Cubs Rumor Round-up: DeRosa, Harden and Johnson

- Buried in this article is this nugget:

DeRosa, coming off wrist surgery, figures to field an offer from the Chicago Cubs, at the least. 

Seems like idle speculation than anything legit, but at least the Wrigley-ites would be cheering for the right team if it did happen. ()

- Paul Sullivan to let Rich Harden and Reed Johnson test free agency. 

But Harden's injury-plagued history makes a multiyear deal unlikely, and Johnson may have to take a salary cut to stay.

Well if this is indeed the case, offering Rich Harden becomes even a bigger no-brainer. Johnson has never been more than a good short-side platoon player that shouldn't be too difficult to replace. Jayson Stark as an option.

- Sammy Sosa

The official line was that he going through a rejuvenation process for his skin.


Sammy heard that a lighter complexion was the best way to get cheered at Wrigley.

That's more of a 3/44 than a "find." Derrick Goold is just repeating some speculation he himself made in print two weeks ago when DeRo's surgery was announced.
"The Chicago Cubs figured to make an overture toward DeRosa as a make-good for trading him to Cleveland before the 2009 season — a move general manager Jim Hendry conceded was a mistake."
But, FWIW, here's some more speculation and the guy who made it. Former Nats GM Jim Bowden who is now a talkshow guy, yesterday -- Cubs will acquire CHONE FIGGINS and stick him at 2B.

CubsOnline site reports a summary of the Bruce Levine Talking Baseball Saturday show. Apparently a lot of Cub talk, so I'm listing some highlights from the CCO blog. Here is a link to Bruce Levine Talking Baseball podcast link which can be listened to online (37 minutes) (NOTE: skip the first half of that podcast/download, 18 minutes or so are WSux talk before Levine gets to Cub stuff) --- 1) Mike Cameron: A caller mentioned radio stations in Milwaukee reporting Mike Cameron would sign with the Cubs after the Brewers acquired Carlos Gomez for J.J. Hardy on Friday. Granted the connection is there with Lou Piniella (from Seattle) but Levine stuck to his report from earlier in the week that Cameron would be a back-up plan for the Cubs. Levine explained if Cameron does sign with the Cubs he thinks it would not be until January or February. Apparently the Cubs are looking for a younger, left-handed centerfielder that would allow them to move Kosuke Fukudome back to right field. 2) Bradley: Bruce Levine thinks Bradley will be moved in the next 30-45 days. 3) Chone Figgins: Jim Bowden mentioned during his show with Joe Castellano (XM Radio) Thursday night that he feels Chone Figgins will sign with the Cubs ... and play second base. 4) Reed Johnson: Bruce Levine is hearing Johnson is looking for a two-year, $6 million contract ... and that might be out of the Cubs' price range. (and Hendry's signing of Aaron Miles last year screwed them out of overspending on RJ). 5) Starlin Castro: Levine (who was in AZ last week watching the AFL) thinks Castro will be the Cubs' shortstop as early as the second half of 2010 ... but not much later than 2011. Castro is still too "green" according to Levine and needs a couple of more months in the minors. Levine thinks the Cubs should look at Orlando Cabrera as a one-year option at short in order to improve the Cubs' defense next season. 6) John Gaub: could be a factor in the Cubs' pen in 2010 and should be added to the 40-man roster in the next two weeks (November 20). Gaub's fastball has been clocked in the low to mid 90's in the AFL with a very good breaking ball according to Levine. 7) The Cubs are expected to announce their new marketing director by the end of next week. According to Bruce Levine, it will be a "well-known" Chicagoan (Levine doesn't know who it is yet).

I couldn't be more excited about Johnny B ( being named as the director of marketing. That's the final touches on the 2010 title.

What is it that Starlin Castro currently lacks that anyone thinks they can predict he'll develop/learn in two or three months more in the minors? Really? We're predicting prospect development within that small of a window? Can I call bullshit? Give me a window in terms of years for position player prospects that haven't reached AAA. The rest is just playing craps.

Gonna try something, not sure how useful it is. The Bruce Levine Talking Baseball audio link really sucked as it was mostly discussion with JHood about WSux. So here's a link to my mobile me public folder. You can download the 2 hour program and listen to the audio file at your leisure. Password is: TheCubReporter The recording is recorded from a Radioshark device so it's a little bit noisy but with the volume down it's listenable. It's a 134 MB file in .m4a format, so it should work in iTunes (or on it's own in a mac)

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus fires up the hot stove discussion before the GM meeting starting tomorrow in Chicago: The Cubs might listen on ace Carlos Zambrano, but would need to be overwhelmed to deal him. As always, there are a number of overpriced players that teams are trying to get rid of. In the front ranks in that group are Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley... Catching has become an increasingly difficult position for teams to fill, yet there are some interesting names floating as trade possibilities: the Pirates’ Ryan Doumit, the Rays’ Dioner Navarro, the Rangers’ Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the Cubs’ Geovany Soto. The Cubs have decided not to try to re-sign right-hander Rich Harden and outfielder Reed Johnson, who can both become free agents.

Consider my interest peaked on either Navarro or Doumit (in that order). Not worth throwing your best prospects at, but could be decent backups at the right price. Harden is not surprising. Still... still confused why he wasn't dealt at the trade deadline. It was clear the season was over back then. Oh well, water under the bridge.

harden was still healthy...that's the most likely thing. MIN never actually made an offer to CHC according to hendry on the post-deadline claim, fwiw. got to pick up a phone to make a deal. leadoff hitter, cf, middle infield seem to be priorities... the lack of a Bradley trade should not be confused with a lack of interest. According to a source, at least three more interested parties contacted the Cubs in the last week or so. payroll north of $140 Figgins, Cameron talk Johnson will test Free agency

Tim Dierkes at mlbtr gives his free agent and where they land picks...throws the Cubs a Billy Wagner bone. meh.

I'm all for bringing in Wagner, unless Wild Thing Marmol instills confidence in you... includes the best and worst baserunners of 2010 with Fukudome trailing the pack at CF at -11. how good is Utley btw? UZR has him as the best defensive player over the last 3 years and this has him as the best baserunner last season.

Their explanation of baserunning doesn't seem to factor in anything other than how often you advance on hits and make outs. That's pretty simplistic. Halladay has a no-trade clause in his contract, but he's said he'd like to play for a contender, and the Cubs seem closer to getting back to the playoffs than do the Blue Jays. To get Halladay, the Cubs must move money. Could Hendry package Bradley and prospects for Halladay? Bradley could thrive in the relatively quiet environs of Toronto, and Halladay would provide an instant jolt to the Cubs' rotation.

Another graduate of the Costanza School of General Management.

From today's ESPN lede story: ----- 8. Which player is more difficult to trade -- Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley, because of his reputation and other baggage, or Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells, because of his contract? Responses: Wells 20, Bradley 0. ---- So we got that going for us, which is nice.

here's the link

 Although Bradley obviously has made Chicago GM Jim Hendry's life more complicated, the consensus is that he's movable if the Cubs: (a) eat most of his salary; or (b) take on somebody else's overpaid headache in return. The Jays don't have that luxury with Wells.

the consensus is that he's movable if the Cubs: (a) eat most of his salary; or (b) take on somebody else's overpaid headache in return. Who, Bradley or Hendry? I say, move Hendry if we can find someone who'll take him. And eat most of his salary if necessary.

How about Hendry eats Bradley? Hendry goes to mental ward for canbalism. Problem solved on both fronts.

I enjoy rumors at this time of the year. But, while the Cubs have "prospects" to acquire some players of a certain level, I would consider it highly doubtful that they have the prospects in quality or quantity to obtain a player like Halliday, when compared to other organizations. If HArden is not signed to a short-term deal, the team is just so fucked with what they have right now in terms of a dominant viable staff: one number 2, an injured number 2, 1 #3, 1 # 4 starter, and fill-in-the-blank #5's. I do not have my hopes up for 2010 and we're five months away.

The Cubs system has a lot more depth than, for example, the Mets did when they got Santana. We could probably trade for Halladay and keep Vitters or Castro, for example. Financially, it's hard to see how that could work, if they still intend to address 2b and CF with guys from other ogranizations, though.

there's also the, why the hell would the Blue Jays take Bradley's contract to move Halladay unless they're getting all the Cubs good prospects in the deal...

z, lilly, dumpster is a hell of a 1/2/3, imo. the new kid seems pretty good in a non-rich-hill kinda way, too.

I would agree with this "IF" Z was a true #1 pitcher. To all of our great disappointments, he has not shown that he is. Every year we all wait to see if he will deliver on this "Elite NL Pitcher" promise - but he has not.

Okay, but it seems as though you are touting Harden as the ace that the Cubs had better not let get away. I was generally pretty stunned if I ever saw Harden pitching past the 6th inning. The guy averaged 5.4 innings per start. He was a HUGE drain on the bullpen, even when he didn't miss his start altogether... I am with you on Z. I have never thought of him as a #1 starter. He has the talent, but is just way to inconsistent and emotional.

Let's see, talented broken down Type B free agent who's a drain on the bullpen but he really really wants to stay with the Cubs: Thank the baseball gods Hendry has no money to play around with this year. He'd have given Harden a multi-year backloaded bonanza based on that alone. Beyond the Cardinals and Red Sox, the Mets, Giants, Braves, Cubs, Mariners and Yankees could be in the market for either of the two corner outfielders (Bay or Holliday).

I'm guessing Yanks and BoSox. Cardinals? Mariners?

And eat most of his salary if necessary. --- Tougher to do now that Yum-Yum donut shop is gone.

Offer arbitration to Harden. You are either getting him back on a 1 year deal or getting a comp pick. No brainer win/win