Someday the Cubs Will Trade Bradley Away

Day four of Baseball’s Winter Meetings concluded shortly after the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday with Milton Bradley still on the Cubs’ roster. If the Cubs’ top priority when they left Saturday for Indianapolis was to deal Bradley during the meetings, it could be said they wasted their trip.

After the GMs and decisions makers began making their way home several reports once again indicated the Cubs were close to trading Bradley. The Cubs were called the “laughingstock” of the meetings with the way they attempted to unload Bradley.

Many feel Jim Hendry will trade Bradley at some point this winter (insert time frame here). But in the event he is unable to move Bradley, the Cubs’ GM did a little positive PR on XM Radio before he made the long drive back to Chicago on I-65 North.

Here are the updates from the mill, including a few additions, and notes from Jim Hendry’s interview on XM …

The Rule 5 Draft

The only move the Cubs made during the Winter Meetings came on Thursday morning. The Cubs selected Mike Parisi from the Cardinals in their only selection in the draft. The Cubs did not lose any players in the Major League portion of the draft.

With the addition of Mike Parisi, the Cubs 40-man roster now stands at 38.

Arismendy Mota

The Cubs are expected to make a deal with the Nationals for Arismendy Mota. The Nationals picked Mota in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft from the White Sox organization and will be trading him to the Cubs according to Bruce Miles.

The 6’2″ right-hander was 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in 16 games, 15 starts, in the Dominican Summer League last year. The 22-year old struck out 80 and walked 19 in 89 2/3 innings.

Miles did not mention whom the Cubs would send to the Nationals for Mota.

Arismendy Mota’s Page on Baseball

Milton Bradley

Bob Nightengale’s tweet on Thursday afternoon started the Bradley trade watch once again. Nightengale reported the Cubs were close to trading Bradley to the Rays … and once the Bradley deal was complete they would try to sign either Mike Cameron or Marlon Byrd.

The Rays deal for Pat Burrell is still on the table according to a report from Bruce Levine.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Red Sox could still be interested in Milton Bradley … despite the fact they traded Mike Lowell to the Rangers. Levine mentioned the possibility that the Red Sox could flip Bradley to Tampa or Texas.

Jayson Stark is still convinced Bradley will not be on the North Side of Chicago on Opening Day.

Rick Ankiel

The Cubs are rumored to be interested in Rick Ankiel … and if they sign him it could cost big money. Jerry Crasnick tweeted that Scott Boras is not looking for a short-term “make-good contract” for Ankiel he is looking for three years and “big money.

The Cubs met with Rick Ankiel’s agent during the meetings.

If that is the case …

Joel Pineiro

According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Cubs are one of the teams interested in signing free-agent pitcher Joel Pineiro. Pineiro is looking for a four-year contract in the $40 million range according to Heyman.

Joel Pineiro pitched for Lou Piniella in Seattle and posted a 15-12 record in 32 starts (3.49 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP) for the Cardinals in 2009 … with three complete games and two complete game shutouts (one came against the Cubs). The 15 wins is one short of a career-high for Pineiro set in 2003 with the Mariners. Pineiro was 14-7 in 2002 under Piniella with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 37 games, 28 starts.

Joel Pineiro’s Page on Baseball

J.J. Putz

The Cubs are one of 12 teams interested in J.J. Putz and the White Sox have already made an offer to Putz according to Bruce Levine.

Scott Podsednik, Mike Cameron and Marlon Byrd

Jim Hendry met with Scott Podsednik’s agent according to a report from Bruce Levine. Podsednik is looking for a multi-year deal.

According to Levine, Hendry met with the agents for Mike Cameron and Marlon Byrd while he was in Indianapolis.

Alfredo Amezaga

According to a tweet from Juan Rodriguez (the Sun-Sentinel), the Cubs and Dodgers have expressed interest in Alfredo Amezaga. The Marlins could be on the verge of non-tendering Amezaga but the Marlins are going to try and trade him before Saturday’s deadline (December 12 is the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players).

If the Cubs are interested, they should wait to see if he is non-tendered. Jim Hendry made the mistake a year ago by trading Jose Ceda for Kevin Gregg (rumors suggested the Marlins were going to non-tender Gregg) … hopefully history and the fleecing of the Cubs’ system by the Marlins does not repeat itself.

Amezaga posted a .217/.267/.261 line in 27 games for the Marlins with three doubles.

To Tender or Not to Tender

The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players is Saturday, December 12 at midnight eastern. The Cubs are expected to tender contracts to all or their arbitration eligible players for the 2010 season except for Neal Cotts.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Neal Cotts will be offered a minor-league deal (which would create a spot on the 40-man roster) to remain with the Cubs’ organization. It will depend on whether or not Cotts wants to do his rehab with the Cubs.

The Cubs have nine players arbitration eligible: Jeff Baker, Neal Cotts, Mike Fontenot, Tom Gorzelanny, Angel Guzman, Koyie Hill, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall and Ryan Theriot.

Jim Hendry on XM Radio

Jim Hendry spent a little time with Seth Everett and Jim Duquette on the Inside Pitch (XM Radio) Thursday morning before leaving the Winter Meetings.

The segment began with a question about Milton Bradley. Jim Hendry quickly pointed out he could not say a lot about Bradley at this point. Hendry did indicate the his first priority is doing what is best for the Cubs … then what is best for the player.

Hendry explained he is trying to do everything he can to improve the club anywhere possible. He admitted a lot of things he thought would happen didn’t during the meetings.

Milton Bradley had a terrific spring but got off to a bad start in April and May. Hendry thought he had assembled a better offensive team out of Spring Training in 2009 than was on the field in 2008 … but he did not plan on so many players having sub-par years. Milton Bradley was one the Cubs thought would produce.

Hendry pointed out Bradley was not the only player to have a bad year. Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Mike Fontenot did not perform the way the Cubs thought they would … and that is one of the reasons the Cubs hired Rudy Jaramillo.

Hendry explained that Jaramillo had Alfonso Soriano, Mark DeRosa and Milton Bradley before and he stressed the fact Jaramillo had no problems working with Bradley. The Cubs hired Jaramillo to help certain players bounce back and perform to expectations according to Hendry. He thinks Jaramillo will make a difference with the Cubs’ offense.

Seth Everett brought up he’d heard Lou Piniella really wanted Curtis Granderson. Hendry admitted he did as well and they tried to trade for him. Dave Dombrowski wanted a centerfielder and a right-handed starter for Granderson and the Cubs did not match up. Hendry said they offered Dombrowski a lot of players in the system … but the players the Cubs had to give simply did not match with what the Tigers’ GM wanted in return for Granderson.

The discussion turned back to Milton Bradley. Hendry pointed out he really thinks Jaramillo would help Bradley have a better season. He knows Alfonso Soriano is looking forward to working with him again … and Hendry mentioned the impact Jaramillo could have on Geovany Soto.

Jim Hendry made a lot of positive remarks about Milton Bradley on his way out of town.

Seth Everett and Jim Duquette continued their conversation about the Cubs. Neither Seth nor Jim thinks Bradley will be back with the Cubs and Duquette mentioned the fact the Cubs have tried to move him … and have spent a ton of time trying to do so.

2009 Winter Meetings Recaps

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CCO News

The CCO Radio will return for the final time in 2009 on Tuesday, December 15 at 7:00pm C.S.T. During an extended 90-minute show, the CCO will recap the Winter Meetings and discuss the latest on where Milton Bradley may end up … unless he is dealt before then.

A standing ovation goes out to all of the readers and commenters (as well as the lurkers) from ChicagoCubsOnline. The CCO set new highs in traffic on the site all four days of the Winter Meetings … we shattered our previous highs and for that … we thank you.

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

Quote of the Day

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