There have been a variety of rumors swirling about the Chicago Cubs emanating from this weeks’ GM meetings, including a doozy that just came out…
- The doozy? According to multiple sources, the Cubs are telling other teams that they’ll listen to offers on everyone on the roster this Winter. The front office reportedly recognizes a long rebuild is in the offing, and doesn’t want to rule out the possibility of bringing in a number of young pieces this offseason in the hopes of being competitive in the longer term future.
- Privately, I’ve been hearing this for some time, but because Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s public statements contradicted the idea that the Cubs will shop their more valuable pieces, I’ve taken them at their word. Now that so many other sources are confirming what I’ve heard, it’s time to take the gloves off. The Cubs might not ultimately unload all of their talent, but they’ll consider trades that build for the future.
- Buster Olney adds that the hottest names teams will be discussing between now and July 31 are Matt Garza and Sean Marshall (obviously Starlin Castro is even more attractive, but the kind of package necessary to pry him from the Cubs would be prohibitively large). The return on Garza could be enormous, and the return on Marshall could be impressively large. Would the Cubs be raising the white flag on 2012 if they dealt those two pitchers? I think it depends on the return. If a few ML-ready youngsters with breakout potential come back the Cubs’ way, you never know what might happen. Couple that with some strategic free agent signings…
- Jon Heyman says the Cubs are pursuing lefty free agent Bruce Chen, who has had back-to-back decent (but not great) seasons in Kansas City. Chen, 34, had a 3.77 ERA and a 1.303 WHIP last year while making $2 million. His ERA+, however, was just 107, meaning he was only 7% better than the average pitcher. How much is that worth? Hard to say, but Heyman says Chen’s got multiyear deals waiting for him. Pursuing Chen during a rebuild would make some sense. Pursuing Mark Buehrle, on the other hand? Not sure about that.
- While in the Dominican Republic to scout soon-to-be Cuban free agent Yoenis Cespedes, the Cubs are also taking a look at 19-year-old prospect Jorge Soler. The kid is consider a solid prospect with a projectable body, and, unsurprisingly, other big dogs on the amateur spending side – Yankees, Nationals, etc. – are interested.
- Jed Hoyer says the Cubs will “consider” bringing Kerry Wood back, but he isn’t ready to commit. “Theo has met with him and I’ve begun to talk to Pat Rooney [Wood's agent],” Hoyer said. “So we are going to consider bringing him back. My view of him is he’s a guy who brings toughness. He doesn’t shy away from big moments and big games. I think that’s something really important. Chicago is a big stage and it’s a mistake to take that for granted. Not every guy comes in from the outside can necessarily handle it.” Wood, 34, made just $1.5 million last year, but ended the season on the DL after September knee surgery.
- In his weekly chat, Bruce Levine confirms the Cubs are considering Yu Darvish, doesn’t think Grady Sizemore or David Wright or Orlando Hudson make sense for the Cubs, thinks Jason Veritek will be the Cubs’ next back-up catcher, thinks the Cubs could go after Chase Headley (with Josh Vitters headlining the package), thinks Andrew Cashner will be in the bullpen next year