Finding the Missing Piece

One year ago today the Faithful were pleasantly surprised when Alfonso Soriano agreed to terms on an 8-year, $136 million dollar contract to play in Chicago. Soriano ended up having a solid season with the Cubs after a slow start…. .299/.337/.560 with 33 home runs, 70 RBI’s and 42 doubles in 135 games. The Cubs have several pieces in place and according to several reports will look to add a couple of pieces this winter. Several players in the free-agent pool and on the trading block are being connected to the Cubs by the mainstream media, but the big question remains…. Can Jim Hendry add the right pieces to improve his team and just not role players that fit the same description as players already on his roster?

Less than a day after entering the Cubs’ rumor mill, it appears Luis Castillo will be off the free-agent market. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal Sunday evening, the Mets are close to resigning Castillo. Rosenthal mentioned the Cubs interest in Castillo again but it appears that Castillo will remain a Met for the next 4 years for $25 million dollars.

Here’s the rest from the mill….

The Cubs….

According to a report in the Boston Globe by Nick Cafardo, the Cubs “might take a flier” on Bartolo Colon.

Bill Madden from the New York Daily News is the latest to mention the Cubs “plan to make a big pitch” for Kosuke Fukudome. Madden stated the Cubs “cleared” room on their roster last week for Fukudome by trading Jacque Jones and Craig Monroe.

Speaking of Fukudome…. Carol Slezak is the latest from Chicago’s mainstream media to do their research on the Japanese outfielder. Slezak talked with Orestes Destrade (ESPN and formerly of XM Radio) about Fukudome. Destrade compared Fukudome defensively to Ichiro Suzuki but offensively to Hideki Matsui and Akinori Iwamura. Destrade went on to compare Fukudome to Jacque Jones when he played with the Twins, not the Cubs.

Fukudome is receiving a lot of pressure to stay in Japan according to Slezak, quoting Wayne Graczyk from Japan Times Online. Graczyk said, “It’s 50-50 right now whether he will go to the Giants or the Major Leagues.”

The Denver Post still thinks Kaz Matsui will leave Colorado….if Matsui looks at his own numbers he might decide to stay and give the Rockies the infamous ‘hometown discount’.

From Around the League….

The Mets’ rumored deal with Yorvit Torrealba fell apart on Saturday night. The Mets ended their negotiations with Torrealba and several reports surfaced on Sunday about Torrealba having a bad shoulder. With the Mets passing on Torrealba, the destinations for Michael Barrett and Jason Kendall will be affected.

The Yankees are rumored to have their closer back but their “back-up plan” appears to be Francisco Cordero, if Mariano Rivera changes his mind.

Tom Glavine agreed to a 1-year deal to return to Atlanta late on Sunday night. The deal will reportedly pay the future Hall of Famer $8 million dollars next season.

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon