At least Jim Hendry now has a new member in the ‘Furcaled Club‘. Three years after being very close to signing with the Cubs, and some reports then suggested the Cubs had an agreement in place, Rafael Furcal and his agents did it again. The former Brave along with his agents Paul Kinzer and Arn Tellem reportedly received a term sheet from the Braves on Tuesday morning on a new 3-year contract…..and in the baseball world; a term sheet is viewed as a handshake agreement that a deal is done. To make a long story short, Furcal has since agreed to terms on a new contract with the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves’ organization is a ‘little upset‘. Will Furcal try to pull this again in three years?
On the Cubs front, the week following the end of the Winter Meetings has been relatively quiet, with the exception of signing Joey Gathright….which still has many shaking their head and questioning another decision by Jim Hendry this winter.
While the Cubs have no interest in signing Mark Teixeira his yet undecided location could be affecting their off-season. Many feel once Teixeira signs his new deal other players, such as Milton Bradley, will be able to look at all of the options in front of them and make a decision on their future. The Red Sox were reportedly working on a huge contract Thursday night with Scott Boras, but the Red Sox apparently are not offering enough. Some reports indicated Teixeira could make an announcement at some point on Friday.
Here’s the latest from the mill, including a surprising statement about Adam Dunn….
Dave Kaplan briefly discussed Milton Bradley on Wednesday and Thursday night. Kaplan stated two days ago that the Cubs stepped up their pursuit of Bradley and reiterated the statement on Thursday. Kaplan spoke with two different sources about Bradley and the answers received were on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
An unnamed source said the signing of Milton Bradley would be tremendous for the Cubs while Steve Stone called Bradley and awful signing. Stone said there is no way he would sign him. Kaplan mentioned it is a big decision for the Cubs. Not only will they be taking a gamble on him fitting into the clubhouse but with his health as well….and with the fact Bradley will probably cost around $10 million a year, there might not be enough resources left to find a solution if Bradley becomes a problem.
Phil Rogers on the Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner
Mr. Steiner spent a little time with Phil Rogers on Thursday afternoon and touched on a few Cubs’ topics. Rogers said the talks for Jake Peavy are dead and he feels Peavy will start the season in San Diego. Rogers mentioned the Red Sox could get into the mix but he does not think Peavy wants to pitch in the American League. He said the Cubs could revisit the talks during the season, in June or July before the trade deadline.
Joey Gathright will compete for the 25th spot on the Cubs’ roster according to Phil Rogers.
The Cubs are in a waiting game on Milton Bradley. Rogers said Bradley is on the Angels’ radar and if they lose out on Mark Teixeira, could pursue Bradley. Rogers thinks Bradley is an American League guy but he knows Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella want him.
Bobby Abreu is a lesser option for the Cubs according to Rogers; Charley Steiner responded with “Abreu is not a Piniella guy.”
Speaking of the former Yankee, Jerry Crasnick took a look at Bobby Abreu’s career on Thursday. Crasnick discussed many of Abreu’s accomplishments with a couple of quotes worth mentioning….
From an American League front-office man: “He’s still a dangerous hitter. I just think that as a complete player, he’s starting to go backwards. He’s not the outfielder he used to be. He still has a decent arm, but it’s not the cannon he used to have. And he doesn’t have the foot speed he used to have. He’s a solid player, but not a $14-15 million a year player.”
From an AL Scout: “Expressed a common sentiment when he referred to Abreu as a ‘piece of the puzzle’ rather than a player who’s going to anchor a lineup.”
According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs “are rumored to have interest” in left-handed pitcher, Fu-Te Ni. The southpaw became a free agent after his team in Taiwan disbanded. Four other teams (Mariners, Twins, Tigers and Braves) are also rumored to have shown interest. The report indicated Ni “would have to prove himself in the minor leagues.”
Dave Smith passed away on Wednesday at the age of 53 of an apparent heart attack….the official cause of death was unknown. Smith finished his career in a Cubs’ uniform in 1991 and 1992 after 10 years with the Astros from 1980 through 1990. He was an All-Star with Houston in 1986 and 1990.
The Cubs’ third round pick in last year’s draft received a write up on Ohio.com. Take a moment and read about a former pitcher from Kent State….Chris Carpenter.
Dave Kaplan reported on Thursday night that Adam Dunn is telling people if the Cubs will have him, that’s where he wants to play. Kaplan reminded his listeners about how awful the Cubs defense would be in the outfield with Alfonso Soriano in left and Dunn in right. Kaplan finished his brief, yet revealing, discussion about Dunn with the following: “He wants to play here in the worst way.”
What would a Cubs’ update this winter be without reading Jake Peavy’s name about 20 times? Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports thinks the Cubs pursuit of Peavy may not be done.
The Cubs’ GM is scheduled to join Dave Kaplan on Friday night at 7:10pm C.T. for around 15 minutes. Kaplan asked for questions to be emailed in for him to ask Hendry during the interview. For those interested….
A Link from One of the Faithful
The CCO received an email from one of the readers of the site and was asked to pass it on. Regular readers of the CCO know Joe S. from San Diego is a passionate, knowledgeable Cubs’ fan that has donated his time to worthy causes in the past. Click on the link below and show Joe how classy Cubs’ fans can be.
Well, that’s the latest….and I’m sticking to it!