Scratch Another One Off the Cubs Shopping List

First and foremost, it is only December 15. Pitchers and catchers do not report to Fitch Park for another two months. With that said the Cubs still have a lot of work to do and some are questioning where the money will come from to add a centerfielder and a bullpen arm.

According to a report from Dave Kaplan, the Cubs are not waiting until they unload Milton Bradley before making additions to their roster … but sometimes actions speak louder than words. Whether Mike Cameron would have been a fit with the Cubs or not will never be known as this point … Cameron agreed to a two year, $15.5 million deal with the Boston Red Sox on Monday night according to Ken Rosenthal.

Most figured Mike Cameron would be a Cub due to his relationship with Lou Piniella and the need for a good clubhouse guy that can play centerfield. With Cameron off the board, the Cubs will likely turn to Marlon Byrd according to the Tribune and if he signs with another team — Rick Ankiel or Scott Podsednik.

But the Cubs have other holes that should be addressed … and reportedly no money to add a starting pitcher, a middle infielder and quality depth to a team that is extremely weak off the bench.

Here’s the latest from the mill …

Money Changes Everything

Bruce Levine correctly pointed out on Monday that any money the Cubs could save by trading Milton Bradley will have zero impact on the 2010 payroll.

Pat Burrell and Milton Bradley are slated to make roughly the same amount of money in 2010. The only money the Cubs could possibly save on Bradley’s contract effects the 2011 payroll not 2010. As pointed out by the CCO on several occasions, the thought the Cubs could add a player with the money saved by moving Bradley is incorrect.

Levine made three important statements in his report:

“If Hendry can save $6.5 million by eating $6 million, that will only help the person running the 2011 team.”

“Unfortunately for Hendry, if he doesn’t get extra money to sign a solid set-up man and a good centerfielder, someone else will be running the Cubs in 2011.”

“The only real solution for the Cubs next season is to add payroll. If that doesn’t work out, the team’s new GM in 2011 can start trimming while some of the good looking farm system players make their way toward Wrigley Field.”

It appears the clock is more than ticking on Jim Hendry’s tenure as the General Manager of the Chicago Cubs.

Levine reported the $15 million of increased revenue due to ticket price increases would go “toward upgrades in Wrigley Field” and will not be added to the team’s payroll for 2010. Levine thinks Hendry needs $7 to $10 million added for the Cubs to sign the players they need in order to compete in the division.

Milton Bradley

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Milton Bradley could be traded as soon as this week to Tampa for Pat Burrell.

Paul Sullivan pointed out in a tweet that Marlon Byrd and Milton Bradley share the same agentSeth Levinson. Byrd is rumored to be looking for a three-year deal. Could Levinson hold up the Cubs once again this winter?

Mark DeRosa

According to Dave Kaplan during Sports Central on Monday night, the Cubs have not contacted Mark DeRosa’s agent this winter and will not be offering him a contract.

Matt Capps

Matt Capps would like to pitch for the Cubs … and they are interested but so are several other teams. According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs are one of at least 12 teams interested in signing the former Pirates’ closer.

Paul Kinzer, Capps’ agent, made a very telling statement about the possibility of his client signing with the Cubs.

“Matt has interest in the Cubs. We know they like him, but we’ll be proactive in this market. You can’t just wait on one team.”

At least three teams are interested in Capps being their closer … and the Cubs are interested in him pitching in the backend of the pen as a setup man to Carlos Marmol. Capps is looking for a multi-year deal and the “going rate for a pitcher like Capps will be somewhere in the area of $3 to $4 million.

Bruce Miles posted a very interesting blog on Monday about overpaying for relievers. The Cubs’ beat reporter for the Daily Herald pointed out Neal Huntington’s view (the Pirates) on paying for relief pitchers. Huntington is right … and Miles shares the same opinions as the CCO.

Click here for the entire postit is a must read and well worth the time.

Ron Santo

Ron Santo received a new three-year contract from WGN Radio on Monday to remain with WGN Radio through the 2012 season.

Pat Hughes’ contract is up after 2010 but is expected to remain ‘The Voice of the Chicago Cubs.’

Ron Santo is up for election to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee next December.

Many of the Cubs’ bloggers tweeted their support of Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame last week … maybe the same will be done for Ron Santo beginning next fall.

Joel Pineiro

Buster Olney tweeted on Monday that the Cubs are interested in Joel Pineiro … and this is not the first rumbling about the Cubs being interested in the former Cardinal. Where would the money come from?

CCO News

The CCO Radio returns for the final time in 2009 on Tuesday at 7:00pm. The final show will be extended to 90 minutes and we welcome all calls and emails. To discuss the Cubs will the CCO, the call-in number is 347-237-4020 or you can send an email to neil@chicagocubsonline.com.

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

Quote of the Day

"It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." - James Gordon
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