Are the Cubs Done for the Off-Season?

Pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park in a little over two weeks and once some big football game on Sunday is completed, the baseball season will unofficially begin. This off-season has been like few others in the history of the game. There are several ‘big name‘ free agents still without jobs which should result in a very busy two weeks leading up to when camps open.

Crane Kenney and Randy Bush made the rounds on the airwaves Tuesday with the latest on the Cubs. While rumors and speculation are rampant at this point, Jim Hendry and Randy Bush are not done yet” according to Crane Kenney.

Randy Bush on XM Radio

Randy Bush joined Holden Kushner during Inside Pitch on Tuesday afternoon. Bush discussed a variety of topics from the Cubs Convention to being named Executive of the Year by the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago.

Randy Bush said the convention is always fun and it is great to mingle with the fans. Holden asked what were the most frequently asked questions during the weekend. Bush brought up the re-signing of Ryan Dempster and the dismay most felt with the trade of Mark DeRosa.

Holden Kushner asked him about Jake Peavy and how many questions he fielded about Peavy during the convention. Bush added that the media has really overplayed the Cubs desire to trade for Peavy and he’s really not sure why.

Bush said, “There’s nothing to the Peavy stuff. We like our pitching staff and lineup the way it is. Peavy is a member of the Padres.” The Cubs are in the process of getting ready for Spring Training.

The Cubs are planning on Kosuke Fukudome playing a lot in center. Randy Bush really likes the versatility that Reed Johnson, Joey Gathright and Kosuke Fukudome can provide in the outfield. Fukudome will spell Milton Bradley in right from time to time and Gathright and Johnson can play all three outfield spots….with Alfonso Soriano in left field.

Randy Bush went over with Holden why the Cubs traded Mark DeRosa…and it was the same answers the Cubs have been giving for nearly a month. The desire to get more left-handed, more at bats for Mike Fontenot and a position they could add a player like Milton Bradley.

Mike Fontenot and Aaron Miles will battle it out for second base. Bush really loves the competitiveness that Miles brings to the table and the fact he can play all over the field. The Cubs are planning on moving him around. Bush added Mike Fontenot will have a chance to grow as a player.

The Cubs think the world of Josh Vitters. Randy Bush said he is making progress just two years out of high school. Bush said, “(Vitters) Is a young man Cubs’ fans should be very excited about.

Randy Bush told Holden he does not know much more about Tom Ricketts than he has read in the paper. He complemented Sam Zell and the Tribune Company with the fact they have given the Cubs the support and the money to do what they think is best in the long term for the Cubs (extending Carlos Zambrano, picking up the option on Lou Piniella’s contract, re-signing Ryan Dempster).

Crane Kenney on WGN Radio

Crane Kenney joined Dave Kaplan during Sports Central on Tuesday night. Kaplan discussed topics from Tom Ricketts and the sale to Wrigley 2014 to the team that will soon take the field in Arizona.

Crane Kenney talked about the next steps in the process for Tom Ricketts to take over the Cubs. The Ricketts are working with the Tribune Company to finalize the deal. He said they have worked through the agreements and they have been submitted to the bankruptcy court and Major League Baseball.

After the next round of approvals, the last step is for the other owners to give their approval. Kenney stressed the Cubs are hoping to start the season with a new owner in place.

Wrigley 2014 and the Wrigley Campus were discussed. Kaplan revealed he has seen an artist rendering and the plans are amazing….Kaplan added it will change the entire Cubs experience.

Kaplan then turned his attention to the 2009 Cubs and asked if the Cubs have any on-field moves left this off-season. Crane Kenney said, “We have a few more things to do.” He talked about the organizational meetings in Arizona back in October and said one of the objectives was to find a way to get Mike Fontenot more at bats.

The Cubs did not foresee Joey Gathright and Aaron Miles being non-tendered and they feel both players will help this season.

Crane Kenney said, “Jim and Randy have a plan and they are not done” and added later, “Jim and Randy have a lot of work to do” before the season starts.

Kaplan asked about Jake Peavy and Kenney stuck to the corporate answer. He added that the Ricketts are thoughtful and careful business people. Kenney said, “Let’s let the new owner get into the chair before putting an agenda in front of him.

Kaplan brought up all of the free agents left. The two discussed the fact there are many big names that will become a lot more affordable as the season approaches. Pitchers such as Ben Sheets, Randy Wolf and Jon Garland will not cost as much and would be good fits in the middle of a lot of rotations. (Note, the three names were discussed but not linked to the Cubs or any interest was mentioned during the interview)

Dunn or Dumber?

What in the world was Steve Rosenbloom thinking? The title of his blog on Tuesday was, “Dunn or Dumber” and for clarification Rosenbloom is talking about Adam Dunn and Milton Bradley.

Freedom of speech is everyone’s right but Rosenbloom stepped too far this time. It is okay to not agree with a decision a team makes, but why call out a player like that?

And bloggers have a bad reputation with the mainstream media….

Dempster and the WBC

Ryan Dempster has been receiving a lot of flack from North of the Border for his decision to not participate in the WBC for Team Canada. Many think Dempster did the right thing….including Ken Rosenthal.

In other news….

The Cubs recently issued numbers to their off-season additions to the 40-man roster….and moved Jake Fox from a catcher to an outfielder:

  • Mitch Atkins – 60
  • Justin Berg – 64
  • Marcos Mateo – 62
  • Garrett Olson – 19
  • David Patton – 54
  • Jeff Stevens – 52
  • Luis Vizcaino – 51
  • Aaron Miles – 7
  • Jake Fox – 13
  • Sam Fuld – 27
  • Joey Gathright – 4
  • Brad Snyder – 56

…and for those interested, So Taguchi will don number 99.

CCO Site News

First take a chance to vote on the latest CCO poll (right hand side of main page) and do not forget about the CCO Community Blog. There is a solid discussion on some pitcher from the left coast and a good post from Joe D about an article from the Hardball Times about Outfield Arms.

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

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt