-empt the winter meeting updates too much, the details are after the break.

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.)

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.

It's available at cubs.com, and the Cubs will open the season on the road at Houston on April 6th and open up Miller Park that Friday. They start the home season on Monday, April 13th versus the Colorado Rockies.

June looks pretty tough, with just one nine-game homestand and 17 on the road. They'll play their interleague schedule that month versus the AL Central, including home games versus the Twins, White Sox and Indians and then three on the road versus both Detroit and the White Sox. For the first time that I can recall, they play a series versus the White Sox in the middle of the week, although the second match-up at Comiskey (still Comiskey to me) is on the weekend.

They make up those home games in July with 16 at home and nine on the road. They finish the season with six at home versus Pittsburgh and Arizona. That will be right after a 10-game road trip to St. Louis, Milwaukee and San Francisco. They also travel to San Diego twice next season, April and August.

12:18 pm Update: From the Baseball Hall of Fame Web site:

Fans wishing to voice their opinion in support of
their favorite candidates may do so in two ways. By sending a single
letter to the address below or by clicking here and sending an e-mail.

Hall of Fame Veterans Committee
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

The Hall of Fame does not forward petitions to the voting members, but
makes all correspondence known to any interested voting members as well
as to the Screening Committee members and Historical Overview Committee
members.

12:10 pm Update: Santo and players with whom he shared the ballot--Joe Torre, Gil Hodges, Dick Allen, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills--will next be eligible for election in 2010.

Only Joe Gordon is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the two Veterans Committees which separately considered pre-1943 players and then the 1943 & after guys.

Tags: 

On Monday December 8th, the Baseball
Hall of Fame will
announce
the voting results of the Veterans Committee
.
 
In a three part series, guest columnist and reader, “Dying Cub Fan”
takes a look at the candidacy of former Cubs third basemen, Ron
Santo. We ran this piece two years ago, but it's lost in Internet limbo
and well, Santo deserves it, so we're running it again. Plus,
the voting process has changed this year, as there are only 10 players for the committee to consider, so here's hoping this is the year.  You can join the revolution on Facebook as well.


 

Why has
Santo been overlooked?

Santo did not do
well in BBWAA voting when he was eligible for consideration by the
writers. He was considered by the BBWAA 15 times, and his best
showing came in 1998 (his last year on the writers’ ballot), when
he received 204 votes (43.13%, well short of the 75% needed for
election).14 He was removed from the ballot after the
1980 election (the first time he was eligible for BBWAA
consideration) for failing to receive the required 5% vote; he was
reinstated to the ballot in 1985. Under the selection process of the
reconstituted Veteran’s Committee (which has elected no one since
being reconstituted in 2001, following the former Veteran’s
Committee’s pick of Bill
Mazeroski
, and which now considers players every two
years), Santo received 56.8% of the vote in 2003 and 65% in 2005,
each time short of the 75% vote needed. The former Veteran’s
Committee did not publish their voting results.

On Monday December 8th, the Baseball
Hall of Fame will
announce
the voting results of the Veterans Committee
.
 
In a three part series, guest columnist and reader, “Dying Cub Fan”
takes a look at the candidacy of former Cubs third basemen, Ron
Santo. We ran this piece two years ago, but it's lost in Internet limbo
and well, Santo deserves it, so we're running it again. Plus,
the voting process has changed this year, as there are only 10 players for the committee to consider, so here's hoping this is the year.  You can join the revolution on Facebook as well.


 

Brooks
Robinson

In 1964, third
basemen won the MVP award in both the American League and the
National League. Brooks
Robinson
won in the AL, playing for an Oriole team
that won 97 games and finished third, and Ken
Boyer
won in the NL, playing for the Cardinals, who
won 93 games and the pennant. The Cubs won 76 games and finished
8th. Santo had a better year than either Robinson or Boyer and
finished 8th in MVP balloting. 6

Pages

X
  • Sign in with Twitter