A Series of Cubs Rumors, News and Notes

All eyes will be on San Francisco beginning Wednesday night as the Fall Classic kicks off between the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants. Maybe Marlon Byrd’s fine performance in the All-Star game this past summer will get a mention before the mainstream media reminds everyone, once again, how long it’s been since the Cubs went to, much less won the final series of the season.

For those interested in reading how the Chicago National League Ball Club won their last series … click here, here, here, here and here for recaps from the five-game series that the CCO published three years ago. Believe it or not, there were only 6,210 fans in attendance at Bennett Park for the fifth and final game … a contest that lasted only one hour and twenty-five minutes.

Four former Cubs will be introduced tonight under the bright lights. Mike Fontenot (2006-2010), Clay Rapada (2006-2007), Andres Torres (2007-2008) and Andres Blanco (2008-2010).

As for the Chicago Cubs … their organizational meetings begin next week and it appears all but two of the coaches from last year staff will return. Ryne Sandberg was offered a job with the Cubs organization, just not on Mike Quade’s staff. Will Adam Dunn end up in Chicago? If so, will Jim Hendry sign him for a three-year, $40 million contract? Could Kosuke Fukudome be traded?

Here’s the latest from the North Side …

Chatting with Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat on ESPNChicago.com on Tuesday afternoon … here are the highlights:

  • Kosuke Fukudome is likely to be traded.
  • Levine thinks Carlos Zambrano will be shopped but he does not feel Zambrano will be traded … due to his no-trade clause.
  • Levine is not sure if the Cubs will “have enough money to sign any free agents.” Levine said Hendry will “have to be creative again, like he was when he traded Mark DeRosa.”
  • Marlon Byrd’s “ideal role” would be a rotating outfielder that would receive 500 at bats but “he would not be happy with that role at all” according to Levine.
  • Marlon Byrd told Levine that Orlando Hudson “would be an important addition to the team as far as a leadership role.”
  • Cliff Lee is out of the Cubs’ price range.
  • Alfonso Soriano “can no longer be counted on for major run production.”
  • Levine guessed Tyler Colvin will end up in right field.
  • Levine thinks Blake DeWitt will be the starting second baseman for the Cubs … unless they come up with the money for Orlando Hudson.
  • The Yankees are preparing a contract for Kerry Wood … but there “is always a chance for the Cubs and Kerry Wood” to reunite.
  • Levine sees Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson and possibly Chris Archer (by late summer) making it to the bigs with the Cubs next season … but not Josh Vitters.
  • Tyler Colvin was expected to play a little ball in Mexico this winter … but “that’s probably not going to happen now” according to Levine.

Adam Dunn
Bruce Levine mentioned once again Adam Dunn is the Cubs’ top priority this off-season. Levine mentioned Tuesday if Jim Hendry can move some money (possibly by trading Kosuke Fukudome) that Hendry might be able to sign Adam Dunn.

The Washington Nationals are interested in re-signing Dunn according to multiple reports but the Cubs appear to be the front-runner to sign the slugger.

According to a report from the Tribune (Ben Maller), baseball agent Matt Sosnick said “The Cubs are interested in signing Adam Dunn. Dunn is probably going to the Cubs, and he’ll probably get three years and $40 million.

If the Cubs sign Dunn to a three-year, $40 million contract it will be another mistake … with the way the roster is currently constructed. If the rumors about the Cubs payroll for next season are correct then the deal will likely be back-loaded and will make him virtually untradeable in the third year.

There is no doubt that Dunn can hit the ball, he just can’t catch it. Plus, Dunn in the same lineup with Alfonso Soriano would make it very easy for the opposition when they are both in the middle of their cold streaks.

Dunn for a one-year deal, possibly with a club option for a second, would be the best-case scenario for a deal that appears destined to happen.

Ryne Sandberg
Ryne Sandberg’s future may still be with the Chicago Cubs … just not on the Major League staff. According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs informed Sandberg that they would like for him to stay on and manage the Iowa Cubs in 2011.

Sandberg was told “that a coaching position would not be available at the Major League level” … a scenario that would not have been fair to Mike Quade or Ryne Sandberg.

During an interview on 670-The Score, Ozzie Guillen said Ryne Sandberg could go to the South Side and replace Joey Cora as his bench coach … if Cora lands a gig elsewhere.

Quade’s Coaching Staff
With Alan Trammell officially a part of Kirk Gibson’s staff, Mike Quade will have two openings on his coaching staff.

According to multiple reports all but Trammell and Matt Sinatro will return next season. The official announcement is expected soon.

Larry Rothschild (pitching coach), Rudy Jaramillo (batting coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Ivan DeJesus (third base coach) and Bobby Dernier (first base coach) are expected to return.

As for Pat Listach, it appears Listach will return to the Washington Nationals and coach third for Jim Riggleman.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Listach will stay with the Nationals “unless he gets a Major League managerial job.”

No word yet on who will take the job as Mike Quade’s right-hand man on the bench.

The Cubs organizational meetings begin on November 2 in Mesa … the same day as the big vote on the Cubs’ new Spring Training home.

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Well, that’s the latest … and I’m 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