Day Three of the Winter Meetings: Twenty-One Million Reasons Bradley is Still a Cub

Baseball’s Winter Meetings conclude on Thursday with the Rule 5 draft. The Cubs have “identified some players they are interested inaccording to a report from The Cubs left Steve Clevenger, Chris Robinson, Matt Camp and Thomas Diamond exposed in the draft and are expected to lose Robinson Chirinos to another organization.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Jim Hendry had a meeting planned with agent Casey Close. Close represents Derrek Lee, Mike Fontenot and Ben Sheets. Levine has mentioned the Cubs could extend Lee’s contract at some point before the season … either a one-year extension with an option or a two-year extension. The Cubs could look at adding Sheets at some point this off-season. Levine also reported Hendry had a meeting with Mike Cameron’s agent on Wednesday.

A late report from the Tribune mentioned the Cubs are hopeful something might happen with Milton Bradley by Christmas.

Here are the updates from the final full day of the Winter Meetings …

Milton Bradley

Jim Hendry was still looking (or hoping) to trade Milton Bradley on Wednesday night. With many of the GMs leaving Indianapolis on Wednesday night, the likelihood of Bradley being traded before the official end of the meetings is slim to none.

Some believe the Cubs created the marketplace for Bradley that was rumored to exist on Tuesday… and the only team that remains interested is the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rangers are no longer interested in Bradley according to Bruce Levine.

Phil Rogers reported the Cubs “allowed themselves to become laughingstocks at the winter meetings with tireless attempts to trade the unwanted Bradley.

Melky Cabrera

The Cubs do have interest in Melky Cabrera according to Bruce Levine … but it is unclear at this point if the Yankees will make Cabrera available.

Mike Cameron

The Cubs have spoken with Mike Cameron’s agents … and the talks are in the preliminary stages at this point according to the Tribune. Signing Cameron depends on how much money the Cubs have to eat on Bradley.

Ryne Sandberg on XM Radio

Ryne Sandberg joined Joe Castellano and Kevin Kennedy on Wednesday night. Sandberg discussed his recent promotion to Triple-A and said he’s learned a lot about being a manager with his time in the minors.

Kevin Kennedy asked Sandberg if there are any Cubs’ prospects in the system that could make a difference for the big league club. Sandberg sounded like a “proud papa” as he answered the question.

Sandberg spoke highly of Starlin Castro and said he expects Castro to begin the season in Iowa. Sandberg likes Darwin Barney and what he could provide the Cubs (note: Barney is very similar to Ryan Theriot with a more of a shortstops arm and range).

Casey Coleman garnered the most praise from Sandberg … he compared him to Greg Maddux. Sandberg explained Coleman knows how to pitch, is very smart and uses a lot of movement. Andrew Cashner was the other pitcher Sandberg discussed.

Tyler Colvin earned praise from his skipper. Sandberg said Colvin is more of a right fielder but can play center … and had a huge August before being called up to the Cubs.

Sandberg expects all four of the players he mentioned to start the year with him in Iowa.

The interview concluded with Sandberg saying he never made it to the World Series and maybe that is why he is doing what he is now … to get to the series as a manager and win it.

2009 Winter Meetings Recaps

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

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax