Cubs Off-Season Rumors – Chapter Thirteen

More Cubs Rumors

The Cubs Rumor Mill and Hot Stove were very quiet on Sunday. I guess Jim Hendry was watching football. Speaking of that, congratulations goes out to the Chicago Bears. 8-3, first place and the number one defense in football….not bad. No one is giving them a shot and they keep winning….I actually heard a comparison on Sunday to the ’85 Bears. Also, the Tennessee Titans picked up a much needed win on Sunday. McNair looked great….way to go boys. I will warn all football fans now….watch out for the Titans over the next few years. Anyway back to the Cubbies….

I have updates on Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre, Kenny Lofton, Aubrey Huff and Alfonso Soriano. Plus a new name to add to the Cubs Rumor Mill: Joey Gathright.

There were several reports over the last few days about Rafael Furcal.

1) An article in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday said, ‘because of the Cubs willingness to overpay for Howry and Eyre’ many experts are saying the Cubs will also overpay for Furcal and outbid the Atlanta Braves for his services.
2) According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from November 24th, the Dodgers have entered the Furcal sweepstakes, but have not made a formal offer.
3) Another report said Furcal will decide this week between playing for the Cubs or staying in Atlanta.
4) Here is what an article in USA Today from November 24th said about Furcal. “The Cubs are optimistic about their chances of signing free agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, but they don’t want to pay him the deal he’s seeking ($50 million over five years). Chicago’s hope is to not only sign Furcal, but to also acquire center fielder Juan Pierre from the Marlins. Furcal and Pierre would give the Cubs two leadoff hitters for a spot that supplied a .245 batting average last season. The Cubs plan to shop second baseman Todd Walker if they sign Rafael Furcal, a move that would free up second base for rookie Ronny Cedeno and veteran Neifi Perez….”

The same report that said Furcal will make his decision this week, mentioned the Cubs are now looking to sign Kenny Lofton and trade for Juan Pierre. Talking about insurance, I do not think both are necessary if Felix Pie is that close to being ready to play at the Major League level. An article in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune said the Marlins are waiting to see who Johnny Damon signs with before shopping Juan Pierre. According to the article, the White Sox have a better chance than the Cubs. Apparently the Marlins want Felix Pie, Matt Murton and Rich Hill and Hendry is not willing to part with that much. Hendry better not. Juan Pierre is worth 3 minor league prospects….but not those.

A beat writer for the Texas Rangers was on XM Radio last week talking about Alfonso Soriano. The beat writer discussed a conversation between him and Soriano last season. Apparently the beat writer asked Soriano why he would not switch to the outfield? Soriano’s response was that home run hitting second basemen make more money. How do you spell team player again?

An article in the St. Petersburg Times on November 24th mentioned the Cubs interest in Aubrey Huff and Joey Gathright. I have made my opinion known about Aubrey Huff and I will stand by that, I think Huff would make a great pickup for the Cubbies. Joey Gathright? I do not know who this guy is….can anyone help me? I looked up his stats and he played 76 games for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005. He had a .276 average, 20 stolen bases, a .316 OPB, 10 walks and 39 strikeouts. Gathright has only played 95 games in his entire career at the Major League level. Would he be a project player? The Cubs cannot be thinking about him as an everyday centerfielder. They already have Corey Patterson; so if they are looking for a project, bring up Felix Pie. Like I said, if someone knows more….please enlighten me.

The winter meetings start a week from today, so this week should be VERY busy. Check back at the CCO for all of the updates as they roll in ‘Cubs News from the Wire’. If news breaks, it will be there.

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

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax