Baseball’s Winter Meetings are this week, and executives from all over will gather in Indianapolis to wheel, deal, discuss, and plan for 2010. And the Chicago Cubs are no different. Ok. Enough setup. Let’s get to the rundown:
- The Cubs have to move Milton Bradley before almost anything else can happen. At least three teams, two of which are the Rays and Rangers, are interested in Bradley. Reports have the Cubs willing to eat as little as $5 million of the 21 owed to Bradley over the next two years. This is not unreasonable, though, if the Cubs are willing to take on a bad contract – like Tampa Bay’s Pat Burrell – in return. Last week, the rumors had Bradley definitely going at the meetings, but this week the word is that he might only “possibly” go at the meetings.
- After moving Bradley, the Cubs are expected to try and sign center fielder Mike Cameron. The team also has varying degrees of interest in Marlon Byrd and Rick Ankiel (yikes), but Curtis Granderson is still the most desired target. Whether signing Cameron will necessarily preclude a move for Granderson – who needs a right-handed platoon partner anyway – remains to be seen.
- Despite having a bullpen of over 12 capable arms, despite having resigned John Grabow to a healthy contract, and despite having just acquired another reliever in Jeff Gray, Jim Hendry is still looking to sign another veteran reliever. Sigh. The Cubs have been rumored as attached to Braves’ relievers Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez, each of whom might leave Atlanta. Both are good, but both would be very expensive. [insert repeated comments about spending big money on relievers never working out for the Cubs]
- The Cubs are not expected to pursue a starting pitcher this week, or ever this offseason. Hopefully this is a good sign regarding their expectations for Ted Lilly’s health, and not simply another example of Jim “Hope is my Strategy” Hendry. Remember all those years of hoping Mark Prior would finally get right? And the Cubs being caught with their pants down when he didn’t?