The Cubs Off-Season Report – 01/14/05

Cubs News and Rumors, Julio Lugo, Barry Zito, Wade Miller and Huff to Houston?

2006 Cubs Convention Coverage is here at Chicago Cubs Online – scroll down

Most of the Cubs Faithful is all about the annual Cubs Convention this weekend. But apparently the rumors have not stopped flying even though the Cubs’ brass has their hands full with the fans. The rumors continued to surround the departure of Todd Walker from the Cubbies, while most do not agree….if the Cubs could replace Walker with Julio Lugo….I would be in agreement….we’ll get back to that.

Sammy Sosa, Jeff Weaver and the trade of Corey Patterson were also in the Cubs Rumor Mill and Hot Stove this week.

For those of you that missed the recap of the ‘Sports Central Live with Dave Kaplan’ on Friday night from the Cubs Convention, there was plenty of good information. Santo mentioned the Cubs are not done and there was a mention of a pitcher that last name started with a ‘Z’. Todd Walker’s future with the Cubs was brought up to Dusty and while nothing was really said the article in Saturday morning’s Chicago Sun-Times grabbed my attention. The article stated the talks about Julio Lugo being a Cub in 2006 have cooled, but are not dead. The article shares the same opinion of the CCO about Lugo being a good number two hitter behind Juan Pierre. I have said since the Cubs were unable to sign Furcal (which I still think will prove to be a good thing), the Cubs should pursue Julio Lugo. The middle infield of Ronny Cedeno and Julio Lugo could benefit the Cubs for many years. Whether it is Cedeno at short or second, the addition of Lugo would give the Cubs that same option and would put Neifi Perez in a backup role, a role he should have and can help the Cubs win. Lugo just turned 30 and Cedeno will be 23 when the season starts.

Aubrey Huff voiced his displeasure with all of the trade talks on Thursday in an article in the Tampa Tribune. He said he either wants to be traded or for the talks to stop. There were reports on XM this week that stated the Astros are interested in Huff. My question with that is where will he play? If Bagwell comes back, the Astros have plenty of outfielders and if he does not, where does Lance Berkman play? Huff is a good player, but where does he fit in Houston?

A report on XM Radio on Thursday night said the agent for Jeff Weaver, Scott Boras, is looking for a 4-year, $38-$40 million dollar contract. That is too much money for Weaver and I know many of the Cubs Faithful feels this is a move they should make, but I think they should pass on Weaver. Too much money, too long of a contract.

The Corey Patterson trade was on the mind of Mark Patrick and Buck Martinez on XM Radio this past week. Martinez said maybe Patterson will hear the same message the Cubs were trying to give him in a different way. Martinez went on to say 24 home runs a few years back was bad in Patterson’s development and Patterson feels like he listened to too many people. Patterson has been working hard and wants to prove to people, the Cubs and the Cubs’ fans that 2005 was an apparition.

After the rumor surfaced about Sammy Sosa going to the Nationals this week, he became a hot topic on XM as well. Martinez said Sosa will not be a fit for anyone and his skills have diminished. Jeff Erickson stated that it would be bad for Sosa to hit at that ballpark in Washington. Where will Sammy end up?

A report on the ‘Insider’ section of had an update on Wade Miller. According to Jerry Crasnick, Miller is expecting to be signed in the next week and is also expecting a Major League Deal with a lot of incentives. Crasnick mentions the Phillies, Astros, Cubs, Devil Rays and Mariners are the teams that have shown interest.

Don’t forget to check back with the CCO throughout the weekend for daily recaps from the 2006 Cubs Convention.

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

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney