Back to Work after the Winter Meetings

There are only 15 days remaining in the year and Jim Hendry has quite a bit of work to do. The Cubs GM is still looking for a left-handed bat for the middle of the lineup, maybe a little speed at the top of the lineup….but a comment from Sandy Alderson late Monday could have spelled the end of the Cubs’ quest for Jake Peavy.

A report also surfaced on Monday night the Cubs were close to signing Joey Gathright, who was recently non-tendered by the Kansas City Royals. According to Cubs.com, Joey Gathright could sign with the Cubs this week and he would “compete for a spot on the bench” in the spring. This would not be the first time Jim Hendry has shown interest in Lou Piniella’s former outfielder in Tampa….the Cubs were rumored to be looking at the speedster before they traded for Juan Pierre.

There has not been an official announcement of the Cubs agreeing to terms on a contract with Gathright or if the possible deal would be a Major League, or Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training…..if it is a Major League deal, the signing of Gathright could signal something is on the horizon that could possibly involve Felix Pie.

Here’s the rest from the update desk as well as a link from one of the Faithful….

Bobby Abreu

The former New York Yankee is looking to get paid this off-season. The soon-to-be-35-year-old-outfielder, and one that many think has lost more than just a step, is seeking a 3-year, $48 million dollar deal this winter according to Ken Rosenthal.

Ken Rosenthal mentioned the lack of interest in Bobby Abreu this winter and the reason is simple…too many years and too much money for a player on the downside of his career.

Rafael Furcal

According to a report from Yahoo Sports, Rafael Furcal will accept an offer from one of four teams by Tuesday, his agent, Paul Kinzer, said on Monday afternoon.” The Blue Jays are no longer in the Furcal sweepstakes and the other four teams are….the A’s, Dodgers, Royals and the Braves according to Ken Rosenthal.

The A’s offer for Furcal….4 years and $40 million according to ESPN and the Braves’ offer is believed to be three years with possibly an option for a fourth.

The Crosstown Classic in Las Vegas?

For the fifth year in a row the Cubs will play exhibition games at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. According to a report from Cubs.com, the Cubs and White Sox added two split squad games to their Cactus League schedule on Monday. The crosstown rivals will face off on March 4th and March 5th in Vegas while a majority of the Cubs’ regulars figure to stay behind in Arizona to face Kerry Wood and the Indians in Goodyear.

March 5th was a scheduled day off for the Cubs.

Jake Peavy and the Sale of the San Diego Padres

According to multiple reports, John Moores hired Goldman Sachs on Monday to find a buyer for the San Diego Padres. The team officially being for sale could cause Kevin Towers to lower his asking price for Jake Peavy….or, maybe not.

According to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune on Monday night, the Padres “are no longer actively pursuing any trade for Jake” and “it’s likely Jake will be with us on Opening Day.

Sandy Aldersonexpects the Padres ace to start the 2009 season with the organization.

Gary Hughes on XM Radio

Gary Hughes, the Cubs Special Assistant to Jim Hendry, joined Joe Castellano on Monday night….and of course, discussed everything Cubs. In bullet point format, here are a few notes worth passing along from the interview:

  • Hughes likes the World Baseball Classic and was in Japan for the first round of the WBC in 2006. Hughes is not worried about injuries during the tournament and mentioned injuries happen during Spring Training.
  • Joe Castellano asked about the Jake Peavy talks and the possible disappointment of not acquiring Peavy. The Cubs worked hard on trying to get the deal done and Hughes thinks everybody wanted the deal done, including Jake.
  • Hughes said there were a lot of names rumored to be in the deal and not all of the players talked about would have been traded for Peavy.
  • Hughes called the price for Peavy overwhelming” and in the end what the Cubs had to give up did not make sense.
  • Milton Bradley is a tremendous talent.
  • Hughes witnessed two of Bradley’s infamous games in person….both the bottle-throwing incident and the game Bud Black wrestled him to the ground
  • Bradley is very talented and fits the bill of what the Cubs are looking for
  • Hughes scouted Kosuke Fukudome since 2004 and said he hopes the “real Kosuke” will return in the spring.
  • Hughes feels Chad Gaudin will have a big year
  • Micah Hoffpauir will take on Daryle Ward’s role. Will spell Derrek Lee from time-to-time and Hughes feels like offensively Hoffpauir is ready to be in the big leagues.
  • Talked briefly about Garrett Anderson said how much he liked him but did not mention the Cubs have any interest in the former Angel
  • Hughes indicated if one of the left-handed bats the Cubs are looking at signed tomorrow, there are other options
  • The Cubs will probably add a speed guy to the bench to give us a different look in there.” Did not mention the Cubs’ interest in Joey Gathright.
  • Milton Bradley would be a good way to “spice up the clubhouse“. Eddie Murray said the Cubs “have a vanilla clubhouse“….meaning too nice of a team.
  • Felix Pie has great tools and hopefully someday he will play to the level of his talent. Hughes thinks Pie is close to putting all together.

MLB Homeplate added to Sirus Satellite

For those with Sirus Satellite Radio, XM’s MLB Homeplate Channel 175 was added to the ‘Best of XM‘ package over the weekend. There is an additional fee, but the MLB channel is well worth the cost.

XM Radio MLB Homeplate Link
Sirus Link

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.

BringAbbyHome.com

Joey Gathright on You Tube


Joey Gathright Jumping Over a Car

Finally, for those the latest on a possible addition to the Cubs’ pen…. Check out the latest from the Heckler.

Well, that’s the latest….and I’m sticking to it!

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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