Another week closer…. the Cubs announced on Friday pitchers and catchers will report to Fitch Park on February 13th, with the first workout on February 14th. Position players will report on February 18th with the first full team workout on February 19th. The Cubs made another minor move on Friday when they inked former Cub, Chad Fox to a 1-year minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Fox pitched for the Cubs in 2005 and suffered what appeared to be a career ending injury….Fox is now 37 years old. According to a report on Cubs.com, other non-roster invitees to Spring Training will be announced next week.
The Cubs are still talking with the Orioles about Brian Roberts according to Dave Kaplan. He mentioned on Friday night the Cubs might have to include either Felix Pie or Tyler Colvin in the deal with Baltimore in order to land Roberts. A report from Yahoo Sports on Friday also mentioned Andy MacPhail “likely would want centerfielder Felix Pie as part of the return.” It appears as everyday passes Brian Roberts becomes more and more valuable in the eyes of the Orioles.
The Bleacher Report wonders if Kosuke Fukudome is the answer for the Cubs.
The Cubs Convention
According to a report on Cubs.com, Tyler Colvin, Jeff Samardzija and Rocky Roquet will be in attendance next weekend.
While Jim Hendry waits to see what Andy MacPhail will be allowed to do before camp opens next month, the Cubs are not the only team having trouble working a deal with the Orioles. The Mariners are rumored to be very close to a deal with Baltimore for Erik Bedard. The Orioles have apparently told Seattle what they want for Bedard and are not willing to budge according to multiple reports on XM Radio. But with the Orioles becoming more and more difficult to deal with, Ken Rosenthal reported the Mariners have inquired about Joe Blanton. The Mariners would have to part with Adam Jones and do not want to send their top prospect to a team within their own division.
MSNBC mentioned Andy MacPhail is taking the Orioles in a new direction after 10 years of losing seasons….but is he? From the outside looking in it appears Peter Angelos is still calling the shots and is not willing to make trades to improve his franchise. The Orioles are no where near competing with the Yankees or Red Sox, or even the Blue Jays, but continue to go about their business the way they have for more than a decade.
The Orioles were once a proud franchise but if Angelos does not realize he must change and allow MacPhail to make reasonable trades, his team will soon be looking up at the entire division, including the Tampa Bay Rays, for many years.
Hopefully the Cubs new ownership will be more like the one in Boston and not like the one currently in Baltimore.
From Around the League
There will be a familiar face within the Reds organization this year. Walt Jocketty was hired on Friday to be the special advisor to chief executive Bob Castellini. Rumors began floating at the end of last season that if Jocketty left St. Louis he would end up in Cincinnati….the only part of the rumor that turned out to be false is he would bring Tony LaRussa with him.
Ken Rosenthal said there are nine teams with “unfinished business” this off-season….the Mets, the Yankees, the Angels, the Braves, the White Sox, the Cardinals, the Padres, the Reds and the Orioles. Rosenthal also mentioned the top remaining trade candidates….
- Johan Santana
- Erik Bedard
- Joe Blanton
- Brian Roberts
- Coco Crisp
- Mark Kotsay (rumored to be heading to Atlanta very soon)
- Bill Hall
- Scott Rolen
- Brandon Inge
- Joe Crede
Finally…. Jacobs Field, or ‘The Jake’, is no longer. The home of the Cleveland Indians is now called “Progressive Field.” Will Wrigley be next?