The Cubs A.T.M.

Updated – 7:50am C.T. – Marquis Accepted Contract from Cubs?

After the Meetings…. What is next for the Cubs? Great news came out of Orlando on Friday night when Jim Hendry was released from the hospital and according to a report on Cubs.com he is expected back in Chicago on Sunday. Gary Hughes had been spearheading the Cubs in Hendry’s absence while several reports indicated he was still working the phones in order to improve the Cubs from his hospital bed. According to a report by Paul Sullivan if Hendry would have waited any longer to be checked out the attack could have been fatal.

Jim Hendry and his staff still have more than one hole to fill and plenty of questions to find the answers to before the team reports to Fitch Park in mid-February. The old Laurel and Hardy skit comes to mind…. Who’s in center? Or in the Cubs case, what players will fill out the 25-man roster to make this group winners?

Here is the latest from around the league….

Jason Marquis…. The Faithful were awoken on Friday to the thought of Jason Marquis pitching at the back of the rotation for the Cubs. Several reports, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and New York Daily News, indicated the Cubs were close to a deal with Marquis and there was even an Internet rumor that mentioned how much the offer was for. Chris De Luca mentioned in his report that Marquis could be looking for a contract with a $10 million dollar annual price tag. As of this writing, the Cubs have not announced agreeing to a contract with Marquis and Ken Rosenthal has been very quiet. Several reports have indicated the Cubs have interest in Marquis and for the right price he could be a good addition that will “eat a lot of innings” for the Cubs, the big draw back is all of the home runs he allows on a yearly basis. In this writers humble opinion he has appeared to be on the verge of “putting it all together” for sometime now but adding Marquis to a rotation with some many questions might not be the right time for a team trying to erase so many years of futility.

Jeff Suppan…. Another former Cardinal has gained a little momentum in the Cubs rumor mill in the aftermath of Gil Meche signing the unbelievable contract with the Royals. Suppan’s performance in last year’s post-season will have a large price tag for a team outside of St. Louis.

Jason Jennings…. According to a report in the Denver Post, the Cubs are still interested in trading for Jennings but some wonder if they have enough to offer the Rockies in return. Unless the Cubs can trade for Jennings and then sign him to an extension another Juan Pierre type deal could hurt the Cubs even more the second time around.

Kenny Lofton and Cliff Floyd…. Both free agent veteran lefties are still on the Cubs radar. Jayson Stark mentioned both in a report after the Winter Meetings and several reports have indicated the Cubs are interested. Jay Payton did agree to terms with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday and the Rangers agreed to terms with Marlon Byrd so the door might be open for Lofton’s return to Chicago but some feel the Rangers may still pursue Lofton as a platoon partner for Byrd.

Mark Hendrickson…. According to a report on Newsday, the Cubs could be interested in trading for the southpaw. Hendrickson was 6-15 with a 4.21 ERA in 31 games (25 starts) last season for the Dodgers and Devil Rays. He will turn 33 in June and pitched for Piniella in 2004 and 2005.

Jacque Jones…. The apparently unhappy Jones is on the way out of Chicago, his destination in unknown. A report in the Chicago Tribune hinted at a possible deal with the Orioles that would involve David Newhan.

News and Notes….

Andy Pettitte…. The former Astro (that has a great sound) is heading back to the Bronx according to several reports on Friday. The Yankees will reportedly pay $16 million for a year of his services with an option for a second in 2008. Some think Roger Clemens will follow him back to New York. Both of these moves could really hurt the Astros, even with the signing of Carlos Lee. Several sources indicated on Friday that the Astros were close to a deal that would have landed Jon Garland in Houston….but for some reason, the deal fell through. The Astros are rumored to be very interested in Jason Jennings as well. If the Cubs are going to compete for the division crown in 2007 they will have to get a lot better and the rest of the division will have to not improve and in some cases get a little worse. With the Astros losing one and possibly two pieces of their rotation, they are a lot worse on paper after Friday than they were on Thursday.

Former Major Leaguer, Jose Uribe, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Friday, he was 47 years old.

The Dodgers might file tampering charges against the Red Sox according to a report on FoxSports.com. The report mentions a possible conversation between Theo Epstein and Scott Boras that led to J.D. Drew opting out of his contract with the Dodgers.

The CCO’s favorite off-season grader, Dayn Perry of FoxSports.com, released a report about who he thinks were this year’s winners and losers at the Winter Meetings. Perry feels that Ted Lilly is not a good fit for the Cubs. A very good read and worth the time.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness…. A Breakdown of the Cubs’ off-season to this point from the New York Times.

From ESPN…. a List of the Remaining Free Agents

Daily Transactions from ESPN

Daily Transactions from CBS SportsLine

Also, Friday was the 26th Anniversary of the death of John Lennon….I cannot believe it has been that long. IMAGINE

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

Update - According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jason Marquis has accepted a 3-year, $28 million dollar bid from the Cubs. Please note this is the only source reporting this signing. Other sources are mentioning the Cubs interest in Marquis but not a signing. According to Bruce Miles, the Cubs have him as a top target and mentions the Cubs could be interested in trading for Jon Lieber and/or Brad Penny.

Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
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