Cubs Off-Season Rumors – Chapter Twelve

More Cubs Rumors

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving. The Cubs Rumor Mill and Hot Stove took a short break, but came back with a vengeance on Saturday with the report from (scroll down). I do not know how much of that to believe, but we will all find out soon. Don’t forget to check back here at the CCO and in the ‘Cubs News from the Wire’, because if Furcal signs or the trade with the Texas Rangers goes through….you will be able to read about it here.

I do have updates on Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Lofton, Juan Pierre, B.J. Ryan and 2 new names added to the Cubs Rumor Mill: Mark Sweeney and Alfonso Soriano. Plus my take on what the Jim Thome / Aaron Rowand trade could mean to the Cubs.

There was a report in Friday’s Chicago Tribune that mentioned the Baltimore Orioles are interested in Nomar Garciaparra playing 3rd base. The Orioles would shift Melvin Mora to the outfield to make room for Nomar.

There were several reports on the sports stations in Chicago over the weekend about the Cubs and Juan Pierre. Those reports said the Cubs could move on a deal in the upcoming week that would send 3 minor leaguers to the Marlins for Juan Pierre. And another report mentioned a trade that could include Roberto Novoa. In the Thursday Chicago Tribune, an article mentioned the Cubs interest in Juan Pierre but nothing about a possible trade in the near future. The same article mentioned the Cubs being interested in Kenny Lofton if a deal for Pierre could not be worked out. Remember Lofton is a ‘Dusty Baker Guy’ and in my opinion could give the Cubs the best option out there and allow Felix Pie to mature on the Major League level without the pressure to perform everyday.

According to several reports on Saturday, the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed on a contract with reliever B.J. Ryan worth a reported $47 million over 4 years. This is too much money for a guy with one good year behind him. And we thought the Cubs overpaid for Bobby Howry and Scott Eyre. I believe the Cubs made the right move with both Eyre and Howry. I heard an interview with Scott Eyre on ESPN 1000 on Saturday and he sounds like a great guy that just wants to win. What a concept.

ESPN 1000 in Chicago mentioned on 2 different radio shows over the weekend the Cubs could add free agent Mark Sweeney to their bench before the winter meetings. Sweeney played for the Padres in 2005 and is viewed as being one of the best pinch hitters in the game. The left-hander hit .294 with 8 home runs and 40 RBI’s last year with a .395 OBP and a .466 SLG. Sweeney is a professional hitter and can play first base and the outfield. If the trade with Texas goes through, Sweeney could be an important addition to the Cubs bench.

Jay Mariotti sounded off on the Cubs off-season in an article in Friday’s Sun Times. He pretty much ripped the Cubs like only Mariotti can do, but he did mention Alfonso Soriano a day before the report came out from Could Mariotti actually be right for once? Mariotti talked about Hendry’s interest in Soriano at last year’s trade deadline and said ‘the Cubs need to make a splash this off-season.’ He also mentioned Dusty Baker’s contract will be extended soon through the 2008 season.

Last week’s trade between the Phillies and White Sox could have affects on the Cubs. With Aaron Rowand going to the Phillies, who will play center for the Sox in 2006? The Sox said they are not interested in Juan Pierre, but are they? What about Kenny Lofton? Now that neither one of the Chicago teams have a centerfielder, who would a free agent sign with? Who will the Marlins trade with? Stay tuned!!

Well, that’s the news (Cubs rumors) and I’m sticking to it!!

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver