Award Week for MLB … Busy Week for the Cubs?

Last week the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards were handed out and Carlos Zambrano won his third silver bat for being the best hitting pitcher in the National League. This week the majority of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) awards will be handed out … NL and AL Rookie of the Year on Monday, AL Cy Young Tuesday, NL and AL Manager of the Year on Wednesday and NL Cy Young on Thursday. The Cubs have one player in the running for NL Rookie of the Year, but Randy Wells winning the award would be more than a long shot.

Jim Hendry is expected to sign John Grabow this week to a two-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $7 million. Some reports have suggested the contract could include an option for a third year … Grabow’s agent was faxed an offer sheet on Wednesday.

Free agency officially begins at 12:01am Eastern Friday morning … and reserve lists for major and minor league teams must be filed by Friday, November 20.

So while you wait for the latest on Milton Bradley and Curtis Granderson, here’s some other news (and links) you can use on a Monday morning ….

Curtis Granderson

For the all of the rumors and news from over the weekend on Curtis Granderson, click on these links:

Randy Wells

Randy Wells on XM RadioOriginally posted on 11/15/09

Whether Randy Wells ends up being a one-season wonder or not will be determined soon … but one thing is certain, Randy Wellsgets it“. Randy Wells joined Jeff Joyce on MLB Live Weekend Edition (XM Radio) Saturday.

Jeff Joyce asked Wells about last year and his thoughts on the season. Wells said he was really pleased given his background and was glad he was given the opportunity to show he could be effective in the big leagues.

Wells is not sure when the Cubs decided he would be a starter. Wells spent time in the bullpen until he came back to the Cubs’ organization from Toronto (Blue Jays picked Wells in the 2007 Rule V Draft but offered him back after one major league appearance).

Wells admitted he struggled as a starter before learning a slider with the Blue Jays and how to keep the ball down.

The Cubs’ right-hander admitted he lost focus a little last season. He tried to use the fact he could be making his last start every time he was given the ball as fuel to keep him motivated. Wells explained he has to learn how to evaluate his own stuff in the first inning … basically what he has to work with on a given day. He explained that sometimes he would try to push through instead of making adjustments, which shortened his outing several times.

Randy Wells is pleased with the amount of groundballs he was able to induce last year and feels that was a big key to his success.

Wells loves being a Cub, loves Wrigley Field and playing in Chicago. He explained that a player cannot “let the stuff get you down” that is associated with playing with the Cubs. There is a lot of pressure but you have to remain positive … especially when dealing with some of the “fans“. He said, “You just gotta laugh it off … gonna have good days and gonna have bad days.

Jeff Joyce asked about Milton Bradley. Wells said, “Milton is Milton.” He mentioned the fact he cannot speak for Bradley and described him as a great guy and a really good teammate. Wells went onto explain it went bad for Bradley early and he couldn’t recover.

Randy Wells is not taking his spot in the rotation next season for granted. He does not expect the job to be handed to him and he realizes he must earn it. Tom Gorzelanny and Jeff Samardzija deserve a spot in the rotation according to Wells and they will be trying to take his job in the spring.

Wells thinks Darwin Barney, Mitch Atkins and J.R. Mathes could help the big league club win ballgames.

The break is already over for Wells. He has begun working out for next year, hired a personal trainer and received advice from Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly on how to prepare for a long season. Wells said he would start throwing in December and “crank it up” in January.

2009 – 2010 Off-Season Baseball Calendar


  • 19 – Last Day of Exclusive Negotiating Rights for Potential Free Agents
  • 20 – Day to file reserve lists for all Major and Minor League levels
  • 20 – First Day Major League Free Agents may negotiate and sign with a team other than their former club
  • 30 – December 4 – Major League Baseball Players Association executive board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona

BBWAA Awards – All Award winners announced at 2:00pm E.S.T.

  • 16 – NL and AL Rookie of the Year
  • 17 – AL Cy Young Award
  • 18 – NL and AL Manager of the Year
  • 19 – NL Cy Young Award
  • 23 – AL Most Valuable Player
  • 24 – NL Most Valuable Player


  • 1 – Last date for former club to offer salary arbitration to ranked XX(B) free agents in order to be eligible for compensation. Deadline is midnight eastern
  • 1 – 2009 Hall of Fame Ballot Released
  • 4 – Last day to request outright waivers to assign player prior to the Rule 5 Draft
  • 7 – Last date for players who declared free agency under Art. XX (B) to accept arbitration offer from former club. Deadline is midnight eastern.
  • 7 – 10 – Baseball Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 10 – Rule 5 Draft
  • 12 – Last day to tender contracts. Deadline is midnight eastern



  • 5 – 15 – Salary arbitration filing period
  • 6 – BBWAA Hall of Fame voting announced
  • 15 – 17 – 25th Annual Cubs Convention
  • 19 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures


  • 1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
  • 15 – End of Waiver Period
  • 16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
  • 18 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for pitchers, catchers and injured players
  • 23 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for other players


  • 2 – Mandatory reporting date to Spring Training for all players
  • 2 – 11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
  • 17 – Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
  • 31 – Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2010 salary


  • 4 – Active Rosters Reduced to 25 players
  • 4 – MLB Opening Night
  • 5 – Opening Day for Chicago Cubs in Atlanta
  • 12 – Cubs Home Opener against the Milwaukee Brewers

Will Update Off-Season Calendar throughout winter

Cubs in Winter Ball

The AFL had Sunday off and resume play on Monday with the Mesa Solar Sox facing the first place Phoenix Desert Dogs. Starlin Castro is still making headlines and hitting the cover off the ball.

From the CCO Inbox

The CCO Inbox is back … and those interested in contacting the CCO can email [email protected]

Sully Baseball posted a guide to “Talking Baseball for People Who Know Nothing About Baseball”

Gregg Babus asked the question … “To Bunt or Not To Bunt“. This is a must see, full of baseball and pop culture.

There is a new baseball stats site …

The website is dedicated to presenting baseball statistics and history from a viewpoint not found anywhere else. Baseball By Positions compares players in the most meaningful way possible – by using player performances at the same position in the same league in the same season. Every combination of position, league and season will be at

The Bleacher Report lists the greatest offensive season at each position for the Chicago Cubs.

Notes from the Soapbox

During the Hot Stove Season, the CCO asks our readers to remember the following:

In many cases the mainstream media acts as irresponsible as the bloggers they despise. In most cases bloggers know more about the team and the game they are writing about that these so-called-experts and beat writers.

Several of the talking heads and reporters are responsible with the information they release. The others have an agenda and are attempting to do nothing more than further their own career. During the Hot Stove Season it is imperative to have the wisdom to know the difference.

Just because someone is recognized as a professional does not mean he/she acts in such a manner.

Random Cub of the Day

The latest CCO Random Cub of the Day is Barry Foote. Foote was the first round pick (third overall) of the Montreal Expos in the 1970 draft. Foote made his debut in September of 1973 with the Expos.

Foote was traded to the Cubs from the Phillies along with Henry Mack, Derek Botelho, Jerry Martin and Ted Sizemore for Greg Gross, Dave Radar and Manny Trillo on February 23, 1979.

Barry Foote was the Cubs’ catcher in 1979 and 1980 before being traded to the Yankees for Tom Filer and cash on April 27, 1981. Foote’s last year in the majors was 1982 and the Yankees released him in 1983.

Barry Foote’s Page from The Baseball Cube

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A quick reminder to check the CCO’s Community Blog … excellent posts and different opinions from the Faithful.

If you don’t have an account on the CCO … sign-up for one to share your thoughts and interact with the rest of the Faithful.

Well, that’s the news (and links) … and I’m sticking to it!

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver