December 2010

Cubs Projected 25-Man Roster

The Cubs are a wasteland of news at the moment. Let's look at how Project .500 is doing...

Starting 8 (total guesses right now):

vs. righties: DeWitt, Castro, Pena, Ramirez, Colvin, Soriano, Byrd, Soto

Bench: Fukudome, Baker, Hill, Barney, Guyer or other outfielder

vs. lefties: Baker, Castro, Ramirez, Pena, Byrd, Soriano, Soto, Fukudome

Bench: Colvin, DeWitt, Hill, Barney, Guyer or other outfielder

Cubs Lose Two Hurlers in Rule 5 Draft

The Cubs lost two minor league pitchers in the AAA Phase of today's Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in Florida.


22-year old RHP Ronny Morla was selected by the Mets in the 1st Round, and 24-year old LHP Casey Lambert was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2nd Round.

2010 MLB Rule 5 Draft

The MLB Rule 5 Draft is the last order of business at the MLB WINTER MEETINGS, and it is a mechanism that allows MLB clubs to select (draft) players off minor league Reserve Lists. There is a "Major League Phase" where MLB clubs can draft players off AAA Reserve Lists for $50,000, a "AAA Phase" where AAA Affiliates can draft players off AA rosters for $12,000, and finally a "AA Phase" where AA clubs can draft players off the reserve lists of Class "A" clubs for $4,000.

2010 Winter Meetings Day Three

10:30 PM CST (Rob G.): A previous Levine post said Cubs are interested in acquiring Jason Frasor after missing out on him last season. Medical reports on Brandon Webb are in the Cubs doctors hands and Chris Davis for Robinson Chirinos is still on the table, but the Cubs want Darren O'Day included in a deal.

Cubs To Sign Carlos Pena

Carrie Muskat and just about everyone on twitter is saying the deal is done for Carlos Pena for a grand sum of...

(drumroll please)

1 yr/$10M

I'm sure we'll get more details on Wednesday, but looks like Cubs chose to pay a little more this year and a little less overall than the 2/$14M that Levine suggested earlier. If the numbers are true, it is $2M more than they offered Berkman and I'm wondering if Pena and Co. were willing to take deferred money that Berkman was not.

2010 Winter Meetings Day Two

10:32 PM CST (Rob G.): Reader QuietMan does it again with this Bruce Levine radio report. Levine speculates that Pena is going to cost around 2/14 with either a 3rd year vesting option or a club option.

- He puts A. Galarragga for Gorzelanny out there.

- Says Chris Davis is a back-up plan if they don't get Pena..

- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Cubs have interest in Chris Davis but aren't going to give up much.

7:32 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Miles pees all over the Davis/O'Day rumor.

6:05 PM CST (Rob G.): Joe Cowley tweeting some nonsense about Konerko to the Cubs.

6:00 PM CST (Rob G.): Ed Price tweets that a deal is in the works involving Chris Davis and Darren O'Day coming to the Cubs.

And fwiw, I don't believe getting Chris Davis would prevent the Cubs from going after Pena, LaRoche and the like. No way the Cubs are handing him Davis the 1b job. My guess is he's a utility option (as he can play 3b as well) and Rudy Jamarillo project for the future.

4:23 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Levine radio report thanks to one of our awesome readers.

- Detroit with interest in Gorzelanny (Link from Detroit papers here).

- Ignore the LaRoche talk, Cubs making push for Pena on a 2-year deal with a possible 3rd year option.

Link to ESPN Chicago saying Cubs will meet with Pena's agent again later today.

4:16 PM CST (Rob G.): It seems everyone expects Konerko to sign with the White Sox. Orioles will be "in on" Derrek Lee if the medicals check out.

- Kevin Gregg has more than one offer, possibly of the multi-year variety.

- Teams are showing interest in Rich Harden, possibly as a reliever.

- Matt Garza is another top starting pitcher that could be moved with the Brewers and Rangers mentioned at the moment.

4:14 PM CST(Rob G.): How I love Wrongway! His last tweet.

Look out for the . They're rekindling Matt Garza talks with Rays. Possible deal could include supposedly "untouchable'' Matt Cain.

Whoops.

3:55 PM CST (Rob G.): Bruce Miles though doubts the Cubs interest in LaRoche.

3:46 PM CST (Rob G.): Scott Miller takes it a step further and says the Cubs would like to close a deal soon with LaRoche.

2:48 PM CST (Rob G.): I guess Carlos Pena is going to be too expensive. Morosi says Cubs are going after Adam LaRoche.

12:31 PM CST (Rob G.): The Cubs and Webb's representatives have a meeting scheduled this afternoon according to Jerry Crasnick.

12:21 PM CST (Rob G.): Some nuggets from Bruce Levine's chat.

- Colvin is Plan B if the Cubs don't find a first basemen they like. Even if they do, Colvin will work on the position to give Quade some flexibility during the season.

- Fukudome is on the block, but only if Hendry knows he's getting another left-handed bat, either in the trade or ready to sign.

- The Cubs have talked relievers with Toronto and Texas with Jason Frasor's name coming up. There seems to be a Chris Davis for Robinson Chirinos deal that would work for both teams but the Cubs want to expand it and get a major league reliever in exchange for adding a  starting pitcher to the deal.

- Gorzelanny can be had, but only if the Cubs have a deal in place for another starting pitcher.

11:30AM CT (Cubnut): Rosenthal mentions "Kerry Wood" and "White Sox" together. Yeechhh! KR says Yankees also still interested in Kid K but won't deal with it until after Cliff Lee lands.

2010 Winter Meetings Day One

6:17 PM CST (Rob G.): Count on Sean Marshall as Marmol's set-up man next year as well as an echo that Cashner could be moved to the rotation.

4:13 PM CST (Rob G.): Damn. Loney and Broxton for Prince Fielder? Apparently they're talking.

Or Not.

2:15 PM CST (Rob G.): Rosenthal also says that Loney is very unlikely to be moved.

YESTERDAY (Rob G.): Some important stuff (as important as baseball rumors can be) from Levine yesterday that I haven't seen mentioned.

- Cubs offered Berkman the same $8M as the Cardinals but with deferred payments.

- Lyle Overbay is also on the Cubs 1b radar.

- If the Cubs can't sign a starting pitcher, expect Andrew Cashner to move to the rotation.

- Kerry Wood is a possibility if he's willing to accept the dollars($5M or less) and set-up role.

- Fukudome will be shopped.

2:15 PM CST (Rob G.): Gorden Edes says the Blue Jays are making a push for Carlos Pena.

2:10 PM CT (Cubnut): Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports (@stevehenson333) says a Dodgers source told him Loney will not be traded "because he'd be too expensive to replace on free agent market."

1:05 PM CST (Rob G.): As Arizona Phil predicted, Mark Riggins will be named the new Cubs pitching coach. Expect an official announcement tonight.

 12:20 PM CST (Rob G.): Steve Philips (stop laughing), says Cubs are one of four teams interested in Dan Wheeler.

- The asking price for Loney? Nats say Colletti wanted SS Ian Desmond and RHP Jordan Zimmerman. Apparently the moon isn't available in trades this year.

TEN

Thoughts and tears.

#10. Third Base-MAN. Love of Wrigley Field. Putting his favorite charity, JDRF and Juvenile Diabetes on the map to show that athletes can deal with the disease. Ron's partner, Pat Hughes (Ron's been in the booth since 1990). Brant Brown, that gut wrenching, "oh-no" overlapping Pat's "he dropped the ball".  Aw, Jeez.  Entrepreneur and Restauranteur. Ron Santo Pizza. Acapulco Taco Pie. Williams-Santo-Banks. Rebel pal Randy and the real highlight of fantasy camps. Roomie Glen Beckert. Flaming Gamer, Pat: "there's smoke billowing out of the top of his head" (audio link). The classic Jack Brickhouse call was music to my ears: "back, back, back, Hey-Hey, a homer by Santo."  Harry Caray asking Ron, "when you go to bed at night with your lovely wife do you wear your toupee?" Cub captain.  Leo Durocher. Don Young. Belly flop slides into second base. Clicking Heels. Pat Hughes broadcast introduction: "Along with nine time All-Star, five time Gold Glove winner and Cub Legend..."

Ronnie's gone. He slipped into a coma Wednesday and passed away in the early hours of the morning on Friday reportedly due to complications of bladder cancer.

Paul Sullivan has one of the earlier confirmations online but I've listened to WGN radio interviews with David Kaplan and Spike O'Dell reminiscing. Overnight host on WSCR, Les Grobstein clearly struggled with his sadness when he heard the news.

In one of the greatest tributes a son can give his dad, Jeff Santo's movie "This Old Cub" gave us the insight as to just what made Ron tick. Ron Santo was what loving the Cubs is all about.

Thank you to Ron. We are honored that you shared so much of yourself with us.

UPDATE: Rob's thoughts after the jump, just trying to keep all this in one place.

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Cubs to Offer Arbitration to All Eligible Players, Even Koyie Hill

Bruce Miles writes that the Cubs are planning to offer arbitration to all six of their arbitration eligible players, Geovany Soto, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Baker and Koyie Hill. As Miles notes, Hendry must be confident that Baker and Hill will accept whatever the Cubs are proposing.

AZ Phil guesses on the right sidebar are:

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 5 hours 30 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 6 hours 45 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 7 hours 29 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 7 hours 30 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 7 hours 34 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 9 hours 7 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 10 hours 12 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 11 hours 1 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 15 hours 32 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 7 hours ago view