Trammell, Pitching and the Latest from the Mill

According to a report in the New York Daily News on Sunday morning former Detroit Tigers’ manager Alan Trammell will join Lou Piniella’s staff as his new bench coach. Piniella’s long-time bench coach, John McLaren, decided to return to the Seattle Mariners and be the new bench coach for Mike Hargrove and his eventual successor.

Phil Rogers brought up the price of pitching in his report in Sunday morning’s Chicago Tribune. Rogers brought up the cost of pitching and what the Cubs paid Greg Maddux per win, it is very interesting. Rogers, in the report, goes on to say the Cubs will pursue Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jason Schmidt and Barry Zito. Jim Hendry is also meeting with the agent of Aramis Ramirez, Paul Kinzer, on Monday according to several reports but in others, like the Boston Globe, Ramirez is going to opt out of his contract…only time, and money, will tell.

Here is the rest… Rogers also reiterates what the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle have already stated….the Astros are the front-runner to land Carlos Lee. The Astros have targeted him since he went to the Rangers last July.

Gary Matthews, Jr. turned down a 3-year deal with the Rangers worth a reported $8 million dollars a year. There is also an internet rumors that is claiming that Juan Pierre turned down a similar contract with the Cubs….but those rumors are not from a reliable source and cannot be confirmed at this time. The only reason that was mentioned is because both of the centerfielders are rumored to be seeking contracts in the $10 million per year range.

Chris De Luca mentioned in his report in the Sun-Times on Sunday morning that the Cubs are not depending on Kerry Wood or Mark Prior at all for the upcoming season but that Wade Miller is expected to resign with the Cubs. Miller’s uncertainty could replace that usually reserved for Prior and/or Wood. De Luca also reiterated the earlier rumor about the Cubs targeting Alfonso Soriano to play centerfield and hit in the leadoff spot for next season and beyond.

De Luca also mentioned the return of Larry Rothschild and the relationship he had with Dusty. It was said for years that Dusty and Rothschild did not get along and the Dusty wanted Dick Pole to be his pitching coach. Could Dick Pole’s influence be one of the reasons for the pitching staff struggles over the last several seasons? Let’s hope so for the future of the organization….

Enjoy gameday!!!