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It’s the final day of the Winter Meetings, which is usually among the more quiet days (though last year at this time, the Angels were signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson). The Rule 5 Draft is coming up at 9am CT, but there are some rumor bits to cover from the overnight period, particularly in light of the Cubs’ move in the outfield …

  • On the Nate Schierholtz signing, it is a reasonable assumption that the Cubs are looking at him as a nominal starter in right field (as part of a platoon), but both Paul Sullivan and Gordon Wittenmyer hear that the Cubs might not be done shopping in the outfield. Imagine that: a $2.25 million signing isn’t going to block the Cubs from continuing to see what’s available in the outfield …
  • Indeed, here’s a prediction for you on the outfield, and how things will probably play out: the Cubs will say publicly that Schierholtz is expected to be the starter in right field. Meanwhile, they will wait out the outfield market, hanging around the periphery, ready to pounce in late January/early February if any quality options are still hanging around looking for a job, and get desperate on a short-term deal.
  • Until then, though, yes, you’re going to hear about Schierholtz being the starter in right field. It turns out that he was a highly-desirable free agent – the Rays, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, and Mets all had interest – and there are rumors out there that the Rays made an even better bid for Schierholtz than did the Cubs. If true, it’s all the more reason to expect the Cubs to say that he’s expected to be their starting right fielder – most, if not all, of those other teams were likely looking at him as a bench bat.
  • On that Bruce Levine-led rumor about the Cubs talking to Ryan Dempster last night, each of Patrick Mooney, Paul Sullivan, and Gordon Wittenmyer quickly poo-poo’d it, with the latter saying the meetings have been a mere courtesy, and that reports of negotiations “grossly misrepresent” the nature of the meetings.
  • The Cubs have apparently told Carlos Marmol that he will open the season as the team’s closer (eh – I still say if the right deal comes along, they won’t wait), but cautioned him that he should be prepared to be shopped at the trade deadline.
  • Paul Sullivan hears that Mark Reynolds is still on the Cubs’ radar at third base after they missed out on Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez yesterday. He’s rumored to be looking for a deal comparable to what he made last year ($7.5 million). Of course, given the state of the third base market, he might actually somehow top that. (Then again, a number of teams might not believe he can play third base anymore.)
  • Lefty starter John Lannan, who feels like a good target for the Cubs, has received interest from upwards of 11 teams.
  • Ken Rosenthal offers the latest on that possible huge trade involving Justin Upton, Asdrubal Cabrera, the Diamondbacks, the Indians, and the Rangers. Relatedly, if the Rangers land Upton, they’ll probably go nuts for Zack Greinke, which would then push Josh Hamilton to sign – reportedly – with Seattle. In other words, a big trade like this could set a huge number of wheels in motion.
  • Cedlandrum

    I think you have to pass on Reynolds. Dude is a butcher. Love the potential power though.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Seems like an AL team would be willing to offer him more money.

      • Kubphan82

        I was thinking AL only, while keeping “outside the box or 3B” in the back of my mind. If others don’t consider him for 3B, perhaps the Cubs saw enough film to think they can assist him in improving in 3B (just enough) to allow his offensive skillet to be an impact…

        He’ll have Castro’s wicked good range cutting down on the balls he’d have to reach….

  • Kyle

    Only 39 minutes until Rebuilding World Series, aka the Rule 5 Draft.

  • mister_rob

    Well someone like swisher or bourne wont be left desperate for a job come Feb. So even if the cubs arent done shopping in the OF, anybody left to sign wont be any better than Nate

    In a related note, have you looked at next winter’s FA OFers? Its worse than this years. And the 3b list looks almost identical to this years

  • Kyle

    I’d really rather pass on Reynolds. He almost literally gives back everything on defense that he gets you on offense, and I don’t trust TTO guys to not just suddenly forget how to hit one day.

    Unless the FO thinks the coaching staff thinks the FO can do some magic to get his defense up to “acceptably terrible.”

    • CubFan Paul

      You’d rather have Ian Stewart.

      • TheCubsFanFormerlyKnownAsJeff

        Yes, rather than having no one but Valbuena which looks like what might happen.

      • Kyle

        Stewart for $2 million or Reynolds for $7.5 or more that he gets in a bid war?

        Ick, that’s tough. If the Stewart savings means we spend the savings on pitching, I’d go for Stewart. Maybe we’d get lucky and he’d get his wrist injury early and we would have just wasted his money and not too much playing time before giving it to Valbuena.

    • ssckelley

      Hearing the Cubs in the mix for Reynolds makes me wonder if the FO is in panic mode after losing out on Keppinger and Chavez. Signing Reynolds goes against everything the type of players the FO said they want playing for the Cubs.

      They are better off offering Stewart a minor league deal or go into spring training having Vitters, Valbuena, and Lake competing for the starting job.

  • Cub Fan Dan

    Meanwhile, they will wait out the outfield market, hanging around the periphery, ready to pounce in late January/early February if any quality options are still hanging around looking for a job, and get desperate on a short-term deal.

    Brett
    I’m glad they are taking their time this year. Of course I would have like to see a player like Victorino, Pagan, or Bourn in CF in 2013, but I’m glad they are not jumping on those deals right now & not getting stuck with a deal they regret come 2015.

    Do you remember the movie “Colors” where Robert Duval tells the story of the 2 bulls on the knoll? The baby bull says “Hey Dad, lets go run down to the pasture & f*** one of those sheep” & the father bull says “No son. Lets WALK down, & f*** them ALL.” Every time I think about the approach this organization is taking, that story pops into my mind.

  • ichabod

    at this point you have to sign ian stewart for your 3 bagger. reynolds at that price is way too much. also, as we all know stewarts D is his value, but potentially he can swing the lumber, so take the flyer on him and maybe platoon him with valbuena, who i like, and maybe he finally pans out for the cubs this year, injury free.

  • Believe in 2015

    Tim crabbe and Miguel Celestino look solid with high upside. This is assuming that the Astros take Lara #1

  • http://www.bleachernation.com ZachCubs82

    I really hope we do not trade Soriano until the July deadline. We could be hurting for some offensive pop! I would be on board for signing Reynolds, because of his power. I understand the frustration of the Cubs fans right now, as I was hoping for more from the front office. I understand the front office is building for the future, but I want to see the team we have now as competitive. Losing is never fun, nor is watching a losing team. I will say this; the Cubs did play hard last year, and I think that did have a lot to do with the players work ethic and what Dale expects. Hopeful for a successful year!

  • Walter Sobchak

    Reynolds 2 @ 15????? At third base….. Yes plz with a 4 5 6 of Rizzo sori and Reynolds …… That could easily be 90 hrs from those guys

  • Fastball

    Maybe we should just go with a complete youth movement at the MLB level. The Oriioles and Nat’s have done it and it worked out for them. Bring up Jackson, Lake, Vitters, Soler, Baez. Put Lake in RF ( he has a hose for an arm), Put Baez at Third Base, Soler in LF, Jackson in CF, Vitters can be our utility 3B, 1B, and corner OF back up guy. Kinda like DeRosa. Leave them all in the lineup everyday and forget about it. They are gonna suck at times but who really cares. I say just bring them up and let them play until they get figured out. They have the talent and they will evolve. If we are going to trade Soriano then just do it. Get a pitcher and move on. Just knowing this lineup was going to be on tv everyday would make me watch every game this year. I would love to just watch them play and get better. Ricketts could market the hell out of this team and say this is your Cubs team for the next 5 years. Except we have Almora coming and a few others.

    Lineup:

    Baez 3b
    Castro SS
    Rizzo, 1B
    Soler, LF
    Lake, RF
    Jackson, CF
    Castillo, C
    Barney, 2B

    • Lou

      I said this yesterday and Brett said he couldn’t accept a payroll of $30 million. Yet, the Rays look to have this approximately this season and will be the head of the pack IMO in the AL East.

  • Tremendous Slouch

    How nice would Chase Headly look at 3B right now? There were several trade rumors
    connecting the Cubs to him over the past two seasons… What would the cost have been? Any regrets we didn’t push harder to get him? More importantly, what would it take now, if available?

  • rbreeze

    I like the patience the FO has shown here. Yes it would have been sweet to sign some big name guys but they are doing the right thing. I am sure the Grienke is holding a lot of potential deals for a lot of teams. The Cubs have some moves on hold just waiting for the dam to break. If not this week then maybe by Christmas. Schierholtz is an OK signing. A seasoned major leaguer. A lot of moves still to be made before opening day.
    How many more days until the opener?

  • cheryl

    Not much change. Looks like another sub-500 season again.

  • Deez

    Man, I hate we missed out on Chavez!
    I think he’s going to have a wonderful season w/ the D’Backs!

  • BD

    Is there anybody left for Bourn besides the Cubs? Realistically I only see a couple spots:

    TEX – wants Upton, fall back to Hamilton (maybe Bourn is Plan C?)
    SEA – wants Hamilton (maybe Bourn is Plan B?)
    NYY – haven’t resigned Ichiro or Swisher, may trade Granderson as well
    NYM – may or may not have enough money, def could use OF upgrade

    The rest of baseball either has a CF or not enough money. Right?

    • DocPeter Wimsey

      I would bet on the Phil’s signing Bourn. They supposedly were #2 in the BJ sweepstakes.

      • King Jeff

        I don’t see them going after Bourn after getting Ben Revere. From what I see, they need a corner outfielder, and preferably a power bat who would come relatively cheap.

        • MightyBear

          Unless they’re going to trade Revere to the Cubs for Soriano and then sign Bourn. That would be good with me.

          • King Jeff

            Sounds good, get Amaro on the phone.

      • MightyBear

        They just traded for Revere. They’re not going to sign Bourn.

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