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Baseball, with its games and players and rumors and trades, is, at its best, a pleasant diversion from an imperfect world. I suppose that’s why I write about baseball, rather than the ugly realities better left to persons more skilled in the craft than I. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the atrocity in Connecticut. I’m leaving soon to go watch my daughter sing and dance at a concert, and I’ll be hugging her twice as hard today.

But, because it is our diversion, we must diverge.

Alfonso Soriano’s name came up quite a bit in talks yesterday, but without any tangible rumors connecting him to other teams. On the one hand, with Josh Hamilton signing with the Angels, it was natural that Cubs fans would want to talk about the Soriano trade market, but Soriano’s name was coming up long before the Hamilton signing, and from non-Cubs-fans. Among the random bits:

  • Soriano No. 1: Jon Heyman tweeted earlier that the Cubs are willing to eat $26 million of the $36 million left on Soriano’s deal in order to get the right prospect, and that all very reasonable given Soriano’s great production last year (Heyman has been banging these twin drums for a long time, and he’s said both of these things before … why did he tweet it again yesterday morning? Just drumming up discussion, or is he hearing things that don’t quite rise to the level of a full report?).
  • Soriano No. 2: Phil Rogers asked – totally unprompted – whether Soriano to the Astros in a deal for Bud Norris could make sense. We heard Wednesday about the Cubs shopping Soriano to the Astros, and the Astros blanching because of the cost (and we never heard any indication that Soriano would consider a trade to a non-competitive team not on the East Coast where he might have to DH (three strikes against the Astros, per Soriano’s stated preferences for a trade (he has no-trade rights))), and I kind of figured that would be it. Why is Phil bringing Soriano back up together with the Astros? And why Bud Norris, specifically? Given the tenuousness here, I’m not going to dig too deeply into Norris as a trade piece – he’s a cheap, 27-year-old (will be 28 in March) modestly effective back of the rotation candidate. Shrug.
  • Soriano No. 3: Rogers also said that Soriano would be a fit for the Rangers, now that Hamilton is gone, but that appears to be speculation that just about anyone could drop in the wake of the signing.
  • Soriano No. 4: The Braves are still looking for a left fielder, which would allow them to slide Martin Prado to third base, but David O’Brien hears the Braves remain uninterested. Still seems like a perfect fit to me: right-handed power bat, short-term deal, very cheap ($5 million per year), and the Braves have surplus pitching to deal. Maybe the Braves don’t think Soriano can handle left field in Atlanta.

I’m not particularly enthused about laying out the implications of the Anibal Sanchez signing, since it wasn’t with the Cubs, but here they are …

  • Yes, Rick Porcello is a near lock to be traded now. There will probably be a great many suitors, given his youth (24 in two weeks) and upside, even if his performances to date have failed to match the enthusiasm, and he’s set to get a healthy bump in arbitration in 2013 (he made $3.1 million in 2012, his first of four arbitration years). I’m sure the Cubs will inquire – indeed, I’m sure they already have. If the Cubs are willing to give up anything of substance, here’s hoping they push for Drew Smyly, rather than Porcello.
  • The Cubs can probably be fairly attached to Edwin Jackson at this point, but only in the sense that they are clearly willing to spend on that kind of pitcher. Sanchez is the superior option, but they are just a few months apart in age, and very close in performance over the past few years. The Padres are rumored to be pursuing Jackson strongly, but might bow out if bidding reaches four or five years and $12 to $13 million per year. It would seem likely that Jackson would, indeed, receive something in that range. You’d like to see the Cubs stick to the four-year, $12 million end of that spectrum, but we’ll have to see how Jackson’s market shakes out – or if the Cubs are even involved.
  • The Red Sox were apparently interested in Sanchez late (possibly even after signing Ryan Dempster), so you can probably include them among the teams looking at the remaining mid-tier starting options.
  • I’d hazard a guess that we’re going to hear an uptick in the name Carlos Villanueva over the next week or so. I’ve written about him quite a bit before.

Random other bits …

  • R.A. Dickey’s continued availability could help the Cubs in the starting pitching market (though it could hurt efforts to shop Matt Garza), if he winds up being traded. Ken Rosenthal thinks Dickey is going to be dealt.
  • Cuban players Aledmys Diaz, a 22-year-old shortstop, and Dariel Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, are now officially free agents. Neither seems like an obvious fit to immediately improve the 2013 Cubs, but they seem happy to dip their toe into the international market wherever they can, so I wouldn’t rule them out just yet. And 2013 might not be the focus at this point anyway. Assuming Diaz waits to sign until he turns 23 next month, neither player will be subject to the international spending limit restrictions.
  • BubblesHargrave

    R.A. Dickey would be awesome. As was pointed out not long ago, even though he’s 38, he has a skill set where he could still pitch another four years. I’m reading his bio right now, so I’m a little biased. But what a leader to have in the clubhouse and on the field. Thanks for the diversion Bret. I almost want to take my son out of public school now. Can’t do anything anymore without fear of getting shot.

  • Chris

    If the Cubs traded for Porcello, it would be like a kick in the pants. The Tigers steal Anibal away from the Cubs then proceed to turn around and trade the pitcher they just replaced to the Cubs as some sort of consolation.

    He has a strong groundball ratio but by golly he gives up lots of hits and walks.

    • Scotti

      Porcello does NOT give up “lots” of walks. On the contrary he has only walked 2.3 per 9 IP over his entire MLB career. He does give up hits (a ton) to be sure but no way on the walks.

      • Chris

        Yeah, that was my bad. I misread his stat chart.

      • A.J.

        Just curious; being a groundball pitcher and all, does the poor defense and fat corner guys add to Porcello’s hit totals?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Some people have advanced that theory, yes.

        • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

          But that would only apply to the past season in terms of the corner infield play, and Porcello has elevated hit totals for his whole career. However, Detroit hasn’t been a good defensive ball club for a while.

          • A.J.

            Gotcha..So maybe he’s been cursed with bad D for a while?

            • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

              Well his starting SS’s have been Johnny Peralta, Ramon Santiago and Adam Everett so it is certainly possible.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                We can test it: have other Tiger starters over the last three-four years had slightly elevated BABIP? Obviously it varies greatly, but I’d be thinking we’d see a bunch of blips over .320/.330.

        • FarmerTanColin

          Fat corner guys that combined for -12.1 Fielding according to fangraphs. Boesch was -12 on his own… Rough.

  • North Side Irish

    I could live with a 4 yr. $50M deal for Jackson in this market. He’s not really exciting, but he’s got the ceiling of a #3 and the floor of a #4. He definitely makes the Cubs rotation better and he’s going to give them innings.

    My little girl started at a Chicago public school this year and stories like today’s terrify me. I went to a high school with metal detectors and a lot of gang activity, but I never even thought about this kind of thing in elementary school. Just makes me feel helpless when you have to be scared to send your child to the first grade.

    And if you haven’t seen it, here’s a picture of the type of weapon that was used today:

    https://twitter.com/MarlowNYC/status/279655599585775616/photo/1

    • itzscott

      I live in NYC, very near where this unimaginable tragedy happened and I’m shaking just thinking about and what would possess even the most twisted mind to assassinate innocent young children in the implied safety of a nurturing school? Unfathomable.

      • bbmoney

        No doubt. The wife is a kindergarten teacher…can’t even imagine.

    • Brian

      Don’t know what the intention is of the pick, but it still comes down to, it’s not the weapon, it’s person using it.
      This is such a tragic ordeal that even prayers are going to struggle to help out all these families.

      • North Side Irish

        Sorry, wasn’t trying to start that debate. It was being reported that this is what he was carrying and I honestly didn’t know what it looked like, so I thought I’d share.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          There are lots of different rifles chambered in .223, not just the tactical looking ones. Not sure if they used an assault rifle or not, but it seems like a good target for looking so sinister.

          Either way the guys that did this need to pay big time. I don’t care what someone is going through, stuff like this should NEVER happen.

        • Brian

          Not debating, just curious, reports said two hand guns(doesn’t really matter in the end), so a lot of information floating around don’t know whats accurate yet.
          Very sad day!

          • Angie

            He had 2 handguns on him. That gun was found in his car. He used a 9mm glach and something else, I don’t remember

      • hansman1982

        Anyone who does this, especially a parent, is not right in the head.

        Give Red Matter to Spock, he saves a galaxy. Give it to Nero, he implodes Vulcan.

    • D.G.Lang

      I graduated from Harrison Tech in Chicago back in 1964. I was there during the race riots of the early 60’s which were started when someone shot a black boy who was walking home from school. The riots lasted for a couple of weeks.

      During that time frame I was living in a small apartment building on Cermak Road and we had gangs of black kids entering the building and trying to get into the individual apartments to assault whoever they could.

      That definately wasn’t a very safe neighborhood to grow up in since it was just inside to boundary which seperated the black neighborhood from the white area of South Lawndale.
      Not knowing better, before the race riots, I used to go to Douglass park north of the tracks when walking around.

      I felt that it was such a shame because the black neighborhood used to be a Jewish neighborhood who moved out. Arthur Goldman the former Supreme Court Justice was a graduate from Harrison many years ago along with another famous son Benny Goodman the famous Jazz Clarinetist.

      I was in the concert band at Harrison back in 1962 when the high school had it’s 50th year anniversary and Benny Goodman returned to the school and performed on stage with the band during it’s annual spring concert. During the 1930s the band had a reputation as one of the nations very best high school bands and had won a few National Band contests which were very major affairs once upon a time.

      In fact it was because of the school’s band history that I became very involved in music in general and upon graduation I enlisted in the U.S.Army for the Great 5th Army Band at Ft Sheridan IL.

      Unfortunately, time marches on and Ft Sheridan was closed down and the 5th Army is now the ‘Northern command’ in charge of national defense and the great Harrison Tech was made into a middle school while another neighborhood school (Farragut) was greatly expanded.

      • True(ly) Blue

        D.G. It is strange to talk to a graduate of Harrison High. I was assigned to Harrison as the principal in 1976. A very interesting school as it was half black and half Hispanic with a few white kids mixed in when I was there. Actually the racial makeup was pretty good as it was about 50/50. When a school is 70/30 in either direction it becomes more unstable and thus more volatile. Unfortunately I was also charged with closing the school in 1983. Very difficult for every one, students, teachers and principal. I have many great memories of students and faculty.
        I was then and still am a Cub fan. Go Cubs and Harrison alumni!

        • True(ly) Blue

          DG. Forgot to say that we had an excellent band and orchestra during my time at Harrison. Not my doing but the result of dedicated teachers. Very difficult as most of the kids first music lessons came as freshmen band or orchestra students.

          • D.G.Lang

            The Music program was always outstanding, especially the choirs under Harris Bergh during the 60s. It could be said that I majored in music during high school, I had two periods a day in concert band, 1 per day in brass instruction, 1 per for ROTC/ROTC band, and I spent my study periods and lunch periods in the band room. I was also in the orchestra.

            When I cut classes, they always knew where I was, in the band room naturally.

            I greatly appreciated the technical classes, especially drafting, electric shop, woodshop, and foundry because it gave me a chance to work with my hands and not just sit there.

            When I got in the Army after auditioning for the 5th Army band, I was sent to the U.S.Navy School of Music which at that time was equivilent to a three year college course in music harmony, theory, performance, etc condensed into a 6 month time frame. Thanks to my Harrison Tech background I scored the highest incoming audition they had experienced up to that time from a tuba player.

            While in the Army, I also played trumpet and french horn.

            Harrison was the perfect school for me because they had enough to keep me interested.

        • D.G.Lang

          Harrison Tech was once one of the best schools in the country as evidenced by some of it’s famous grads but when the neighborhood north of there went black, the school went downhill.

          The previous residents north of the school were Jews with very high moral, religious and ethical standards. when they moved out, other groups without the family and social ties moved in.

          I lived south of there in the South Lawndale (Little Village) area at Cermak and Troy. There were still many good students from Little Village area while I was attending.

      • True(ly) Blue

        DG. Last comment, I swear! You probably had Dr. Joe Ewald as you band teacher in the 60’s. He was an Assistant Principal in the years that I was a Harrison. He retired in the the early 1980’s having a perfect attendance record from kindergarten though high school, college and his teaching career. Amazing, eh? BB

        • D.G.Lang

          He was the asst principle at that time also.

          Capt John Barabash was the band director for my first year when Benny Goodman came back, he was also the director during the 30s when they were winning all of the titles while Goodman was a student there.

          Otto was the director before Barabash and Webb was after. My last director was Orlando Leonardo Gagliardi who I had a great friendship with. I even kept in touch after I got out of the army.

        • D.G.Lang

          If I remember correctly, Barabash was the director in the 30s and he was followed by Ewald as the director. I don’t know if there was anyone between them.

          Barabash left Harrison to be the director at Wright Junior college where he finally retired from. Ewakld also had an excellent record as Harrison’s band director. I believe that he played a French Horn.

          • D.G.Lang

            Ewakld – Ewald.

            I apologise to everyone for using too much bandwidth in replies, Dan

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    I really don’t understand why $5 mil a year for Soriano seems like such a bad deal to other teams.

    • Chris

      I don’t either. There seems to be a lot of Soriano hate for a guy who improved his defense considerably last year (I don’t even get nervous when a ball is hit to him now!) and had darn good numbers to boot.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

        I think it’s more that the Cubs expect a legitimate return for him, and other teams still have options on the FA market that won’t cost them any players in return.

  • itzscott

    Porcello, Norris, Bourjos, etc….Why does it seem like so many people are willing to settle for the crumbs left behind by other teams instead of patiently waiting for the Cubs to finish preparing their main course?

  • BD

    Isn’t it a foregone conclusion that the Cuban players will sign with the Dodgers?

    • Chad78

      I don’t know if you were trying to be funny BD, but thanks for the laugh. Oh and I agree.

      • BD

        Unfortunately, both funny and realistic. Oh well…

  • Justin

    SO the Braves think their OF is worse then trying to play OF in Wrigley? “Maybe the Braves don’t think Soriano can handle left field in Atlanta.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Wrigley’s outfield definitely presents some unique difficulties, but it isn’t terribly spacious unless you range into the wells (which Soriano doesn’t really).

  • True(ly) Blue

    I don’t think that paying all but $5 million a year of Soriano’s salary for a prospect and putting a AAA player in left makes the Cubs a better team. I haven’t been a great Sorie booster in the past but I have to give him credit for working hard to improve his game at a very late date in his career and having a very good year. Keep him unless you can get a starting pitcher.

    I am a retired Chicago Public School High School principal. In today’s world and after this awful shooting in Conn. i would seriously consider carrying a gun if I were still working.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think the plan – especially in light of the Sanchez efforts – probably would have been to deal Soriano, and somehow pick up a quality outfielder (FA or trade).

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Yeah I don’t see any team giving up a quality SP for Sori. And I think teams are worried that last year was a fluke, I know I would be.

    • md8232

      “I am a retired Chicago Public School High School principal. In today’s world and after this awful shooting in Conn. i would seriously consider carrying a gun if I were still working.”….

      You would be breaking the law in most if not all States.
      That said, You would walk free if I was a Juror.

      • EQ76

        agreed man.. my wife’s a teacher and I have 2 young kids.. this whole story breaks my heart to hear.

    • MikeL

      If we gave every teacher a gun it would not make a difference….there would still be mass shootings and mass killings. Do you think that a shooter wouldn’t have body armor on if they knew that every teacher had a gun? The problem can be solved be improving mental health services (and yes, that means paying higher taxes) or we need much, much, MUCH stronger gun control…..it has to be one or the other.

      • dob2812

        Or a combination of the two?

      • Frank

        As an administrator in a community mental health center, I have to agree. Recent studies show, 1) therapy does work, 2) early identification and intervention are crucial, and 3) every dollar spent on prevention saves $17 in later costs on things such as incarceration.

  • Drew

    Why is extending Garza such a bad thing when we are looking at similar pitchers (Sanchez, Jackson) to fill the rotation? What are his Demands? Isn’t he worth a 5 year 75-80 Million contract? Or does that fall way short of his expectations?

    Zambrano? Do you think he feels any humility with what he has gone through in the last year+? He’s only 31, why isn’t anyone giving him any consideration? (I did not follow Miami Baseball last year, was he hurt?)

    • Carew

      He wasnt hurt, he was just bad

    • Chris

      If they end up signing another decent starter, they might look at Garza as a potential flip-and-resign candidate. If they don’t, I could see them trying to extend him. The chances of resigning him are slim if they trade him, seeing as he’s one of the top 2 FA pitchers next offseason.

    • Clark Addison

      Z is 30 years old but his arm is 60.

      and his head is 10.

      • Richard Nose

        Brilliantly put.

  • Dumpgobbler

    Brett, hot or cold on Peter Bourjos from the angels?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I love the possibility of a Gold Glover in center field, but I’m not sure the bat ever becomes worthwhile. I wouldn’t want to give up great value for him.

      • Dumpgobbler

        Well I’m just sitting here wondering if a Marmol + cash wouldn’t work. I doubt it would but I’d be all for that.

        • terencemann

          The Angels are trying to use Bourjos and/or Trumbo for starting pitching, such as RA Dickey. The only reason they were interested in Marmol was probably so they could get something for Haren before he was gone.

          • Dumpgobbler

            I disagree here. I think they were legit on Marmol. IIRC they we’re willing to take on almost all of his salary.

            • terencemann

              The Angels already signed Madson and there’s this quote from Dipoto about relief pitching:

              “While starting pitchers have track records and you have a pretty good idea of what you’re going to get out of position players in terms of production, in the bullpen that is akin to going to Las Vegas and throwing it all down on double-zero green,” Dipoto said late in the 2012 season. “There’s smart and there’s stupid. That definitely leans toward the latter.”

              http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-30/news/sns-rt-bbo-angels-team-reportsx6d0a3a1-20121129_1_general-manager-jerry-dipoto-los-angeles-angels-bullpen

              • FFP

                Best post I’ve read all day. Thanks, Terrance. Can I buy you a beer?

                I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader. I want them to start thinking for themselves.

                • FFP

                  Dipoto’s quote is memorable and largely true. But exceptions are out there. Mariano and his cutter in his best years, for example.

      • Stevie B

        Sounds juuuuust like Brett Jackson…..Lets trade for him! Oh, wait….

        • Dumpgobbler

          Brett Jackson and Peter Bourjos aren’t very similiar at all if thats what you’re getting at..

          • terencemann

            I hope the Cubs have heard what Toronto is offering for Dickey and they’re on the phone right now with Alderson talking about Jackson + for him.

            • Patrick G

              For Dickey? I hope thats sarcasm

          • Stevie B

            Brett said gold glove in center but wasn’t sure bat would ever come around. Ok… You got me. If that’s not B Jax then who the hell us it then ???

            • Dumpgobbler

              I view Bourjos as a Szczur that panned out awesome. Great speed, great glove. Questionable bat. Jackson has much better tools. He has a great eye. Jackson has much better power. Hes an average defender at CF, and probably an above average at a corner OF spot. He has severe contact problems.

              Think about it this way: Bourjos is like Bourn.
              Jackson is like Drew Stubbs. Or an extremely poor mans Jim Edmonds.

  • Spriggs

    Brett,
    Thanks for “diverging”.

    If they are going to go after Jackson, IMO now would be the time if they really want him.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    I have written before about Garza being an AL pitcher because of his poor fielding (bunts) & his non-existent hitting ability. This is why we should use him as trade bait to Texas & get Olt 3B & a minor league pitcher Font for Garza & Vitters.
    Then we should focus on signing FA pitcher Edwin Jackson who hit a robust .228 for the Nats last year & is also an excellent defender & athlete as well. I’d offer him at least 4 years at $50 million & put him in the rotation. He has also been very healthy his entire career & is not a idiot sitting on the bench like Garza is when he is not pitching.
    Having lost a child to illness – not violence – my heart & my prayers goes out to all the families who lost their innocent young babes in todays tragedy. Let’s all take a minute tonight to tell all our loved ones how much they mean to us & how much they are loved.

    • Melrosepad

      Just wondering, but why would he be an AL style pitcher because of his poor fielding?

      • FarmerTanColin

        Less sacrifice bunts to field? A guess.

    • Frank

      Lou brock lives–Though I wouldn’t know you if you were in the room with me now, I was sorry to read of your loss. Having no children myself, I cannot even imagine what one goes through when losing one to illness or violence; but it must create a helplessness and despair beyond belief. My prayers and thoughts go to all who have lost their children, and to those affected by today’s senseless tragedy.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      amen

  • RoughRiider

    I am truly at a loss for words. I don’t understand, and never will, what can lead a person to do a thing like going on a shooting rampage and kill innocent people. It’s much worse when it’s children. I can only surmise that this was a torchered soul. One who will now spend an eternity in hell for what he has done.

    Most of us are touched in some way when something like this happens. Hug your kids tonight and be grateful. The victims and their families will get my prayers. I hope that most of you will do the same.

    • cheryl

      And mine. These kids will probably never be the same after this.I don’t know these kids or their parents but it brought tears to my eyes when I heard. God take care of them!

  • North Side Irish

    I’m predicting that if the Cubs sign another starting pitcher they won’t announce the signing until he takes the mound in Spring Training.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Statistically with the DH & Moneyball theory in existence bunting has almost gone the way of the dinosaur in the AL – therefore Garza not as likely to have to see many bunts.
    Just read that Pads are talking to Tigers about deal for Porcello – let’s get the Cubs involved with that deal. Cubs trade Marmol & cash to Tigers, Pocello to padres, & we get Gyorko 3B from S.D.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I’d love to get Gyorko. I’d even throw in a mid-prospect for that to happen!

  • Danny B

    Now is a good time to pounce for the Cubs. I’m reading how the Angels have too many outfielders (sounds familiar to their 6 man 1B scenario last year), so Trumbo and Bourjos are available. What about Garza for Trumbo? Throw in prospects on either side to even out the deal, and then we have someone who could replace Soriano when he is traded. Is this feasible? Would LA want Samardzija instead? Cuz then I would hesitate.

    • Justin

      3 way team deal that sends Soriano to Philly or Houston then flip those prospects for Trumbo and Garza to LA. The Cubs are not going to get a big time prospects they are hoping for and I feel they are going to hold on to him too long and he is going to have a “normal” Soriano season to where we can’t trade him at all.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    I know this is a sports site and is used for chatting about sports but I have to take a second to say a word about todays horrible news.

    I woke up today and immediately went to BN to see a Sanchez update. First thing I see is Sanchez doesnt sign. Am I suprised? No. Am I sad. Yes… Then I turn to fox news and see this horrible tragedy in CT…

    Tragedies like this truely make me feel terrible that I actually feel sad when the Cubs don’t make a signing or the Bears lose a game. Losing out on a FA is not a reason to be sad. The slaying of 25+ people is. Tragedies like these really put things into perspective. My thoughts and prayers go out to all effected.

    • D.G.Lang

      I agree.

      I started to write a much longer reply but erased it cause it got so long. Let me simply say that the tragedy we are watching is only one of many severe problems the world is facing.

      Even though Chernobyl happened so many years ago, there are still hundreds of thousands in not millions of people still being affected by it with those in their teen years now suffering from an abundance of thyroid cancers. There are still many birth defects occuring as well and these are as heart breaking as today’s shootings.

      I can only pause and thank God that I have been fortunate to have been born and raised here in America and I don’t have to face all the problems going on throughout the world.

      I have learned long ago to not dwell on the things that I can not help but to do the good that I am capable of doing and restrain myself from critizing others or leading others to do that criticism.

      Sad to say that lately there has been so much criticism and blasting of Cubs management and ascribing wrong motivation to the owners and management here lately that I feel that we all should stand back and look for the good and not ascribe evil to everyone elses motives or actions.

  • Whiteflag

    Mine as well.

  • Justin

    I am glad the Cubs are staying away from Dickey. He won the Cy Young and now thinks he can run anything. Potential Blue Jays deal could happen and he says he wont agree to extend with them. I mean come on you’re 37-38, you don’t have much time left and staying with the Mets is not the answer. They are not going anywhere by the time you retire, at least go to the Jays for a possible post season team.

  • DarthHater

    Sheesh! What a boring day! I think we could all use a good Cubs roster-move rumor!

    • Chris

      I thought the Funyuns-to-Cubs rumors were something we could really get our teeth into.

      • DarthHater

        That rumor gives me heartburn.

  • JR

    Just heard on mlb network before the Angels owner Moreno made the offer he told Hamilton and his agent if they left the room the deal was off the table. I don’t like the Hamilton’s contract in the slightest, but seems like that is the way to do business…

    • DarthHater

      yep

    • Spriggs

      What if they both had to poop? Or if they got inappropriate – Breaking Bad type personal phone calls (very possible with Hamilton)?

      • DarthHater

        Sign. Then poop.

        • Spriggs

          Could make for a messy signing.

          • JR

            Whatever it takes to get the job done Spriggs. Maybe mention taking bathroom breaks before they presen the offer?

          • Internet Random

            Literal LOL… it was a chuckle, but it was audible.

  • daveyrosello

    1. Sign Marcum (if contract length < 4 years)
    2. Sign Bourn (if contract length < 4 years)
    3. Sign Adams or Valverde (1 year + option)
    4. Trade DeJesus for a low top-10ish prospect
    5. Keep Soriano
    6. Keep Marmol (for now)
    7. Keep Garza (for now)
    8. Use the waiver wire or unwanted veteran FAs to find a utility IF and a reserve OF that can also play some backup 1B.
    9. ??
    10. Profit

    • Patrick G

      If you get some interest and good deal you send Soriano packing. His trade value is higher than it will ever be. But of course if people are low balling the FO, of course keep him

  • Justin

    So just read article on ESPN and it was saying Dodger’s payroll could be over 230 million in 2013-2014. WT*? That is the reason baseball is going to have a salary cap because of stupid spending by teams. The Yankees have always been around 200 mil and the Angels I am sure are creeping up there. They just ahve too much money to throw around and are saying they could sign Kershaw for more then 30 mil/yr!! What do you do with that much money?

    • Patrick G

      Isn’t there a tax threshold teams will have to pay next season for being over 189 mil? I live in NY and all I hear is that they are quiet this winter because they want to keep next years salary under that number

      • Internet Random

        Yup.

    • Internet Random

      People with that kind of cheddar seem to favor boats.

    • gutshot5820

      People only look at the payroll and never look at the business aspect. For one the Dodgers owners are trying to bring a championship to their city. Two, they are trying to get people to pay an extra $6 a month on their cable bill for their new TV deal and they obviously need to buy a credible team in order to do that. Three, their owners are so wealthy I feel as long as they break even, they must be willing to do whatever they can to bring a winner to LA.

      I wish they were our owners, albeit with Theo running the show.

      • terencemann

        I wish the Cubs had a recent MVP and Cy Young on the roster, too.

  • Justin

    Yea I can’t remember the amount they have to be under, but when you have a massive TV deal I am sure they arn’t too worried about it. That’s why it is unfair for smaller teams as they dont get these mega tv deals.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    From MLBTR:”The Rangers have indicated they would trade Mike Olt and Cody Buckel for Dickey, Andy Martino reports (on Twitter). That said, the Blue Jays still appear to be in the lead for the NL Cy Young winner.”

    Hmm…

    • Patrick G

      Ken Rosenthal responded that this was not true:

      Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
      Source: #Rangers no longer involved in Dickey talks. And did not offer Olt and Buckel to #Mets.

  • Justin

    If Dickey goes to the Jay’s I will not take him in fantasy baseball. I just dont see any sucess there. I do see him improving their pitching a little bit though.

    1. Jays
    2. Yankees( wont be there much longer if they keep signing older players)
    3. Orioles
    4. Rays
    5. Red Sox

    My prediction for AL East

  • MightyBear

    I’d like to see the Cubs get Porcello but not give too much up for him. If the Jays get Dickey, do they have any extra starters to trade for? I guess it depends on who they give up for Dickey.

  • 2much2say

    Soriano is worth more to the Cubs. He finally stayed healthy all year while being used masterfully by Sveum. Look for other solutions. Keep your leader on and off the field.

  • Galvan316

    MLB Network just had a “Offseason” Shopping segment on the Cubs:

    #1 Need Starting Pitcher

    Larry Bowa Suggested – Kyle Lohse
    Dave Valle? Suggested- Edwin Jackson

    #2 Outfielder

    Bowa – Trade Soriano to Texas for Mike Olt and Sign FA Michael Borne
    Valle- Trade Soriano to Boston for Jacoby Elsbury

    #3 Third Baseman

    Bowa – Mike Olt from the Alfonso Soriano deal mentioned above
    Valle – Sign FA Placido Polanco

    Dave Valle is on some sort of drug with the Jacoby deal. I like the idea of Kyle Loshe however

    • The Show

      With the loss of Hamilton and him going to the Angels of all teams, is most likely going to make the Rangers go after and overspend on a big OF bat. I think Soriano fits perfectly over there, hitters ball-park, he can play some left and DH all this for $10 Million for 2 years! It might be a lstretch to get Olt out of it but they can try.

      • Njriv

        Sorry about above, The Show is my brothers account and I forgot to change my username back before hitting submit.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    They are sniffing glue. I’m certain the Cubs would swallow all of Soriano’s salary to do that. What a freakin joke. Bowa and Valle need to put the tester’s glue down….

    • Galvan316

      I like Kyle Lohse a helluva lot better then Edwin Jackson though.

      • daveyrosello

        Kyle Lohse. Former Cubs draft pick. Traded away for Rick Fucking Aguilera. God that guy was a nozzle.

        That said, Lohse is 34 yo and coming off a career year, the only time he has ever posted an ERA+ better than 120. Do not want. Instead, Marcum just turned 31 yo today. He’s posted an ERA+ over 110 and an ERA under 3.70 every year since 2007. He even has an injury history, so that is sure to get Theo’s panties all wet. I kid. Kinda.

        Finally, you’ve got Jackson, who’s just 29, and posts an ERA+ right around 100 on average, though with high variance. He’s never posted a WHIP under 1.20. His numbers suggest he’s an over-glorified #5 starter, who in his good years can emulate a legitimate #4. Meh.

        For me, Marcum should be Theo and Jed’s fallback option, I hope they sign him to a reasonable deal.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Guys with a 100 ERA+ are, by definition, not number 5 starters.

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