The first day of the Winter Meetings was filled with more rumors than activity throughout the game … and the Cubs were not exempt from the constant twittering and updates from the Marriott lobby in Indianapolis.
Most of the noise around the Cubs centered on Milton Bradley but there were a few new names added to the mill. Brandon Lyon, Gil Meche, Melky Cabrera and Braden Looper were among the players tied to the Cubs by the mainstream media on Monday.
Here is the update from Monday night … Milton Bradley
According to a report from Cubs.com, the Cubs, Rays and Mets were close to completing the three-team trade on Monday. The Mets want to wait to see if they can land Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. The long-rumored trade would have put Bradley in Tampa, Pat Burrell in New York and Luis Castillo on the North Side of Chicago.
The Cubs have talked to four teams about Milton Bradley according to a report from CBS Sports … the Rays and Rangers are known while the Royals and Mets are believed to be the other two.
Jayson Stark tweeted two or three new teams have expressed interest in Bradley since the beginning of the meetings. The Rays are still in but Pat Burrell to the Mets is dead according to Stark.
Bruce Levine reported that the Cubs could still spin Bradley in a three or four-team trade that would net them Luis Castillo.
According to a report from the Tribune, “sources outside of the organization insist the best bet remains a deal with the Rays involving Pat Burrell.” The Tribune reported the Cubs could possibly send Burrell to the Blue Jays for prospects.
The Tribune also reported the Mets deal involving Pat Burrell and Luis Castillo is dead.
Jim Hendry “spoke to five or six clubs about trade possibilities on Monday” but it appears Tampa is the only option for Milton Bradley.
“One major league manager said Monday he would gladly take Bradley, though he added his general manager wasn’t interested because of possible negative reaction by the team’s fan base. Another manager asked why the Cubs don’t just bite the bullet and bring Bradley back rather than giving him away.”
According to a report in the Sun-Times, the Cubs have given permission to clubs to speak with Milton Bradley … but “no teams have done that.”
According to a report from the Tribune, if the Yankees acquire Curtis Granderson the Cubs could “take a run at Yankees switch-hitting centerfielder” Melky Cabrera.
The Cubs are rumored to have shown interest in Melky Cabrera in the past.
According to a report from Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, Braden Looper is interested in pitching for the Cubs. Looper lives in Chicago in the off-season and said the Cubs would appeal to him.
Looper was 14-7 with a 5.22 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP last season with the Brewers. In 34 starts (194 2/3 innings), Looper walked 64 with 100 strikeouts and allowed 226 hits.
Looper earned $4.75 million and received a $1 million buyout when the Brewers declined his 2010 option worth $6.5 million. The Brewers are interested in bringing him back.
Bruce Levine reported the Cubs and Royals discussed swapping Gil Meche for Milton Bradley on Sunday. The rumors were shot down earlier on Monday … then squashed on Monday night.
Dayton Moore, the Royals GM, called the rumors “unbelievable“.
Tidbits from Day One
- According to a report from Cubs.com, Carlos Zambrano has lost 15 pounds already this off-season.
- The Cubs have been talking to Mike Cameron.
- The Cubs are not looking to add a starting pitcher according to a report from Cubs.com. The Cubs have seven pitchers that will compete for five spots: Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny, Jeff Samardzija and Sean Marshall.
- Lou Piniella thinks Starlin Castro’s natural progression would be for him to play in Triple-A … but the Cubs will make that decision in the spring.
- Jim Hendry spoke with teams about middle relievers and centerfielders on Monday.
- According to a report on Cubs.com, Jim Hendry spoke with “some teams” about options they have not discussed before on Monday.
- The Cubs are interested in Orlando Hudson according to Bruce Levine
- According to a tweet from Jon Heyman, Rafael Soriano accepted salary arbitration Monday night and will remain with the Braves.
2009 Winter Meetings Recaps
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Well, there’s the updates … and I’m sticking to ‘em!