Cubs Quiet … but the Rumors are a Riot

The Chicago Cubs are not making any headlines right now but the rumors continued to surface on Tuesday. Bruce Levine thinks the Cubs will be active during the meetings and the next 10 days should at least be interesting. A decision on Koyie Hill and Jeff Baker’s future with the team will be made in the next 48 hours … and the new pitching coach will be announced in the coming days

Ryan Theriot was traded from the Dodgers to the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday for Blake Hawksworth. The Cardinals tried to trade for Theriot last summer and finally got their man. Most thought Theriot would be non-tendered by the Dodgers, which made the trade a little surprising. It appears Theriot will return to shortstop next season replacing Brendan Ryan.

When the Cardinals make their first trip to Wrigley next season (May 10 – May 12) it will be interesting to see how Theriot is greeted after the comments he made Tuesday.

Theriot said, “I’m finally on the right side of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry” during a conference call with the St. Louis media. Bernie Miklasz doen’t like the idea of Ryan Theriot being the starting shortstop for the Cardinals next season … and backed up his opinion with all of the numbers.

Here’s the update including the latest on the Cubs’ pitching coach announcement and the rumor mill … plus what is might cost to sign Adam Dunnand Lance Berkman.

The Latest Rumors from Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat Tuesday on ESPN Chicago. Here are the highlights:

  • Money is a major issue for the Cubs. They are dealing with the free agent market like a small market team.
  • The Cubs “have a sense that Carlos Pena is a guy who can fit in with their plans.” Pena is “an outstanding defensive first baseman and a solid clubhouse guy” if the Cubs sign him they “are going to have to ignore the strikeouts and the .195 average from 2010.”
  • Levine is not sure if the Cubs will be able to sign one of the free agent first basemen until they “get a reality check” on their demands.
  • Chris Archer and Jay Jackson “are not quite ready” so the Cubs “are going to have to continue to look at some short-term players.”
  • Brandon Webb is on the Cubs radar.
  • The White Sox want to sign Adam Dunn and they’ve been trying to make that happen. According to Levine, Dunn “is telling people close to him that he’d like to play left field.”
  • The Cubs checked in on James Loney and the Dodgers said he was not available at this time.
  • The Cubs are under “no real pressure” to give Kosuke Fukudome away. Levine thinks the Cubs could have to eat as much as half of his $13.5 million salary to trade him.

Adam Dunn and Lance Berkman
According to a report from Jeff Passan on Yahoo Sports, Adam Dunn’s agent, Greg Genske, “has let interested teams know that the bidding to the left-handed slugger will start at four years for $60 million.”

Reports over the last month have suggested that the Cubs do not have room in the payroll to sign Adam Dunn.

“One executive interested in Lance Berkman expects that it will take a one-year, $7 million deal to sign him” according to a report from Jeff Passan. The Oakland A’s met with Berkman in Houston on Tuesday.

Pitching Coach
The Cubs were expected to announce their new pitching coach at some point on Wednesday. According to a report from Bruce Miles, the Cubs could wait until the Winter Meetings next week to make the announcement.

Mark Riggins is still the favorite to land the gig.

Miscellaneous Notes
Jason Frasor has decided to remain in Toronto and accepted the Blue Jays arbitration offer for the 2011 season on Tuesday night. The Cubs have been linked to Frasor over the past two off-seasons … scratch another late inning reliever off Jim Hendry’s list.

According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs 2011 Spring Training schedule should be released soon. The delay is “because the team is still finalizing details about a split-squad weekend trip to Las Vegas. The Cubs have participated in the Big League Weekend at Cashman Field every year since 2005.

The CCO pieced together a partial Spring Training slate … click here for a majority of the Cubs spring dates.

Follow the CCO on Twitter

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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