37 players on 40-MAN ROSTER (three slots open)
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Brooks Raley
* Zac Rosscup
* Chris Rusin
* James Russell
* Travis Wood
* George Kottaras
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Anthony Rizzo
* Luis Valbuena
* Logan Watkins
* Brian Bogusevic
* Brett Jackson
* Nate Schierholtz
* Ryan Sweeney
The news broke last night that MLB and Frank McCourt came to an agreement to sell the Dodgers...possibly at gun point.That's real good news for baseball and Dodger fans that truly couldn't stand the guy. That's bad news if you thought any bargains were going to be had in free agency for the big names. For let's remember the Cubs offseason of 2006 when they were ready to sell and Tribune racked up a giant bill that they didn't have to pay.
Rumors on XM radio and from Ned Colletti were that the Dodgers already had some money to spend this offseason, agent and former player Dave Stewart commented that they approached him about an extension for Matt Kemp and he took that as they're not as handcuffed as some want to believe. And they very much need a big bopper in that lineup and I wouldn't be too surprised if they made a run at Jose Reyes as well. Anything can happen of course and they may go after Pujols instead, but I wouldn't be surprised in the least that McCourt makes one more fame grab and tries to load up the Dodgers this offseason and then take as much credit as he can if they're successful, even after he sells it.
As for the Cubs, Ryan Dempster exercised his $14M option for next year, so his Type A status is a moot point. But the Cubs did exercise their $16M option on Aramis Ramirez last night and it seems to be a mere formality at this point that Ramirez will decline it to seek a multi-year deal. That saves the Cubs $2M on the buyout and the Cubs will likely get a supplemental draft pick if and when Ramirez signs somewhere else as he just missed Type A status and is a Type B free agent. Carlos Pena also qualified at Type B status and his situation is a bit trickier as he could potentially accept the Cubs arbitration offer.
Time for another shot at wonderful prizes with the TCR Free Agent Frenzy Contest. MLB.com actually runs it and we just piggyback off of them, but it's been great fun. The prize this year for first place is a brand new copy of Cait Murphy's Crazy '08, which I know Dr. Hecht strongly endorses.
We've upscaled it this year and you can enter your choices by filling in this survey. A few things to note, it's limited to 100 responses although we've never had more than that. Second, it won't double check your work so if you put the same confidence level on two players, your ballot will be thrown out. If you wish, feel free to put your choices in the comments as well for a backup and so we can all mock you.
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I have to agree with you O & B. I was all giddy when the Cubs signed Soriano. Many here - "the Wise Ones" - pointed out just how asinine that decision was. But I was shell-shocked that any Cub team I followed actually signed the #1 FA of the time. It never happened before. I suppose Fred McGriff at the deadline was close - but he was WAAAYY past his prime and sucked balls for the Cubs, of course.
And such is the problem with complaining about the Cubs not burying themselves into the free agent market. I'm not saying complaining about it is wrong -- after all, I do it, but most of the posters here are really smart about baseball and would be all over TheoCorp for a signing like this. Even if this team finds a revenue source to help unleverage the team some, this kind of money for a player like this is insane. The reports say Ellsbury is injury prone but collisions - the basis of the two biggest injuries I remember, happen.
But some top Cubs baseball officials privately doubted they would be any more successful than they were in failed bids the last two winters for Yu Darvish and Hyun-jin Ryu, who went to the cash-flush Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.
"In addition, the Cubs have been absent from big-game hunting since Tom Ricketts bought the team in August 2009, perhaps because the front office of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer believe it was important to grow organically and not put expensive window dressing on a rebuilding program. But there are officials who say the sale contains provisions that financially handcuff Ricketts that would not be a factor for a posted player.
Towers says PTBNL is the key piece for them and has already been agreed upon...some administrative reason for not being named now. Also the money...also Heath Bell not losing anymore games for your team.