Gonzalez, Pena, Dunn … or None of the Above?

MLB’s award season continues on Wednesday with the announcement of the NL Gold Glove winners. Could Marlon Byrd add a trophy to his case?

Adrian Gonzalez remains the hot topic surrounding the Cubs … despite the fact Jed Hoyer said he expects to begin the year with Gonzalez and would be thrilled to finish it with him. Hoyer told Jon Heyman that he will listen to offers for his first baseman.

Adrian Gonzalez, during an interview on XX Sports Radio in San Diego, said he will not be able to swing a bat for four to five months. Gonzalez is beginning the rehab on his right shoulder on Wednesday.

Jim Hendry has yet to receive a payroll number for 2011 according to Bruce Levine. Ryne Sandberg could be returning to his original organization. The Nationals beat writer discussed Adam Dunn and Jake Westbrook was added to the list of mid-tier starting pitchers the Cubs could add this winter.

Plus, has Carlos Pena taken over as the top free agent on the Cubs list?

Here are the updates … including the latest from Bruce Levine.

The Latest from Levine
Bruce Levine held his weekly chat on ESPNChicago.com Tuesday afternoon … here are the highlights:

  • Levine was asked if the Cubs have any interest in Dan Uggla. Levine responded, “Another bad defensive player, who can’t run? I think the answer is no.”
  • Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano’s contracts are untradeable. Soriano is owed $18 million a year for the final four seasons.
  • Aramis Ramirez has a tradable contract.
  • Adrian Gonzalez is the Cubs first choice … followed by Carlos Pena.
  • If the Cubs trade for Adrian Gonzalez, they would have to have a long term deal in place due to the amount of prospects it would cost them.
  • Don’t expect Starlin Castro or Brett Jackson to be traded if the Cubs work out a deal for Adrian Gonzalez.
  • The Cubs believe Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters will be impact players at the Major League level.
  • If the Cubs make a deal for Adrian Gonzalez, Hak-Ju Lee “will be considered” as one of the players by the Padres.
  • Chris Archer and Jay Jackson could be a part of a deal for Adrian Gonzalez.
  • If the Cubs sign or trade for a first baseman look for Micah Hoffpauir to go elsewhere. Hoffpauir has a chance to sign a multi-year deal in Japan according to Levine.
  • Jim Hendry has not received the 2011 payroll number from The Ricketts family yet.
  • Due to possible payroll restrictions, it appears the Cubs will not be able to sign a big name, expensive free agent … such as Adam Dunn.
  • Jake Westbrook could be the type of mid-range free agent pitcher the Cubs could afford to sign this winter … along with Jon Garland.
  • Sean Marshall told Levine “he’s not sure he wants to be a starter” any longer.
  • The Cubs feel Carlos Pena could hit .250, bring a great glove to first and be a solid force in the locker room. Pena is the direction the Cubs could go.
  • Kerry Wood … enough said.
  • Levine’s listed three possibilities for the Cubs at first base in 2011 … Tyler Colvin, Carlos Pena and Adrian Gonzalez.
  • Brandon Guyer needs another year in the minors.
  • The Cubs are talking to teams about Kosuke Fukudome.
  • Carlos Marmol would not be in a deal for Adrian Gonzalez.

Adam Dunn
Bill Ladson of MLB.com joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden (The Show on XM Radio/MLB Radio Network) to discuss the Nationals on Tuesday afternoon. Bowden wasted no time asking the Nationals’ beat writer about Adam Dunn.

According to Ladson, the three-year deal the Nationals offered Adam Dunn is still on the table … but not for long. Dunn is looking for a four-year deal but the Nationals do not want to give him a fourth-year.

The Nationals are concerned about his defense, one of the many areas the Nats would like to improve on in 2011, and other holes in his game. The Nationals would like for him to stay but they are not going to add a fourth year.

If Dunn does not sign soon, the Nationals will turn their attention to Carlos Pena … or Adrian Gonzalez. After Dunn, the Nationals consider Carlos Pena their top choice to fill their first base vacancy. The Nats like the leadership qualities Pena brings to the table. They feel various injuries have hurt his production.

According to Ladson, the Nationals would be willing to part with a package of prospects to acquire Gonzalez … especially if they are able to sign Cliff Lee.

The Nationals realize signing Cliff Lee is a long shot but the Nationals pride themselves on being positive and would have to show Lee the organization is moving in the right direction.

Ryne Sandberg
Ryne Sandberg is reportedly among the candidates to manage the Phillies’ Triple-A team Lehigh Valley. Sandberg is under contract with the Cubs until December 31 but the Cubs will not “get in the way of his pursuit of a job” according to Carrie Muskat.

Sandberg’s agent, Jim Turner, told the Daily Herald:

“Ryne felt it was in his best interests, and [Cubs] ownership’s best interests, to not accept the job at [Triple-A] Iowa. He did not want ownership or the fans or Mike Quade to feel he was sitting there waiting for a disappointing result and an ax to fall in Chicago. That’s not how he’s built.”

Click here for the entire article from Barry Rozner

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Well, there are the updates … and I’m sticking to them.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver