Gearing Up?

The General Manager Meetings are underway but day one in Orlando was rather quiet, other than the talk of instant replay. Most of the experts are predicting teams will look to improve their roster via trades with this year’s free-agent class being described as weak by most. There are a couple of names that have begun to be tied to the Cubs, most notably two players from Japan….Kosuke Fukudome and Hiroki Kuroda.

Jim Hendry appears to be focusing on resigning Kerry Wood before he hits the open market on November 13th. Phil Rogers stated late on Monday night that Hendry has told Wood he wants him to stay in Chicago “possibly as the closer“. Here’s the rest from the Cubs’ rumor mill and notes from around the league….

The Cubs….

More on Kerry Wood…. Phil Rogers went on to discuss in his report that if the Cubs do resign Wood that would “free up Ryan Dempster for a trade or a role change.”

Rogers also discussed Mark Prior’s future with the Cubs. He stated “a source indicated the Cubs would tender a 2008 contract to the surgically repaired Prior only if he is willing to give the team a club option for 2009.” According to Rogers, the Cubs apparently do not want to spend another year on Prior to see him leave via free agency after the 2008 season.

While Cliff Floyd’s days appear to be over in Chicago, he said on Monday he “expects to talk with Jim Hendry in the next few days.” The Cubs will not receive draft compensation from a team that signs Floyd but will receive a “sandwich” pick in the 2008 draft for Jason Kendall. Kendall is considered a Type B player.

Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus has a report on that centers around 5 trades that should be made this off-season. Number 5…. The Cubs should trade Matt Murton and Sean Gallagher to the Indians for Jhonny Peralta. Sheehan states Peralta is an upgrade over Ryan Theriot and his below-average defense would not “be as much of a liability with the Cubs’ high strikeout, fly ball staff.

From the better late than never column…. The San Diego Union-Tribune mentioned on Sunday the Cubs and Padres talked about a trade in May that would have involved Felix Pie and Khalil Greene.

Kosuke Fukudome and Hiroki Kuroda

John Donovan from stated it is unclear which Japanese players will be playing in the Majors next season and no one will know for sure until November 12th. But he mentions both Hiroki Kuroda and Kosuke Fukudome, along with Masahide Kobayashi.

From Around the League….

A name could soon be removed from the Cubs’ rumor mill. ESPN and reported late on Monday night that Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox are close to agreeing on a 1-year.

Former Cub, Greg Maddux agreed to a 1-year deal with the San Diego Padres on Monday worth $10 million dollars. The deal contains several bonuses, a no-trade clause and a suite on road trips.

Andy Pettitte declined his $16 million dollar option for the 2008 season. Pettitte is not sure if he wants to pitch again next year.

The New York Post did a “very unscientific poll” and asked baseball execs which players they thought would most likely be traded this winter. The answer…. Coco Crisp and Miguel Tejada.

Last But Not Least….Scott Rolen could waive his no-trade clause if the Cardinals can find a team to trade him to. Rolen and Tony LaRussa’s relationship has been reported as being poor at best and the slugger appears to be ready to leave St. Louis. Rolen has 3 years and $36 million dollars left on his contract.

Quote of the Day

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