The latest from the rumor mill…

  • The earlier-referenced Jed Hoyer radio appearance also featured an extended discussion on Alfonso Soriano. Once again, Hoyer’s position was kind of the opposite of the default position. “I think that’s unlikely [that he’ll start the season with another team],” Hoyer said on “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show” on ESPN 1000. “Our hope certainly – I know Sori’s been working really hard this offseason – our hope is obviously you want him to get on base a little more. The power was there last year, the RBIs were there. Obviously it really comes down to defense and we’re hoping with some better conditioning and some better health, that he can be a little better out there. We don’t want to do anything to hurt our pitchers, but we do believe there’s something left in Sori.”
  • Why do I say that’s the opposite of the default position? Because Hoyer is responding from a perspective that assumes Soriano *won’t* be the Cubs’ left fielder on Opening Day, and is saying, “yeah, he probably will be.” I’m used to hearing GMs say things like “Soriano is our left fielder. He’s going to be great.” The way Hoyer responded, he’s clearly acknowledging our shared reality – that everyone can see Soriano struggles in left field, and his production at the plate is rapidly reaching a point where a starting job can no longer be justified, whatever his contract. It’s nice to “hope,” but it’s better to plan. I suspect Hoyer, together with Theo Epstein and Dale Sveum, has a plan for Soriano if the Cubs can’t move him (and you can be assured that the Cubs wouldn’t hate seeing a few AL DHs go down with injuries in Spring Training). Whether that’s releasing Soriano, or involving him in a platoon, I can’t say for sure. But I have a very hard time seeing the Cubs going with Soriano as their every day left fielder for all of 2012.
  • Hoyer also spoke about the future of Matt Garza: It was a long [arbitration] process, but we talked to Matt a number of times since and we’re happy we didn’t have to go into a hearing room with him,” Hoyer said. “He’s a great pitcher and a guy we’re going to talk to him about being part of our future, for sure. We need more guys like Matt, not less, and if we can work something out we’ll certainly have those discussions.” More of the same. The Cubs’ position on Garza is pretty clear a this point: if a trade offer comes along that substantially improves the Cubs’ chances in 2013 and beyond, they’ll take it. If not, they’ll continue to discuss the possibility of an extension with Garza – but the former is preferred over the latter. (For what it’s worth, I’ve been told that one issue in extension talks is Garza’s desire for a no-trade clause, something the new crew doesn’t like to offer.)
  • George Ofman hears that at least one team has offered Yoenis Cespedes more money than the Marlins have offered/are going to offer. He guesses it could be the Cubs or White Sox (which seems fair, given their levels of involvement). So if Cespedes really wants to be a Marlin, as he said, he may have to leave some money on the table to do it. (Free advice, Yoenis, regardless of the team: you’re giving up all of your prime years in this deal, and it may be the only one you get. Go for the money if one team is offering far more than the others.)
  • That report is interesting when viewed in light of how things played out this week: Cespedes comes to the States, able to negotiating a contract but not sign one. Marlins’ brass openly says they want (but don’t need) Cespedes, and President David Samson says the visit might end with an offer. Cespedes visits with the Marlins and sees their stadium. No one knows if he met with other teams while in Miami. Then, he leaves Miami, and Samson is unwilling to comment on the meeting, saying only “we’re going to let the process play out.” That seems like a pretty sullen no comment from a guy who was so gregarious just a day earlier. Gamesmanship? Maybe. Irked that he couldn’t close the deal? Maybe. Disappointed to learn that another team had offered far more than the Marlins could match? Maybe.
  • BN’er Cliffy passes along some thoughts from Phil Rogers, who appeared on CTL last night. There, Rogers noted his belief that the Cubs and Sox are still in on Cespedes, and that the Marlins might not have enough money left to sign Cespedes to the kind of contract he’s going to command.
  • The Yankees and Pirates have been discussing a possible AJ Burnett trade, but the Pirates have been unwilling to pick up much of the disappointing righty’s salary. You can see some tangential implications here (if the Yanks move Burnett, they’ll have more money to devote to a DH; the Pirates might be ever-so-slightly improved; etc.), but none are particularly compelling.
  • LWeb23

    Remember right before Zambrano was moved how Theo reiterated that they were giving him a chance? Or how right before they moved Colvin they were talking about be interested to see what he had come spring training? God I hope Jed sticking up for Fonzi means we are close to dealing him soon. I won’t hold me breath though.

    • EQ76

      It’s hard for me to imagine us signing Cespedes if we still have Soriano and Byrd on the roster.. so maybe there is a Soriano deal in the works.. or we’re really not in on Cespedes like we think we are.

      • DocWimsey

        Again,whether Sori is on the roster is immaterial: the Cubs are going to be spending that money (or nearly all of it) regardless. Byrd’s contract is not all that big ($6.5M, I think), so that also is not a huge impediment.

        The Cubs can easily afford to pay all three guys. The question is, do the Cubs think that Cespedes is worth more than the Marlins (or some other team) is willing to pay?

  • Ben

    If Burnett is worth 5 million a year to the Pirates, and they are willing to trade a player for him, I would think if we eat 40 million of what’s owed to Soriano, and ask for nothing back, someone would be interested. 3 years, 14 million seems like a fair deal.

    • CubFan Paul

      that problem is: NO other team wants Soriano for 3 years. Teams are willing to pay for one year ($2M-$5M) but not 1 year and $14M. the Cubs know they have to eat more than $40M (at least $49M!!) so that whatever team he’s traded to can release him after 2012

    • DocWimsey

      Burnett also has been a better pitcher than advertised. Remember, he has the NY media exaggerating everything that he does. If they love you, then you can be a statue in the infield and get called a gold glover. If they don’t, well…..

      Sori, on the other hand, pretty clearly is past his “expired” date. Many teams could get a guy pretty cheaply to do about as well.

      • Cubbie Blues

        His ERA+ over the last three years with Yankees: 114, 82, 86. That’s not too good in 2010-11 to go along with 5.26 & 5.15.

        • SirCub

          And Soriano’s OPS+ (not that its the same stat, but just to compare) over the same time:

          84, 114, 104

  • Fishin Phil

    It’s Friday, what time does the big news drop today?

    • Brett

      As soon as I go to lunch.

    • SirCub

      You know when you are watching an episode of some detective show, and they think they have their man, but you look at the clock and there are still 20 minutes left in the show, so the only thing you know for sure is that it definitely won’t be that guy.

      That’s the way I felt when there were reports earlier in the week that Vitters was going to be the compensation piece. “Of course it’s not going to be him! There are still two days until Friday!”

  • cjdubbya

    If you really wanted to bury it, the time to do it was about 5:30pm this past Sunday. I’ll say it’s 4:35pm today is when the presser gets issued.

    • Brett

      Ha. I wondered if any team – in any sport really – would announce some unpalatable news on Sunday afternoon.

  • WGNstatic

    For what it is worth, Fan Graphs had an interesting article a bit back on Soriano:

    In a nut shell, they argue that he isn’t really a bad defensive OF, he struggles against righties, but hits quite well against southpaws. I would argue that most of baseball, including, especially, us Cubs fans, have undervalued Soriano. We look at a guy who is clearly not worth $18M per season, and since he isn’t worth his contract, we conclude that he must not be worth anything.

    • Hrubes20

      A Soriano/LaHair platoon in LF wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, once Rizzo comes up for good. Obviously I would still prefer Soriano is gone, but he would have some value.

    • Brett

      He’s undoubtedly worth a roster spot, and would likely perform quite well in regularly duty against lefties.

      That’s as far as I’ve been willing to go…

    • Mick

      The Soriano debate will become a whole lot more interesting if the Cubs sign Cespedes. Needless to say, our team will look a whole lot different in July than it will opening day.

  • Steve

    Very good point WGN…if Alf was making 5 mil per then his naysayers would be very few. He seems like a nice enough guy, and those who say he “loafs” dont know if his knees hurt, or if his hamstrings have become fragile??
    I’m not totally defending him as his salary has us hamstrung(sorry, couldnt help it) for the next 3 years. I am saying that he didn’t have a gun to the Cubs head demanding this contract. It was offered to him.

    • DocWimsey

      I’ll say that Sori or anybody else loafs if I read that they are not spending time watching videos, batting off the tee, going over scouting reports, etc. Quite frankly, though, I doubt that they’ll help too much: Sori has obviously no longer see a ball 10′ from the pitcher’s hands and recognize that it’s going to be headed for the LH batter’s box. It happened sooner rather than later, but this happens to all batters eventually. (Remember Ryno’s last two years?)

      At any rate, Sori’s salary is already spent, and for the next couple of years. Again, given this, the Cubs’ decisions on who to play in LF should be based entirely on who can create the best run differential for them. (Quite frankly, I think that it still might be Sori: and that’s not good!)

      • OCCubFan

        I think there are four types of situations in which laziness or working hard makes a difference. (1) Off-season conditioning or lack of same. Most likely, this is a big reason for good performance in contract years and poor performance after the big contract is signed. (2) In-season, but off-field, prep out of sight of the fans: watching video, going over scouting reports, hitting off the tee. (3) Visible hustle: running hard on ground balls and pop-ups. Forcing infielders to hurry sometimes causes errors. I am willing to make allowances for bad knees and hamstrings and pitchers, but only in non-critical situations. (4) Standing and admiring possible home runs. Nothing is more frustrating to a fan than to have a runner thrown out at second when the ball bounces off the wall. Ernie Banks was once asked something about watching his home runs. He answered that he had never seen one of his home runs leave the park—he just ran hard and, if the ball left thepark, then the first base coach would let him know. That’s one of many reasons why Ernie Banks is my hero.

        • DocWimsey

          The problem with “running hard” is that most guys that fans *think* are running hard are not. A lot of the “hustlers” actually slow themselves down with exaggerated arm and leg motions that say “Look at how hard I’m trying!!!” but that would make a track coach scream in frustration. It’s the baseball equivalent of brown-nosing: I screwed up by hitting a grounder but now I’m going to whine/pump-my-arms-hard about it.

          And there are the guys that are just fast. Campana doesn’t hustle, he flies.

  • baseballet

    What if the Yankees are exploring trading Burnett because they plan on trading for Garza? Is that possible?

    • CubFan Paul

      after signing Kuroda, resigning Garcia, trading for Pineda? seems unlikely

    • Smitty

      Also, with them trading away Montero, they would have to give up Banuelos and Betances to make it worth if for the Cubs and they have not been interested in trading either of those guys.

    • Mick

      Probably not, it seems the Yankees are thinking about trading Burnett because:

      1. They good depth at SP such as CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia, and their top 2 SP prospects waiting for their call in Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances.

      2. Burnett might not even be good enough to crack the rotation considering their depth.

      3. The Yanks need to shed payroll in order to add a left-handed hitting DH AND stay beneath the luxury tax threshhold.

  • Daniel Guerra

    OK, i’m wondering, will it be worth it to invest in CesPEDes? How much do you think he will command per year and number of years? What is his projected stats during those years? Also, do they do steroid testing in the Cuban Leagues?

    • TWC

      I know you’re new here, as all of your questions have been answered or suggested many times over the past few months, but, really, why the implication that Cespedes uses PEDs?

    • Luke

      Cespedes has played in a number of international competitions, and international competitions have a strict drug test policy, often including blood tests. It is almost impossible that Cespedes can have been on drugs during any part of his Cuban career since he has been a star of the Cuban national team since he first arrived.

  • Leroy Kleimola

    The biggest thing I have been happy to see is that Sveum has promised to bench anybody he sees as not trying 100%. I love that idea, so much last year I got tired of people not trying. I am excited for this season, even if we only win 40% of our games, at least we’re trying.

    • hansman1982

      I hate to burst your bubble, but I think Q said the same thing after being hired.

      • Deer

        Yes he did. It’s a lot easier said then done. Fans love to hear it, but production trumps everything else. I just hope Dale is more willing to sit Sori during prolonged slumps, not because he doesn’t run to 1st fast enough.

      • Leroy Kleimola

        your absolutely right, I am just that big of a homer I guess. :) I hate the offseason. Oh and is it just me or does everybody else wish we could just “simulate” this season and go on to 2013?

        • hansman1982

          That comment was more for my own personal speed governor. I have gotten pretty amped up about this front office and coaching staff so far, it is always good to check you emotions every now and again.

  • JB88

    One other thing that I think is incredibly salient to any discussion regarding a Marlins offer is HOW the offer is structured. If memory serves, the Marlins have been handing out a ton of back-loaded deals. I would be shocked if the Cepedes deal was structured any differently. So not only might the Marlins be fighting an up-hill battle when it comes to total dollars, but it is pretty clear that the Marlins don’t have a ton of available cash and are banking on success with their new stadium to pay the players they have signed.

  •!/hurricaneswag26 Ryne Blaising

    I have been banging this drum on twitter for a while now the Cubs should call up the Yankess and say look we both have a player we dont want lets work a deal. You need DH and we have the perfect DH for you Sori and we will take AJ off your hands for you. Both teams win and with AJ in the weak NL Central I think we could see the AJ from the Marlins and not the bad one from New York, also Sori would go to a winner and a team he knows well and a place he placed great ball, dont forget the Rangers traded A-Rod for Sori so that shows how high of value he had with Yanks and I know that was a long time ago but we saw that Sori still has pop in the bat and with the Yanks he doesnt need to be the guy he just needs to be a guy

    • Toosh

      I’ve advocated that trade for a while. The Cubs would have to send cash along.

      • Brett

        I just don’t see any reason to want Burnett on this team. At any price.

        • JulioZuleta

          Pass. What’s the point? The Cubs don’t say any money, and a spot in the rotation will be blocked by an old, underperforming veteran with no role in the future. Is it worth it to bump Volstad or Samardzija for Burnett? Not in my opinion.

        • DannyBallgame

          I’m sure the Yanks would love Sori. Look at how many balls he hits to left that fall 5-10 feet short of going out. He could hit a bunch of dingers with the short porch in the Bronx. Problem is, why would we want AJ? Can’t find a single reason.

    • hardtop

      edited because i forgot about the kuroda signing…. my bad

  • Curt

    Hey Brett maybe you could help me understand why no American league teams are willing to take soriano when the cubs seem willing to est most of his remaining contract he still does a more respectable job hitting numerous dh”s or does it just appear that way.

    • DocWimsey

      I’ll toss out a suggestion, with which Brett might or might not agree. Basically, most AL teams are looking for a high OPS guy at DH. Sori’s slugging is pretty good, but his OBP is pretty bad. Only 4 AL teams had their DH’s yield an appreciably lower OPS than Sori did, and one of them (the Angels) definitely has upgraded their DH and another (the M’s) probably has. That leaves the O’s and the A’s: the O’s are out, and I cannot see A’s going for that deal.

  • Leo Deleon

    Ozzie was on the Waddle and Sillvy show. He spoke about Cespedes and very good things to say about him. He also said that Cespedes has made it clear that he will not play in the minors. I don’t think the Cubs will be willing to throw him out there.

    • Brett

      I wonder how strongly he’d hold to that – there’s a fair chance that some time in the minors will be in his best interest in the long run.

      • TWC

        Yeah, and it’s not like he’d have a choice, right?  Can a contract be structured without option years?

        • Brett

          I suppose it could be something like “if he’s not in the bigs on Opening Day, he’s released.” If that’s possible, I guess he could exercise a little leverage (i.e., if one team is willing to give that to him and one isn’t). Hard to see a team hamstringing themselves like that, though.

  • Leo Deleon

    That was brought up and he said (Ozzie) that Cespedes did not want to go through all the trouble of coming here (U.S) to play minor ball for that he would remain where he is at. I wonder if that’s his excuse for not wanting to play for Chicago cause he may be dead set on playing in Miami.

    • Deer

      Cubs could afford the growing pains of Cespedes starting with the big club, might be harder for Miami since they are contenders.

  • hogie

    This might not be the popular opinion, but I think part of Sori’s problem, particularly last year, has been that he is stressing to be the guy to lift us out of the gutter. He took a lot more swings last year and his OBP, while never great, took a big dip last year. If Sori can produce just what he did in 2010, 258/322/496, that is probably more production then you would get from any replacement we have? I sure don’t want Campana in there, he would give you a similar line with 350 slugging, and average at best fielding, Sappelt wont produce those numbers and no one else is ready.

  • Leo Deleon

    Fyi. They are going to replay the conversation with Ozzie in a few minutes ESPN 1000

  • RoughRiider

    Maybe the Cubs are just bad enough to be able to withstand another “not ready for prime time” player for a year. However, anyone asking for as much money and years as he is, that has never played in the majors, and refuses to play in the minors if he’s not yet able or ready for the majors, is not someone I would want to invest anything in. He’s really an unknown quantity, How many players have we seen that were lights out in the minors and even descent for a season and then nothing. I really hope that the Cubs can sign him and he becomes a star player but I’m getting a sick feeling about Cespedes.

  • die hard

    I see Cespedes as a Dodger because new money coming in which will easily be able to cover contract and will be good fan pick to generate interest again

  • die hard

    Would Sori for Adam Dunn be a swap of equivalent bad contracts?…If so, I would rather take a chance on him bouncing back which seems to be the MO of front office…could revive Sori by splitting time as DH

    • Luke

      I’d much rather have Soriano than Dunn.

      • die hard

        Well, Dunn ate up NL pitching and hes younger….if hes got abs like Soto then who knows???…we know hes got better arms than even campana’s new arms…wait and see..FO may think that if he does bounce back, he will play at high level for next 5 yrs while Sori is going out like a flickering flame

      • Mick

        You would? I’d take Dunn in a heartbeat. He’s 4 years younger, has experience at LF and 1B, and is owed $9 million less over the same amount of years as Soriano.

        Edit-Brett, please delete my post. I don’t want to ever go down as agreeing with die hard on anything.

        • die hard

          thats what I am saying…Cubs make up difference in contract and its a Dunn deal

        • Deer

          Sori is a gold glover compared to what Dunn does in the field. Dunn is coming off the worst year in the history of baseball and you want him for 3 years? I’d much rather keep Soriano

        • Luke

          He’s also an annual candidate to lead the league in strike outs… and that’s when he’s playing well. He is not good defensively at first, is (I think) worse defensively in left than Soriano, and is less mobile on the base paths. The only thing in Dunn’s favor is that he’s a left handed hitter.

          I’d rather keep Soriano as a platoon player against left handed pitching than saddle the roster with Dunn.

          • die hard

            I Dunn-o… feel Cubs could be very Sori if make deal….but White Sox are fed up with Dunn and would only have to put up with Soriano for 3 yrs but Cubs would have Dunn for 5, I believe…

            • Dougy D

              I would rather have Dunn. Yes he is not a good outfielder, but worse than Soriano? I would call it a wash. After all, you can’t polish a turd. A bonus would be that if you get Dunn in good hitting shape, he would be tradable sheerly because of his power numbers.

              • Kyle

                Soriano is a significantly better defensive outfielder than Dunn. It’s not even close, really.

                Soriano last year slipped below average, barely, for the first time in his career. Dunn is absolutely horrific.

  • JK

    Could we trade for Logan Morrison for a top tier prospect and cash allowing the Marlins to sign Cespedes. `This would give the Marlins a slot to plug in Cespedes and the extra cash to get it done?

    • Brett

      The Marlins reportedly wouldn’t consider trading Morrison in a deal for Gio Gonzalez, so I don’t see it happening for the Cubs (short of Garza, which, nah).

      • DocWimsey

        Also, if people complained about Sori in left, well, then watch LoMo. He’s, uh, special….

        • ferrets_bueller

          Well…he’s a guy who’s a potential plus defender at 1B. He’s simply out of position. Before we traded for Rizzo, LoMo was my top favorite trade target. Kid can hit.

          • DocWimsey

            Oh, yeah, LoMo can rake, no two ways about it. I’ve read various reports from “average” to “above average” about his firstbase skills, but they always are in contrast to the descriptions of his outfield play (thing 3 Stooges routine). However, aren’t the M’s committed to Sanchez there?

            Regardless, LoMo will still put a team ahead in net runs even in left, and add to the comic value of the game.

  • cubsin

    If Cespedes really demands starting and staying on the 25-man roster, he’ll cost himself millions of dollars. If he hits well in AA or AAA, he’ll be promoted soon enough. His contact will run through most or all of his arbitration years anyway, so the only thing that would keep him in the minor leagues very long would be failure to hit or an injury. Plus his contract will likely be structured so his pay while in the minors would be the same as if he were in the big leagues.

    IMHO. the Cubs should offer a hugh ($20-25 million) signing bonus as part of their contract offer. The Marlins might not be able or willing to match that.

  • Mike S

    Check out this quick video I made for the 2012 Cubs!

  • 2much2say

    Why does everyone else have down years but Soriano is on his last legs?
    .299.280 .241 .258 .244 I believe he is great physical shape and has alot in the tank OPS
    .897 .876 .726 .818 .758 last 5 seasons

    • CubFan Paul

      .337, .344, .303, .322, & .289 ..soriano’s OBP as a Cub ..thats not very theo like

    • Brian Myers

      Because, his stolen base totals have been 19, 9, 5 & 2.

      Because his on base percentage has been .344, .303, .322 & .289

      Also because he’s a defensive liability, even when he was in his prime.

      So he’s getting slower, on base less, his range is likely worse and his defense was a liability anyway.

      • die hard

        what if then trade Sori to any AL team willing to have him for 2 single A players and deal provides Cubs pay entire contract of 54 mil unless Sori matches or betters avg of his time with Cubs and if so Cubs’ share goes down proportionally… incentive based contract …if Sori finds new life as DH, Cubs will save some money…if he tanks, they lose nothing …bonus–may strike pay dirt with one or both players rcvd in return?…Im sure Theo has raised this already with AL teams…no takers yet

        • rcleven

          Lets be a little realistic. Owners are in business to make money on their investment or lose as little as possible. Giving away Z was a good solution to a bad situation. Netting a loss of 16.5mm this year(only 1 year). Now everyone wants to see the team eat another 18mm for three years from a player who is not a problem to rest of the team. Yes his skills are diminishing but he is not a problem that Zambrano was. At the present time there is no market for Sorri’s skill set. Only solution I see at this time is to reduce his playing time and to use his skill set to the teams advantage. Starting against left handers , pitch hitting, DHing aginst AL teams. Until a trade partner can be found he will be on this team.

        • Brian Myers

          Actually, the Cubs would lose in the “pay everything” scenario. The A players they would get would likely be fringe major league talent. Soriano still hits the ball hard and will likely be the opening day #4 or #5 hitter. The question of “why does everyone think Sori is on his last legs” is a valid one. But his “last legs” are still better than the alternatives currently on the club. He has more value if they keep him until near the trading deadline or if they can pay all but “X” and save a fairly sizable amount (several million) in cash. They don’t have to get rid of him to get value from him, so they need to also get value for him (talent or financial) should they get rid of him. He’s worth more than a couple of marginal A-ball players

      • Kyle

        I agree with the rest of it, but when Soriano first switched to LF, he was a plus defender there for quite a few years. It’s only in the last year or so that he even became a below average defender out there.

        • DocWimsey

          This gets back to what Bill James wrote 30 years ago: people judge fielders by how pretty they look when they get to the ball and not by how often they get to balls. The latter creates outs, the former doesn’t necessarily do anything.

        • Brian Myers

          I had to look it up, I had forgotten about all the assists he had…. decent numbers for sure!

    • Toosh

      Do you take a “prescription” for glaucoma?

      • TWC

        YES I DO.

        Wait, what?

  • Cubbiecop

    If Cespedes has really insisted on going straight to the major leagues then I seriously want to pass up on him. To me that shows that he is all about himself and not a team player, which is completely against what this team is trying to build. (Zambrano anyone?) He pretty much stunk it up in the dominican league and he thinks he can step right into MLB and produce? MLB pitching would own his ass! We don’t have room for him right now on the roster anyway. I’d much rather have Jackson starting than Cespedes. I believe Solar would be a better fit from what I have read and by the time he hit the majors he would be prepared because of NECESSARY seasoning in the minors.

    How about this? Send Verlander, Halladay, and Lincecum to the dominican and lets see if he would be able to even touch the ball. Sorry, but I think this guy has an attitude issue from what comments I have been reading and he would be a PERFECT fit with Ozzie and Zambrano in Florida.

    Mark my words, if Cespedes starts in MLB this year he will be about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop.

    • HomerSimpson

      Poopy flavored lollipop. Mmmmmmmmmm.

  • Jeremiah

    Could the Cubs trade Sori and 5-6 million/year to the yanks for AJ? Both teams would be getting ride of bad contracts, the cubs get a down starter that could have bounceback year, the yanks get a dh and platoon lf. both could benefit from this move.

    • rcleven

      NY is looking for left handed DH.

    • Brett

      I don’t see why the Cubs would want Burnett at any price.