Adding Fuel to the Fire

Happy Halloween from everyone here at the CCO…. With the Cubs organizational meetings taking place in Arizona this week and the General Manager’s meetings in Orlando starting on Monday the Hot Stove League is beginning to heat up. The Yankees officially hired Joe Girardi on Tuesday, Grady Little resigned and Joe Torre appears to be heading west along with Don Mattingly. Some are wondering if Torre’s former third baseman will make the trip as well.

Jason Kendall filed for free agency on Tuesday and a couple of new names entered the Cubs’ rumor mill. Here is the latest and more from around the league….

The Cubs….

Carl Crawford has been on the Faithful’s wish list over the past couple of years. Paul Sullivan mentioned Crawford’s name in an article on Monday night with the word “if” starting the sentence. Piniella was Crawford’s manager in Tampa. Crawford hit .315 with a .355 OBP last year, 11 home runs and 80 RBI’s. Crawford also hit southpaws to the tune of a .318 average and a .350 OBP.

Bruce Miles mentioned Kosuke Fukudome and the Cubs in the same article. Miles said Fukudome is “the type of player Piniella likes.Here is more on Fukudome.

Bruce Miles also brought up Mark Prior and said the Cubs could non-tender Prior in December and end up agreeing on a “lower free-agent” deal.

Rotoworld.com ran a blurb from Curt Schilling’s blog, apparently the Cubs are on a list of 12 teams the free-agent right hander would be interested in playing for next season. The Mets, Cardinals, Brewers, Braves, Dodgers, Phillies, D’backs and Padres are the other NL teams.

The Cubs do not have a prospect in the Top 25 of players under 29 years old according to The Bill James Handbook that will “published on Thursday.” The Cubs’ farm system was ranked 29th in the league, the Astros are 30th.

More on Jason Kendall filing for free agency…. The Cubs have not decided what Kendall’s future with the team is. After his performance last year with Iowa and with the Cubs in September and October, Geovany Soto appears to already be penciled in as Lou Piniella’s starting catcher for next season.

A-Rod….

Gordon Wittenmyer said in the Sun-Times on Tuesday it is a possibility that Rodriguez could end up with the Cubs but even his report quoted Lou Piniella, “His name hasn’t ever come up.Ann Killion said in the Mercury News that having A-Rod in San Francisco would be like having Barry Bonds back. Killion goes on to describe A-Rod as “a star who hurts team chemistry“….ouch!!

Jeff Passan from Yahoo Sports listed the Top 10 possible destinations for A-Rod. The Angels top his list and the Cubs come in fourth.

From Around the League….

100 players have now filed for free agency, among them one Sammy Sosa.

The Astros signed Brad Ausmus to a 1-year deal worth $2 million dollars.

The Brewers declined the $9 million dollar option on Geoff Jenkins on Tuesday making the veteran outfielder a free-agent. Jenkins hit .255 last year with a .319 OPB, 21 home runs and 64 RBI’s.

Speaking of the Brewers….Ted Simmons will be their bench coach next season and Dale Sveum will be the Brewers 3rd base coach again.

Joey Cora (White Sox coach) is a candidate for the vacated managerial job with the Pirates according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

The Miami Herald is the latest to mention the possibility of the Yankees trading for Miguel Cabrera. The Herald said “the asking price will be steep” and the Marlins will ask for top young pitching prospects (that is plural by the way) and mentioned the possibility of Melky Cabrera being a “trade piece.”

The Astros are interested in Torii Hunter and Aaron Rowand. Apparently assistant General Manager, David Gottfried has spoken with the agents for both players.

The Boston Herald mentioned on Tuesday that John Farrellis expected to emerge as the leading candidate for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ managerial vacancy.

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

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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