The Next Move?

With the Cubs Convention approaching, will Jim Hendry make any deals before the annual gathering next week? The mainstream media began mentioning the name Brian Roberts again on Monday, as most of the baseball world concentrated on the latest from Roger Clemens. Internet rumors heated up on Sunday night about an impending deal with Baltimore. Those rumors continued on Monday but there has yet to be an official word from either Jim Hendry or Andy MacPhail….

Cubs Spring Training tickets at HoHoKam go on sale today at 10:00am C.T. The Cubs open their home schedule against the Giants on February 29th but start the 2008 Cactus League schedule on February 28th against those same Giants in Scottsdale.

The 2008 Hall of Fame Class will be announced at 1:00pm C.T. today. Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage and Andre Dawson appear to be the two former Cubs with the best shot of induction this year, with Lee Smith apparently still on the outside looking in….Alan Trammell is also on the ballot, but he appears to be a long shot as well. The Cubs

Outside of Brian Roberts, from all indications the Cubs are looking to add another starting pitcher and a right-handed bat that can play all three outfield spots. Several names have been mentioned over the past few weeks. Joe Blanton and Erik Bedard have been talked about the most and would cost the Cubs a lot in the terms of prospects. But could possibly change the entire complexion of Lou Piniella’s starting rotation.

The Mets are rumored to be very interested in Blanton and could offer a better package than the Cubs while the Angels, Mariners and even the Reds are rumored to be more interested in trading for Bedard than Jim Hendry. The Angels and Mariners have prospects the Orioles are rumored to be interested in while the Reds do not seem willing to part with Jay Bruce as a part of any package for Bedard.

Adding either pitcher would likely slide Rich Hill down to the 4th spot and would in turn make him more effective and give him a chance to mature….with a little less pressure to perform. The Cubs would have a solid rotation, on paper, if everyone were to remain healthy.

The other name that has been mentioned is Jon Lieber. Lieber would likely battle Jason Marquis and Ryan Dempster for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation. Lieber was very effective at one point in his career but age and injury have taken their toll. Lieber would be an insurance policy and could give the Cubs’ depth, but that is about all at this point in his career.

Depending on what the Cubs actually have to give up for Brian Roberts, if the deal goes through, will allow Hendry to decide what his next move is….right now, it’s back to the waiting game.

But those magic words are just 5 weeks away!!

The Hall of Fame

ESPN released the results of their writers with a HOF vote and of the candidates on this year’s ballot, Jim Rice along with Goose Gossage and Andre Dawson received the necessary votes for induction into the hall….now the question is, how did the former players fair with the other voters?

Gossage should take his place today among the game’s elite. Gossage was as dominate of a reliever as the game has ever seen.

Andre Dawson belongs in the Hall of Fame, period. No explanation necessary.

Will post an update on the Hall of Fame once the announcement is made.