Spreading Rumors….and a Little News, Too

Is Brian Roberts coming to the Cubs? Could Jon Lieber be making a second appearance on the North Side? Are the Cubs interested in trading for Marlon Byrd? Bruce Levine discussed each of those topics with Chet Coppock on ESPN 1000 Saturday morning. Levine stated Peter Angelos is “laying down the law and will not trade Brian Roberts.” Levine cited Buck Martinez from XM Radio as his source. Levine said the Indians offered a better package to the Orioles than the Cubs. The package from Cleveland would have included their top-pitching prospect Adam Miller.

For the third week in a row, Levine mentioned the possibility of the Cubs signing Jon Lieber. Lieber would give the Cubs pitching depth according to Levine and he went on to say one of his agent sources told him Lieber wants to come back to Chicago.

The Rangers have made Marlon Byrd available according to Bruce Levine. He said Byrd could fit the Cubs need for a right-handed bat that can play all three-outfield positions and serve as a platoon partner for Felix Pie. Levine did not indicate the Cubs have shown any interest in working a deal with Texas.

Here is the latest from the mill, an update on Carlos Marmol from winter ball and a full schedule for the 2008 Cubs Convention that kicks off on Friday afternoon….

The Cubs

A couple of quick notes from Phil Rogers before taking a closer look at Marlon Byrd. Rogers reported the Mariners might be closer to a deal with the Orioles for Erik Bedard than sending Brian Roberts to the Cubs.” Rogers confirmed a report from Dave Kaplan on Friday night that the Orioles are rumored to have asked Jim Hendry about Felix Pie and Tyler Colvin. According to Rogers, if the Cubs were to trade either Pie or Colvin to Baltimore, they would want Erik Bedard involved in the deal.

Marlon Byrd

Marlon Byrd is an interesting name that was thrown out by Mr. Levine. Byrd hit .307 with a .355 OBP in 109 games with the Rangers last season. Byrd hit 17 doubles, 8 triples, 10 home runs and drove in 70. The 109 games were the most he has played since 2003 when he was with the Phillies. He is a career .273 hitter with a career .334 OBP. Byrd is an adequate defender and would help the Cubs bench.

Here are Bryd’s splits…. Against lefties, .327/.374/.452 with a home run, 6 doubles and 2 triples last season. But away from Arlington…. .259/.304/.410 with 10 doubles, 2 triples and 6 home runs. Byrd has played 10 games at Wrigley Field during his 6-year career…. In 34 at bats, .206/.341/.206/.547 without a home run.

Carlos Marmol

Carlos Marmol is close to taking over the closing duties for Licey in the Dominican Republic according to Phil Rogers. Marmol took a little time off at the beginning of the season but has allowed just 1 hit with 9 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings….without a walk. Marmol could replace White Sox prospect, Oneli Perez, as the team’s closer.

From Around the League

According to reports on ESPN and by Ken Rosenthal, the Cardinals have agreed to send Scott Rolen to the Toronto Blue Jays for Troy Glaus. Multiple reports have stated this is a done deal and is just waiting for both players to pass a physical on Monday. With the health history of both players, this deal could fall through.

Phil Rogers mentioned the Brewers signing of Mike Cameron would allow them to move Ryan Braun to left field and Bill Hall to third base or trade him. Bruce Levine mentioned Bill Hall could be traded to the White Sox for Joe Crede on Saturday morning. Ken Rosenthal did mention Hall as one of the top remaining trading pieces on Friday….stay tuned, it does not appear the Brewers are done this winter.

Also, Rogers is the latest to think Johan Santana will end up with the New York Mets….could this explain why the Mets wanted Angel Pagan back?

The Cubs Convention

2008 Cubs Convention Schedule

Friday, January 18th

  • 5:00pm – 5:30pm – Opening Ceremonies
  • 6:00pm – 6:45pm – Autograph Treasure Hunt
  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm – Sports Central Live with Dave Kaplan and Tom Waddle, Broadcast Live on 720 WGN
  • – 7:00pm – 7:30pm – Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa and Alfonso Soriano
  • – 7:30pm – 8:00pm – Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella
  • – 8:00pm – 8:30pm – Ryan Theriot, Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster
  • – 8:30pm – 9:00pm – Pat Hughes, Ron Santo, Rick Sutcliffe and Glenn Beckert
  • 7:00pm – 8:30pm – Cubs Bingo

Saturday, January 19th

  • 9:00am – 10:00am – WGN Radio’s Meet Cubs Management with Spike O’Dell and Dave Eanet
  • – Jim Hendry, Lou Piniella, Randy Bush and Crane Kenney
  • 9:00am – 10:00am – Injuries, Anatomy and Santo….Oh My!
  • 9:30am – 10:30am – Cubs Jeopardy
  • 10:30am – 11:30am – Vine Line Presents Baseball in Latin America
  • 10:30am – 11:30am – WGN Radio’s Not for Women Only with Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey
  • – Ryan Theriot, Scott Eyre, Matt Murton and Matt Sinatro
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – Baseball Conditioning Clinic
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm – Lou and His Crew
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm – Hitting Clinic
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm – WGN Radio’s A Day in the Life of a Major Leaguer with John Williams and Cory Provus
  • – Derrek Lee, Rich Hill, Ryan Theriot and Daryle Ward
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm – Life Is A Minor
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm – Cubs Win, Lose or Draw
  • 1:30pm – 2:30pm – WGN Radio’s Storytelling with Cubs Legends with Steve Cochran
  • – Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Lee Smith and Rick Sutcliffe
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm – From the Stretch
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm – 8/8/88….or the Day After
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm – For Kids Only Press Conference
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Wheelchair Cubs
  • 3:30pm – 4:30pm – Cubs Forever: Celebrating 60 Years of WGN-TV and the Cubs
  • 4:00pm – 5:00pm – The North Side Mystique
  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm – Pitching Clinic
  • 8:00pm – 12:00am – Rock ‘n Roll Revue

Sunday, January 20th

  • 9:00am – 10:00am – Meet Cubs Business Management
  • 10:30am – 11:30am – Down on the Farm
  • 10:00am – 12:30pm – Baseball Hall of Fame Exhibit

The CCO will have first hand daily recaps of this year’s convention….for the third consecutive year.

Finally from the Sunday funnies…. Randy Hill made a few predictions for the New Year on FoxSports.com. One of them…. “Due to regional dialect and other pronunciation issues, three Chicago-area radio personalities are fired soon after what was intended to be a positive discussion of Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome.

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne