stoveSpring Training is underway, but there are still rumors floating around …

  • Although I still think the chances here are beyond remote, I feel obligated to point out that, once again, this morning on MLB Network, Ken Rosenthal mentioned the Cubs as a possible destination for Michael Bourn. He said it, I wrote it, the end.
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith chatted at MLBTR, and … (1) Ben thinks, ultimately, the Mets will figure out a way to sign Michael Bourn, and it may involve them getting a special exception to not give up their first round pick; (2) the Cubs could still be a possibility on Bourn, though Ben was relying heavily on Rosenthal’s reports; (3) big, pre-free agency extensions are likely to continue to be a trend, because the lure of that first big payday is too hard for most to turn down; and (4) Giancarlo Stanton probably doesn’t reach the trade market until next offseason.
  • So, that giant extension Felix Hernandez was getting from the Mariners, which would pay him a record $175 million over the next seven season? Well, you see, deals are always conditioned on a physical/evaluation of the medial records. And, except in very rare circumstances – like the Marmol/Haren trade – the physical and the review of medical records are totally pro forma non-events. But we may have another instance of a deal getting torpedoed by a medical review. According to Buster Olney, some in the Mariners’ organization have concerns about Hernandez’s elbow, and that’s holding up the extension. Indeed, Olney says the two sides are “not close” to finalizing the deal. King Felix is under control through 2014, so it’s not like he’s going anywhere immediately, but this could be a pretty serious issue. Maybe the extension doesn’t get done now, and maybe they can’t even trade him for value. Maybe he becomes a free agent with huge talent and huge question marks in 2014.
  • In case you wanted the details on Jeff Samardzija’s 2013 contract with the Cubs, which pays him $2.64 million plus incentives: those incentives are $25,000 for 180 innings pitched, $25,000 for 185 innings, $25,000 for 190 innings, $25,000 for 195 innings, and $25,000 for 200 innings, per Carrie Muskat.
  • Mark Prior is still looking for a shot to get back to the bigs, and his agent says the righty feels good (and is throwing in the 92-93 mph range). The Cubs haven’t had any discussions with him (although he was in to Chicago last month before the Convention to address the Cubs’ Rookie Development Camp), but “have not closed the door,” according to Dave Kaplan. If he’s going to try and make a team this year out of Spring Training, he’s going to need to ink a deal ASAP, as every team has now had their pitchers and catchers report. Making a team out of Spring Training was always unlikely, though, so he’ll probably latch on to a minor league team later this year in the hopes of filling a hole on a big league team if he pitches well enough in the high minors. The problem, as far as the Cubs are concerned, is that they’ve actually got a ton of depth in terms of players like Prior – fringy reliever types who could possibly make the team or could head to AAA like Cory Wade, Jensen Lewis, Andrew Carpenter, Michael Bowden, Blake Parker, Zach Putnam, Jaye Chapman, Trey McNutt, and on and on.
  • Kygavin

    Would love to see Prior back just dont think its a good fit roster wise like Brett said

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Resigning Prior would be like hooking up with an ex-gf from college 10 years after you graduate. It’s a great idea until the alcohol wears off.

    • Webb

      Or if she still looks like she did in her 20’s

      • Cubbie Blues

        Once again, you would find out after the alcohol wears off.

  • etrain

    Give prior a chance in spring training, if he makes the team the number of fans who come to see him back in a cubs uniform would be amazing

    • On the Farm

      I still have my 22 jersey… somewhere

  • The Dude Abides

    Bill Madden/New York Daily News has an article dated Feb, 10 saying basically same thing about Bourn and that the Cubs are quietly in on him. Who knows…

    • CubFan Paul

      The have to be in on Bourn at this point. His price is way down due to no market.

      Whoever signs Bourn will probably sign Lohse too. Trading Lohse to a contender at the deadline won’t replace the lost draft pool money for signing both Bourn & Lohse, but it’ll replace the talent. Win win.

    • Tim

      If the Cubs were in on Bourn there is no way Scott Boras would keep that quite

      • CubFan Paul

        He would if it were only a 3 year offer.

  • Kevin

    Hell, if the Cubs can sign Dontrell Willis, what’s the harm in signing Mark Prior?

  • Marc N.

    The more I think about it the more I like the lineup with Bourn leading off. He’s good and contrarian me says his imminent demise due to only being fast at 30 is possibly overstated.

  • grumpyoldguy

    I’m a new guy around here I hope I can contribute a little.

    • mudge

      We need more new old guys around here. The old new guys are getting old.

    • DarthHater

      We need more grumpy guys, too.

  • Carne Harris

    My therapist is looking to add an addition to his house, so he says yes to Prior. I’m going with no.

  • JulioZuleta

    Sign Prior and Zambrano to minor league deals with a big league invite. That’d be fun. Oh, and sign Michael Barrett to catch for Z.

    • Randall

      Maybe Jamie Moyer. Think I could reserve my tickets to the WS now?

  • Melrosepad

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Hernandez extension actually for 5 years and 130+ million on top of the final two years he already has? I’m just wondering why I see everyone reporting that it is a 7 year extension when the final two years of his current deal don’t change.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      That’s correct

  • OlderStyle

    I was opposed to re-signing Wood last year. I know it’s not the same when you offer a minor league contract or ST invite but for similar anti-nostalgia reasons I’d rather they didn’t. It’s time to move on. Good luck, Mark.

  • Frank

    What if the Cubs signed Bourn and lost their 2nd round pick, traded him to the Mets for a couple of prospects. Is that legal?

    • Webb

      Not until some time in June.

    • Marc N.

      Oh man…now you got me thinking about a Rizzo – Baez – Castro – Flores infield with everyone hitting like they potentially can.

      See now Wilmer Flores is a SS prospect destined for a corner. That is a guy who has outgrown the premium defensive spots.

  • Drew7

    No. There are no sign-and-trades allowed in the MLB.

  • Stevie B

    Geeez this new CBA has had quite an effect hasn’t it?

    Free agents be damned!

  • another JP

    If we took a flyer on Willis I don’t see the harm in giving Prior a minor league contract if he’d accept it. With a Garza trade on the horizon and some other pitchers recovering from injuries or having one year deals, some extra depth at AAA would come in handy. And if Prior is throwing 92-93 that means his arm strength is the best he’s had in years. The dudes still only 32 and doesn’t have the mileage on his arm that Z or Wood had.

    And just say no to Bourn. Why give up the #32 pick in the draft this year for another overpriced Boras client when we already have a decent outfield?

    • Marc N.

      CFers on the roster for 2013+: Zero.

      • Cubbie Blues

        DeJesus. His defense plays better in RF but his bat plays better in CF. Jackson will be up later in the year as long as his swing change corrects some of his deficiencies at the plate.

        • Marc N.

          I mean good center fielders. Even the upside on those guys is meh. DeJesus could be passable and Jackson…well g’luck shaving 10-15% off of that K rate.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Well, sheesh if your going to get picky about it. I was just going off of what you actually said.

            • Marc N.

              Standards man, standards!

  • Jim

    The Cubs are waiting in the wings on Bourn in case they are able to move either DeJesus or Soriano. In which case they probably already have a contingency plan agreed upon. I kind of hope Soriano stays. Bourn would be an upgrade over DeJesus in CF, but probably doesn’t have as hot of a wife …

  • Dustin S

    The Cubs are about as in on Bourn as much as any player, that if they could get him way below market they’d be interested. But his price isn’t going to drop anywhere near low enough for him to fall to the Cubs. It would probably have to be ~7.5-8M for 3 years, and the Mets would give up on fighting for their #11 pick and do 4 years before then, plus pay more per year. Maybe they could surprise us all, but (like the David Price trade ideas) I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

    • CubFan Paul

      “But his price isn’t going to drop anywhere near low enough for him to fall to the Cubs. It would probably have to be ~7.5-8M for 3 years, and the Mets would give up on fighting for their #11 pick and do 4 years before then, plus pay more per year”

      …This is based on what?

  • fromthemitten

    Prior’s numbers were good in AAA. when he was healthy over the past two seasons. I’d love to see him join the Tigers (whose bullpen is a mess). Who knows? Maybe by the end of the season he could be their closer.

  • Bigg J

    Rumors, Rumors, Rumors!!!! Buster Onley ”
    •The Cubs continue to be on the fringe of the Bourn talks, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney (on Twitter). As Olney notes, the Cubs — unlike the Mets — already have a protected first-round pick, so Bourn would only cost them their second-round selection in this year’s draft.”