Deal or No Deal

The speculation continues….who will go where, for how long and how much will it cost? Will any of this year’s free agent class be a difference maker for their new team next season? Will the Cubs be big players in the free agent market or will they stand on the sidelines as other teams sign the big name free agent that their fan base desires? Starting on Sunday the bidding wars for such names as Zito, Schmidt, Lee and Soriano….and possibly Ramirez will begin. But how much is a championship worth and can it be measured in dollars and cents? Today is the deadline for teams to bid on the next big thing….one Daisuke Matsuzaka. Most think he is the jewel of this off-season, some think that he could end up being just a lump of coal but whatever the case….he is about to be a very rich man.

There are more rumors than can be mentioned right now, some from reliable, accurate sources, some just made up to increase readership or to give false hope to a jaded fan base looking for something to believe in. This time of year can be frustrating as well as exciting but for the impatient person it can be down right unbearable.

There are different lists from many different experts that rank which free agents will have the biggest impact on their new team. But who fits where? A General Manager should look at more than just the money that a player is asking for….but look at how they would actually fit into their locker room. Would that one player be able to turn a group of individuals into a winning team? Will he be a leader that will pick up the weakest link and turn him into a vital part of a team that wins 90 or more games? Will he be able to hold his teammates accountable for their actions on the field? Does he have enough credibility among his peers to step into a leadership role and be an impact both on and off the field right away? After all a team does not spend $100 million dollars on a utility player, they spend that kind of money on a difference maker, a playmaker, a leader and a winner.

Several internet reports have Aramis Ramirez signing his new deal with the Cubs by the weekend, some have him playing out West next season. Only time will tell where he ends up. For every rumor you read or hear there is another that will tell you something entirely different. The only thing known is the unknown and we are all like children on Christmas morning looking at the unopened presents under the tree wondering what is actually inside of that package.

News and Notes….

Daisuke Matsuzaka will arrive in Los Angeles today as bidding for the rights to negotiate with him ends at 5:00pm E.T. According to a report on XM Radio, the Cubs did bid for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka.

Former Cubs bench coach Dick Pole signed on with the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday….he will be their pitching coach replacing Vern Ruhle.

Former Cub, Glenallen Hill was named first base coach of the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.

Lee Elia may be joining the Cubs as a scout according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

170 of the 200 expected free agents have now filed.

Daily Transactions from CBS SportsLine

CCO Forum with polls on Aramis Ramirez

Well, that’s the news and notes and I’m sticking to them!!!!

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