Monday’s Word on the Street

With the MLB playoff picture taking full shape over the weekend, the player rumors are beginning to flow and although the Cubs have yet to name a manager, or by several reports not even conducted a formal interview, the rumors have begun to fly about possible coming and goings this off-season.

While the speculation about the soon-to-be managerial vacancy in New York grabbed most of the headlines on Sunday, here are the latest player rumblings as well as managerial rumors….

Before the rumors, for those of you that missed Rick Morrissey’s article in Sunday’s Tribune here is a link….it is a VERY good read.

The Cubs’ managerial vacancy received major competition on Sunday when the New York Daily News broke the story that Joe Torre will be fired soon by George Steinbrenner and that Lou Piniella will be named as his replacement. The news of Torre being dismissed became a major news story and ESPN was even updating the story throughout their NFL coverage. XM Radio also covered the story and although no official word came out of New York on Sunday many still speculate that Torre could be fired on Monday. Lou Piniella has been rumored to be on the Cubs “short list” and his name has been mentioned as a possible replacement in both Washington and San Francisco. XM Radio fielded calls all afternoon about the state of the Yankees, many called for Torre to be fired and most want to see Alex Rodriguez traded. Mark Gray stated that depending on the way the Yankees decide to go, either with their current lineup or a “house cleaning” of sorts that would result in a younger lineup, would depend on who would be the best fit in the Bronx. Gray stated that if the Yankees go younger then Girardi would be a better fit than Piniella.

A late report on Sunday night in the Tribune by Paul Sullivan shed light on where Joe Girardi is right now and he shared some thoughts on the Cubs. The most interesting part of the article was that it does not seem Girardi is in a rush to take on a new job….

From the Chicago Tribune – “I’m going to take it slow,” he said. “The one thing I want to do is make sure that whenever I make the decision, it’s the right place, at the right time and for the right reasons. I want to make sure it’s the right situation, a place where the general manager and I are very close and it’s a good fit.”

The Marlins are still awaiting word from Rick Kranitz on whether or not he will return under new manager Fredi Gonzalez. Gonzalez and the Marlins would like for him to return but several reports, including one from the Sun-Times on Friday, are indicating that Kranitz will follow Joe Girardi to his next destination.

According to a report in the Journal News on Sunday the announcement of Joe Girardi becoming the manager of the Cubs “should become official soon”. The report goes on to state that Girardi and Bob Brenly are the leading candidates.

Player Rumors….

The Dayton Daily News mentioned on Sunday that it is time for the Reds to trade Adam Dunn and they mentioned the Cubs as one of the possible destinations for the slugging left fielder.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer mentioned the possibility of the Indians pursuing Kerry Wood in the off-season as a possible closer but the writer indicates there is no way he would go near Kerry Wood with his medical history.

The Boston Globe indicated on Sunday that the Cubs could be interested in Trot Nixon for one of their outfield spots.

A report in the New York Times on Sunday indicated that if the Yankees to attempt to trade Alex Rodriguez that the Cubs could be a possible destination because they are one of the few teams that could afford the $64 million dollars still owed to him by the Yankees. (The other 3 teams mentioned were the White Sox, the Dodgers and the Angels)

House Cleaning….

The CCO will be making several changes to the structure of the site during the off-season. The first will be the addition of “The CCO Forum”. The new message board will be active soon.

If you have any thoughts on the Cubs off-season rumors make sure to discuss them here….let’s see whose crystal ball is right this year.

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax