The Cubs Off-Season Report – 12/24/05

Tejada….Prior….Zambrano….and More Cubs Rumors

The Friday before Christmas Eve the Cubs Faithful had visions of Miguel Tejada dancing in their head. All of the sports talk throughout the country was talking about the story that Ken Rosenthal broke on Thursday. Most of the CCO readers disagreed with the Cubs even thinking of trading Mark Prior for Miguel Tejada. The rumor was given more credibility when Bruce Levine (ESPN 1000 – Chicago) said the Cubs had made the offer to the Orioles that would include Rich Hill, Corey Patterson and Erik Bedard,

Before we get to the Cubs, the Cardinals quietly got a lot better on Friday. The Cards signed Juan Encarnacion (3 years, $15 million) and Junior Spivey (1-year).

I have more news on Miguel Tejada, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, Juan Pierre, Felix Pie, Kevin Millwood, Erik Bedard and a name I would like to add: Wes Helms. Larry Bowa and Chuck Wilson were discussing the Tejada/Prior trade on Friday morning and Bowa thinks the Cubs should make that trade. Prior’s injury history was brought up and Bowa thinks Tejada could be better for the Cubs in the long run. Wilson did not agree and both (Bowa and Wilson) said the Cubs should not trade Zambrano for anything. They both agreed that Zambrano has become the Ace of the Cubs Pitching Staff.

According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, the trade could involve the Oakland A’s and Barry Zito in a 3-team deal.

John Sickels from Baseball America was talking to Holden Kushner on Friday night about the Prior/Tejada trade and Sickels said he would not trade Prior for Tejada and Kushner agreed. Kushner asked about Felix Pie and Sickels said he is about a year away from playing at the Major League level. Sickels said Pie is similar to Corey Patterson and the Cubs cannot do with Pie what they did with Patterson and rush him to the Majors.

A caller on XM’s morning show on Friday mentioned a VERY good stat about Juan Pierre. Apparently Pierre’s lifetime batting average during day games is over .350. Bowa and Wilson then spent the next few minutes singing the praises of Juan Pierre. I am looking VERY forward to seeing him in Mesa on March 2nd.

Alfonso Soriano cannot keep his mouth shut. On Thursday Soriano told the Washington D.C. Press that he is planning out playing out his free agency and then go back to the American League according to a report on XM. Bowa said the Nationals should trade him now.

The Boston Red Sox are now interested in Kevin Millwood according to ESPN and a report on XM on Friday said the Rangers have offered Millwood a 3-year, $38 million dollar contract.

With all of the talk concerning Erik Bedard, I thought we should look at his numbers. Bedard will be 27 years old when the season starts. In his 2nd full season with the Orioles, Bedard was 6-8 in 24 games with a 4.00 ERA. Bedard struck out 125 and walked 57. Bedard’s numbers in 2004 were very similar with his ERA being a little higher. I like looking at the WHIP (Walks + Hits per Innings Pitched). Bedard posted a 1.38 WHIP in 2005. For comparison sake I thought I would look up some other pitchers WHIP in 2005: Zambrano (1.15), Prior (1.21), Zito (1.20) and Jerome Williams (1.35 with the Cubs).

I ran across a very interesting name on Friday: Wes Helms. Most of you know this name; he has KILLED the Cubs over the years. Helms is a free agent and I think he would be a VERY good addition to the Cubs bench. Helms led the Majors in Pinch Hitting in 2005 posting a .381 average. He played in 95 games for the Brewers and his season numbers were .298/4/24/.356/.458. Helms can also play first base, third base and a little outfield. Helms best season was 2003 when he played 134 games for the Brewers. Helms hit .261 with 23 home runs, 67 RBI’s, .330 OBP and a .450 SLG. The Cubs need depth and Helms could he provide it. While his name is not as big as some of the others, this is a move the Cardinals would make and the Cubs should do it before someone else does.

Check back this weekend for Another View of A Kerry Wood Sighting. The CCO Fantasy Baseball Insider Report will be posted on Tuesday morning. Remember to check in with the CCO over the Holidays for your updated Cubs News, if it happens you will be able to read about your Cubbies here.

From everyone at Chicago Cubs Online….Happy Holidays!!!

Well, that’s the news and I’m sticking to it!!