Archive - 2008

December 11th

December 10th

Winter Meetings 2008 Day 3

10:32 PM CST: Here's a new name in the mix, Chone Figgins, from an article in the LA Times blog. Apparently the Cubs have asked the LA Angels of Anaheim about the leadoff batting, switch hitting, infielder/outfielder. The Angels don't have a good idea of what they would want in return until they get beyond the possibilities regarding Mark Texeira or a new closer such as Brian Fuentes. File this under good stuff that could get put in the ol' Christmas stocking on Dec. 24th. (Cubster)


9:40 PM CST: Jayson Stark writes that the Peavy deal "doesn't seem so inevitable anymore," adding that all the reports of the Cubs' willingness to move Mark DeRosa have really chummed the trade waters:

Since word leaked out that DeRosa might be available, the Cubs have
been bombarded with calls from other clubs interested in DeRosa. So
some of those teams report that Cubs GM Jim Hendry is telling them he
might deal DeRosa separately, but he doesn't really want to deal him at
all. So that, said one source, "has opened up a whole 'nother can of
worms."

(Cubnut)


9:20 PM CST: Bruce Levine with his evening update on the show (ESPN 1000) with Carmen and J. Hood said that Kevin Towers, if he does get Jason Marquis, expects that he can flip him in a secondary trade for additional prospects or more cash. Apparently Hendry and Towers met for 90 minutes earlier this evening and if a deal gets accomplished he doesn't expect it to be announced until late weekend or early next week, if you include physicals and possible ownership signoff issues.  (Cubster)


6:47 PM CST: Levine must have been at the same lunch as Bruce Miles, but he got that a deal for an outfielder should be done very soon, either Raul Ibanez or Milton Bradley, with the odds favoring Bradley. (Rob G.)


5:07 PM CST: The rumor queen is back saying that, oh just maybe they will move DeRosa in the right deal. She then regurgitates a Steve Phillips story that the deal could be DeRosa to the Phils for Happ or pitcher Carlos Carrasco and shortstop Jason Donald and then those two prospects plus Felix Pie, Josh Vitters and Jason Marquis (and you have to assume cash) to the Padres for Peavy.

- Bruce Miles says that Randy Johnson is still very much in play if the Peavy deal doesn't happen, the Twins and a number of other teams are interested in DeRosa if he is available and Gabor might be back as an NRI this spring competing for the backup catcher job. Lou also said he believes the left-handed hitting outfielder will come to the Cubs via free agency and not trade. (Rob G.)


3:03  PM CST: All kinds of bullshit floating around now...

We've got BP and Jon Heyman saying the Cubs need to move Marquis and his contract before finishing the Peavy trade.

- A few odd WSCR radio reports that Hendry is just keeping the trade talks alive as a favor to Towers in hopes that another team will swoop in. I can't say that makes an ounce of sense. Followed by another WSCR radio report that Towers may just keep Peavy. Always a good time to point out that WSCR's sources are trained monkeys living at the L-station stop on Addison.

- Muskat-love says DeRosa is staying put.

- Sullivan can't get anything out of Hendry and throws a monkey wrench in there with, "According to some reports, manager Lou Piniella said
the Cubs have little interest in Peavy, which is contrary to everything
that has been said and written over the last two months."
He also mentions that some think the Padres are trying to move Peavy before he blows out his elbow, not because they need the money.

He says Sean Marshall is off the table but Josh Vitters is in and Marquis needs to be moved. Then throws in some stuff on the outfielders.

- Heyman also had a note saying the Mets asked the Cubs about some of their relief pitchers (shrug). (Rob G.)


1:52 PM CST: Bruce Levine has a blog?  Claims the current deal being discussed is DeRosa to the Phils for Happ and a second prospect and then sending Happ, Vitters, Hart and Marquis plus $3-4M for Peavy. It makes it sound like the Cubs would keep the 2nd pitching prospect from the Phils.

Levine also mentions a possible trade in the works for an outfielder.

The Kerry Wood deal sounds likes it's going to be 2/20 with some sort of option and they're just waiting for the physical. (Rob G.)

December 9th

Illinois Governor Indicted on Corruption, Charges Include Tampering with Sale of Wrigley

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested on corruption charges.  The most prominent charges involve allegations that he essentially tried to sell his pending appointment of a successor to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Obama.

However, the indictments also include a charge that Blagojevich threatened to make assistance in the Tribune's efforts to sell Wrigley Field conditional on the Tribune firing members of its editorial board who had criticized his administration and even called for his impeachment.

Not wanting to pre-empt the winter meeting updates too much, the details are after the break.

Winter Meetings 2008 Day 2

9:32 PM CST Embedded in this non news worthy Jayson Stark report that the Peavy deal isn't imminent because blah, blah, blah... is a Sportcenter video of John Kruk waxing euphoric on what Jake Peavy would mean to the Cubs in Wrigley Field if he brought them a World Championship. Go Kruk Go! (Cubster)

8:32 PM CST Jeff Passan from Yahoo sports says the "lone holdup" in the Cubs getting Peavy is that they need to off-load Jason Marquis and his $9.875 million salary. (Cubster)

8:29 PM CST: Rumor has it that Towers and Hendry will be drinking single malt scotch whiskey and discussing whether they are close to closing the really closely guarded information regarding the now 32 player deal involving the entirety of all MLB clubs. Bruce Levine had his stealth listening device against the door of Towers' suite although the meeting apparently was in Hendry's suite. Once BL firgured this out it didn't matter anyway as even a juicy report on ESPN 1000 was going to be pre-empted by the Bulls game tonight. David Kaplan's WGN radio show had a scheduled interview with "the phenomenal" Mrs. Katie Peavy but was pre-empted by WGN's news analysis of the Governor Blajojevich scandal. (Cubster)

7:46 PM CST: New rule, if you use the word "close" to describe any potential deal, you will be arrested and publicly flogged. Cory Brock is the latest at MLB.com.This comes four hours after he wrote talks were slowing and their was some reluctance on the Cubs part.

Nonetheless, the latest article has a quote from Towers that it "looks more
likely today than yesterday.
" and so on and so on. (Rob G.) 


7:24 PM CST:  Hey, the deal is close, no really, this is the one folks!!! Chuck Garfien at CSN Chicago is the latest to suck us in with that headline. He also said there was suppose to be a media appearance by Hendry at 6:30PM CST, but doesn't seem like that happened. (Rob G.) 


5:01 PM CST: More from Wittenmyer:

"One intriguing name on the Cubs' radar is Garret Anderson...."

Yes, that's very intriguing that the Cubs want to field an inferior team next season.

- Stark says the Cubs won't move DeRosa unless they sign a left-handed hitting outfielder first and that the Phils and Cubs are both very interested in Ibanez. (Rob G.) 


4:40 PM CST: Twitter post from Gordon Wittenmyer of the not-yet-bankrupt Chicago Sun-Times:

Cubs met with Randy Johnson's agent Monday night and sources confirm their plan to explore signing him if Peavy falls through.

(Cubnut)


4:20 PM CST: A summary just doesn't do this story justice...

I talked to a high-ranking Cubs official last night and ran that whole Carlos Silva-for-Kosume Fukudome trade rumor by him. He nearly choked on his beverage laughing. While the thing has a nice, symetrical feel to it, with both players owed three years and more than $30 million each, the official assured me he would "fall out of my (bleeping) chair'' if such a trade went through. And no, for the record, he has not heard that one is in the works. 

(Rob G.) 


2:39 PM CST: Yahoo has a story with a quote from Towers saying he doesn't believe the deal has "lost steam" in the last 24 hours (of course he doesn't, he needs the deal done more than the Cubs do). The article also says the four-team deal is a bit too complex for the Cubs' tastes and they feel they're giving up too much. Another Randy Johnson mention as well. 

Unfortunately, I'm gonna go radio silent for a few hours here myself. (Rob G.)


2:15 PM CST: Padres beat writer, Tom Krasovic throws some more cold water on the fire, saying the Padres aren't really interested in J.A. Happ or Chris Coste or Ronny Cedeno for that matter. (Rob G.)


2:00 PM CST: BP has a "crazy rumor" that the Cubs would try and move Carlos Zambrano if they landed Jake Peavy. In an earlier update, Perrotto says the Peavy deal would be:

O's: Felix Pie
Cubs: Peavy
Padres: Olson, Marshall, Hart, Cedeno & Vitters

He indicates the Phils might make it a 4-team deal and send Happ and possibly catcher Lou Marson to the Padres presumably for Mark DeRosa. 

- Indians are "close" to signing Kerry Wood to a 2-year deal. As Cubster pointed out, the Cubs play the Indians this season. (Rob G.)


12:58 PM CST: I love reports about deals that aren't happening. Stark says a Marquis for Aaron Heilman trade was discussed but the Mets wanted the Cubs to eat too much salary. (Rob G.)


12:15 PM CST: Stark says Mets, Phillies and Cubs are in the lead for Ibanez's services. 

- The Cubs maintain that they are not all that close on a Peavy deal according to Rosenthal and are considering Randy Johnson as a back-up plan. Rosenthal is sticking with the story angle that the Cubs need to identify their new owner first before any deal for Peavy is completed and have to move the contract of Jason Marquis. They also want their left-handed hitting corner outfielder signed first. (Rob G.)


11:50 AM CST: Rogers calls the deal for Peavy "close", which is always a good time to remind everyone that Phil Rogers is a nincampoop (yeah, I'm bringing it back). Rogers indicates it's a four-team deal with the Cubs giving up DeRosa (to the Phils), Pie (to the O's), and Sean Marshall (to the Padres) and O's give up Garret Olson and the Phillies give up J.A. Happ, both of which go to the Padres. That deal doesn't sound too unreasonable actually, in my humble opinion.

- Roman Modrowski claims to have a friend that spotted Peavy at a bar in Vegas singing "Go Cubs Go!". He also says the Cubs may have to pay as much as $6M to move Marquis and his contract and the Cubs would try to sign Rich Aurilia if they move DeRosa.(Rob G.)

December 8th

Winter Meetings 2008 Day 1

Bumping this back up top as I think we all know that they've crushed Santo's little heart again.

10:34 PM CST UPDATE: Bruce Levine was on ESPN-1000 AM, from his hotel room (soaking his feet) at the Bellagio. All he added was that any Jake Peavy deal might include either the Orioles or Marlins as the additional teams to make the deal happen but he didn't sound like he had info that was recently updated on this. --Cubster

10:04 PM CST UPDATE: Corey Brock on mlb.com says the Peavy trade legwork is done. "There's a package there that will satisfy us. There's a deal in the way of names. It comes down to does Jim (Hendry) have the wherewithall to make it happen?" said Towers. It could be as extensive as a 3 or 4 team transaction possibly including one or both of the Phillies/Orioles. Not much in terms of specific names other than Peavy but at least there are some quotes from Kevin Towers that sound like a transaction is possible, at least meeting the Padres threshold for a deal.  --Cubster

8:53 PM CST UPDATE:  Last one before I call it a day, Scott Miller at CBS also talks about the Phils being involved in the Peavy talks.  Miller says Vitters, Hart and possibly Marquis would go to the Padres with Phillies prospect, J.A. Happ going as well and possibly catcher Chris Coste. What the Phils would get is unclear, although they do apparently like Mark DeRosa and are interested in an established veteran starting pitcher which makes you wonder if Miller misheard about Marquis going to the Padres instead of the Phils in this deal.

Miller states the obvious that the Padres wouldn't be thrilled with getting Marquis in the deal but the Cubs would have to pay almost half the contract and I assume the Padres would look to move him eventually. The Padres and Cubs have also talked about Cedeno and Angel Guzman and Miller says the Cubs are "leaning against" moving Sean Marshall.

8:27 PM CST UPDATE: More from Stark that the Padres are only talking to the Cubs and that progress needs to be made by Thursday or Towers is pulling the plug. Stark mentions it possibly ending up being a three-team, 10-player "extravaganza".

7:55 PM CST UPDATE: ESPN saying the Cubs met with Milton Bradley on Sunday.

6:53 PM CST UPDATE: Rosenthal says the Phillies "have emerged" as the possible third team in the Peavy to Cubs trade talks.

The Denver Post says the Rockies don't have the cash to trade for Marquis.

5:49 PM CST UPDATE: O's are interested in Felix Pie and if I read it correctly, it sounds like the Cubs will only trade him for Garrett Olson if they can immediately flip Olson as part of the deal for Jake Peavy. As has been discussed, Lou isn't too keen on Pie's strike zone judgment.

5:33 PM CST UPDATE Lou is in Vegas apparently, showing off that he's still got his pulse on the game asking a group of Seattle reporters if Ibanez can play right field? Shouldn't Lou be answering that question? Lou seemed intrigued that J.J. Putz is only making $5.5M next season.

5:00 PM CST UPDATE: MLB Hot Stove Blog also talks about the Rockies, Marquis and Jeff Baker and makes it sounds like there isn't much of a match at the moment.

No Hall for Santo

12:18 pm Update: From the Baseball Hall of Fame Web site:

Fans wishing to voice their opinion in support of
their favorite candidates may do so in two ways. By sending a single
letter to the address below or by clicking here and sending an e-mail.

Hall of Fame Veterans Committee
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 6 hours 46 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 7 hours 6 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 7 hours 7 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 7 hours 18 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 7 hours 45 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 8 hours 1 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 8 hours 32 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 13 hours 3 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 13 hours 44 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 13 hours 48 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 15 hours 43 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 17 hours 31 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 18 hours 5 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 18 hours 19 min ago view