Rumors, News and Interviews

Notes from Jim Hendry on XM Radio with a surprise – Scott Boras on Alex Rodriguez – Scott Miller on Mark Prior – Rumors and Other News and Notes, Including 40-man Roster Moves

After Lou Piniella was officially announced on Tuesday the reaction from the Cubs Faithful varied from very excited to cautiously optimistic. Whatever the result may be at the end of his 3 years in Chicago (with a 4th year option), most of the Faithful agree that a change was needed. Larry Rothschild and trainer Mark O’Neal received new 2-year contracts then came the news about Prior’s shoulder, the fact he needs to work hard to strengthen it this off-season and his status for Spring Training is currently being stated as, “That’s to be determined.”

With the NLCS being rained out on Monday the Cubs and Lou Piniella had a monopoly on the airwaves….not to mention that little rumor about a certain former player of the new Cubs’ skipper. Here is the latest….

Alex Rodriguez….

When it became known that Piniella was going to be named the new manager of the Cubs everyone knew it was a matter of time before the A-Rod to the Cubs talk heated up. The Cubs and Piniella denied any rumors surrounding A-Rod on Tuesday and even mentioned that would be tampering. Buck Martinez said that he feels if Rodriguez was to waive his no-trade clause that would be admitting failure and A-Rod would not do that.

Scott Boras was on the Show with Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy and said that 11 teams have contacted him about the availability of A-Rod. He reminded Dibble and Kennedy that A-Rod has a no-trade clause and outs in his contract after the 7th, 8th and 9th years. Boras does not see another team willing to give up as much as the Yankees will want for that much uncertainty. He went on to say A-Rod is happy in New York and he and Jeter do have a good relationship. Dibble asked again about a possible trade and Boras reiterated that the Yankees are not going to trade him because they could not get enough in return. According to Boras, Rodriguez loves the challenge of 3rd base and does not miss shortstop.

Lou Piniella….Jim Hendry….Ryne Sandberg….Ichiro Suzuki

Kennedy and Dibble spent a lot of time discussing Piniella and the Cubs. Kennedy thinks that Piniella is the right man for the job and asked the question, ‘Who would not want to manage there?’ He compared the Cubs job to the Red Sox job and said this was a huge hire for the Cubs. They did mention the ‘since of urgency’ remark coming from the Cubs and they both laughed about ‘1908’. Dibble said the Cubs must bring in players for Piniella and mentioned a rumor about the Cubs going after Ichiro Suzuki and went on to discuss the fact that Ichiro has only 1-year left on his contract. They reminded everyone on how bad the Cubs power numbers from the outfield was last season and because of that Kennedy thinks Carlos Lee would be a very good fit with the Cubs regardless of what upside Matt Murton may or may not have. He and Dibble both said that Murton’s power numbers were just not enough.

Both Kennedy and Dibble feel the Cubs must take a risk and go after pitching that may or may not ‘pan out.’ They brought up the success the Cardinals have had with Chris Carpenter. A caller mentioned that if Pete Rose and Billy Martin had a child it would be Lou Piniella. “Lou Piniella has to do in Chicago what Jim Leyland has done in Detroit and that is make the players look in the mirror.”

Jim Hendry joined Kennedy and Dibble. Hendry really feels he has made the right choice for the Cubs and enjoyed the 5-6 hour dinner the two of them had where all they talked was baseball. Hendry mentioned how well he enjoyed the time he spent with Joe Girardi, Bob Brenly, Mike Quade and Pat Listach. He feels that Listach has a bright future, either with the Cubs or another organization, and should be a fine Major League manager soon. The shock of the interview was the mention of Ryne Sandberg. Hendry said that Sandberg contacted him about the possibility of managing the Cubs and Hendry told him he wanted someone with managerial experience.

Hendry gained a lot of respect for Bob Brenly during the interview process and Brenly showed a lot of class by never approaching Hendry during the season when it was apparent that Dusty would not be returning. Hendry feels the Cubs’ job is a great job and people want to manage there, “It is an easy sell.”

Hendry said that he has to do a better job this off-season and has met with John McDonough and they are going to move forward from here. The payroll amount has not been set and he plans on being aggressive this off-season. He said he has not talked personal with anyone and mentioned that he does not understand where all of the speculation is coming from. Hendry said there is no doubt that the Cubs need new players but he feels like he has a good core of players. He will setup the bench with Piniella. They also spoke about Aramis Ramirez and Hendry stated that he is in negotiations with his agent. Ramirez has told Hendry he wants to stay; the feeling is they will adjust the length of the contract. Hendry said both sides want him to remain in Chicago and this will work out.

Mark Prior….

Scott Miller from CBS Sportsline was on the Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on Monday and after a short discussion about Piniella taking the Cubs job, the discussion turned to Mark Prior. Miller thinks the Cubs should do everything in their power “to cut bait” with Prior. He said Prior’s injuries have “killed the franchise” and they have to move past him. He went on to say the Cubs must add two free agent pitchers and later compared Prior and the Cubs to ‘Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown’. After Tuesday’s news, who can argue?

40-Man Roster Moves….

Les Walrond was sent outright to Triple-A Iowa on October 2nd and Adam Harben was added to the 40-man Roster. Harben was acquired from the Twins on September 5th to complete the trade for Phil Nevin. Harben is pitching for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL.

News and Notes….

Two of Piniella’s former markets ran very good articles on Tuesday morning about their former skipper. The Seattle Times and the Tampa Tribune were very complimentary and both are good reads.

Ron Santo likes the hiring of Piniella according to the Daily Southdown.

There is not an “out-clause” in Piniella’s contract for him to be able to leave for the Yankees job according to Bruce Miles.


Could Lee Elia be making his return to Chicago? Dave van Dyck mentioned the possibility.

Jamie Moyer has become the latest ex-Mariner to join the rumor mill as a possibility to be reunited with Piniella.

Former ‘Nasty Boy’ and Cub Randy Myers thinks that Piniella should hire Girardi to be his bench coach and eventual successor according to Barry Rozner.

Well, that’s the latest news, notes and rumors….and I’m sticking to it(or them)!!!

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon