The Cubs Off-Season Report – 12/13/05

More Cubs Rumors

The Cubs Rumor Mill and the Major League Hot Stove was filled on Monday with Miguel Tejada, Miguel Tejada and…….did I mention Miguel Tejada? Every team, every fan and just about every newspaper said Tejada will be playing for (insert team here) in 2006. Phil Rogers from the Chicago Tribune actually wrote the Cubs should send Carlos Zambrano to the Orioles for Tejada. It was unbelievable. I heard Tejada’s name more on Monday than my own….I know this guy is good….but come on. It turns out he does not want out of Baltimore and I will explain….

Besides Tejada (there’s that name again), I have updated news on Barry Zito, Kevin Mench, Kevin Millwood, Corey Patterson, Joey Gathright, Jacque Jones, Bill Mueller, Julio Lugo, Brad Wilkerson and Dave Roberts, plus a new addition to the Cubs Rumor Mill: Jose Vidro.

Before we get started with the Tejada rumors, I have an interesting tidbit reported on XM Radio. Apparently the Boston Red Sox are talking to the Angels about a trade that would bring Orlando Cabrera back to the Sox. What the Red Sox do with their shortstop position will have an effect on the Cubs middle infield. I think if the Cubs could land Lugo they should move him to second and leave Cedeno at short….his natural position.

Also, the Cardinals got a little weaker on Monday, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch the San Franciso Giants agreed to terms with Matt Morris on a contract believed to be worth 3 years, $24-27 million dollars.

The Miguel Tejada saga….I can only imagine what the sports talk in Chicago was like on Monday….I was unable to listen. All of the Cubs Faithful have hoped all weekend that Tejada would end up in Chicago and IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Here is the latest I have on Tejada.

According to several reports on XM, Tejada told Comcast Sports Net in Washington that he does not want to be traded and he denied ever saying that. Apparently Mike Flanagan talked with Tejada and his agents over the weekend and Tejada is frustrated about the Orioles not winning or taking steps to improve the team. Tejada wants the team to add pitching and to do whatever it takes to make the Orioles better. Peter Angelos received plenty of phone calls over the weekend about Tejada’s availability and several reports suggested Tejada was just trying to force the Orioles hand. According to Buck Martinez the rumors just ‘snowballed’ and look for Tejada to remain with the Orioles and to report to Spring Training on time.

Buck Martinez brought up Barry Zito on Monday morning. He said the trade rumors cooled down after the Winter Meetings and look for Zito to remain with the A’s at least until the trade deadline next season.

Kevin Mench was mentioned in several reports on Monday. A report out of Toronto said the Blue Jays are still interested and now according to CBS Sportsline, the Houston Astros have contacted the Rangers about Kevin Mench. The same report from the Houston Chronicle mentioned the Astros’ interest in Brad Wilkerson. Gerry Fraley from the Dallas Morning News was on with Chuck Wilson Monday afternoon and he said Kevin Mench will be traded this off-season for pitching. Fraley also mentioned the Blue Jays interest in Brad Wilkerson for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista.

Kevin Millwood is now seeking a 5-year, $60 million dollar contract according to a report on XM. I really think that is TOO LONG for a team to sign a player, much less a pitcher. Jeff Erickson from RotoWire was on XM’s Fantasy Focus on Monday and he mentioned the same thing. Erickson said Furcal’s deal was smart because of the length of the contract and it did not tie up the Dodgers long term. He said the smart teams will find the bargains and that A.J. Burnett’s contract will affect baseball contracts for years to come. Erickson said it is smarter to pay more annually for a less-amount of years because you never know what type of player the team will get at the end of the contract. He went on to say teams end up trading those long contracts away for little in return (the first thing that came to mind was Sammy Sosa). Erickson said 5 years for pitcher and relievers are too long and closers do not have the longevity. I agree with him. He also mentioned Joey Gathright and said he had a large upside (I was glad I finally heard something about Gathright other than being a poor man’s Juan Pierre). A caller asked about Jacque Jones with the Cubs and Erickson did not like that idea and he said Felix Pie needs more time or he could end up like Corey Patterson.

Speaking of Corey Patterson, the Arizona Diamondbacks are very interested in obtaining him. I have not heard this….but I keep wondering if Hendry could work a 3-team deal that would send Patterson to Arizona and send Javier Vazquez to where ever to help fill the holes for the Cubs….just a thought.

Dave Roberts signed a 1-year deal with the San Diego Padres on Monday.

According to Dejan Kovaceivc of the Pittsburgh Gazette, the Pirates will sign Bill Mueller this week. A report on Monday afternoon mentioned the Pirates deal could be worth 2-3 years at $4 million dollars a year. Watch out for the Pirates in 2006.

A report in Monday’s Daily Herald by Barry Rozner mentioned the Cubs interest in Jose Vidro of the Washington Nationals. Les Carpenter from the Washington Post was on with Chuck Wilson on Monday and said because of injuries Vidro would not be a good trade for anybody and according to Bill Ladson from Vidro needs surgery and will be doubtful for the start of the season. Vidro has a history of injuries and his games played per season have dropped every year since 2002. He played 152 games in 2002, 144 games in 2003, 110 games in 2004 and only 87 games in 2005 all with the Expos/Nationals organization. The last thing the Cubs need is another injury prone player. I hope this is just ‘one of those rumors’.

I know we all want the Cubs to make a big off-season signing or trade, but remember the 2nd tier players are those that can lead a team to the playoffs and the World Series. If you hear a name you do not recognize, do not be so quick to judge until you see them perform.

The next week should be interesting. December 20th is the last day for teams to tender 2006 contracts to unsigned players. Those not tendered become free agents. Remember to check back for your Cubs Off-Season reports. If anything happens it will be in ‘Cubs News from the Wire’ and you will be able to read about the Cubbies here.

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

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne