The Matt Garza deal is not dead according to Bruce Levine and Jim Hendry is pursuing a starting pitcher … with Matt Garza at the top of the list. Garza has been the Cubs main target with Brandon Webb apparently being ‘Plan B’. Hendry is working hard to try to obtain Garza or another quality starter.
Could Jim Hendry be “kicking the tires” on Fausto Carmona?
Here’s the update, including more on Matt Garza and the Cubs pursuit of a starting pitcher. Plus, a partial list of attendees for the 26th Annual Cubs Convention, the search for Pat Hughes’ new partner and the latest from Bruce Levine …
The Latest from Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat Tuesday on ESPN Chicago. Here are the highlights:
- It is not an either-or with Brandon Webb and Matt Garza. The Cubs are not trying to sign Webb first then trade for Garza. The Cubs view Webb as a fallback option while “Garza is the guy they’re after.”
- According to Levine, Jim Hendry is working hard over the holidays to obtain Garza or another quality starter.
- Teams, such as the Rangers, are interested in Matt Garza and Levine would not be surprised if the Twins were interested in reacquiring Garza.
- Levine is sure the Cubs will kick the tires on Fausto Carmona. Levine is hearing the Indians are asking for teams’ top two prospects in return.
- The Cubs have prospects to trade for pitching … but not Brett Jackson and Chris Archer.
- Of the two (Carmona and Garza), Matt Garza is “the more likely candidate to come to Chicago.”
- From the way Levine understands it, Hak-Ju Lee is a player the Rays will insist on in a deal for Matt Garza … with Robinson Chirinos likely in the deal as well. Levine does not think the Rays would be interested in Josh Vitters. And he has not heard any other names.
- Levine believes if a player is not being productive, Mike Quade will bench him. Levine doesn’t think Alfonso Soriano is guaranteed playing time, regardless of his salary.
- The Cubs have a three-headed monster at second base right now … Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker and Darwin Barney.
- The Cubs, Rangers, Twins and Yankees are all “kicking the tires on available starting pitchers who can make an impact next year.” The Cubs do not have the money to sign Carl Pavano and all four teams are interested in the same guys … Fausto Carmona and Matt Garza. Levine is hearing it could “take a boat load of good, young talent to obtain either one.” The Cubs are going to be in it all the way.
Early reports Tuesday indicated Brandon Webb would decide on his new team before the end of the day. Reports suggested the Rangers are working on a one-year deal with Webb and he was expected to talk to Ron Washington and Mike Maddux.
The Cubs have apparently cooled on Webb, who the Cubs viewed as a fallback guy according to Bruce Levine.
According to a report from the Star-Telegram, Webb is looking for a one-year deal with a low base but loaded with incentives. The Rangers like to have an option year on a high-risk player but Webb has told teams he is looking for only a one-year contract.
According to the Star-Telegram, Brandon Webb wants to play for the Texas Rangers.
The Nationals are still in the mix for Brandon Webb … and a lot of that has to do with Webb’s relationship with Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ GM.
According to a report Tuesday afternoon from Jerry Crasnick, “it is uncertain if Webb will decide on his new team by the weekend.”
Pat Hughes’ New Partner
WGN Radio announced the five-year contract extension with Pat Hughes on Monday … a day after, the speculation began on who will be his new partner.
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, several former Cubs’ are on the list to be the new color analyst.
Several people have contacted the Cubs looking to call games with Pat Hughes.
Rick Sutcliffe, Dave Otto, Keith Moreland, Randy Hundley and Rick Monday are among those in the mix. Monday currently calls games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave Otto pinch-hit for Ron Santo for years. Sutcliffe is currently under contract with ESPN.
According to Levine, the Cubs could decide to go another route and have Pat Hughes call the first three and last three innings with Judd Sirott calling the middle three innings … similar to how Bob Uecker has called Brewers’ games for years.
26th Annual Cubs Convention
The Cubs Convention is just around the corner (January 14 – January 16) and for the first time in several years, the Cubs are releasing details about the convention extremely early.
Aramis Ramirez was among the players listed as possible attendees and if Ramirez shows up it will be his first convention.
Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Pena, Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro are also expected to attend … with Chris Archer, Jay Jackson, D.J. LeMahieu and Chris Carpenter slated to take part in the weekend event and be on hand during Sunday’s Down on the Farm session.
Mike Quade will take part in a Q&A session with the fans in attendance.
Weekend passes for the Cubs Convention are still available on Cubs.com.
According to a report from Scout.com, Blake DeWitt is a candidate to leadoff for the Cubs in 2011.
Dave Kaplan is back on WGN Radio beginning Thursday night. WGN cancelled “Sports Central” last April but have decided to bring back Kaplan, among others, in a show titled “WGN Sports Night” with a similar, but different format.
On nights there is not a Blackhawks or Cubs games, the show will run from 7:00pm – 10:00pm CT and will included rotating co-hosts and many big name guests.
The show will also feature regular “insiders” such as Jim Hendry and Mike Quade.
Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.