Cubs Off-Season Rumors – Chapter Seventeen

More Cubs Rumors

The Cubs Rumor Mill and Major League Hot Stove slowed down on Thursday. The Cubs did make one move, they traded RHP Jermaine Van Buren to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later. I like what I saw of Van Buren and I am surprised all Jim Hendry got was the infamous player to be named. I did not see him in the Cubs’ plans out of Spring Training (see The 2005 Cubs Bullpen Review) especially after the signings of Eyre and Howry, but I did think Van Buren could have been an early call up. I wish him the best.

I do have updates on Alfonso Soriano, Kevin Mench, Todd Walker, Corey Patterson, Nomar Garciaparra, Joey Gathright, Bobby Abreu, Kyle Farnsworth, Johnny Damon, A.J. Burnett, Juan Pierre and Rafael Furcal.

Let’s start with Rafael Furcal. I will take salt with my crow, please. I thought we would all hear something on Furcal on Thursday and I was wrong (Mark Patrick from XM Radio said the same on Thursday morning). I heard rumblings all day, but nothing confirmed. Then a report came from the Chicago Tribune late on Thursday. Apparently Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer, wants Furcal to stay in Atlanta. According to the article, “We’re going to talk more,” Kinzer said Thursday of the negotiations with the Braves. Asked to characterize the Braves’ chances to keep Furcal, Kinzer said “I would say there’s reasonable hope.” I am beginning to think if he was going to play for the Cubs he would have already committed. Is Furcal pulling a Brian Giles and trying to improve his stock? I have heard before the Winter Meetings….so countdown to Furcal’s decision is 3 days….stay tuned.

I usually do not repeat these kinds of rumors, but it was repeated on the XM today. Apparently there is talk between the Cubs and Texas Rangers about a deal that would send Alfonso Soriano and Kevin Mench to Chicago for Corey Patterson and Todd Walker. If Jim Hendry could pull that one off, he should be General Manager of the Year.

Nomar Garciaparra was everywhere today. I think I heard every Major League team, except for the Cubs, are interested in Nomar. Larry Bowa and Mark Patrick gave Nomar a lot of praise. Apparently Nomar has come out and said he is willing to play anywhere a team would want him to play (I hope Hendry got the memo). Both Bowa and Patrick said he would be a great pickup for any team willing to take the risk. Bowa said he could play anywhere but second base because of his unorthodox throwing motion. They said that Nomar has not been happy with his play and all of his injuries over the past two years and look for him to be a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year for 2006.

The New York Yankees have expressed interest in Joey Gathright. What am I missing? If anyone could help me, please do so!!!

Pat Gillick the new Phillies General Manager has been shopping Bobby Abreu since the GM Meetings last month. According to the New York Post, the Phillies have talked with the Red Sox about trading Bobby Abreu for Manny Ramirez. Abreu has a no trade clause but is willing to waive it for a new contract.

I reported on Thursday the Yankees offer to Kyle Farnsworth was for 3 years, $15 million dollars. A report came out later in the day that the Yankees offer to the Farns is 3 years, $17 million dollars. The Texas Rangers are interested in the Farns as well.

I heard and read several reports on Thursday that the Cardinals are very close to signing A.J. Burnett and that one of the Cardinals starters could be traded. I did not hear if the Cardinals offered Burnett a contract or not, but apparently there is a lot of interest.

Gorden Edes from the Boston Globe thinks Johnny Damon could end up with the Yankees, but not for 7 years. Edes also mentioned the possibility of Damon ending up in Detroit as well. He went on to say Damon will have to find some team willing to sign him to the 7 year contract he is looking for in order to force the Red Sox hand.

Ronnie ‘Night Train’ Lane on XM Radio mentioned on Thursday night the Cubs still have a lot of interest in trading for Juan Pierre.

I found this interesting. Paul White from USA Today said on Thursday, ‘all of the overpayment for players is in years….not in dollars.’ I agree and Charley Steiner asked White about maybe front-loading player’s contracts. White’s response was ‘no’ because that could be the last big contract a player ever signs.

Mike Downey from the Chicago Tribune was on Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on Thursday. He was praising the White Sox and bashing the Cubs. Who owns the Cubs and pays this guy’s salary again? He went on to say that Chicago has become ‘a White Sox town’ and that Chicago no longer belongs to the Cubs. He said Wrigley has become a tourist destination and that Paul Konerko is the biggest sports figure in Chicago now that MJ is gone and that Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are always hurt. I was glad to hear this….now the wine and cheese can be served on the ‘Wrongside’ instead of the Northside. GO CUBBIES!!!!

The next few days could be VERY interesting with the Winter Meetings starting on Monday. Don’t forget to check back over the weekend for your updated Cubs Info in ‘Cubs News from the Wire’….

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

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt