Day Two of the Winter Meetings: The Clock is Ticking on Movin’ Milton

Tuesday night came and went with Milton Bradley still on the Cubs’ roster. The rumors that suggested Bradley would be traded to an unnamed team on the second day of the annual gathering changed their tune. Most still feel Jim Hendry will trade Milton Bradley before the end of the meetings, which conclude on Thursday … and many speculated Bradley could be dealt at some point on Wednesday.

According to reports from the Daily Herald and Tribune, Crane Kenney, Jim Hendry and Randy Bush held an impromptu meeting in the vestibule between the lobby doors of the Marriott on Tuesday night. The Herald reported, “Crane was doing a lot of gesticulating and Jim and Randy were doing a lot of listening.Bruce Miles hinted that Milton Bradley was the topic of their conversation.

Here are the updates from day two …

Milton Bradley

Dave Kaplan spoke with Paul Sullivan of the Tribune and Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times about the latest on Milton Bradley during Sports Central (WGN Radio).

Paul Sullivan discussed the scene at the Marriott in Indianapolis … including the large amount of tweeting going on this year by many of the writers.

Not long after the rumors surfaced about Seattle possibly being the mystery team, Sullivan ended up on one of the elevators with the President of the Mariners, Chuck Armstrong. Sullivan said he asked him directly about the Bradley rumors and was told the Mariners are not trading for Milton Bradley.

Paul Sullivan thinks Bradley will be traded on Wednesday. From what he has been told the pieces are in place. Sullivan thinks the Rays are still the likely destination for Bradley … along with a ton of money for Pat Burrell. The Cubs would then move Burrell to another team.

Sullivan thinks Jim Hendry has a team in place for Burrell. Sullivan mentioned the deal that would send Burrell to another team might not be announced at the same time as the Bradley for Burrell trade.

Kaplan discussed his concerns over the Cubs’ starting rotation with Sullivan … and he thinks the Cubs need another starter. Sullivan indicated the Cubs do not have any room in their payroll right now to add a big time starter but might go the non-tender route.

According to Sullivan’s report in the Tribune, Jim Hendry met with Milton Bradley’s agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, on Monday.

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times joined Kaplan for a short time to talk Milton Bradley.

Topkin disagreed with Kaplan and does not think Bradley will be traded to the Rays by the time the meetings end. Topkin said the Rays are looking for a lot of compensation from the Cubs to minimize their risk. He went on to say, the Rays are not going to budge on what they need in return.

Topkin seemed to discredit the reports of a surprise team. He said who could it be, the Mariners? Baltimore?

Pat Burrell is not far behind Milton Bradley on the list of the most un-tradable players in the baseball according to Topkin. He indicated that moving Burrell will be very hard for the Cubs to do … there is simply nowhere to move him.

A report from the Sun-Times mentioned Dontrelle Willis (Tigers), Jose Guillen (Rays) and a player on the Blue Jays, not named Vernon Wells, as the possibilities for “the mystery AL destination” for Bradley … and the Sun-Times brought up a report that refuted any interest by the Royals late Tuesday night.

Mike Cameron

According to a report from the Sun-Times, “sources from two other teams familiar with Mike Cameron say they expect him to wind up with the Cubs.” Piniella loves Cameron and Cameron loves Piniella and the city …

Luis Castillo

The Mets might not be interested in Milton Bradley but they are still trying to trade Luis Castillo to the Cubs according to a report from the Tribune.

J.J. Putz

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs are one of at least 12 teams interested in J.J. Putz. Putz has received at least two offers and it is not known if the Cubs are one of them.

Putz is not fully recovered from elbow surgery but teams have been impressed with his workouts. Putz had bone spurs removed from his elbow in June.

According to a report in the Tribune, Putz would serve in the same role as Aaron Heilman last year and Bobby Howry the season before … a sixth or seventh inning man.

The Cubs would be looking at an incentive laden contract with a “modest” base salary for J.J. Putz.

Ryan Church

The Atlanta Braves designated Ryan Church for assignment on Tuesday. Could he be a fit for the Cubs off the bench? The Cubs were rumored to be interested in Church when he was in the Expos/Nationals organization. The lefty hit .273/.338/.384/.722 with 28 doubles and four home runs in 111 games with the Mets and Braves in 2009. Rumors suggested Church was going to be non-tendered by the Braves … and he was cut to make room for Rafael Soriano. Soriano accepted salary arbitration on Monday.

The mainstream media has not connected the Cubs with Ryan Church.

From the Mill

  • According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the amount of money the Cubs are able to save by trading Milton Bradley will be used on a centerfielder. If they save a lot … Mike Cameron. If they save a little … Marlon Byrd and if they barely save anything … Scott Podsednik.
  • According to a report from Baseball Prospectus, the Cubs are interested in Heath Bell and they are working on a package that would include Geovany Soto as the centerpiece.
  • The Orioles and the Brewers are interested in Kevin Gregg.
  • The Indians are shopping Kerry Wood and the one-year (with a vesting option for a second year) left on the contract he inked last winter.
  • According to a report from CSN Chicago, don’t be surprised if Mike Fontenot is traded this winter.

2009 Winter Meetings Recaps

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Well, there’s the updates … and I’m sticking to ’em!

Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth