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There are more rumors to discuss today about Cuban outfielders, great pitchers, and knee injuries, as well as a look at the Cubs’ payroll situation, all coming later today. Until then, Bullets…

  • Dave Kaplan says that Kerry Wood’s back-up plan, if things didn’t work out with the Cubs, wasn’t the Phillies or Reds or Tigers, as had been rumored. Kaplan says it was the White Sox. Query just what the White Sox would have wanted with a $3+ million, 35-year-old reliever – and, no, you can’t say the same thing about the Cubs, because there are obvious non-baseball reasons the Cubs wanted to retain Woody. All sides still say the signing was reached only in the day or so before the Convention last week, and Wood was genuinely going to go elsewhere until the Cubs upped their offer. I think that’s probably a little bit of hocus pocus, but, hey, it’s a swell story, and it was pretty exciting at the Convention. The White Sox were Wood’s leading suitor before the 2011 season, too, when they reportedly offered him two years and $10 million. Wood took the Cubs’ one-year, $1.5 million offer.
  • The Cubs will have at least two weeks to settle with Matt Garza before arbitration hearings begin in February (and those run for three weeks – his could be at any time between February 1 and February 21, so the two sides could have even longer to reach a settlement). Theo Epstein never went to arbitration with a player as GM of the Red Sox, which was a similar practice with the Cubs under Jim Hendry. The arbitration fight can be a bit ugly, and it’s preferable to avoid it.
  • FanGraphs takes a look at whether Yoenis Cespedes is a good fit for the Chicago Cubs, and concludes: sure, why not? There’s nothing on the Major League roster or in the high minors to preclude the move – even come 2013, the Cubs could have an outfield of Cespedes, Brett Jackson, and David DeJesus.
  • SI’s Joe Lemire thinks Theo Epstein and the Cubs’ front office has done an excellent job so far, given the relatively tough circumstances he came into.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals went to the White House yesterday to be congratulated on their World Series win. Grumble. At least maybe it was awkward for them to be around Albert Pujols. (Edit: as noted in the comments, it has been reported that neither Pujols, nor Tony LaRussa attended, which is all kinds of lame. Maybe they had great excuses. But it’s the White House.)
  • An early fantasy take on the Chicago Cubs, which is highly critical … and simultaneously highly fair. The short advice: don’t draft too many Cubs if you’re playing fantasy baseball this year.
  • A comment on the comments, and a free tip for life: if you find yourself frequently the target of criticism, so much so that it seems like every single other commenter is put off by you, the problem very likely isn’t them. “The market” is a powerful concept, and it tends to be the case that, if 100 people are in conflict with one person, the issue usually lies with the one person. I’d urge you to think about that before continuing to get into petty squabbles. If you have to ask whether I’m talking about you, I’m not. I think the commenter(s) in question know exactly who I mean. I’m not going to post this again.
  • Toosh

    I read that Pujols and LaRussa didn’t attend. If so, typical Cardinals. Classless.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I hadn’t seen that – if that’s true, that’s really, really lame.

      • spencer

        Yeah neither of them went. I understand Pujols not going but I’m not sure why Tony didn’t show.

      • Mike

        Not to get political, but I think it might have something to do with their opinion of Obama. Keep in mind that they were celebrity guests during Glenn Beck’s Washington march.

        • DocWimsey

          That is very possible for LaRussa. However, it probably is not the case for Pujols: he was pretty adamant that he would attend that only if the politics were left out when they presented him with some citation.

          More probably, Pujols did not attend for the same reason you don’t go to a party where your recently dumped ex-girlfriend is the guest-of-honor: it’s just a wee bit awkward, wouldn’t you say? (“Hi guys! Remember all that stuff I said about ‘it’s about the team?’ Darn: I was hoping you wouldn’t….”)

          • Mike

            Well that wouldn’t be very Christian of him. ;)

    • Smitty

      Wow, Larussa didn’t attend? What exactly is he doing in retirement that keeps him from getting a free trip to the White House?

      • JulioZuleta

        I heard he fell asleep at the wheel on his way to the airport…

        • Smitty

          Well done JZ! Well done indeed!

          • Warrior

            And he’s actually still sleeping at the stop light!

  • JulioZuleta

    Pujlos didn’t want the White House doing any extensive background check revealing the secret that he is actually 58 years old.

    • Fishin Phil

      Tee-hee-hee!

  • CubsfaninKY

    According mlbtraderumors they did not attend, pretty lame indeed.

  • mjhurdle

    How does the arbitration process affect the trade possibilities for Garza? Even though the trade rumors are dying down a little, what happens if Garza and the Cubs are mid-Arbitration process and Detroit calls with an offer? Do the Tigers then just take over the arbitration from the Cubs, do they wait until the process is done, or do the Cubs rush to settle to clear it out?

    I’ve read up a bit on the arbitration process but haven’t found anything specific on trades. Hopefully one of the informed posters can help educate me!

     

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I knew this question would come up, so I looked around, too, but couldn’t come up with a concrete answer. There are really only two possibilities: (1) the new team just takes over where the Cubs were, same offers and everything; or (2) the new team gets a chance to submit its own number.

      Either way, I don’t see any impact on the trade talks.

  • A_Mazz_Ing

    “A comment on the comments, and a free tip for life: if you find yourself frequently the target of criticism, so much so that it seems like every single other commenter is put off by you, the problem very likely isn’t them. “The market” is a powerful concept, and it tends to be the case that, if 100 people are in conflict with one person, the issue usually lies with the one person. I’d urge you to think about that before continuing to get into petty squabbles. If you have to ask whether I’m talking about you, I’m not. I think the commenter(s) in question know exactly who I mean. I’m not going to post this again.”

    How true this is on the message boards and in life. I have a buddy’s girlfriend who just doesn’t understand what’s wrong with everyone and why they don’t get along with her. Like you said, “if 100 people are in conflict with one person, the issue usually lies with the one person”. This holds true in everyday life and with any sort of message boards. Every board has it’s trolls that get into petty little fights day in and day out because it’s their weird hobby. I’m used to dealing with a ton of them on the Cubs.com boards and I’m sure there’s a lot of the same ones that mosey over here. Sad stuff really that it’s hard to have a good baseball discussion online without someone calling you an idiot or baselessly defending a player.

  • NL_Cubs

    BN #1: As Theo/Jed had said prior to Woody’s signing; “if we can’t get this done, then something is wrong”. Nothing wrong with the process and the Cubs trump the White Sux…again!

    BN #2: Just ask Theriot how he liked the arbitration process!

    BN #3: All this talk from the Cespedes camp that the Cubs seem most interested is just a leverage ploy to up the price / get teams more interested

    BN #4: The Cubs front office IS doing an excellent job. I’m really enjoying watching the methodical construction project

    BN #5: I refrain from making a political comment

    BN #6: That the Cubs will contend in 2012 is a fantasy but I’ll enjoy watching them play hard

    BN #7: Sound observation, advise and teaching moment. Whether it influences the behavior or not…?

  • ty

    amazzing==you are idiotic and I think Soriano should play center field

  • Stinky Pete

    It’s cool.  I’ll tone it down.  I apologize for bringing everyone down.

    • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

      Seriously, take a bath already stink-wad

  • Eric

    Maybe not just the Cardinals/Pojuls akward. But I heard Pojuls watches Fox News and loves Glenn Beck. It’s no wonder he wouldn’t go see Obama since he probably thinks he’s a socialist nazi communist, with all the hate filled lies and propaganda the right wing throws about Obama.

    • Elwood

      Please, no politics on this message board!!! “Hate-filled lies and propaganda” are slung from both sides. We-as Cubs fans-come here to get away from life and talk baseball. It’s fun, light-hearted, and something to enjoy. Liberal or Conservative, a Cubs fan is a friend of mine.

      • Eric

        hate filled lies comes mostly from the right wing. I’m not looking down on people who are conservative. But the people in charge, fox news, rusch Limbaugh, beck, all of them do nothing but read the lies and propaganda Frank Luntz writes for them. Because if they really told the truth, how the majority of the republican party voted to give tax breaks to corporations who fire americans and hire people in china, people wouldn’t vote for them. I’m not going to sit by while the cons destroy this country and point the finger at the other party, while a country of gullible people believe their insane lies.

        • Elwood

          Again, it’s a baseball blog. Cubs baseball is all that matters here… Go Cubs!

          • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

            +1 – hate filled lies only come from Boston, St. Louis, the South-side, Milwaukee, Cincy and Pittsburgh.  Oh, and Scott Boras.

            • Elwood

              We can all agree that the Ricketts family are fantastic owners, right? They have been extremely successful in life and have established a great plan for sustained Cubs success. Here are some of their recent political donations. I hate to think one would believe they are gullible…

              http://www.newsmeat.com/sports_political_donations/Tom_Ricketts.php

  • JulioZuleta

    We find out about Darvish today.  Some negative reports are starting to trickle out, but that almost always happens when backed up against a deadline like this.  If they do not sign him, I think you can expect to hear a lot more Garza talk in the coming days.

    Speaking of that, Brett there’s a guy on twitte,r @MLBInsideNews, I saw you follow him, as do I.  He said last night that the Blue Jays are making another push at Garza.  Does this guy have any credibility?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I can’t comment on his overall credibility, but I will say the timing of his Tweet about the Blue Jays is interesting …

      • JulioZuleta

        Are you insinuating that you have heard something along those lines?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yes. But I’m not at liberty to say much more than that right now. Just talks. That’s all.

          • WGNstatic

            Who are sources?

            This is something that I always wonder at this time of year. I understand that when you are talking about free agents, the list of possible sources could be huge, including agents, friends, etc. of the player.

            In trade talks though, it seems like a much much smaller group who would at all be “in the know”.

            So, I am obviously not asking you to reveal your source. But, lets just focus on the Cubs, how many folks, are there in the Cubs front office who would even know whether Jed/Theo have talked with Alex Anthopoulos?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              It’s hard to answer that without revealing too much. I guess the best I can say is you’d be surprised at how many cogs are necessary to research and evaluate trade proposals, to negotiate those proposals, and to advise Theo and Jed on various trade avenues. The inner, inner circle is quite small – and sometimes, it is limited only to, for example, Theo, Jed, Jason, Tim, Oneri, Joe and Shiraz (for example). There are many, many circles from there. There are also folks technically outside the organization who are well-connected to this front office.

              And let’s be honest: sometimes, the leaks are easy to get because that inner circle *wants* the media to get them.

              This is all just me speaking generally.

              • Bails17

                Lawyered!

    • Kyle

      That guy has predicted a Garza trade was about to go down every week for the entire offseason. He’s just throwing stuff against the wall that might happen, so if it does he looks like he has sources.

  • SouthernCub

    Maybe Pujols and LaRussa don’t like Barack Obama

    • EQ76

      maybe, but no way in hell Pujols makes that trip after bolting for Anaheim.. LaRussa should have been there. Maybe he was on his way but got another DUI? j/k

      • Toosh

        LaRussa, sometimes referred to as LaBooza.

        • TWC

          Who wouldn’t want this pretty mug at the White House?

  • cubfan1908

    re:”free tip for life”…one of the great things about BN is the 99% professional comments from your readers. It starts with you so congrats.

  • TWC

    Just noticed that Baseball-Reference.com has blacked out their logo in protest of SOPA & PIPA.  Good for them.

    Oh, and, to the White Sox:  hahahahaha.  Losers.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Good for them!

      Execpt for the fact that it makes me sick that you see and hear all these protests against SOPA and PIPA, but barely even heard anything about the NDAA, which is an even more egregious violation of our rights…you can take away our 5th amendment, but don’t touch our internetz! Lol.  Our society’s priorities….

      • TWC

        It’s pretty revolting how many stories are spread across the news this morning about “Ways To Survive Without Wikipedia” for a day.

        And there is no question how alarming it is that such blatantly anti-Constitution legislation (elements of the NDAA) was passed and then signed into law.  For those of you not familiar with the horribleness of the NDAA, I’d give you a Wikipedia link, but….

        • ferrets_bueller

          ███████ every ███ ███ ███ ███ thing ███████ ███ is █████ █ fine ██ ██████ ██ ██ ███ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██████ ██ ██ ██ ████ ███ ████ ███ ████ no ██████ need ██ ███ █████████ to ███ ████ panic. █████ ██████ love ███ ████████ ███ your ████ ████ ███ ██ ██ government.

      • matt3

        I’ve been looking at the NDAA… I’m waiting for them to come detain me without a trial because I own a pocket constitution and a few hunting rifles.

      • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

        It seems to be that the 1st amendment is the only part of the constitution that is not living and breathing.

  • rocky8263

    Me, die hard fan, season ticket holder, fan for life. You gotta admit Larussa did a great job.I would welcome Lucifer if he could bring us a World Series.

    • ari gold

      IDK, I think Larussa was overrated. Dave Duncan had more to do with the success than Larussa.

      • Jim

        I agree about LaRussa, all his moves in Game 6 would have been questioned endlessly if the Rangers don’t choke that game away.

    • Jb

      I have always thought that Dave Duncan was the true genius on that staff. Look at all the reclamation projects that he was able to maximize for the cardinals. If you can avoid making financial errors on your pitching staff, you can go out and build a team. Just think where the cubs would have been with duncan. Maybe zambrano and prior don’t explode maybe they do. Duncan is the key to that organization

  • Joy

    Larussa and Pujols went to the Glenn Beck rally. Beck hates the president. Enough said.

    I am so glad Kerry Wood is back and didn’t go to the Sox. That guy has class and really is the heart of the Cubs now that Ron is gone.

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