More from Levine saying that Cubs and White Sox lead the chase for J.J. Putz who will throw again Friday. Putz expects around a $2.5M base salary with incentives that could take it into the $6-7M range. The White Sox apparently have already made an offer.
Levine also says if the Red Sox trade for Bradley, they would immediately flip him possibly to Texas or Tampa. ~shrug~
NPSport Canada tweets that Hendry does have one firm offer for Bradley and the deal will happen by Friday (rolls eyes), but does not involve the Blue Jays (thanks to navigator for the find).
- Phil Rogers believes the Cubs have already made their mind up about moving spring training to Naples for the simple reason that he believes the Ricketts want their base of operation out of Florida.
- Lowell to Rangers for catcher Max Ramirez looks like a done deal.
Harden's contract details from Ed Price; $6.5M in 2010 with $3.5M in escalating incentives up to 195 IP, $11M mutual option for 2011 with a $1M buyout if either side declines.
Levine says Hendry had meetings with Mike Cameron's agent Wednesday night and agent Casey Close who reps Ben Sheets, Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot among others.
Astros sign Brandon Lyon to complete their bullpen whitening process(3/15M according to Rosenthal).
NL Central tally so far:
Cardinals - Added Brad Penny & Hitting Coach that Knows How to Get things, probably losing DeRosa, Holliday and Smoltz.
Brewers - Added LaTroy Hawkins, Randy Wolf and swapped J.J. Hardy for Carlos Gomez.
Astros - Essentially swapped Valverde and Hawkins for Lindstrom and Lyon.
Pirates - Added Bobby Crosby and Akinori Iwamura.
Reds - Still employing Dusty Baker.
Cubs - Resigned John Grabow and traded Jake Fox, Aaron Heilman and Aaron Miles for 5 minor leaguers.
Another Rule 5 draft preview (h/t to MLBTR) from Jonathon Mayo, he thinks Steve Clevenger is the most likely Cub to get selected but adds that the Cubs could get "hit a few times".
From Gorden Edes twitter:
Cubs chutzpah: They really did ask Sox about Bradley for Lowell...under the heading: Can't hurt to ask. Got the response you'd expect.
Damn those unintelligent Red Sox.
The Red Sox have been kicking the tires on free agents. They have had talks with the agent for free agents third baseman Adrian Beltre, formerly of the Mariners. If you look at the trade and free agent market, Bradley may be the most attractive power hitting player available, besides free agents Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.
If a team like the Red Sox were intelligent, which they are, they could bring in Beltre to play third base, trade Lowell to the Cubs for Bradley and then end up with two players for next season for the same price or less that they'd have to pay for the big ticket free-agents Holliday and Bay.
Oh did I say Levine's latest? I meant here's the verbatim story handed to Levine by the Cubs to try and float some ideas out there and generate a false market. If a team like the Red Sox were intelligent? I think they've showed their intelligence a few times over by this point.
Anyway, Cubs like Melky Cabrera (although I still have doubts the Yankees will move him) and have talked to Cameron's agent and two other center field free agents, possibly Byrd or Podsednik.
Hendry held court and...nothing. The best we have is a non-denial about Boston and Mike Lowell.
Hendry says they're considering a few names in tomorrow's Rule 5 draft. Muskat lists Thomas Diamond, Steve Clevenger, Chris Robinson and Matt Camp as possible Cubs that could be drafted (Chirinos was mentioned earlier by Phil Rogers). Hendry says Marshall, Gorzelanny and Samardzija will compete for the 5th starter spot with all being able to move to the bullpen if needed.
Via MLBTR, Ben Sheets wants something close to the $12M he was paid in 2008 (Searches for delusions of grandeur tag).