Quantcast

The rumor mill doesn’t stop in February, or so it seems…

  • The Cubs are apparently considering picking up a veteran reliever, despite an otherwise crowded pen. After kicking the tires on Chad Qualls, who signed with the Phillies, the Cubs are nosing around 31-year-old Todd Coffey. The righty is consistently decent, and is coming off one of his better years in 2011 – 3.62 ERA and a 1.257 WHIP in 59.2 innings, though his strikeout rate dropped considerably. If the Cubs could get him on a one-year, $1 million deal, I say why not? He might be worth it to the Cubs as a reliever, but more than that, he might develop into a nice mid-season trade chip on the cheap.
  • Bruce Levine chatted yesterday, and offered a few interesting pieces: (1) Bruce expects Alfonso Soriano to be traded, released, or to start regularly in left field for the Cubs – in other words, he doesn’t see Soriano being a part-time player (I disagree – I could see him platooning a bit, in theory); (2) the Cubs are still one of the more aggressive teams in on Yoenis Cespedes; (3) a lower level prospect and cash should be what the Red Sox get for Epstein; (4) Bruce thinks the Cubs would need to get a great deal of quality back to deal Geovany Soto; and (5) Bruce still believes Matt Garza will be extended or dealt by July 31.
  • Separately, Levine writes that the Cubs are hoping to find a back-up middle infielder and a back-up catcher from among their youngsters and non-roster invites this Spring. The problem for the Cubs is that they’ve already got a great back-up middle infielder on the roster – but he’s currently penciled in to start at second. As for catcher, it looks like it could be Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger, or Jason Jaramillo.
  • Peter Gammons says that the Cubs and Red Sox have not yet submitted written arguments about settling the Theo Epstein compensation issue (though reports have generally contradicted that fact), but says he expects the Red Sox to get an “A level prospect” from the Cubs. Given that Gammons has been tended to be … how do I say it … on the Red Sox’s side of things with respect to this issue, that’s probably good news. Of course, before you get too excited, keep in mind: (1) Gammons has sometimes been wrong of late, and (2) Matt Szczur, as an example, is technically an “A level prospect,” having finished out 2011 in High A ball. Obviously that would be a painful, painful choice of compensation, regardless of “level.” (And, another thing: it’s possible Gammons didn’t mean “level” so much as “grade” – as in, the Red Sox are going to get an “A” graded prospect (of which the Cubs have, like, none), meaning Brett Jackson or someone like that. Who knows.)
  • Kevin Goldstein talks Yoenis Cespedes with a number of executives, who decide whether they’d rather have Cespedes, or another established outfielder (Colby Rasmus, Drew Stubbs, B.J. Upton, Chris Young and Adam Jones). Rasmus is the only free read, but six of eight execs would rather have Cespedes.
  • Speaking of Cespedes, he’s expected to meet with the Marlins when he comes to the States in a week or so, but that’s probably true of a number of teams. Besides, the tip-top of the Cubs’ organization might be meeting with him this week in the DR.
  • Edwin Jackson is probably going to have to settle for a one-year deal, but it likely won’t be with the Red Sox, who offered him something in the range of $5 or $6 million – which is so impressively low that, regardless of “need,” if he actually took it, I’d be kind of pissed if the Cubs didn’t make an offer.
  • https://twitter.com/#!/Dave_MKE Dave_MKE

    I would LOVE to see Coffey running full speed towards the mound wearing a Cubs jersey.

  • JulioZuleta

    Man, what an offseason for Boras clients. Jackson and Madson have to be about ready to kill him, but Prince pulled in the megadeal. Can Jackson really not pull a 3 yr/$30 kind of offer out of someone?

    • DocWimsey

      The fact that he’s considering a 1 year deal says “no.” Really, Jackson & Madson can be upset only if they think that another agent could have landed them bigger (dollars and/or years) deals.

      • JulioZuleta

        Well Madson had a 4/$44 on the table and Boras told him to wait it out. Worst. Decision. Ever.

        • CubSouth

          How is that the Worst. Decision. Ever? True, if he doesn’t pull off a similar (if not better) deal next year. I haven’t seen the class of Closer FA’s, but it can’t be as bad as how many were on the market this off season. I believe we should wait til November to express our opinion. Not trying to back Boras’ decision, just feel it’s not the Worst. Decision. Ever.

          • JulioZuleta

            He will need to get a 3 year/ $37 mil offer just to equal what he lost out on this year. Not to mention, the trade market will probably be flooded with closers this year. What if he has a bad year, or an injury? He will have lost out on a couple of generations of financial security because his agent told him he could do better.

            • CubSouth

              Yeah I haven’t checked the FA market for closers yet in 2012the off season. But I still believe he could get a potent offer if he has a successful season. It was a bad move on Boras’ part but I just felt not the worst decision ever, IMO. I would drop Boras though, lol.

    • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

      If Jackson hasn’t signed by the time the Cespedes derby is over and the Cubs still have room in the budget, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs step in with a 2 or 3 year deal at $8 million or so million a year. If he takes it, the Cubs have a nice rotation to start the season and plenty of room to deal up to three valuable starters (Garza, Jackson, and Dempster) at the deadline. They could deal just one of them and make a run at the wild card. Or deal two and extend Garza while also loading up on a small stash of talent. Or deal all three and try to position the team for a strong run in 2013 and beyond.

      No matter how you slice it, if the Cubs could get Jackson on two+ year, team friendly deal it could pay some serious dividends in the not too distant future. The higher priority should still be Cespedes and Soler, though.

      • Zachary Brady

        He looks like he is fairly solid and consistent. If there is anything I have grown to like in a starting pitcher its consistency.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    Yeah I think Gammons means Single A level not Grade A prospect. I don’t think it’ll be any of the Cubs top 10 prospects…

    • JulioZuleta

      Knowing Gammons, he probably does think it will be a “Grade A” guy. Luckily, he’s never right, so either way, that quote doesn’t scare me. Gammons needs to hang it up. I have some fond memories from when I was a kid watching him on Sportscenter, but in recent years, after his health issues and his full blown acknowledgment of his Boston homerism, he’s unbearable.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Just more puppeteering from the Red Sox front office.

  • CubsFanatic

    This compensation BS needs to be settled fast. I’m so sick of it. And then we still have the Padres compensation to look forward to. Joy…

    • Toosh

      The Padres/Cubs compensation will be resolved much more amicably than the Red Sox/Cubs’.

      • DocWimsey

        Yes, a lot of the acrimony in the Theo compensation is spill-over from the September collapse. This has become an irrational outlet for the intense anger towards the universe that the Sox brass and fans feel.

        And it is understandable: after all, it’s been 4+ whole years since the Sox won the championship. Whole classes have gone through high school or college without getting a celebration!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          The two are absolutely, and inexorably, linked. The Cubs and Cubs fans are paying the price.

          • JulioZuleta

            100% agree, Bud should have settled it long ago. Negotiating with the Red Sox is like negotiating with an ex-spouse (I imagine).

            Buster Olney tweeted earlier that Bud should stay out and fine the teams 100K for each day they don’t reach an agreement. Buster makes so much more sense on TV than he does on Twitter. Some of his tweets are so backwards.

            • Bric

              I don’t tweet and apparently this is one of the reasons. But in any case I agree with you and Buster. In any other business this would’ve been resolved long ago. If you finance a car and don’t pay they repo it after a couple of months. Same with mortages. If you leave a job “amicably” breaking a contract and take a new one, the old company either has to suck it up, or sue. Either way, it gets taken off your hands and you move on. Bud, as the judge so to speak, needs to just hard ball it and move on like any other business would. This isn’t the mafia or a counseling center. Vendettas and hurt feelings shouldn’t matter.

  • cubsin

    The only way I could see Jackson signing with the Red Sox for $5-6 would be a year or two or three of player options that would give him an average salary of $11-$12 if he exercised all of his options. I understand Boston’s determination to get below the payroll tax threshold in 2012, but that’s their priority, not Jackson’s.

  • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

    I don’t think Gammons could have meant an A-grade prospect. He’s on record as saying that the Cubs have an absolutely horrible farm system and that not a single player in it would appear above #25 or so on the Red Sox list. Considering that the Red Sox don’t have 25 A-grade prospects… or anything remotely close to that… then he can’t expect the Red Sox to get an A-grade prospect.

    Unless he imagines that a guy who is just terrible as a Cub will suddenly blossom into awesomeness once he leaves the Cubs’ system.

    Why do I get the idea I just predicted Gammons post-compensation column…

    • necusfan

      Just saw Gammons restate the same thing on Red Sox Hot Stove Live on NESN this afternoon and I’m pretty sure he said A level. Then he drooled on himself.

      • CubsFanBob

        I cant wait to drink from the tear drops of Red Sox nation when they learn they received some low level prospect and some cash. Oh the rage that will foam at the mouths of the Boston sports media heh.

        • Brady

          It will be worth watching indeed. Boston fans are [insert derogitory statement of your choice]. I never really minded the way they were run or the players themselves but the fans made me hate the team with a passion. I feel the same about the yanks but that is more to the fact that the fans are like a spoiled college girl with daddy’s credit card. They have no idea of the actual value of what they are buying they are just paying the most of it. Worst way to run a business IMO. Then again we havent won a championship in, a while.

          • DocWimsey

            Well, we aren’t all bad. However, winning is addictive: 2007 was still pretty darn sweet despite coming only 3 years after 2004.

            And I would not disparage either the Sox or the Yanks as not understanding the value. Both teams generally do. However, they also frequently are thinking not just “how do I make my team better?” but “how can I prevent the other team from getting better?” Both teams have signed players to prevent the other one from doing so. Really, no other two teams in baseball use that criterion anywhere near as often.

            • Brady

              Not sayin that all sheep are the same as the herd but my experiences with both fans is as I have described. My buddy got beat up by a bunch of sox fans a couple years back because he caught a foul ball off of one of their players. Just generally a bad experience. Yanks is more arguing with my shipmates (im in the Navy fyi) who are fans and trying to explain to them why spending $200 mil and not making it to the WS every year is not a wise way to spend money.

              I learned to be a Cubs fan from my grandpa. We piss and moan but at the end of the day we will watch a good game of baseball with anyone so long as they are there to enjoy the game and not ruin it for the rest of us.

      • Katie

        Bless his heart, they need to take away his laptop, give him a blankie, and wheel him back to his room before he embarrasses himself further. Like the time he pulled down his pjs and tried to play “hide the pickle” with his nurse.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I love the stockpiling of possible tradebait relievers.  What are roughly 2/3rds of contenders always looking for come trade deadline time?  Bullpen help.  At least a couple of these guys has to have an ERA in the 2s come July, right?  Worth a shot.  Every one of these can almost be thought of as a free draft pick, to an extent.

    • Bric

      True, but that’s figuring they either make the team or clear clear waivers for assignment. It’s more possible that most of these deals wil gut cut at the end ST and get picked up by other teams anyway. Stockpiling for potential July trades is as difficult to predict as attrition and injury.

  • Eric

    I’m all for Todd Coffee. Isn’t he the one that runs to the mound and stops suddenly like a little kid? I think the wrigley crowd would go nutz for that.

    • ogyu

      And when he has a bad outing, the headline can be: “Coffey Gets Creamed.”

  • 2much2say

    Madson never really pops out at you as a Closer. Jackson has been handed off like he has Cooties. Oswalt’s eyes are bigger than his stomach. Everyone knows he has 22 games max in him. Keep your wallets in your pockets boys. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  • 2much2say

    Ricketts in D.R.? I am not sure I like the fact that he is shadowing every deal the F.O. is involved with.

    • Zachary Brady

      He may not be shadowing them. If Theo went back down there now that Cepedes was a FA it would be obvious that they are making probably a final move to get ahead of everyone else and maybe even get a verbal agreement before he comes to the states and is paraded to around by others. Having Ricketts go is much less eye catching as he can use the excuses like “checking out development of the new facilities”. Just some food for thought.

  • Brady

    Personally I’d really like Upton. Only downside is it seems that he is a ball magnet. The plus side to that is it seems like him getting hit also means that his team stepped up and brought him home. I dont know if its true but felt that way as I tuned in for a few Dbacks games towards the end of the year.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I do believe you have the wrong Upton.  Justin Upton is an absolute stud, BJ….isn’t.  And is a much more valid comparison, IMO.

      • Brady

        Oh my, you would be right. Thank you for the correction, maybe I’ll turn to my good friend google before I type again ha ha.

  • die hard

    Byrd for Jones in a deal that would have to include others would be interesting

    • KCubsfan

      Which Jones do you have any idea how many people are named Jones?

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        Hopefully…Davey Jones…just wonder…if we get his locker too…

        … .

      • JulioZuleta

        Jacque

  • die hard

    From Yankees rumors site-see below……coincidence?….LaHair to follow Hendry to Yanks with Ibanez signed by Cubs for one year?….and then Cespedes lands with Cubs?….too coincidental…

    “The Yankees have interest in lefty hitting Raul Ibanez, according to sources. Ibanez’s average dropped to .245 last season with the Phillies, but he hit 20 home runs and drove in 84 runs. Ibanez, who will turn 40 in June, has drawn interest from a number of clubs.
    Ibanez recently had a productive workout with hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo and believes he has corrected flaws in his swing. Over the past six seasons, he averaged 24 home runs and 100 RBIs.
    The Yankees are not expected to pursue Cuban defector Yoennis Cespedes.”

    • MichiganGoat

      Speechless, when you connect the dots you rewrite the laws of physics and discourse.

  • die hard

    Why is Rudy working him out then?

    • Jeff L

      Die Hard I didn’t see where you put the site where you got that info.

  • Jeff L

    I really want to know how scouts look at the Cuban league Cespedes was playing in. Do they consider it comparable to Japan, MLB, or maybe Triple A… If we understand that then we can look at his numbers he produced objectively. Fukudome hit 33 homers and hit 353 in a season before coming to the MLB… Since then in the MLB he has been a consistent 260 average and never hit more than 13 homers in a season.

    • KCubsfan

      It is comparable to AA.

      • JulioZuleta

        I tweeted Baseball America’s Ben Badler that question yesterday…Ben Badler

        @BenBadlerReply

        Lower, but huge variance in skill level by player RT @SteveJB54 Do you agree that competition down there is about equivalent to High A?

        The way he sees it, it’s more like Peoria, which does make me a little bit nervous.

        • Jeff L

          If thats true that would be comparable to paying a guy who hit 330 and 30 homers in single A 10 mil a year… That is a little scary. I think we are looking at Fukudome 2

          • JulioZuleta

            He won’t get $10 mil. I think his contract ends up being closer to 6/$42 mil for $7 mil a year.

  • Jeff L

    What information are you basing that on? Do you have any sources you used… cites.. ect…

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+