Soriano and the Starting Rotation

Updated – 6:08am C.T. with Even More Rumors….

The Cubs have made more noise than any other team so far this off-season with the exception of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox willingness to spend $51.1 million dollars for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka came at the surprise and shock to most….the Red Sox paid double of what most experts thought the posting fee would be. The Cubs have signed 3 players since the free-agent period started on Sunday. With DeRosa on board Jim Hendry’s attention should turn to Alfonso Soriano and the starting rotation. Hopefully Hendry is good at multi-tasking because he will need to divide his time between making an offer to Soriano and filling out his rotation.

There have been many names mentioned as a possibly to take the hill next season for the Cubs to go along with Carlos Zambrano, Rich Hill and Wade Miller. Here is the latest from the mill, news and notes from around the league and a look at some of those names….

Alfonso Soriano…. All of the Cubs attention seems to be on adding Soriano to the roster for the foreseeable future. Soriano is looking for a 6-year deal and Buster Olney thinks the contract could end up topping the contract that Carlos Beltran signed 2 years ago. Olney was on with Charley Steiner on the Baseball Beat and they both laughed that Soriano will end up costing some team a tenth of a billion dollars….that is BILLION not million. The Phillies have been rumored to be very interested in Soriano but a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer stated that baseball sources have indicated the Phillies have not submitted a bid for Soriano but are planning on talking with his representatives on Wednesday. Pat Gillick did admit that the Phillies talked with Soriano’s representatives about Kerry Wood.

The Dodgers, Astros, Angels and Red Sox are among the other teams that have expressed interest in Soriano and according to a report in the L.A. Times the Angels have offered Soriano a 6-year, $80 million dollar contract. Also in the L.A. Times report it was stated that Soriano is likely to travel to Florida to meet with a couple of GM’s this week.

Soriano is next on the radar according to Chris DeLuca and it will cost the Cubs a lot of money and picks in next year’s draft….Soriano is a Type A player but a lineup with Soriano in center could end the longest drought in all of professional sports.

Pitchers…. Here is a look at the rumored names and their numbers

Vicente Padilla…. Padilla is rumored to be looking for a 4-year, $40 million dollar contract. 15-10, 4.50 ERA, 156 strikeouts and 70 walks in 200 innings, 206 hits, 21 home runs and a 1.38 WHIP – Career Record, 66-61 with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP

Kei Igawa…. Career totals for 6 years pitched in Japan – 63-38 with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. In 2005 Igawa was 13-9 with a 3.87 ERA in 27 games with a 1.50 WHIP, 145 strikeouts and 60 walks in 172 1/3 innings, 199 hits allowed. In 2006, he was 14-9 with a 2.97 ERA and struck out 194.

Ted Lilly…. 15-13, 4.31 ERA, 160 strikeouts and 81 walks in 181 2/3 innings, 179 hits, 28 home runs and a 1.43 WHIP – Career record 59-58 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.38 ERA

Miguel Batista…. 11-8, 4.58 ERA, 110 strikeouts and 84 walks in 206 1/3 innings, 231 hits, 18 home runs and a 1.53 WHIP – Career record, 68-79 with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP (With the Cubs in 1997, 0-5 with a 5.70 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP in 6 starts, 11 games)

Gil Meche…. 11-8, 4.48 ERA, 156 strikeouts and 84 walks in 186 2/3 innings, 183 hits, 24 home runs and a 1.43 WHIP – Career record, 55-44 with a 4.65 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP

Holden Kushner on XM Radio reported on Tuesday night from the GM meetings and stated he found out the Cubs are interested in Barry Zito, Gil Meche and Ted Lilly.

The Rumor Mill, plus News and Notes….

Carlos Lee and Nomar Garciaparra…. According to a report in the Boston Herald the Red Sox are interested in Nomar and Carlos Lee to play first base.

Juan Pierre…. According to a report in the L.A. Times, the Dodgers are interested in Pierre taking Lofton’s place in center for next season.

Meet Scott Boras…. Bob Nightengale ran a good article about Boras, that includes a photo….a very good read.

No New “Prices”…. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune by Paul Sullivan, the Cubs have decided not to raise ticket prices for season ticket-holders and single game tickets will likely remain unchanged as well.

NL Cy Young Award…. Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the 2006 NL Cy Young Award. Carlos Zambrano finished 5th in the voting behind Trevor Hoffman, Chris Carpenter and Roy Oswalt. The National League and American League Managers of the Year will be announced on Wednesday. Look for Joe Girardi and Jim Leyland to take the honors.

Rey Ordonez…. The former Cub was one of nine players signed by the Mariners on Tuesday.

WBC…. MLB players and owners agreed to bring the World Baseball Classic back in 2009.

Update – With More Rumors

Jake Westbrook…. According to a report by Bruce Miles, the Cubs are interested in Westbrook and “may offer a package of young relievers” to the Indians for him.

Julio Lugo…. According to a report by Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs may go after Julio Lugo to play center if they fail to land Alfonso Soriano. Lugo has played just one game in center field. Also, the Cubs may be looking at trading Cesar Izturis to the Red Sox and adding Lugo to play shortstop. A report in the New York Daily News mentioned the same possibility….Lugo playing center field for the Cubs.

Jason Marquis…. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Cubs are pursuing Marquis. Apparently Marquis has corrected what was wrong with his delivery and the Cubs received good reports on him and are “strongly considering” signing him.

Cliff Floyd…. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Cubs are interested in Floyd if they cannot land Soriano.

Pitching…. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs plan on signing a starting pitcher and trading for the other.

Felix Pie…. According to a report in the Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Cubs may make Felix Pie available for trading this winter….and the Marlins would be interested.

Daily Transactions from CBS SportsLine

Well, that’s the latest from around the league….and I’m sticking to it!!!

Quote of the Day

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein