What a week! First the Cubs land their number one off-season target in Kosuke Fukudome, less than 24 hours later Jim Hendry non-tendered Mark Prior and then the Mitchell Report was released. Fortunately there was not a current Cub mentioned in the report but several former Northsiders were on the list….and this could only be the beginning.
Neal Cotts agreed to a 1-year deal worth $800,000 dollars on Thursday and avoided arbitration. The deal includes a performance bonus package. Cotts will receive $25,000 for reaching 50, 55, and 60 appearances at the Major League level. Jim Hendry said Cotts finished the season strong in Iowa and mentioned Cotts should have been one of the September call-ups. Cotts will compete for a spot in the bullpen in Spring Training.
There were three big trades on Friday. The A’s sent Dan Haren and Connor Robertson to the Diamondbacks for six players….pitchers Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham and Carlos Gonzalez. Four of the six players Arizona dealt to Oakland were top 10 prospects according to Baseball America, with Gonzalez at the top of the list. Then the D’Backs turned around and sent Jose Valverde to the Astros for Chad Qualls, Chris Burke and Juan Gutierrez. Late Friday night the Cardinals sent Jim Edmonds to the Padres, along with cash, for Single-A third base prospect David Freese according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
In the wake of the inaccurate list of names leaked on Thursday before the Mitchell Report was made public, Ed Sherman reminds everyone, “Being first is good. Being right is better.” And on that note….here is the rest of the weekend update, including an addition to the rumor mill. The Cubs
The Cubs extended contracts with all of their Minor League affiliates this week. They signed a 4-year deal with the Tennessee Smokies on Friday as well as 4-year extensions with the Iowa Cubs, the Daytona Cubs and the Peoria Chiefs. The Boise Hawks agreed to a 2-year extension.
Kosuke Fukudome agreeing to terms with the Cubs will likely allow the front office to add signage inside Wrigley and allow them to expand their brand even further….in fact a lot further.
The Baltimore Sun questioned the Miguel Tejada trade….could this trade be a good indication that Andy MacPhail is in charge and this is the start of the rebuilding process in Baltimore? If so, Jeff Zrebiec thinks MacPhail will trade Brian Roberts and Erik Bedard. Could the Cubs land both in the same deal? Only time will tell…. The Sun reiterated the Cubs are “aggressively pursuing” Roberts. Could Roberts showing up in the Mitchell Report hurt is trade value? Many have questioned why Roberts was mentioned in the report.
Steve Stone could be the latest former Cub in a bidding war….between ESPN 1000 and 670 the Score. A front office position would certainly look better than another radio gig.
Could the Cubs be interested in Joe Nathan? According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune they are, if he is available.
According to a report on Cubs.com, Donnie Veal lost his father during a scuba diving trip on November 10th. Everyone here at the CCO sends their best to Donnie and his brother. Click on the link if you would like info on how you can send money to a trust fund that has been set up for the brothers. Donnie’s mother passed away nearly three years to the day his father was killed.
From Around the League
A day after being non-tendered by the Astros, Adam Everett signed a 1-year deal with the Minnesota Twins.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are willing to trade Jason Bay and Xavier Nady if the price is right….Carlos Zambrano would probably help pay their way out of Pittsburgh.
David Eckstein signed a 1-year, $4.5 million dollar contract with the Blue Jays.
The Astros have contacted Mark Prior according to the Houston Chronicle.
Cliff Floyd signed a 1-year deal with the Rays. Floyd said he wanted to play in Florida again.
The Washington Nationals signed Cub killer, Rob Mackowiak and Willie Harris to 1-year deals on Thursday. Mackowiak’s deal is worth $1.5 million while Harris will earn $800,000.
It looks more like a “50-50” chance the Reds will end up with Erik Bedard according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The White Sox could look at trading Paul Konerko according to the Tribune. What a month Kenny Williams has had….Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, losing Kosuke Fukudome to the Cubs after offering more money and finally Aaron Rowand.
Mike Cameron told the Padres he will not be returning and thanked them, and the fans, for the time he spent in San Diego according to a report on ESPN.
Speaking of the Padres, they agreed to terms on 1-year Minor League contracts with both Shawn Estes and Glendon Rusch on Friday. Estes pitched for the Cubs in 2003 while Glendon Rusch pitched for the Cubs from 2004-2006….neither southpaw pitched in the big leagues last season.
The ‘Black Sox’ Scandal
The Chicago History Museum paid $100,000 for the documents detailing the 1919 World Series scandal that were recently discovered in Chicago. Could these documents finally clear Joe Jackson’s name?