All About Albert and Prince … and Other Rumblings from the Winter Meetings

Day two of the Winter Meetings has been all about the big free agent first basemen … Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. The Cubs appear to be interested in both and rumors have suggested that the Cubs have offered low term contracts that might include opt out clauses to Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder with a high AAV (average annual value).

As of this writing, the Marlins have reportedly offered Pujols a 10-year contract that some think is north of $240 million. If Pujols ends up taking his talents to South Beach that will have a ripple effect throughout baseball … and could have an impact on the direction the Cubs go to fill their need for a first baseman.

Here is a quick update from day two in Dallas …

News, Notes and Rumors

According to Jim Bowden, the Cubs do not want to go past five years on a contract for Prince Fielder. They would rather sign him to a short-term deal with a high AAV. Because of the shorter term contract, Bowden is viewing the Mariners as the front-runner to sign Fielder.

According to Phil Rogers, the Cubs are trying to get the Baltimore Orioles to take Alfonso Soriano off their hands. Rogers reported the Cubs are willing to pay a bulk of the $54 million owed to Soriano.

Mark Buehrle has narrowed his list to five teams. According to Jim Bowden, four of the teams are the Rangers, Marlins, Nationals and Angels. Reportedly Buehrle is looking for a no trade clause in his contract and the Marlins are not willing to give it to him.

If the Marlins land Pujols, look for the Cubs to try to acquire Gaby Sanchez from Miami according to the Tribune.

According to a report from Thomas Harding, the Cubs have backed away from trying to acquire Ian Stewart. The Cubs initially discussed send Blake DeWitt to Colorado for Stewart but has also asked for Tyler Colvin, D.J. LeMahieu and Scott Maine in various talks (not all in the same deal). The situation remains fluid according to Harding and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they’ll jump back in.

Stay Tuned … will post a full recap of Day Two at the Winter Meetings. Also, don’t forget to check the CCO’s twitter feed for more updates.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

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  • texcubnut

    The Marlins are going to invest so much money in Reyes, possibly Pujols, Buehrle, etc. that they won’t be able to afford all of the good young players and pitchers in their organization that will be eligible for free agency. I just don’t see Theo and Jed wanting to spend a lot of money and invest years in long term-over priced veterans. If they have to invest in just one, I would hope it would be Fielder on a five year deal. There isn’t much out there in the future for lefthanded power hitting first basemen. I know we need pitching but I still believe there are short term internal solutions and next year will offer many more starting pitching options including  , but not limited to, Matt Cain, Jonathan and Anibal Sanchez, and Zack Greinke just to name a few.

  • Ripsnorter1

    No Pujols here. He’s a Marlin.

    Fielder would be nice….. 

    Sanchez would be much cheaper and I’d like that.

  • texcubnut

    Now that Jose Reyes has signed with the Marlins, the mets have no other choice but to go into rebuild mode, as if they didn’t have to anyway, this could open the door for a possible trade for David Wright. Just a feeling, but I think he could be a good fit at Wrigley, again, depending on what it might cost us.

  • woody34
    • John_CC

      Just saw that one…wow.

    • cc002600

      I wouldn’t touch that guy with a 10 foot pole.

      what a cancer

      • RynoTiger

        I’d take him. Move Castro to 3B.  There you go, 3B problem solved.  If you manage to sign Fielder, then you’ve got your infield set for at least the next 5 years or so. It’d be a bad move to not inquire what a trade would take.

        • cubtex

          You sound like Paul….. :-]

          • paulcatanese

            Just walked in the door, did someone mention my name?:)

          • cubtex

            Someone else is on your Castro to 3rd train!

          • paulcatanese

            Smart Guy.”)

        • rvt13

          Make Gaby and Zambrano a part of that package too.  Ozzie thinks he can handle Big Z.  Could be interesting.

  • Ripsnorter1

    This just in from Dallas…..

    Venture says the White Sox are retooling and want young pitching in all of their deal…..

    DUDD could be available for Soriano! Just thrown in Justin Berg….Esmail Caridad…..Jeff Stevens……..

    • cc002600

      I’d rather have Soriano

      • cubtex

        Agreed

        • paulcatanese

          So would I.

    • ldsteam2001

      Please NO!!!

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, you are precious!!:)

  • Ripsnorter1

    Also just in from Dallas…..

    Tigers think Inge/Kelly platoon will work if Aram doesn’t sign.

    ESPN opines that DeWitt/Baker platoon is better.LOL

  • Ripsnorter1

    I feel sure that Albert Pujols takes the Marlins money and runs.

    • Baron_S

      Rip, If someone gave you 10-240, what would you do — 
      :-)

      • cubtex

        No brainer. How could he turn that down. Noone can blame him.

        • Ripsnorter1

          He’s stumbling over not having a no=trade clause…..where’s Jim Qlueless?

          • cubtex

            He would be untradeable if he signed that contract anyways. Wouldn’t matter if he got that clause or not.

  • John_CC

    10 and 240.  Holy crapski.  If that is accurate…whoa…what was ARod’s deal 10 and 275 or something like that?  Would this be the next biggest contract, if it’s over 240MM$?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Can you believe the stupid White Sox and Keeeeeeeeennny Williams?

    They dealt Santos off to Blue Jays for a minor league pitcher Nestor Molina . Santos can bring it! 

    Moina is 22 and was 10-2 in A league with a 2.58 ERA. WOW! 

    Santos had 30 saves, 6 blown saves, and 4-5 3.55.

    • cubtex

      You would think Santos could have brought back more than that?

  • Ripsnorter1

    White Sox waving the White Flag. 

    Keeeeeeeeeenny was heard to yell out in Dallas, “COME AND GET IT!”
    Beckham could play 2B for us.And they have a RF who hits the cover off of the ball…..
    Danks and Floyd could start for us……

    • John_CC

      He wants Ubaldo Jimenez like package for Danks i.e 4 top pitching prospects. No thanks.

    • Henry

      Ripsnorter I enjoy reading your posts, however, these White Sox updates are too much!  Give it a rest. Please get back to the Cub talk!  Thanks in advance!!!!!!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Henry, 

        IT’s the Winter Meetings between all 30 GMs! 
        We ought to have acquired Santos.

  • Michael

    Hanley Ramirez just released a statement saying, he doesnt intend on playing anywhere else other than 3rd next season. I hope the Cubs come calling asking what the Marlins want in return for Hanley. Whatever they want…ship it.

    • Michael

      Correction: SS I meant

    • woody34

      Start with Zambrano and work from there.

      • Ripsnorter1

        YEAH! Let’s trade one major crybaby for another!  

        It’s like trading bad contracts…..

    • cubtex

      So if the Marlins say Castro???? Not a chance would I move Castro for Hanley

      • Tony_Hall

        Maybe all the talk from Paul as made you think Castro is already playing 3B, but Castro might fight a move from SS, as much as Hanley is doing right now.

        • paulcatanese

          I dont think so Tony, rumor has it that there is four bags of sunflower seeds under third base for every game. :)

        • cubtex

          I meant trade Castro for Ramirez. Michael said give the Marlibs whoever they want for Hanley. I said no way would I give up Castro.

          • Tony_Hall

            I agree, just trying to rub it into Paul that Castro is still a SS, and will be for many, many years.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Tony,
          No way Castro fights a move to 3B. All you have to do is move his bag of sunflower seeds over to the baseline…..

  • Anthony

    Reality check #1

    next game you watch that includes Pujols, every time he steps in the box for a plate appearance, he will earn $40,000

    for most, by games end, he made your annual salary in one game, for some, double and triple

    how does that $5 hot dog taste now?

    • John_CC

      Anthony, this contract wouldn’t even make him the highest paid baseball player, on an annual salary basis.  Yes, it is completely obscene, but professional athletes have been making obscene amounts of money for years. $24M, on a per game basis, is approximately $149,000.  That is a helluva lot more than I make in 3 years!  But I already understand that reality. At that point, what is the difference when that per game salary is $115,000? That’s what 18.5M$ comes out to. Think about this, a pitcher like Zambrano, or Demp, makes more PER START than Pujols would. 

      The reality is insanity.  Maybe we should Occupy Wrigley, or whatever your hometown stadium is? 

      I’m not really suggesting that. My point is that complaining about in the terms of how much better the good ole days were is pointless.

      I feel your pain, I just do not understand the purpose.

      • Dorasaga

        John, you have my utmost respect today, for speaking out the blatant truth.

        • John_CC

          Thank you.

  • Anonymous47701

    Possible Trade Idea???

    RHP Matt Garza
    LHP Scott Maine

    for
    LHP Matt Harrison
    3B Christian Villanueva
    LHP Zachary Jackson
    RHP Neil Ramirez
    RF Jared Prince

  • matthew8510

    hey neil any word on the albert front tonite is there a chance that cubs can swoop in lat minute and get him or did they not make an offer it seems like like marlins landed him every site i go on?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      It appears to be down to the Marlins and Cardinals for Pujols. I am hearing/reading more about the Cubs interest in Fielder than anything else.

      Obviously anything is possible, but I think it is safe to say the Cubs are out on Pujols.

      The Marlins are pushing hard for an answer tonight …. could be a long night.

      • John G

        Confirms my earlier supposition. Pujols is playiing the Marlins in order to get deeper into the Cards wallet. He’s gonna stay home in St. Louis.

        • cubtex

          I think that is how it will play out too.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From USA Today: Pujols now has three teams that are offering
    10-year contracts in excess of $200 million: STL, MIAMI, AND unidentified
    team

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
      • cubtex

        Good. Any team who gives a 10 year contract to a 32? year old player….no matter who it is….is nuts!!!

        • paulcatanese

          I personally do not care who signs these two, I just wish they would sign with someone and we could get this garbage out of the way and move on. :)

    • John_CC

      That’s really interesting. Who do you think is the “mystery team”? 

      Cards, because he is the franchise.
      Marlins, because Loria is a delusional a-hole
      ???

      • Ripsnorter1

        John,
        Word just came in that the mystery team offering Pujols the 10 yrs, $280 million dollar contract is the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pujols is asking for a “Please Trade Me” contract…..

  • Aaron

    SO much misinformation out there (for obvious, already stated reasons with inflating costs for other teams, etc.), but the Pujols/Fielder/Buehrle/Wilson sagas are absolutely ridiculous to watch, because ALL of their situations appear to be ultra-fluid right now. The Nationals seem to be “in” on every one of them, then out, then in, then out, etc., same for the Marlins. Then you have the Cubs supposedly “in” on all of them, which makes ZERO sense, considering from what we all have understood, they NEVER had interest in Wilson…only Buehrle, Pujols (at less years and higher AAV), and Fielder (also less years, higher AAV).

    So when we start seeing rumors that the Cubs are “in” on _________________(fill in the blank player), and that guy is 32 years of age or older, and we’re talking 5+ year contract rumors…….I just don’t think these journalists even understand Epstein’s management style, or they don’t seem to believe him about paying for future vs past performance.

    The guys that actually seem to fit Epstein’s profile as FA targets are Fielder, Kubel, Edwin Jackson, Kotchman, Kouzmanoff, Buck, McLouth, Cespedes, Francis, Harden, Maholm, etc. (though with starting pitchers, the age thing typically isn’t as big of a deal)….but anyway, those are the types of players he’d likely be willing to go 3+years with.

    This is why Epstein practically wants to give Soriano away, has let ARAM walk, and wanted the draft pick, versus making a concerted effort to re-sign Pena.

  • matthew8510

    are cubs not in buerle sweepstakes  

    • Tony_Hall

      I haven’t heard anywhere that they were anymore than interested early on.  

      • cubtex

        Tony… With Buerhle’s nunbers….isn’t he someone Theo woukdn’t touch with a 10 foot pole??? He gives up a lot of hits and puts alot of balls in play.

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t see him being in play, anymore than just checking in on what he wants.  He needs to sign somewhere that has a bigger park, so he can extend his career.  If he did that, he could pitch for a lot more years.

          • cubtex

            I agree but isn’t that the case with Buerhle. I an learning WAR.. what is the criteria for pitchers? Speaking of pitchers… I read sonewhere that Jeremy Hellickson was the luckiest pitcher in baseball last year. Some stat about balls in play etc. They basically compared him to John Lackey. Did you see that?

          • Tony_Hall

            I didn’t see that on Hellickson, that might explain how a rookie could post numbers so good. I’ll take a look.

            As far as the WAR for pitchers,  I’ve seen formulas, and read articles, but it’s not the easiest thing to say what the exact criteria is for pitchers.  Plus, it is still evolving, and they make adjustments to the formulas, I believe almost every year, to try and make them more accurate.  It’s not like batting average or ERA, where it’s basic math.

          • Tony_Hall

            Hellickson’s WAR was 4.2 in 2011.

            Garza’s 2.9.

            I guess that is how they made the playoffs, that 1.3 extra wins Hellickson gave them.

            Where did you see info, or what did you base your comment on Hellickson being one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball?

          • cubtex

            google…jeremy hellickson compared to John Lackey. I think it might be some website called overthemonster.com

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      From the way I understand it, the Cubs are still in the mix for Buehrle.

  • Tony_Hall

    I like the idea of Fielder on a 5 year deal, but just can’t stand the thought of deals approaching 10 years. Go for it Miami, sign Pujols for 10 years.

    I keep looking at the starting lineup for next year, and the lineup, I go to more than others, is this:

    1) Brett Jackson CF
    2) Chase Headley 3B
    3) Starlin Castro SS
    4) Prince Fielder 1B
    5) Bryan Lahair LF
    6) David DeJesus RF
    7) Geovany Soto C
    8) DJ Lemahieu 2B

    Call me crazy, but trade for Headley, trade off Byrd and Soriano and I have DJ beating out Barney at 2B.

    Bench
    Wellington Castillo
    Darwin Barney
    Jeff Baker
    Tony Campana
    Reed Johnson (need to sign back, actually need a RH bat for the OF)

    We may need a better RH bat off the bench for the OF.

    • cubtex

      I think BJax will start in AAA.. and LaHair in left??? He can’t play there.

      • Tony_Hall

        I think B Jackson will start in Iowa as well, but by June/July see him in CF.  

        Lahair can’t be any worse than Soriano in LF, and if he fails, we really aren’t out out anything.  If he keeps hitting, you deal with it.  But mainly, if we signed Fielder, the next issue is who protects him in the lineup….well we don’t have anyone that can even protect Fielder, Lahair is the closest thing we have.

  • Ripsnorter1

    More on Santos to the Jays for Molina…..

    Molina was Jays 6th best pitching prospect!  WHAT IS KEEEEEEEENNY doing??!!??

    Molina is a converted SS, has a 90-92 fastball with a plus splitter. Not much in the way of a breaking ball, and scouts do not offer much projection on him, either.I DON’T GET IT!

    Cubs could have used Santos. And Santos is signed for the next three years at a very affordable price, too.

    • daverj

      Baseball people seem to differ greatly on Molina.   Some see him as a 3rd or 4th starter type but others (apparently including Kenny) see him as a top of the rotation guy.  The Blue Jays system is loaded with prospects so being #6 in that organization is very different than being 6th in many others.

    • cubtex

      That doesn’t make sense at all! I am with you. Santos had 30 saves in the MAJORS and all u can get is an A ball pitcher who isn’t even their top prospect??? Ridiculous!

    • Aaron

      I agree….Kenny has lost his touch, and needs to step down, or be fired. Literally, it’s as if Hendry got fired, and his GM-spirit floated into Williams, and affected his judgment.

      He normally makes fairly solid moves, but the last 3 years have been anything but that for him…from Rios to Pierre, to Thornton’s huge deal, etc., it just is a never-ending bad series of moves, but I could really care less…it’s the White Sox…I say let ‘em drown!!!!!!!!!!

      But what a terrible move for them with Santos. Molina is a fringe guy, and everyone in the press seems to be bashing this move. It really makes you wonder what the Cubs could expect for Marmol. Maybe this reduces his value with Williams’ deal.

      • Ripsnorter1

        It shouldn’t reduce Marmol’s value, although it makes one less team interested in acquiring a closer. 

        Keeeeeeeeeenny just got too proud. The game is on in town–the Sox are in play to make the playoffs–and where’s Keeeeeeennny? He’s with some woman in a nightclub. 
        Keeeeeeeeeennny Qlueless.

        • cubtex

          I just saw Kennnneeeeeys interview about the trade. He said that he was targeting that pitcher from the Jays……but he said he didn’t think he would need to give up Santos to get him. Wow! Thank god we don’t have Kenny on the north side!

          • Ripsnorter1

            He’s just nuts now.

  • matthew8510

    The Cubs are “definitely in” on Pujols still, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. If nothing else, they want to make things hard on the Cards by increasing the bidding, says Sherman.

    • John_CC

      Epstein is putting the screws to ‘em.  The Cards are his new Yankees, the problem for the Cards is, they don’t have the financial clout to play the Yankee role!  So they have to gamble, they know Cubs could do it, financially, and that Epstein has the balls to do it (Crawford) even though conventional wisdom says he’s bluffing.  …ah, the essence of the bluff…

      • Ripsnorter1

        You know that if you are bidding at an auction–not because you want something, but just to drive up the price–you may end up buying something you don’t want. 

        And last year I predicted that Carl Crawford would fall off the wagon by at least 25%, and folks scoffed at my statement. But that’s what all the FAs do when they change teams.

        Let Prince Albert go to the Marlins! I’d love it.
        It’s be “Mr. .229 Pujols!”

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I’m glad you saw that on twitter … sorry, just trying to keep up.

  • cubtex

    Angels pursuing PuJols. Let him go to AL.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      From ESPN Jerry
      Crasnick: I just talked to two Angels people who seemed shocked by report that they’re the Albert Pujols “mystery
      team”

  • matthew8510

    Gammons reporting Cards chairman Bill Dewitt has put away checkbook,and believes Pujols is going to sign with Marlins

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Joel Sherman is reporting that the Angels owner is not at the meetings and some are wondering if he would allow his new GM to be involved in negotiations for a deal of this magnitude.

  • Rob

    Nate Mclout is returning to the pirates… Wondering if the Cubs didn’t like him to add him to the mix???

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Pirates also signed Wilson Betemit today…continue their serious pursuit of Derrek Lee for
      1B