Wasting No Time

Kerry Wood was one of 57 players to file for free agency on Monday with the MLB front office. The Cubs are expected to try to resign their former ace. Wood has been mentioned as a possible closer for next season and is also rumored to be interested in competing for a spot as a starter.

The other big name that will remain in the Cubs off-season discussion officially became a free agent on Monday as well. The 27th out of the World Series was not recorded when the announcement was made that the league’s best player decided to opt out of the largest contract in the history of the game. A-Rod and his agent’s timing was questioned by many on Monday, some even called the action “classless”.

The Yankees stole more of the Red Sox thunder on Monday when reports surfaced they made an offer to Joe Girardi to manage the Bronx Bombers. The deal is expected to be made official on Tuesday and is rumored to worth around $6 million dollars for 3 years. Here is the rest from the Cubs rumor mill and the latest from around the league….

The Cubs….

Chris De Luca mentioned last Thursday that new Reds’ manager, Dusty Baker has been “chatting” with Mark Prior and Kerry Wood since being namd skipper in Cincinnati. De Luca said the Reds will be looking for pitching this off-season and mentioned Wood, a free agent, could end up signing with his former manager’s new team. As far as Mark Prior, the former ace of the Cubs’ staff is under the Cubs’ control for the 2008 season and is arbitration eligible. There have been several rumors that have indicated the Cubs might non-tender Prior and if Jim Hendry chooses that route, Prior would become a free-agent. Prior made $3.575 million in 2007 and would make at least $2.86 million next year. But isn’t this tampering by Mr. Baker? Bruce Miles thinks so. The Cincinnati Enquirer picked up the same report.

While on the subject of Dusty Baker, Chris Speier appears to be heading to Cincinnati to be the Reds new bench coach. Juan Lopez, the Cubs bullpen coach under Baker, is also expected to be hired for the same job in Cincinnati by Baker according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

Bruce Miles brought up several questions the Cubs front office will be looking for answers to this winter. The Cubs are meeting this week in Mesa for their annual organizational meetings. The missing pieces the Cubs need to look at according to Miles….

  • A power-hitting right fielder
  • Soriano’s future in the leadoff spot
  • Theriot remaining the everyday shortstop
  • Adding a starting pitcher
  • The future of Felix Pie

Miles thinks the Cubs will try to trade Jacque Jones again this winter and will not retain the services of Cliff Floyd.

Rick Morrissey found a few things at Wrigley last week.

Hiroki Kuroda was at the World Series according to a report in the Boston Globe. Kuroda “contemplated a deal with the Cubs last yearaccording to the Globe and will likely make the move to the majors this year. The Globe mentions the Red Sox as a possible destination and apparently Kuroda received a “clean bill of health” from Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Carrie Muskat said the Cubs “would like to keep Kerry Wood” but his role will depend on the role Ryan Dempster plays on the team next season. Rumors are still floating around that Dempster could be heading out of the bullpen and into the starting rotation. Muskat thinks a left-handed power hitter and a starting pitcher are “on the Cubs’ wish list this off-season“.

Paul Sullivan stated the deal Aramis Ramirez signed last off-season makes a deal with A-Rod “unlikely.”

From Around the League….

ESPN reported three former Pirates coaches have found new jobs. Jeff Cox (third base coach) was hired by the White Sox. Bobby Cuellar (bullpen coach) will manage the Britain Rock Cats (Twins’ Double A) and Rusty Kuntz was hired by Trey Hillman in Kansas City to be the Royals new 1st base coach. The Pirates have not hired a new manager to replace Jim Tracy yet but the front runner appears to be Red Sox pitching coach, John Farrell.

The Padres released Marcus Giles on Friday.

Ken Davidoff mentioned in Newsday the Yankees could look to trade for Miguel Cabrera this winter. Davidoff thinks the Yankees could use Melky Cabrera and some young pitching to pry Cabrera from the Marlins.

The Boston Globe reported on Monday Torii Hunter will file for free agency on Tuesday.

The Braves and Tigers worked the first deal of the off-season on Monday. The Braves sent Edgar Renteria to the Detroit Tigers for right-hander, Jair Jurrjens, and center fielder Gorkys Hernandez. Jurrjens was ranked as the 4th best prospect in the Tigers organization by Baseball America before the 2007 season….Gorkys Hernandez was ranked 7th. The trade will reunite Renteria with manager Jim Leyland.

The Twins exercised their $6 million dollar option on Joe Nathan.

According to several reports, the Dodgers are looking at Joe Torre to replace Grady Little next season. Ken Rosenthal reported the Dodgers are looking at Torre to help solve the problems in their troubled clubhouse.

Well….that’s the news and I’m sticking to it!!

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax