Yesterday was a rough day. From the frivolous disappointment of the Cubs losing out on Anibal Sanchez to the infinitely more serious heartbreak in Connecticut – and the way the latter recast our feelings about the former – it was just an ugly day. But I’m sure we all loved our loved ones just a little bit more. So at least there’s that.

Now we move on, back to the frivolous. I’ll have more on the Sanchez signing, and the Cubs’ pitching plans now that he’s off the board later today.

  • Some 40-man roster news: Gordon Wittenmyer reports that Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim, assuming his deal becomes official, will not be added to the 40-man roster immediately. As I’d suspected, it sounds like that’s something that can be negotiated, and Lim agreed that he would not have to be added until he was healthy enough to pitch for the Cubs (recall, he’s coming off a second Tommy John surgery in July). With the 40-man spot opened up by the Jeff Beliveau DFA, the Cubs have officially added Ian Stewart back to the 40-man (which stands at 40). We’re still waiting on the Nate Schierholtz signing to become official, which I’ll continue to assume is just a matter of the Cubs’ roster issues – not a problem with the signing or with his physical. But, hey, that’s always possible.
  • It looks like the Phillies are on the verge of landing reliever Mike Adams, in whom the Cubs had interest. It would be the second veteran late-inning reliever the Cubs have whiffed on in the last few weeks (Jason Grilli being the first), which is something of a double bummer – it further reduces the potential market for Carlos Marmol in trade (though the Phillies haven’t really been rumored as a possible Marmol connection, so, Adams going there could have the opposite effect), and it reduces the Cubs’ ability to shop him by virtue of having a fully-stocked bullpen. Quality late-inning options are flying off the board, and the Cubs may now have to look at an expensive younger option like J.P. Howell (a lefty), or reclamation closer types like Jose Valverde or … gulp … Brian Wilson. Adams’ deal with the Phillies, per Tim Brown of Yahoo, is expected to be for two years and a vesting option. (UPDATE: Reports say Adams is getting $6 million per year in that deal, which means the Phillies must be certain his surgery was a success. Pretty steep commitment.)
  • Speaking of on-the-verge-of deals, the Blue Jays appear to be on the verge of landing R.A. Dickey from the Mets for a package of prospects, which might include top catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud. I’m still thinking about the implications, as they’re sometimes difficult to know in advance (for example: the Tigers tried to acquire James Shields, and, had they landed him rather than the Royals, the Cubs probably would have just signed Anibal Sanchez – but we certainly weren’t thinking of that back when the Shields deal went down). The obvious ones are: the higher price the Blue Jays pay, the better; maybe the move makes the other teams in the AL East more desperate to add an arm or a bat (which could help the Cubs in trade, but hurt them in free agency); it would definitely take the Blue Jays out of the Carlos Villanueva market.
  • Matt Garza once again tweeted that his throwing session – his third this week – went swimmingly. It occurs to me that Garza is developing a patter of first tweeting that he’s about to go throw, and then subsequently tweeting that it went well. One of these days, he’s going to tweet that he is headed out to throw, and then fail to tweet a follow-up that it went well … and we’re all going to panic.
  • Kerry Wood and his wife Sarah participated yesterday in a program that presented local kids at Nash Elementary School with coats, gloves, and, of course, toys. It made everyone’s day, and the timing probably couldn’t have been more perfect.
  • Some Winter League performance updates from Vine Line. Obviously the likelihood of becoming a productive big leaguer for the first time at age 28 is very low, but I’m intrigued by Yoanner (sometimes Yoannis) Negrin’s performance last year in Mexico, and this year in Venezuela. He’s been dominant in results, if not necessarily peripherals. He was a Cuban defector last year, so this upcoming season might be his first real shot to show what he can do in pro ball (AAA?). Again: not saying there’s much there, but it’s interesting. Could wind up being one of those guys who seems like he comes out of nowhere.
  • LouCub

    Brett, isn’t it insane to give up top prospects for a friggin 37 year old knuckleballer??? I don’t care if he won the CY Young or was an ALL STAR 2 years ago, he’s friggin 37!!!! That’s too high of a price….I’m still sick to my stomach about Sanchez but even sicker finding out thru Kap that the Cubs had a deal in place for Garza when he hurt his elbow including Mike Olt!! That just blows!!!

    • sdcoddi

      you got a link for that kaplan article?

      • Eric

        It wasn’t just Olt, it was Olt, Perez +. I’ll let someone else dig up the article it is months old.

        • King Jeff

          Someone’s going to have to post the link to that article. The only connection I can find is Kaplan saying that the Cubs would probably have Olt if Garza hadn’t gotten injured at the deadline. I see zero mention of Perez, or of a deal being agreed to before the injury. Most of Kaplan’s Garza rumors I’ve seen have been about the Tigers. So, if anyone can find any articles saying Perez and Olt were going to be traded for Garza, then I’d like to see it if it’s not too much trouble.

    • Mac

      I don’t think it’s crazy. Knuckleballers can pitch longer than your average starting pitcher. The Jays are going for it now and Gose and D’Arnaud are blocked on the Major league roster by arencibia and Rasmus. A rotation of Dickey, Johnson, Buehrle, Romero, and Morrow is ridiculously good

    • Westbound Willie

      Top prospects is an oxy moron.

      • Brett

        mike trout

        “Cool story, bro.”

        • Sircub

          Boom, Trout’d.

          • TonyP

            they all don’t turn into Trout my friends….

  • Brian cubs fan

    Not worth it for a 34 year old 2 years at 12 mil and a vesting option for a 3rd if he was a few years younger it would make sense but their are still bullpen guys out their that will take a 1 or 2 year deal

  • LouCub

    Screw Mike Adams, I would have liked him too but not on that kind of deal and a 3rd year vesting option?? No thanks…I really don’t see why Philly wouldn’t pull a trigger on a Soriano trade for Dom Brown….It’s obvious they’re playing all in for 2013-14 , it makes too much sense not to do it!!

    • Westbound Willie

      Soriano is 37 and terrible.

      • myporsche

        Just like ur mom

        • Brett

          Well that’s not cool. Let’s not do that.

        • Sircub

          I doubt her UZR is as good as Fonzy’s, but she might have the plate discipline to make up for it…

          • Featherstone

            Because she’s so good at taking balls?

            • Njriv

              Oh man.

  • Nate

    Thank you for bringing perspective to the Sanchez disappointment. All things considered, a lot worse things could happen than your favorite team not signing a player.

    • Troy

      Ditto. I was so focused on twitter and Sanchez and every refresh rumors of baseball were slowing as rumors of a shooting began to take shape. Really helps put things in perspective.

  • cheryl

    The best advice now is to wait until the deal is signed, sealed and delivered before we come to any conclusions about a cubs move. Most of all don’t believe Nightengale in terms of any announcements. Rumors will be out there but lets not get overly excited about them. We’ve learned that the hard way.

  • BD

    Let’s sign Valverde and Wilson. I really hate their antics, but if they both bounce back that’d be a dynamite bullpen, and very shoppable pieces.

  • Walter Sobchak

    I think with the velocity that the signings are happening means that you’ll see more movement from the cubs….I like the bullpen additions so far as well as the roster additions…..I still think both Marmol and Sori are dealt…..remember there are a lot of teams looking to deal still and I think this whole offseason has a lot more thats going to happen for this current team

  • Stevie B

    Pretty soon, us saying ” Nope, that’s just too expensive” will turn into, ” Hell, looks like everything is expensive”

    Mike Adams…at that kinda coin…..

    No thanks.

  • Jbb

    These FA ‘s are too rich for me. Sanchez, Adams are too much dollars. Soriano to Philly or Texas will give us another young bat and time to coach up the kids.

    • Westbound Willie

      There are no kids

  • http://bleachernation John

    No body wants to come here and play yet unless they are forced to via trade. I don’t blame them. Would you as a veteran want to be a part of rebuilding or winning? This team is going to suck unless everyone over achieves and it’s a perfect storm season.

  • Matty V

    I’d love to see the Cubs get J.P. Howell. I’m not sure how much money he’d want, but the Cubs have a need for a lefty in the pen. He’s still on the younger side compared to most of the relievers still out there, and aside from a down 2011 season, he’s been pretty good.

  • Tony

    I’m a bit disappointed with the swing and misses but let’s call our team what it is currently….unattractive. We’ve become the laughing stock of the media. How many botched signings and or trades do we have to experience. Dempster (to the braves), Haren (Marmol trade), Sanchez (signing), etc. These leaks are very disappointing when it shifts the outcome or fattens the pocketbooks for potential signings. I don’t know who’s to blame but in this day and age I know it’s probably impossible to keep things 100 percent sealed. The Cubs have to implement a code of conduct for employees. I can live with it if it comes from the ‘other side’ but not from Cubs employees. Tweets and posts before transactions become official need to be banned. We’ve become a joke. Somebody should be able to refrain from ‘Tweeting’ before things are signed and sealed.

    We are a haven for the rebound player and that’s it. Until these younger bats come up and make some noise I don’t see much here. We have but a few arms in the minors with one coming off of Tommy John. Maples is our gem and that’s not good news. We need a surplus of young arms.

    Why waste $$ this year and next? They’ll have to OVERPAY a top FA to even consider coming to Wrigley. The hole that they have dug…getting deeper. When the season starts maybe I’ll more optimistic but until then…

    • Brad

      Tony, no is respect but you do know Theo took over just a year ago right? Try to imagine being an Astros fan. They are wanting Grampy Berkman back, how depressing. Also look at that HUUUGE uphill climb they have in that Dominating AL division. Let that soak in for a few…….how does it feel now to be a cubs fan?

      • Westbound Willie

        After 101losses and not winning squat for 104 years and looking at another 100 loss season it feels great.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      We’ve become the laughing stock of the media.

      You greatly overestimate the Cubs standing in the media. The laughingstocks, insofar as there are any, are led by the Rangers. They have swung and missed repeatedly and hugely: even their one big trade is a black-eye because Michael Young was one of the most popular Rangers. Yay, they retained a reliever! That makes up for: 1) trading their most popular player; 2) losing Hamilton to the Angels; 3) lost Wilson to the Angels last year; 4) missing out on Greinke to the Angels; 5) not getting Sanchez; 6) being revealed to have bid $25M more than necessary on Darvish; 8) I’m sure that there’s more.

      The Yanks probably are a close second right now: the fans (and “local” media, which for them is the national media) are furious that they are talking fiscal responsibility and not signing key free agents. Remember, they need a couple of good starting pitchers now, yet their names never appeared in FA reports. Signing Youk sounds as a 3 month replacement for ARod sounds pretty good: but they expected somebody to drop a Chase Headley in their laps.

      • Mick

        What’s up the Rangers Doc? What’s their counter move in all of this? Would you think they’re now considering Kubel, Morneau, Bourn, possibly Garza? What would you do if you were them?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          “Bad luck” after a run of “good luck” would be my first response. The Rangers are pretty well-run organization, after all. If there is any credibility to the reports, then they were hard after Greinke and working hard to retain Hamilton. They probably had the edge for Hamilton: guys usually want to return to their old team.

          What then hurt them (I would bet) is that they were trying to sort out Hamilton & Greinke before doing things like, say, going after Sanchez. After all, Sanchez was not going to sign until after Greinke did, so if the Rangers just had some feelers out, then they might still have time, right? (whoops…)

          As for what they do, then, yes, the Rangers are ripe for a desperation move or two. Accounts are varied, but a couple of people have suggested that they didn’t land Dickey because they would not give up Olt. (It might seem odd that the Mets would want Olt, but they could easily flip him for someone they really need.) So, they haven’t started panicking, yet.

          Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if they give Bourn a year or two more than necessary just to look like they are doing something.

  • Brad

    6 mil is insane for Adams. I’d rather have a 6 mil outfielder. Or Liriano for 6.

  • Troy
  • Troy

    Phillies are busy today

  • cubzforlife

    I believe any GM in baseball would love to be part of what you call a laughing stock FO. Great town, great pay , and the guys that get it done will be immortalized. Good times they are a coming.You really thing other GM’s sit around laughing at what the Cubs are doing? Crazy to even consider.

  • Troy

    Lannan agrees to 1 yr with Phillies as reported by Jon Heyman

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    If we sign another starter, I believe Travis Wood becomes that 2nd lefty in the pen, because Feldman was promised the 5th starter spot.

  • Troy

    Lannan gets 2.5 M guaranteed per Jon Heyman

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      gr8 move by philly

  • Tony

    I understand what Theo took over…bottom of the barrel squad. I love what Theo has done with the minor league system. I think Rizzo was a steal of a trade. I’m a HUGE Theo supporter for building ground up. Looking at the upcoming draft and the cards that are already in hand….excited about the FUTURE.

    People still want to see a quality product out on the field. Dale is a great manager but doesn’t have much to work with. Call me crazy but I think Rob Deer might have been the best signing thus far this season. The Cubs need to take more pitches and demonstrate the ability to take pitches (Theo trait). We need those type of players.

    I’ve witnessed a great deal in my 37 years as a Cubs fan in the state of Michigan (which STUNG a bit more when my fellow Tiger fans were reminding me). It would not bother me to see them pocket the $$ for the next couple of years and then spend wisely when needed. I get what they’re doing. The majority does not. I’m not a fan of the media with premature reports, etc. Twitter blowups, false reports. Gets you excited then a blow to the gut. Just venting…my bad.

  • Mick

    The starting pitching market is just reeking of desperation right now. Look how quick the Blue Jays moved in on Dickey after the Angels were rumored to be interested. At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before Garza gets traded. Which leads me to think the Angels will come calling (or maybe they already have). I might be in a Saturday morning stupor but would the Cubs do Garza for Trumbo straight up or would we prefer a package of prospects?

  • Tony

    I’d love to see Trumbo in Chicago…but as we announced the deal someone would TWEET and Atlanta would swoop in trade Delgado and JR Graham. SIGH!

    Can Soriano be dealt to TX for Olt?

  • GoCubs

    Brett — What’s the chance a Marmol for Porcello or Smyly deal could be done. Obviously the Cubs would provide salary.

    • Brett

      Not impossible, but I doubt the Cubs could get either of those guys for Marmol plus cash, only. Probably would have to include a prospect. I’m a big Smyly fan, though.

  • Mick

    Brett, what’s your opinion on Garza possibly getting traded prior to spring training? Is the SP market desperate enough to take on the risk or is this something on the Cubs side that they may possibly want to extend him?

  • ruby2626

    Did I read it here or somewhere else that the owner of the Angels told Hamilton that if he and his agent left the room the deal was off the table. Now that’s a way to do business, Cubs got played and I’m not liking it.

  • ramy16

    John Lannan is now a Phillie as well! Phillies arnt messing around this year! I think Theo should take a page out of Ruben Amaro’s book…always makes is team competitive even with injuries!

  • Randy

    Has anyone noticed the lack of quality in Free Agents next year? About the only offense worth adding is Cano, and best SP options are Garza, Hughes, Wainwright, and Shields. Hughes is the only one under 30. Maybe get McCann at C for cheap and platoon him to keep him healthy. No 3B worth anything. Outfield is full of aging players who will command more money than they are worth. Here is to hoping our farm system can produce.

    • Chris

      Yeah teams aren’t letting good players hit free agency anymore. That’s why it’s important to get them when you can now.

      The two players on my wishlist for next offseason are Cano and Josh Johnson. It’s unlikely we will get Cano, but I feel like Johnson can be had.

      • Rizzo44

        Dude, exactly what i want too. Want JJ and Cano, but only think we will get JJ.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Johnson cannot stay healthy, and his injuries are going to soon (if they do not already) affect his stuff. Some team will get suckered into a multiyear deal with him just to “get it done.” Let’s hope that it’s not the Cubs.

        The Yanks will re-sign Cano. A slugging middle infielder is a rare commodity. Moreover, he is one of the few Yankee farmhands from the last decade to achieve any success as a position player. The Yanks PR still likes to emphasize their “homegrown core” (even though most of it has retired!), and they still have pretty deep pockets: they’ll pay to keep Cano.

        • Chris

          So you’re telling me there’s no hope, Doc?

          • DocPeterWimsey

            None? Obviously, that goes to far. LIttle? That sounds about right. Take Cano. The probability of him reaching free agency is pretty low. Let’s say the improbable happens and he makes it. There are 29 other teams out there and the Yankees. We can write off perhaps as many as 20 of them who either cannot afford Cano or who already have good (enough) hitting 2Bmen that their dollars would be better spent elsewhere. That would still leave 10 teams (including the Cubs) in the running. The odds are not 1:10: the Yanks would still have “home field” advantage here. Moreover, any and all other AL teams have an advantage that we saw with Pujols & Fielder last year and Hamilton this year: they can offer extra years knowing that they have the DH slot upon which to fall back.

            As for Johnson, there is a good chance that he makes free agency: the Jays are not great at retaining players. A lot will have to do with whether he can avoid injuries this year. Even more will have to do with whether his stuff bounces back to where it was a couple of years ago: it’s not been just missed time, but reduced speed and break that have hurt his numbers.

            • Chris

              I would like to thank you for seriously answering my half-joking question. Reading on here about Johnson’s injury history has me a bit more hesitant on him, but I still wouldn’t mind getting him on a reasonable deal.

    • Good Captain

      To your point Randy, unmet demand means high/astronomical prices for those positional players. If the Cubs don’t extend Garza now (assuming its even possible), I don’t necessarily see Garza resigning here absent a significant 10 – 20% hometown discount.

  • Rizzo44

    I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, JIAR JURRGENS

  • ramy16

    Rizzo 44 couldn’t agree more! Low risk sign Jurrgens

    • Rizzo44

      Thank you!! How much money you think though?
      3 years 10MIL?

  • ramy16

    I would probably go 3/12mil