The Cubs Off-Season Report – 12/17/05

More Cubs Rumors

The Cubs Rumor Mill and Major League Hot Stove took a 3-day weekend with little action on Friday. The Kansas City Royals made the biggest noise on Friday signing 4 free agents including two former Cubs: Mark Grudzielanek and Paul Bako. The Royals are definitely taking steps to improve their team.

The rest of the news came from Johnny Damon, Nomar Garciaparra, Jarrod Washburn, Kevin Millwood and an interesting report from ESPN on Jacque Jones and Aubrey Huff.
All of the reports Thursday indicated Nomar would make his decision on Friday, then late in the afternoon several reports stated Nomar should make his decision by early next week. The visit with the Dodgers apparently went well and most of the experts are saying Nomar will end up with the Dodgers….just as long as it is not St. Louis or Houston. If I hear anything over the weekend about Nomar, I will post it.

According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Baltimore Orioles are now interested in Johnny Damon. According to several Internet reports, Damon is scheduled to meet with the Dodgers over the weekend.

According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Cubs are not opposed to offering free-agent Jacque Jones a 3-year deal. Stark said, “According to sources who have spoken with the Cubs, their list of desirable, left-handed hitting outfield bats has shrunk so dramatically, they now appear willing to add a third year to the offer if that’s what it takes to sign Jones.” I do not like this….Hendry must set the market, not let the market set him. If the Cubs do not want to give Jones a 3-year deal there has to be a reason….stick to it.

In the same report Stark mentions the Cubs are having second thoughts concerning a possible trade with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Aubrey Huff. Stark states defensive problems as the reason (see the comments from yesterday). Stark goes on to mention the Cubs have not been able to deal for Brad Wilkerson, Raul Ibanez and Jay Gibbons (this is the first I had heard Gibbons’ name being mentioned, I will look into this).

Late Friday afternoon, CBS Sportsline reported the Seattle Mariners are close to a deal with Jarrod Washburn. The deal is reported to be 4 years, $36-38 million dollars. The same report said the Mariners are still pursuing Kevin Millwood. The reported offer on the table for Millwood is 4 years, $44 million.

For all of the Cubs Off-Season Rumors and Reports go to the ‘If The Ivy Could Talk – Cubs Rumors’ in the Category Section of the CCO.

There has not been any word on the Cubs offering arbitration to Zambrano, Pierre, Hariston or Ohman so the next few days 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!!