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The Marlins signed Mark Buehrle earlier today, marking the first actual major move of the Winter Meetings. Theo Epstein later confirmed that the Cubs wanted Buehrle early on, but quickly discovered the price was going to go too high…

  • So, the Marlins are out of the race for all the other big names now. Right? Oh, how we underestimate the power of massive backloading. Indeed, the Marlins are still holding out their six-year offer to CJ Wilson, as well as pursuing Prince Fielder (though Brewers’ writer Tom Haudricourt calls the idea that the Marlins will heavily pursue Fielder “exaggerated”). They have been informed, however, that they are “out” on Albert Pujols.
  • Speaking of Pujols, there are reportedly still three $200+ million offers out there. The Cardinals … and … ? The Cubs made an offer, but no one anywhere believes it was more than a short-term, high annual dollar hail mary. The Angels are thought to have some interest, but they prefer CJ Wilson (whom they are “close” to signing). I’m thinking it’s a little bit of agent gamesmanship. At this point, it’s hard to see Pujols not only returning to St. Louis, but doing so on a more team-favorable contract than it looked a day ago. Hamburgers.
  • Back to Prince Fielder. So where do the Cubs stand? If they’re interested, multiple sources are saying (or guessing) that they could get him. But are they actually interested? Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein have played coy (Hoyer at once called the Cubs-Fielder connection “overblown”), while external sources, like Buster Olney, say the Cubs are interested. Others, like Tom Verducci, say the Cubs are not and have never been interested.
  • Ozzie Guillen reiterates that, if the Cubs look to trade Carlos Zambrano, he’d love to have Z in Miami. If the Marlins land Fielder, Gordon Wittenmyer says that’s when Zambrano would become a clear target for the Marlins. He also says that would lead to the Cubs pursuing Gaby Sanchez, which we’ve heard before (but, tonight, I was told that the Cubs prefer Logan Morrison to Gaby Sanchez (Morrison is four years younger than Sanchez)).
  • The Mets are shopping 24-year-old first baseman, Ike Davis, who is recovering from an ankle injury that ended his 2011 season before it really got going. Assuming he’s healthy, the Cubs are sure to have at least a passing interest. The Mets have a solid front office in place now, and they aren’t fooling around about rebuilding – they’ll want several very good prospects for Davis (particularly considering his contract situation – he won’t be arbitration eligible until 2013).
  • In discussions with the Rockies about Ian Stewart, it sounds like the Cubs shut down any talk of swapping DJ LeMahieu for Stewart. Stewart for Tyler Colvin was all the rage earlier today, but Rockies’ GM Dan O’Dowd says Stewart is staying in Colorado. (Actually, the tweet from Rockies’ writer Tracy Ringolsby technically said Iaan Stewart will be staying with the Eockies. Clearly, the aphorism is true: you can’t believe everything you read at the Winter Meetings.) Remember: Stewart is a non-tender candidate next week. This isn’t the last we’ve heard of him, like it or lump it.
  • The Cubs are still in on Hiroki Kuroda, who might ultimately prefer to return to Japan.
  • Nolan Ryan says he doesn’t expect CJ Wilson to re-sign with the Rangers, which could leave the Rangers looking to the trade market for a pitcher (*eh hem* Matt Garza).
  • Kerry Wood is hoping the Cubs give him a raise over his $1.5 million hometown-discount salary in 2011. Assuming Wood’s recovery from knee surgery goes well (not a sure thing for a guy in his mid-30s), the Cubs can justify giving him $2.5 to $3 million, given his effectiveness last year.
  • Yu Darvish is close to being posted, according to Tom Verducci on MLBN tonight. If Darvish is posted, there’s a very strong chance the Cubs bid.
  • Curt

    Hey rooster , ever heard of poetic justice now sparty beat the Hawkeyes anyway but that fake injury crap yr two bit coach pulled in the 4th quarter st Iowa was something yu got what yu deserved in the big. 10 title game but tht stuff aside I do hope theo n jed pull something off to kick us off on the way back soon

  • die hard

    Barney, Garza, Lahair, Colvin, DeWitt, Baker and Soriano to Seattle for Figgins, Pineda and Smoak may be helpful to both clubs

    • Paul

      WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT !!!!

      • die hard

        Figgins to play 3B and makes equiv to Soriano in overpaid contracts and both could use change of scenery and Soriano will DH 1/2 time…..Garza equals Pineda and Cubs get salary break for couple years…LaHair plays 1B/DH for Seattle…Barney would start at 2B for Seattle allowing their Ackley move to 3B…Smoak is Cubs 1B for next 10 yrs….Colvin would be 4th OF and help spell Ichiro…DeWitt/Baker would back up Ackley and Barney… may work

  • Live Soft

    we need to trade or give away all players on the Cubs roster who make over the leauge minimum. That way we could save a lot of money, and get all of the young kids some experience. with the money we save doing this in a few years we would be able to spend money like the Marlins

    • die hard

      In my proposed deal to Seattle, Cubs remove avg players who are obstacle to better kids coming up and potentially have dominant pitcher in Pineda and 30 hr/100 rbi 1B in Smoak …Seattle needs ready to play players to fill 25 roster and cant stand Figgins anymore…also Ichiro on downslope and maybe Colvin would be successor…Barney was fan favorite in nearby Oregon college and would be popular there

  • BetterNews

    Brett—You stated that Wood deserves a 3 mil contract. Let’s “rein” in that horse. His “affectiveness” as you have described it, was in a year where the Cubs were 20+ games under .500. I would never even consider Kerry pitching in a “meaningful” game, should the Cubs make the playoffs.

    • Cheryl

      He does deserve a raise. I’m with Brett on this one.

      • BetterNews

        Well I am not going with the “status quo” on this.

      • BetterNews

        Cheryl—Can you give me a raise, say 5 mil?

        • Cheryl

          Is that all? Why don’t you ask for part of what Pujols will get?

          • BetterNews

            I meant 5 bil!(LOL)

    • SirCub

      I don’t understand the excessive use of quotations. It might be an attempt to highlight the use of verbal irony, but it seems more like you’re just highlighting the use of misspelled words.

      • BetterNews

        Sir—Just to stress points, as your username seems to indicate.

        • SirCub

          K thnx good 2 kno

          • BetterNews

            No problemo.

          • BetterNews

            Oh, and by the way, why are you so worried about “quotation” marks?

            • Sweetjamesjones

              @Sircub, I get you brother. Don’t worry about the troll. It’s better to pretend that he/she doesn’t exist.

              • BetterNews

                Oops

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That was quite funny.

  • john

    The Cubs shook the tree and found out what we already knew. Nobody thinks much of our players. Can’t even get a .156 hitter (stewart) there is hope…Wait til next year!!

    • BetterNews

      It is sad.

    • Sweetjamesjones

      @John, I think it’s better to wait and have patience. I do have faith with the new regime. They will do what they see is fit. I think a lot of people see the craziness going on right now especially with the Marlins but I see nothing but wasteful spending. Its Hendry times 9-11 all over again.

  • john

    If only the Cubs had Lillibridge then we’d have a trade chip.

  • Eli

    Darvish supposedly to be posted tomorrow.

    • BetterNews

      Posted as missing?

  • Mike F

    The Garza thing makes very little sense. Dempster is dog meat plus, Zambrano is a complete mess. I guess they could still sign Jackson, but not sure they really are looking at that type of guy. They missed on a lot of the guys they were interested in so I’m left with this conclusion, they seemed determined to try to move Garza because he’s either got something in terms of arm trouble or make up they don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to move a guy at the right time, just don’t understand why now. The writers in Chicago seem to be holding up the white flag already which really surprises me.

    That said, who knows, as late as now there are still rumors the cubs in still working on Pujols. Do I buy that? Not really, I don’t think they are in, but who knows, I’m a little surprised. As to some of the early comments about fans and patience, it’s a little absurd to use that word with Cub fans, they are the most patient in the history of professional sports.

    • BetterNews

      Amen brother!

  • Cheryl

    I’d feel better if they had a chance at Headley rather than Ian.

  • Mike

    I like that Ike Davis!

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