What a difference a week makes…. On the day the NLCS started and the Rockies took Game One from those Diamondbacks, rumors have begun to surface and what would the off-season be without rumors, right? The first part of the week was very quiet for obvious reasons but as the Series gets closer, noise is once again being made at 1060 West Addison.
The Cubs released a tentative schedule for next year. Relievers have been discussed this week, as well as possible trading chips. A couple of names from the past resurfaced as well as a possible change of stripes. Here is the latest…. Obviously the team that took the field on the last day of the regular season could look a lot different in February. There are several players that will likely not be with the Cubs in the New Year. Paul Sullivan brought up the fact Craig Monroe will probably not be tendered a new contract. Jason Kendall will likely find a new team and Will Ohman could be used as trade bait.
Dayn Perry thinks Kerry Wood will have to either be promised the closer’s role or a chance to start again for him to remain with the Cubs. Wood showed he is capable of pitching multiple innings in back-to-back games down the stretch. A healthy Wood and a repeat performance from Carlos Marmol could give the Cubs a very good backend of the pen next season.
Some of the talk earlier in the week surrounded the possibility of Ryan Dempster being in the starting rotation next year. If Dempster becomes a starter again, the Cubs might be able to move Jason Marquis according to an article in the Sun-Times.
The Cubs should announce any day now they have picked up the $1.2 million dollar option on Daryle Ward but the future of Cliff Floyd in Chicago is uncertain to say the least. Floyd mentioned toward the end of the regular season he was contemplating retirement. Also, Bruce Miles reported that Daryle Ward will have surgery on the left hand he injured toward the end of the season.
The baseball season is not over yet and Alex Rodriguez has not opted out of his contract but many think he will. The Yankees said earlier this week if A-Rod opts out they will not negotiate a new contract with him. Get ready for a lot of talk this winter, until he signs somewhere, about Rodriguez playing for the Cubs. Those rumors started last off-season when Lou Piniella signed on and those rumors will continue. Dayn Perry thinks A-Rod could fit in at shortstop for the Cubs.
Ken Rosenthal stated on Wednesday the Cubs will pickup the $4.75 million dollar option on Steve Trachsel. Rosenthal thinks the Cubs could use Trachsel as trade-bait this off-season. But Bruce Miles thinks the Cubs will pass on Trachsel.
Steve Stone wants to be a part of the Cubs organization again but not the GM according to Fred Mitchell in the Tribune. Any input from Steve Stone would be a good start by new ownership.
What will the Cubs do with Jacque Jones this off-season? He spent most of last winter on the trading block but Jim Hendry could not find any takers. Jones was traded but the trade was voided and Jones had a very good second half. Jones should be left alone this off-season and open camp in Mesa as the Cubs centerfielder. If Felix Pie can beat him out for the job….it would be a good problem for Lou Piniella to have.
Finally…. The Reds have interviewed Dusty Baker for their managerial opening. According to Ken Rosenthal, Baker could be the front-runner to take over in Cincinnati.
Well….that’s the news, or rumors at least, and I’m sticking to it.