...a whole lot of nothing.
- An article in a Dominican paper says the Cubs (so far) have been the most aggressive at pursuing Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
- No real news out of the Cubs convention beyond the Kerry Wood signing ($3M with a $3M option for 2013) and the new patio deck in right field with the LED scoreboard.
UPDATE: Deal is done according to a Bruce Levine tweet, don't know the name of the minor leaguers yet and the players must pass physicals.
ESPN Chicago and Fox Sports both reported last night that the Cubs were close on a deal to send the "best left-handed reliever in baseball" to the Cincinnati Reds, possibly for left-handed starter Travis Wood and 2 more minor leaguers. It seems the "2 more" will be the key to deal. And of course, nothing is official yet with plenty of water already thrown on this rumor fire. But it may happen, and if so, let's see why it might make some sense.
Under the new CBA, relievers will almost certainly not being getting their old club free agent compensation and Marshall was set to be one after 2012. Better to get something now than nothing later with 2012 looking like a non-competitive season for the Cubs. Also, it's generally a good idea to trade a reliever for a starter, at least a starter that won't be a free agent until after 2016 and you probably expect to be average or slightly better. Wood will be just 25 next season after all. And as mentioned, there seems to be talk of at least 2 other Reds coming over and we'll have to see who those are.
The Rangers make their splash of the offseason by putting up a $51.7M posting fee just for the right to negotiate with Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. They now have 30 days to work out a contract. What this means for the Cubs is that I doubt the Rangers are giving up any good prospects to land Matt Garza.
I'd like to move on from the unfortunate business in the last thread of comments. So have it...
The only news I can find is Rafael Furcal headed back to the Cardinals on a 2-year deal, around $14M. The Brewers found their SS in Alex Gonzalez on a 1-year deal with a vesting option for 2013.
I'm gonna attempt to write this on my IPhone. I won't be able to link to articles, so you'll have to take my word for it. Let's see what happens...I'm also going to leave in most of the autocorrects just for giggles.
- Sandy Alomar Jr. had his interview yesterday and Bruce Levine considers him the front runner only because he's not sure if Mike Maddux would take the job. Jed Hoyer says they're happy with the 4 candidates so far and it's unlikely, but possible they'd bring in another. And it's really 5 candidates as Terry Francona still seems a real possibility.
Buster Olney tweets that a claim was awarded on Carlos Pena. Depending on when that actually happened, the Cubs and the mystery team at the moment have about 48 hours to work out a deal. If nothing can be hammered out, the Cubs can pull Pena back off waivers or they can just let him go to the team and save the remaining salary left on his contract which includes the $5M deferred money he's owed on January 1st, 2012.
Bruce Levine's latest has a few new rumors, most of it probably trying to drum up interest in Cubs players that doesn't exist, but it's fun to dream.
- He says the Cubs are looking for minor league pitching that they can project to the majors in return for veteran players.
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.
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.