While the Phillies and Yankees battled in game one of the Fall Classic, the rumor mill continued to pickup speed for the Chicago Cubs. Jim Hendry and his staff will receive direction from Tom Ricketts next week in Mesa during the organizational meetings … Mr. Ricketts is expected to reveal some of “his long-term and short-term plans” for his team during Friday’s press conference.
The new owner of the Cubs is expected to be hands-on and many feel once Mr. Ricketts gives Hendry his payroll number, ‘Trader Jim‘ will have to get to work and be a little creative in order to get the Cubs back in the post season next year.
Here’s the latest, including a rumored deal for Milton Bradley that has been on the table for three weeks. Tidbits from Bruce Levine
- According to Bruce Levine, expect a “slight raise in ticket prices” next season
- Levine’s sources have indicated the Cubs payroll for next season “will be locked in at close to $140 million, the same that was spent in 2009“.
- Hendry has been working on trades with Tampa, Toronto and “three to four other clubs with players with big contracts they would like to move.“
- Toronto “will talk to anyone” about Vernon Wells and his large contract.
- The Blue Jays will be looking to trade Roy Halladay at some point. Levine said “it is unknown at this point if the Cubs will be involved.“
Bradley for Burrell
According to recent rumors, the Rays are not happy and are looking for a team to take Pat Burrell and the one-year left on his deal. Tampa was rumored to be interested in Bradley last winter. But the figures do not match and the Cubs would likely have to send a lot of the two years and $21 million owed to Bradley along with the outfielder/designated hitter to Tampa.
For the record: Pat Burrell is owed $9 million in 2010.
According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mark DeRosa underwent wrist surgery on Monday “to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist.” The Post-Dispatch reported the Cardinals interest in re-signing DeRosa despite the fact the Redbirds “plan to go into 2010 with rookie David Freese having a chance to win the starting third base job.”
Derrick Goold mentioned “the Chicago Cubs figured to make an overture toward DeRosa as a make-good for trading him to Cleveland before the 2009 season – a move general manager Jim Hendry conceded was a mistake.”
Gary Matthews, Jr.
Hat tip to Chuck Divine once again … Bringing the Cubs to Florida has been launched on the World Wide Web. www.floridacubs.com
The group trying to bring the Cubs to Naples, Florida has a press conference scheduled for 2:00pm C.T. on Thursday.
“I think the team should be owned by somebody who is local, somebody who is really passionate about baseball,” Zell said. “I happen to be local. I’m not passionate about baseball, so I wish them all the best of luck. And maybe we’ll break the 101-year curse.”
Random Cub of the Day
From time to time this off-season, the CCO will post a Random Cub of the Day. The first in line … Steve Swisher, father of Nick Swisher. Steve was a Chicago Cub from 1974 – 1977. Steve Swisher’s Page from the Baseball Cube
Well, that’s the latest … and I’m sticking to it!