Welcome to Super Tuesday and Happy Fat Tuesday…. For the last nine days, updates from the mainstream media on the Erik Bedard deal have indicated a trade between the Mariners and Orioles was close to being completed. Depending on which outlet you read or which radio report you listen to, a deal will happen either tomorrow or in the next few days.
While the Cubs appear out of the running for the talented southpaw, Jim Hendry and the Cubs should be paying attention to the actions of the Orioles front office. Several reliable sources have indicated the Cubs are still interested in trading for Brian Roberts, but with the way Andy MacPhail has handled this rumored deal, it could be July, or even next winter, before the Cubs are able to trade for Roberts….if at all.
Here is the latest from Baltimore, notes from around the league, more from the North Side, plus a little contest from the CCO…. From Baltimore
A report from MLB.com on Monday night indicated “the Orioles and Mariners may have moved closer to completing a blockbuster trade for Erik Bedard.” The report indicated the “key players” have undergone physicals and “the trade could be consummated by the middle of the week.” Several reports on XM Radio indicated the trade was impending and could be made official as soon as Tuesday.
Adam Jones and George Sherrill were both in Baltimore on Monday to take their physicals but Erik Bedard has not made the trip to Seattle to take a physical for the Mariners….the deal would need Bedard to pass a physical for the deal to become official according to the report on MLB.com.
A report on ESPN stated only the players passing physicals is needed in order for the deal to become official. Bedard has not been told the trade is official according to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. However, a report in the Seattle Times indicated Chris Tillman has been informed of the deal and “if all the principals have been notified, it would seem a trade could happen tomorrow (Tuesday) if all needed physicals are approved.”
The Seattle Times basically said they are not sure when the trade could be made official.
The Cubs appear to be waiting for Bedard to be dealt, at least that is what the rumors indicate….but this off-season could end up being a lot of waiting for nothing.
A Couple of Tidbits from Bob Brenly
Bob Brenly was on XM Radio on Monday afternoon with Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy. He briefly talked about Kosuke Fukudome and what he could bring to the club. Brenly said Lou Piniella refers to Fukudome as “the new guy from Japan.” Brenly thinks Brian Roberts would give the Cubs a proven leadoff hitter and allow Lou to move Alfonso Soriano down in the lineup in more of a RBI spot in the order.
Sam Zell’s desire to sell the Cubs separate from Wrigley Field is not going over with potential buyers of the team. Several reports out of Chicago indicated Zell is “alienating would-be buyers.” One member of a bidding group said, “The Cubs and Wrigley Field are so intertwined. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Splitting them absolutely diminishes the value of the team and my interest level.”
“That is money not going for the benefit of the team or fans. It is just rent out of the team’s pocket (that could pay) for salaries that is being capitalized into a lump sum for Tribune’s benefit,” according to a member of another bidding group.
The Tribune Company
Ed Wilson was named president of Tribune Broadcasting on Monday and will start his new job on February 11th. Wilson will oversee Superstation WGN and WGN Radio along with 23 other television stations.
From Around the League
Juan Gonzalez signed a minor league contract on Monday with the St. Louis Cardinals. The two-time AL MVP was one of 26 players that received non-roster invitations to Spring Training. Other notables…. Ron Flores, Cliff Politte, Dewon Brazelton, D’Angelo Jimenez and top prospect Colby Rasmus.
The Detroit Tigers are the latest team to lock up one of the games young stars. Chicago native, Curtis Granderson signed a 5-year deal worth $30.25 million dollars with an option for 2013 thus voiding his arbitration years and first year of free agency.
According to a report on ESPN, “United States consular officials in the Dominican Republic are reviewing visa applications from professional baseball players who have served suspensions for using performance-enhancing drugs.” Donald Fehr said the players union “will attempt to ensure foreign players are treated the same as U.S. citizens.”
Dayn Perry listed 14 teams that have “little real chance of making the playoffs” in the upcoming season. Perry mentioned upsides for each of the teams and it is well worth the read. However, a few of the teams listed by Perry make a habit of playing their best ball against the Cubs…. the Chicago White Sox, the Florida Marlins, the Houston Astros, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals.
Dayn Perry also took a position-by-position look at the “worst player in all of baseball at each offensive position.” Two former Cubs made the list….Jason Kendall and Juan Pierre.
MLB.com mentioned the Reds as one of the teams that could surprise in 2008….and the reason, Dusty Baker.
A “Little” CCO Contest
For weeks upon weeks, basically the entire winter, most of the talk surrounding the Cubs have started with, “Anything new on the Brian Roberts trade?” Well, ‘the Roberts Watch‘ has seemingly reached day number 250, and still nothing from either Andy MacPhail or Peter Angelos.
Pitchers and catchers, as most know by now, report to Fitch Park next Wednesday and it appears Brian Roberts is no closer to becoming a Cub than he was before good ‘ole Saint Nick made his way down thousands upon thousands of chimneys six weeks ago.
A couple of weeks before the season starts, the CCO will have another contest, a much bigger one than this….so let’s call this a test run. Here’s the deal….
Let your fellow readers know if you think Roberts will be a Cub before the season starts. If you think he will, state the date and which players you think Jim Hendry will have to surrender to Andy MacPhail to land Roberts…. and end this unbelievably-drawn-out-way-to-long-would-be-trade with Baltimore and Peter Angelos. Also, for tie breaking purposes, state the time of day the deal is officially announced….the time stamp on the press release on Cubs.com will serve as the official time.
The winner will receive something from the CCO prize closet, probably a t-shirt, and most importantly, bragging rights.
Finally…. The Asbury Park Press released a list of the greatest moments in New York Sports History. Number One was the “Fight of the Century” between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971….a very important day in this writer’s life.