The Cubs Off-Season Report – 12/28/05

More Cubs Rumors….More Tejada and Prior

While Mark Prior and Miguel Tejada were on the minds of most of the Cubs Faithful during the Holidays, the Major League Hot Stove had several moves on Monday and Tuesday. Kevin Millwood signed with the Texas Rangers and the details of the contract varied, but the most reported was a 4-year, $48 million dollar contract with a club option for the 5th year that could make the contract worth $60 million dollars. On Tuesday the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks completed a trade that sent Miguel Batista, a former Cub (1997), and Orlando Hudson to Arizona for Troy Glaus and a minor league prospect.

I also have news on Miguel Tejada, Mark Prior, Corey Patterson, Jeromy Burnitz, Sammy Sosa and news of a $35 million dollar lawsuit that includes Julio Lugo and Miguel Tejada.

With the recent departure of Johnny Damon from Boston, several Internet reports including CBS SportsLine are reporting the Red Sox have shown interest in Corey Patterson. With the reported deal on the table with the Orioles, that includes Patterson; I wonder how much of this is speculation in the Boston Newspapers.

According to a report in the Washington Examiner there are seven teams that have shown interest in Miguel Tejada. Columnist Jim Williams reported on Monday that the Cubs, Astros, Red Sox, Mets, Angels and White Sox are all interested and he never mentioned the 7th team.

A report on Tuesday by Kevin Kennedy on XM Radio stated the Pirates are interested in free agent Jeromy Burnitz. Kennedy feels the Pirates should go after Sammy Sosa. Kennedy feels Sosa has a lot left to offer and would be a good addition to any team. Regardless….watch out for the Pirates in 2006.

According to an article in the St. Petersburg Times on Christmas Day and picked up by ESPN, Julio Lugo is involved in a $35 million dollar civil lawsuit involving a phone-card scam. David Ortiz, Miguel Tejada, Pedro Martinez and Octavio Dotel are all listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

There was an interesting article in Tuesday’s Daily Southdown by Paul Ladewski. The article mentions the rumored 3-team trade with the Oakland A’s as well as very interesting information about the pitching mechanics of Mark Prior by Mike Marshall. This is a must read because of Marshall’s insight and according to Ladewski the Cubs should make the trade.

Jeff Erickson from said during his Fantasy Focus show on Tuesday that he would trade Carlos Zambrano before he traded Mark Prior. Erickson said Prior has more of a future than Zambrano.

Holden Kushner talked about the proposed trade on Tuesday night. Kushner said the Cubs have made major upgrades this off-season and there is no way he would give up Mark Prior for Miguel Tejada, even with Prior’s injury history. Kushner said he likes Ronny Cedeno and he could be a serviceable fit for the Cubs. Kushner said the bullpen is a ton better than last year and the only question around the Cubs is the health of the team.

ESPN 1000’s Bruce Levine has been at the forefront of the Prior/Tejada news since Ken Rosenthal gave credibility to the proposed trade last week. Levine was on ESPN 1000 on Monday and he said the trade has a 50/50 chance of happening and Tuesday he said the Cubs have made the offer to the Orioles and the Cubs are waiting for a reply. The deal Levine reported that is ‘on the table’ is Mark Prior, Corey Patterson and Rich Hill for Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard. This report tells me one thing, the rumors of a 3-team deal are dead and the Cubs are now dealing directly with the Orioles. Levine said on Tuesday he has been misquoted on the Internet and there has not been a deal done. Apparently there are several Internet reports that are misquoting Levine and they are telling people the trade has been done. Levine said people are not listening and they are reporting what they want to hear. He said he has been listening to talk shows in Baltimore and Chicago and the fans are split 80-20, meaning the fans in both cities want to keep either Tejada or Prior. Levine said Tejada is the 3rd or 4th best player in the game today, but that the Cubs do not need a great shortstop to win the World Series and gave the White Sox as an example. He said Patterson being involved in the trade is a money matter. If the Cubs were to pickup Tejada they would need salary relief in order to obtain a starting pitcher in the $4 – $5 million-dollar range. Levine said if the Cubs make the deal for Tejada, Barry Zito would not be an option because he is scheduled to make between $8 – $9 million through arbitration in 2006. Levine said if the trade is made the Cubs would still have questions about their starting pitching and Angel Guzman could be in the mix for the 5th spot in the rotation. Levine said even with adding Tejada the Cubs would not be projected to finish above the Cardinals or Astros in the Central Division largely due to the questions surrounding the starting rotation. Levine said he does not think Prior wants to leave the Cubs.

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 New Year!!!

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

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth