On the last Friday before Thanksgiving, teams around the league appear to be positioning themselves for next month’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. The annual event starts on December 8th. Will the Cubs be players?….Kevin Towers thinks so.
Here’s the latest from the mill including updates on Rafael Furcal, Jason Marquis, Raul Ibanez, Adam Dunn, Kerry Wood, Bobby Abreu and Mark Teahen…… Rafael Furcal
The Cubs are rumored to be interested again in signing Rafael Furcal. Three winters ago, Jim Hendry lost out at the last minute to the Dodgers. Could Hendry finally land the shortstop this off-season? Well, if the Cubs do sign Furcal it could be at least for four years according to a report from Yahoo Sports.
The A’s are rumored to be very interested, along with five other teams (Giants, Orioles, Braves, Cubs and Dodgers), and Furcal’s agent has received a “number of three-year offers and more teams are planning on submitting bids.”
Paul Kinzer told the media on Thursday it would take a 4-year offer to sign Furcal.
According to Jeff Passan, if the Cubs trade for Jake Peavy, they could not afford Rafael Furcal “with their payroll already extended.”
Kinzer mentioned Furcal “could sign before the winter meetings.”
A report in the Sun-Times confirmed the Cubs interest in Rafael Furcal but they might have to “act quickly” because one team has a 3-year, $39 million dollar offer on the table for Furcal.
Bruce Miles does not think the Cubs can afford Furcal despite the fact he “would solve the Cubs’ leadoff situation, and he’s a better fielder than is Ryan Theriot.”
The Cubs are among five teams (Mets, Cardinals, Braves and Mariners) that have Raul Ibanez “at the top of their position player shopping lists” according to a report from Jayson Stark. Stark thinks Ibanez is “the most hotly pursued free agent under the radar.” Ibanez reportedly has a great reputation and Stark quoted one team official he asked about Ibanez and the first word used to describe him….”character“.
Ibanez does not want a long-term deal but rumors have suggested he is looking for a 3-year deal worth around $30 million.
The Cubs have contacted Raul Ibanez according to the Sun-Times and he “would probably be the ideal fit if they can make his salary demands work.”
One day the Cubs are still in the running, the next day they are not. What day is it?
Tidbits from Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster briefly joined Dave Sims and Kevin Kennedy on Thursday evening. Dempster was asked about what type of players the Cubs could use to improve the club for next season. Dempster threw out two names: Jeremy Hermida and Mark Teahen and said players like that.
Dempster also hopes Kerry Wood will return and mentioned if the new ownership comes in and increases the payroll maybe he will return. Dempster said he knows Wood does not want to leave and thinks he would comeback for a lot less money than he could get elsewhere.
The Kerry Wood door is not closed…..and Bruce Miles thinks there is a chance he will return and the Cubs will offer him arbitration.
Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu
According to a report from the Sun-Times, Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu, “for now at least are too expensive for the Cubs’ limitations and in Dunn’s case, the Cubs love the person and the bat but cringe at the thought of an outfield with Alfonso Soriano and Adam Dunn at the corners.”
Gordon Wittenmyer stated the Cubs have not contacted the agents for either player.
According to the Sun-Times, “don’t believe everything you read.” Mark Teahen has been discussed, along with several other names that was “thrown out early in the off-season” but have not pursued or progressed in those talks. Wittenmyer said the Cubs also asked about David DeJesus and “it would take a series of off-season dominoes falling the wrong way for the Cubs for them to get aggressive about a guy who is neither the middle-of-the-order bat or the top-of-the-order bat they seek.”
Bruce Miles reported similar news concerning Teahen. The Cubs have asked but “his name isn’t as hot as has been played.”
Jose Ceda and Marcos Mateo
According to Bruce Miles, Marcos Mateo “passed Jose Ceda by” in the eyes of the Cubs and that made Ceda available to be traded for Kevin Gregg.
With the Cubs not adding the very-talented southpaw to their 40-man roster he will be able to be taken in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Bruce Miles questioned if Donald Veal and his control problems would be able “to stick” on a 25-man roster for an entire season. Veal might be taken but could as easily be returned.
Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus released a report on SI.com that focused on the free-agent bargains of the off-season. Sheehan named players such as Bobby Abreu, Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson and Juan Cruz. Sheehan makes solid arguments for every player on his list….
Well worth the read…especially the section on Juan Cruz.
Lastly….several reports of late have mentioned the possibility of the Cubs trading Jason Marquis but the fact they might have to eat some of his salary…..stay tuned, the Winter Meetings are just around the proverbial corner.
Well, that’s the latest….and I’m sticking to it!