Monday, November 30, 2009

Rumor Roundup: Arbitration, Saito, the Stove, and More!

No Arab Offers for Cubbies
Tomorrow is the deadline to offer arbitration to free agent players. The Cubs are not expected to offer arbitration to Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, Reed Johnson, or Chad Fox. Gregg is a Type A free agent, and Harden is a Type B, so if the Cubs offer them arbitration and they reject it, the Cubs would receive a draft pick or two. However, if the player were to accept the arbitration offer the team would be stuck with signing them to at least a one year deal at market value.

Teams that do not offer salary arbitration to free agents get nothing in return if the players sign elsewhere. It does make sense that Hendry will not offer arab to Gregg, because if he would likely accept. However Harden, a "type B", would most likely not take the offer, especially if you told him that he would be used in long relief.

Are the Cubs making a mistake by letting these guys leave without receiving any draft compensation for them?

Cubs Interested in Saito?
The Cubs are one of 8 teams interested in right-handed reliever Takashi Saito, according to MLB Trade Rumors. The White Sox, Braves, and Mets are three of the other teams interested. Saito had a 2.43 ERA in 55.2 innings of work for the Boston Red Sox in 2009.

Hot Stove Notes
The Hot Stove on the MLB Network listed the Cubs as one of multiple teams interested in Rick Ankiel and Chone Figgins. MLB Network insider Jon Heymon mentioned that there is still a chance that Curtis Granderson will stay in Detriot.

Perry Finds New Job
Former Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry has been named the hitting coach of the Pawtucket Red Sox. The Paw Sox are the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. In addition, Torey Lovullo was named the Pawtucket manager.

Caray Out at TBS
In other former Cub related news, Chip Caray will part ways with TBS after coming under fire for inaccurate calls during the 2009 postseason. When Chip broadcast for the Cubs, he and Steve Stone left the team after some controversy with players.

Naples Update
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and president Crane Kenney are scheduled to meet with Naples officials tomorrow to discuss the possibility of moving Cubs Spring Training. "We take it seriously and we'll react accordingly," Mesa mayor Scott Smith said. Smith is not going to part ways with the Cubs without a fight.

Recap of a Slow Weekend
Not much is going on as far as the Cubs are concerned right now, but things are expected to heat up at the Winter Meetings, which start a week from today. If you didn't check out the site this weekend, there's a lot of posts for you to catch up on:

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Numbers Breakdown: Cubs Second Base

Before we get to the Breakdown, a reminder:
The voting is over for our "All Decade" Cub first baseman. Thanks to all of you who voted! Our next position to vote on is second base! Please keep in mind, votes are based on performances in a Cub uniform starting in the year 2000. Our poll for second basemen in located on the right sidebar of our blog's mainpage. Please vote!

Now, let's stick with the topic of second base as we move in to this week's number breakdown. The Cubs have been involved in talks to try and bring Mets second baseman Luis Castillo to Chicago, in a trade that would dump Milton Bradley.

Would Castillo starting in the middle infield really be an improvement for the Cubs?

Career Batting Average
Mike Fontenot- .236
Luis Castillo- .292
Jeff Baker- .270

Point Castillo

Career Home Runs
Fontenot- 21 HR in 347 Games
Castillo- 28 HR in 1,634 Games
Baker- 26 HR in 300 Games

Point Baker

Career OBP
Fontenot- .301
Castillo- .369
Baker- .326

Point Castillo

2009 Batting Average
Fontenot- .236
Castillo- .302
Baker- .305

Point Baker

2009 HR & RBIs
Fontenot- 9, 43
Castillo- 1, 40
Baker- 4, 24

Point Fontenot

2009 SB
Fontenot- 4
Castillo- 20
Baker- 1

Point Castillo

Career Fielding %
Fontenot- .982
Castillo- .984
Baker- .986

Point Baker

So the final tallies of this Number Breakdown: Baker 3, Castillo 3, Fontenot 1. Luis gets on base more, steals bases, and hits for a better batting average, and those are things you want in a middle infielder. However, he has a bad contract, and lacks versatility. If the Cubs are able to dump Fontenot, Bradley, and hopefully Miles, would you like to see a Castillo/Baker platoon at second with Baker playing 3B when Ramirez needs time off?

Remember, the numbers don't lie...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cubs Roundup: Talkin' Baseball, Hall of Fame Voting, and More

HOF Ballot

The Major League baseball Hall of Fame ballot is out for 2010! Andre Dawson is on the ballot for the 9th time. Lee Smith is also back on the ballot. Cubs bench coach Allan Trammell, former Cub Fred McGriff, and former Cub Eric Karros are up for voting as well. Dawson received 67% last year, just short of the needed 75%. Results will be announced Wednesday January 6.

Cubs Searching for Outfield Help

According to, the Cubs will kick of their search for a center fielder once Milton Bradley is traded. A left handed hitter would work best, so a deal for Curtis Granderson will be explored. Other guys out there include Coco Crisp, Scott Podsednik, and Rick Ankiel. Right handed center fielders available include Marlon Byrd, who played for Rudy Jaramillo with Texas, and Mike Cameron. Jim Hendry is not as concerned with the "left-right" issue as he was last year. The Cubs need a good hitter, no matter which hand he hits with.

Bruce Levine and Jonathan Hood had Talkin' Baseball on ESPN 1000 today. Here's the Cubs Notes:

  • In an ideal world, Chone Figgins is the lead off man for either the Cubs or White Sox, but right now there's no payroll flexibility for either team.
  • For the Cubs, you're going to be hearing more about Hendry making trades, not signing free agents.
  • Wally Heyward, who is the new Chief of Sales and Marketing, had been instrumental in the 2016 Chicago Olympic bid. Bruce Levine went out on a limb and said that marketing guys are the second most important person in the front office.
  • The way teams structure their payroll is based on projections from the sales and marketing department.
  • The Cubs are taking to different sponsors about adding them on the plywood that they put in front of the Horseshoe Casino. Budlight could become a sponsor in that area.
  • If doing advertising on the sign stands out like a sour thumb, they won't do advertising their.
  • If the sign that goes up there blocks the roof top view, their could be some controversy with them. The Roof Top Owners pay the Cubs a certain percentage of their earnings.
  • The best matchup for Milton Bradly is still the Tampa Bay Rays. When Hendry get Pat Burrell back from the Rays, they have no place to put him because of Soriano. So Jim must then find a team interested in Burrell.
  • The Texas Rangers are "out of the question" as a suitor for Bradley. There's no matchup with Toronto. The Mets are a better fit, but there's some question there too.
  • The Cubs whole offseason is dedicated to getting better. They cannot just give Milton Bradley away and pay his whole contract.
  • The best trade would be with the Mets because Luis Castillo actually works on this team. However, the money matchup is not good with the Mets.
  • Bruce thinks the Cubs need another bullpen guy. The Cubs are most likely looking for a right hander.
  • Jeff Samardzija is ticketed to fight for the 5th starter's spot. 2010 is a huge year for Samardzija.
  • Starlin Castro is the guy in the organization that Levine is looking forward to seeing more of.
  • Rick Ankiel is a possibility for the Cubs. He might fit what the Cubs are looking for.
  • The Twins are interested in Rich Harden. The Cubs could have traded him to the Twins in July, but the Cubs felt that they were still in it. They could have gotten a prospect or two back for him, but Jim didn't want it.
  • The Boston Red Sox are also in the hunt for Harden.
  • Roy Halladay to the Cubs would be an almost impossible deal to make.
  • Levine thinks this should be Andre Dawons's year.
  • McGriff could be the all time leader in home runs for guys not in the Hall.
  • Lee Smith should "absolutely" be in the HOF.
  • Trammell should have made many more All Star games if it weren't for Cal Ripken.
  • The last day to offer your players arbitration is this Wednesday. If the Cubs don't offer Harden and/or Gregg arb., they will not get any compensation (draft picks) if those players sign with other teams.

Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs joined Levine and Hood:

  • Jeff thought the time in Mexico went great. He learned to get used to the country and had a lot of fun.
  • He worked on establishing his fastball and throwing the curveball.
  • It was nice for Samardzija to end the season with 5 solid starts.
  • The last few years have been a great experience for him, but he sees himself as a starter. That's what he wants to do, that's what he's going to do, and he wants to learn as much as possible.
  • Whether you're the favorites or not, you have to go out and play hard everyday for 162 games.

Ricketts on Monsters in the Morning

Tom Ricketts was on Comcast Sports Net yesterday:

  • Most of the major changes will be with the triangle building.
  • The clubhouse will be a better place for the players next year.
  • When the players come back they will notice that there is a better situation for them.
  • There are a lot of little things that Ricketts will try to do to make improvements to Wrigley.
  • Tom plans to put together a 4-5 year plan to make improvement to Wrigley.
  • He thinks having more space to work with would be good, but it has not been discussed.
  • They would like to have more option of places to bring a family in the area, not more bars.
  • Laura Ricketts is going to be very active in the community relations area.
  • The family had a very, very normal childhood. Most of the money Ricketts' dad has made was in the last few years.
  • Tom says the Cubs should embrace some of the good things from the past. There's a lot of really positive history in the organization. Anything associated with a curse needs to be forgotten.
  • There will be not billy goats at Wrigley Field, because there is no curse and no need for it.
  • The Cubs would like to do more of bringing back greats from their past.
  • Tom doesn't think the Cubs gave Andre Dawson enough support.
  • He would like to see the Cubs take more walks.
  • Ricketts thinks it's important to be a fan of the sports if you want to own a sports team.
  • It is a business, but you get more back then just a financial return.
  • His favorite all time Cubs include Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson.
  • He is not focused on who will replace Lou in 2011 if Piniella does leave.
  • The family knows that there is no "one player who puts you over the edge".
  • The Cubs are going to invest more on player development.
  • Letting the GM have flexibility to make mid-season trades is the key.

Sully & Kap Talk Cubs

David Kaplan and Paul Sullivan briefly chatted about the Cubs on Chicago Tribune Live yesterday:

  • Nothing is going on with the Cubbies.
  • Neither Matt Holliday nor Roy Halladay is coming to the Cubs.
  • Granderson- who knows?
  • Sully doesn't see the Cubs doing a whole lot until Bradley is gone.
  • Sullivan has heard that the Cubs could eat as much as $17-18MM, but the Cubs are saying they will pay no more than half the money left on Bradley's contract.
  • There's no scenario where Bradley comes back.
  • The two team he mentioned were, once again, Tampa & Texas.

Spring Training Update

Carrie Muskat tells us via her blog that some members of the Ricketts family will travel to Naples, Fla., next week to look at possible Spring Training sites. Mesa Mayor Scott Smith says the city should know within a few weeks whether the Cubs are going to keep their Spring Training facility in Arizona.

Infield Update

MLB Daily Dish says that the Cubs could look to add a free agent shortstop like Orlando Cabrera. If they sign a guy like Cabrera to a one year deal, they could move Theriot to second base, where he would learn the position by platooning with Baker. Starlin Castro could be called up some time next season, but the Cubs are not going to rush him. If the Cubs do not make a free agent signing or trade, then Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Andres Blanco, Aaron Miles, Bobby Scales, and Darwin Barney will be in the infield mix along with Theriot in Spring Training.

That's all for now, it should be a fun month of December!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Who's On the Cubs Shopping List?

Since it's Black Friday, I thought it would be fitting to take a look at Jim Hendry's shopping list for this winter. Included with each name is my prediction of how likely it is that they will become a Cub.
  • Curtis Granderson- Cubs have reportedly been pursuing the Tigers' outfielder most of the month. Could be one of the Cubs top choices, but they're not willing to give up Starlin Castro or any other top prospects, and the Tigers have a high asking price. 35%
  • Roy Halladay- The Blue Jays have contacted the Cubs about Halladay, but the Cubs are most likely not going to add him unless Carlos Zambrano leaves. Also, the Cubs don't have the cash or prospects to get this deal done. 2%
  • Pat Burrell- If the Cubs pull of a trade that sends Milton Bradley to the Rays, they most likely will end up taking Burrell. According to Bruce Levine, if the Cubs would then try to move Burrell. 45%
  • Aroldis Chapman- Earlier in the offseason, the Cubs were included in the list of just about every MLB team that was interested in Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman. Right now, he's most likely headed for either Boston or New York. 1%
  • Mike Gonzalez- now that the Cubs have re-signed Grabow, they are unlikely to pursue a left handed reliever 4%
  • Chone Figgins- The utility speedster would fit the Cubs needs, but they may not be able to afford him. The Mets, Phillies, and Angels are also in on him, but their is no front runner. Giggins will be 32 year old in Spring Training. 19%
  • Mike Cameron- Has been listed as a backup plan for the Cubs if they are unable to land Granderson. The Padres, Braves, and Yankees also are in the mix. He will not return to Brewers. 60%
  • Matt Holliday- Jon Heyman groups the Cubs as a possible fit for Holliday, but this is not very likely. 5%
  • Luis Castillo- There were reports from FOX Sports that Castillo could end up with the Cubs in the 3-team trade that would send Bradley to the Rangers. Other media outlets shot down the report. Castillo is most likely not the answer for the Cubs middle infield. 10%
  • Marlon Byrd- Byrd is anotheroption to replace Bradley in the Cubs outfield. T.R. Sullivan sees a 3-year deal worth 18-24MM for the former Rangers. Byrd wants to return to the Rangers, but they most likely will let him walk. 25%
  • Mark DeRosa- According to most sources, DeRo is not coming back to the Chicago. They don't have the money for him, and feel that he is too old to make a long term commitment to.
  • Orlando Hudson- Bruce Levine is a big fan of the O-Dog, and has mentioned that he would look good in blue. Hudson will seek a 2 year deal worth at least $15MM. Hudson could hit second and play second base, but the Cubs may not have the money. 40%

Let me know what you think in the comment or at

A few more Black Friday Cubs Notes:

It's been a fairly slow week on the Cubs front, but things are expected to heat up after the holiday weekend. We will continue with daily Cubs related posts!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What are Cubs Fans Thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving Cubs fans! Today is a day for turkey, pie, family, and football... but let's talk a little Cubs.

What are Cubs fans thankful for this year?

  • The sale is finally complete! We can finally move on to talking about the team again instead of a lot of rumors surrounding the sale. We're thankful to have Tom Ricketts!
  • Only exactly 50 days until the Cubs Convention, and 100 days until Spring Training!
  • The Hot Stove season is in full swing!
  • Milton Bradley will not be back in 2010 (hopefully)!
  • Starlin Castro is in the Cubs organization. He is developing well, and played great in the Arizona Fall League. Castro is the Cubs shortstop of the future.
  • There's lots of great Cub related things you could add to your Christmas List! Check out Vineline magazine,, DVDs of classic Cubs games, and many great Cubs books. I'll be reviewing these products over the next month.
  • Derrek Lee, Randy Wells, Ted Lilly, and John Grabow in 2009.
  • The MLB Network. They have great baseball programming all year around. Friday at 6 PM CT they will air the 1990 All Star Game, which was at Wrigley Field.
  • There's no lack of Cubs Coverage in the offseason! You have this blog to be thankful for, as well as all the other great Cubs Blogs and sites out there. Check them out on our right sidebar!
  • Oh... and Kevin Gregg will not return to the Cubs.

Also, today:
12:30pm on CSN Chicago- 2009 Cubs Classic- Cleveland Indians @ Chicago Cubs (June 19, 2009)

Again, everyone have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. More posts tomorrow, but for now let's enjoy some food, family, football, and fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting to Know the Cubs: Ryan Theriot

Full Name: Ryan Stewart Theriot

Nickname: The-Riot

Born: December 7, 1979 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Big-League Debut: September 13, 2005 for the Cubs.

Bats/Throws: R/R

Teams: Cubs (2005-present)

Family: wife Johnnah Haik, son Houston (4), and daughter Macey Marie (infant)
Hobbies: Ryan enjoys water polo punting and hip-hop music.

Interesting Fact: Theriot and Fotnenot, the 2009 Cubs double play combo, played together at LSU in college. They are called the "Cajun Connection".

We will continue our "Getting to Know the Cubs series on Wednesdays throughout the offseason!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Quick Hits: Bruce's Chat, Lee, Halladay, Bradley, and More

  • Albert Pujols was named the NL MVP today. Derrek Lee finished 9th in the voting.
  • New billboards have been added at Wrigley. They are designed to block the view of rooftop advertisements.
  • As we've mentioned before on this blog, Koyie Hill is hosting a Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraiser on December 5.
  • Jake Fox of the Cubs is headed to the Dominican Republic to join Licey for the second half of the season.
  • The Chicago Cubs are teaming up with National Runaway Switchboard to host a holiday dinner for the runaway and homeless youth.
  • Wally Hayward has been named the Cubs new Executive VP, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.
  • The Cubs are unlikely to land Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay due to lack of room in payroll.
  • According to Buster Olney, the Rays will only take Milton Bradley for Pat Burrell trade if the Cubs absorb enough money.

Bruce Levine had his weekly chat today. Here are the highlights:

  • More signage in the outfield is a possibility.
  • Andrew Cashner is not ready for the bigs, and he will not be competing for a spot in the rotation next spring. Samardzija and Marshall could compete to fill that void left if Harden departs.
  • Hendry's payroll is maxed out. After Bradley is gone, he can start making "some lateral moves."
  • The Cubs are not likely to go after Chone Figgins.
  • If Hendry get Burrell for Bradley, he'll have to turn around and trade him again.
  • The Cubs would love to add Curtis Granderson, but the Tigers are asking for a lot. "It's hard to see a good matchup between the teams, because the Cubs are not going to trade Starlin Castro.
  • Levine has mentioned Orlando Hudson as a fit with the Cubs on every chat for weeks.
  • Bruce thinks the Cubs need to hold on to the top prospects to sooner or later will have to establish their own group of high-profile, low-pay stars.
  • The rumor is that Derrek Lee is a favorite of the Ricketts family.
  • If the Cubs have another down season, Jim Hendry probably will be fired.
  • The Cubs would love to add Roy Halladay, but they'd have to dump Zambrano and his no trade clause first.
  • Bruce thinks Gorzelanny is better as a swing man. He doesn't think Gorzo is the answer to the 5th spot in the Cubs rotation.
  • Harden's injury history is the main reason that the Cubs are not looking to resign him.
  • He reiterated that the Cubs have no money to spend.
  • The Cubs don't need all that much added to the team to be back up their and win the division again.
  • Levine thinks Soto has a good attitude but poor work ethic.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Number Breakdown: Curtis Granderson VS Cubs OF

There have been a lot of rumors going around about a possible Curtis Granderson to the Cubs deal. Let's take a look at Granderson's 2009 numbers in comparison to Kosuke's, Bradley's, and Soriano's.

Batting Average
Kosuke- .259
Soriano- .241
Bradley- .257
Granderson- .249

Kosuke- .375
Soriano- .303
Bradley- .378
Granderson- .327

Kosuke- 11
Soriano- 20
Bradley- 12
Granderson- 30

Kosuke- 54
Soriano- 55
Bradly- 12
Granderson- 71

Fielding %
Soriano- .950
Bradley- .985
Granderson- .993

Kosuke- 6
Soriano- 9
Bradley- 2
Granderson- 20

So Curtis will bring speed and power, but he's not a great on base guy. He had a lower batting average and OBP then Bradley in 2009. Do you really want to give up top prospects for this guy?

Remember, the numbers don't lie!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Piniella to attend Redsfest

The voting is over for our "All Decade" Cub catcher. Thanks to all of you who voted! Our next position to vote on is first base! Please keep in mind, votes are based on performances in a Cub uniform starting in the year 2000. Our poll for first basemen in located on the right sidebar of our blog's mainpage. Please vote! Also feel free to comment on this post with your thoughts or email me at

In other Cub related news, Cubs manager Lou Piniella will be making an appearance at Redsfest, the Red's version of the Cubs Convention, on Friday December 4th. The fest is a two day event Friday and Saturday. Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker will also be there. Here is the full list of players and staff to appear at Redfest 2009. Piniella will be introduced on the main stage with members of his old team on the Duke Energy Center main stage at 6:30 p.m. ET.

The Cubs Convention will be held at the Hilton Chicago January 15-17!
Here is the rest of the 2009-2010 Offseason MLB Teams Fan Fest Schedule:
  • Brewers on Deck: Sunday, January 31 at Midwest Airlines Center, downtown
  • Cardinals Winter Warmup 2010: Jan. 16-18
  • Mariners Fan Fest: January 30& 31
  • Marlins Fanfest: February 13, 2010
  • Pirates Fan Fest: January 29-31
  • Rangers Fanfest: January 30
  • Royals Fanfest: Jan. 15-16
  • (White) Sox Fest: Jan. 22-24

But none of them will come close to matching our Convention.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekend Updates: The Halladay Season, Grabow on ESPN 1000, and More

  • Carrie Muskat reports that the Cubs are one team that have been contacted by the Blue Jays about ace Roy Halladay. (Here we go again... it is the "Halladay" Season)
  • Carlos Marmol is hoping that Pedro Martinez will join the Cubs, but the team shot his idea down. Paul Sullivan says the Cubs have "no plans" to pursue Pedro.
  • 4-6 teams have expressed interest in acquiring Bradley.
  • Both the Rangers and Cubs have denied a Chicago Tribune report that a 3-time trade that would send Bradley to the Rangers, Millwood to the Mets, and Castillo to the Cubs.
  • Bruce Levine likes the John Grabow signing.
  • Pat Burrell doesn't fit with the Chicago Cubs according to Levine.
  • Jon Heyman listed the Cubs as possible suitors for Matt Holliday and Jason Bay on MLB Network.
  • The Cubs think that Esmalin Caridad, Justin Berg, and Angel Guzman, gave them enough bullpen depth to trade Heilman.
  • Hendry told Paul Sullivan that he may try to add more to the pen this winter.
  • Other arbitration-eligible players may also be traded in the next couple months. This list includes Mike Fontenot, Carlos Marmol, Jeff Baker, Sean Marshall, Ryan Theriot, Koyie Hill, Angel Guzman, Tom Gorzelanny, and Neal Cotts. Out of this list, Marshall, Cotts, Gorzelanny, and Fontenot have the best chance of being moved in my opinion.
  • Bruce Levine and Sean Marshall's agent are both unsure of what happens to Marshall next year. Maybe a trade would be the best thing for Sean at this point according to Bruce.

John Grabow joined Bruce Levine and Jonathan Hood today on ESPN Radio's Talkin' Baseball:

  • Coming back to Chicago was the right place for John to go.
  • The whole team, coaching staff, and training staff were great to him.
  • "It's so much more fun pitching in a full house," he said of pitching at Wrigley instead of in Pittsburgh.
  • Grabow think chemistry is huge. If your team gets along, that's probably going to put some good results on the field.
  • He would like to cut his walks and wildness down next season.
  • It's a tough situation for some of the smaller market teams like the Pirates.
  • Repeating his delivery is the key for Marmol.
  • Relievers have to stay consistent with their pregame work.

That's it for now...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cubs Down On the Farm Report

Lot's of minor league news, notes, and stats to get to, so let's get started...

40 Man Roster Adds
Today the Cubs protected John Gaub, Blake Parker, Rafael Dolis, Welington Castillo, and James Adduci. Today was the deadline to add players to the 40-man and protect them. Matt Camp, Steve Clevenger, Alex Maestri, Thomas Diamond, J.R. Mathes, and Greg Rheinhard were not put on the roster, and they all are up for grabs in the Rule V Draft next month.

Top Prospect List
Baseball America came out with their new list of the Top 10 Cub Prospects for this year.
1. Starlin Castro
2. Brett Jackson
3. Josh Vitters
4. Andrew Cashner
5. Jay Jackson
6. Hak-Ju Lee
7. Logan Watkins
8. Chris Carpenter
9. Ryan Flaherty
10. DJ LeMeieu

Cubs Minor League FA
The Cubs minor league free agent list is now official:
P- Casey Fossum, Vince Perkins, and Jose Pina
C- Mark Johnson
IF- Matt Craig, Luis Rivas, Bobby Scales, and Nate Speares
OF- Doug Deeds, John-Ford Griffin, and Brad Snyder

AFL Ends
The Arizona Fall League is over for the Mesa Solar Sox. They finished 13-18, 5.5 GB of first place Phoenix in the AFL East. Phoenix will meet Peo Javelinas in the AFL championship game tomorrow on the MLB Network.
Let's take a look at the final stats of the Cubs playing in the AFL:

Michael Brenly: 8 games, .240 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Welington Castillo: 8 Games, .357 AVG, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Starlin Castro: 26 Games, .376 AVG, HR, 10 RBIs
Josh Vitters: 16 Games, .353 AVG, HR, 8 RBI
John Gaub: 1-1, 9.31 ERA, 10 Games
Scott Maine(Scottsdale): 16.20 ERA in 2 Games
Blake Parker: 2-1, 4.50 ERA in 11 Games
James Russell: 0-1, 1.26 ERA in 11 Games
Andrew Cashner: 2-3, 4.58 ERA, 6 Games (all starts)

Posted a little late this week, but in 2 weeks we'll be back with more winter ball reports!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bullpen Moves: Heilman traded, Grabow re-signs

According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs have traded Aaron Heilman to the Arizona Diamondbacks! The first real move of the offseason for the Chicago Cubs. Heilman was traded from the Mets to the Mariners last offseason, then the M's shipped him to Chicago, and now the Cubs have sent him to AZ.

The Cubs were expected to non-tender Heilman, so they were happy to get a few prospects for him. They received pitcher Scott Maine and first baseman Ryan White in return for him.

Some Notes on Scott Maine:
  • Left handed pitcher
  • 24 years old
  • Drafted by the D'backs in the 6th round of the 2007 amateur entry draft
  • Pitched in 36 games at AA Mobile in 2009. He had an ERA of 2.66 and a 3-3 record as a relief pitcher.
  • Made 12 appearances at AAA Reno going 1-2 with a 3.68 ERA.
  • page

Notes on Ryne White:

  • Spells his name like Ryne Sandberg!
  • First baseman
  • Born and went to High School in Chicago
  • Went to college at Purdue University in Indiana
  • Bats: Left, Throws: Left
  • Selected by the D'backs in the 4th round of the 2008 draft
  • Played the entire 2009 season at High Class A Visalia.
  • In 116 games he hit .266 with a OBP of .371, 6 HR, 52 RBIs, and 3 SB.
  • Hit .275 over his 2 minor league seasons so far.

The Bullpen re-gained a key member today as well, lefty John Grabow.

The Cubs signed Grabow to a 2 year deal worth about $7.5 M according to Bruce Levine. The deal is not yet official, but it will be "no later than Friday".

Stay tuned, it's Thursday so later we'll have our Cub Minor League Coverage post later! And this is just the start of what should be an interesting winter for our Cubbies...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Levine's Chat, Cubs Spring Training Schedule, and More

Bruce Levine had his weekly chat yesterday, so let's take a look at the Cub-related highlights:
  • The Granderson situation is real, but the names haven't really been figured out.
  • Texas and Tampa Bay are still the front runners for Milton Bradley.
  • If the Cubs swap with Texas to get Bradley, it appears that they would receive Kevin Millwood. If they trade Bradley to the Rays, Pat Burrell would be coming back in the deal.
  • Jim Hendry's top priority is "Bradley, Bradley, and Bradley." He should also sign John Grabow to a 2 year $7-7.5 M deal sometime before the Winter Meetings.
  • Kevin Milwood would compete with Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall, and Jeff Samardzija for spots in the rotation if he becomes a Cub.
  • Levine hinted that Granderson may not be a part of a platoon if he comes to the Cubs. "I could live with Granderson hitting .200 against lefties and playing solid defense, letting someone else win the game that particular day or drive him in because of his speed on the bases."
  • The Cubs like Sam Fuld, but they are concerned with making him the starting center fielder because of his lack of durability due to his diabetes.
  • Carlos Marmol is the guy for the closer's role "for now".
  • The Tigers are not interested in backup players like Fox, Hoffpauir, and Marshall in a Curtis Granderson trade. A package could include Vitters and 2-3 other prospects.
  • Bradley's going to be moved, but it won't be an easy process.
  • Don't expect Starlin Castro or Andrew Cashner to be included in any trades this offseason.
  • Detriot is not interested in Milton Bradley.
  • Levine thinks that the odds of Rich Harden returning to the Cubs are zero.
  • Bruce likes the idea of the Cubs going after Ben Sheets.
  • Grabow and Marmol are 1-2 at the back of the bullpen. The return of Heilman and/or Marshall to the bullpen is still up in the air.
  • Esmailin Caridad and John Gaub will be given chances to make the pen in Spring Training.
  • Levine has said many times that Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera could be fits for the Cubs middle infield for a one year deal.
  • Koyie Hill is the catching backup plan for now, but Bruce threw the name Pudge Rodrigez out there.
  • They will not get both Marlon Byrd and Granderson and make Kosuke a 4th outfielder.
  • Mark DeRosa is not a good fit for the Cubs.

Cubs Spring Training

The Cubs are one of the final Major League Baseball teams to announce their Spring Training Schedule, but now we have it! The Cubs will close Spring Training against the D'backs at Chase Field, they open March 4 VS Oakland, and they play the White Sox in Vegas March 12 & 13. The Cubs have 5 split squads and just 1 off day. They play 35 games. Here's the rest of the schedule:

  • March 4 VS Oakland
  • March 5 VS Arizona
  • March 6 VS CWS
  • March 7(ss) @CWS, VS LAD
  • March 8 @Oak
  • March 9 VS Mil
  • March 10 VS SF
  • March 11 @SD
  • March 12 (ss) VS CWS in Las Vegas, @Mil in AZ
  • March 13 (ss) VS CIN in AZ, VS CWS in Vegas
  • March 14 @LAA
  • March 15 @COL
  • March 16 VS TEX
  • March 17 Off Day
  • March 18 @LAD
  • March 19 @CWS
  • March 20(ss) VS KC, @Oak
  • March 21 VS CIN
  • March 22 VS CLE
  • March 23 @KC
  • March 24 @TEX
  • March 25 @Arizona
  • March 26 VS OAK
  • March 27 VS SD
  • March 28 @SEA
  • March 29 VS CIN
  • March 30 VS SF
  • March 31(ss) @MIL, VS LAA
  • April 1 VS COL
  • April 2/3 @Arizona (Chase Field)

Cubs Spring Training tickets go on sale Jan. 4.

Other Notes:

  • Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young.
  • Mike Scioscia is the AL manager of the year, and Jim Tracy takes the award in the NL.
  • The Cubs have donated $20K to the DR community.
  • Tom Ricketts will have a chance to meet the other MLB owners at a private dinner tonight.
  • The Ricketts family will meet with Florida officials after Thanksgiving weekend to discuss future Spring Training options for the Cubs.
  •'s Q&A with Randy Wells.
  • According to FOX Sports, the Cubs are one of 3 anonymous teams interested in Billy Wagner.
  • The Cubs are reportedly a possible landing spot for Pedro Martinez.
  • David Kaplan says the Cubs and Rangers are is serous talks about a trade that would ship Bradley to Texas.

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted as the Hot Stove season continues!

Getting to Know the Cubs: Aaron Heilman

This week, we continue one of our offseason mini-series: Getting to Know the Cubs. As you know, we kick off every Wednesday morning with a "Getting to Know the Cubs" post. Today we continue the series with Cubs pitcher Aaron Heilman.

Born: Nov. 12, 1978, in Logansports, Ind.

Big-League debut: June 26, 2003

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6-5/277

Childhood: Heilman grew up in the Chicago land area in a small town call Logansport, IN.

College: Notre Dame

Nickname: Big Bird

Family: Aaron likes to spend lots of time with his wife Kerri.

Interesting Fact: Heilman went to school to be an architect.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cubs Fun & Games Tuesday

Let's start today with our answers from the last Cubs Fun & Game Post!
Trivia- Who was the Cubs manager in 1945?
Answer: D, Charlie Grimm
Name the Cub- Bob Addis

Cubbie Birthdays
Here's the list of Cubs Birthdays for the rest of the week!
Today- Tom Dettore and Mitch Williams
Tomorrow- Dan Briggs, Ron Coomer, Tom Gordon, Steve Henderson, Gene Mauch, Jamie Moyer, and Sterling Slaughter.
Thursday- Jeff Hartsock, Manny Jimenez, and Dikie Noles
Friday- Alez Arias, Jay Johnstone, and Rick Monday
Trivia Question
Of these four catchers who have started for the Cubs in the playoffs, who had the most productive offensive regular season (determined by batting average, home runs and runs batted in)?
A) Damen Berryhill, 1989
B) Damien Miller, 2003
C) Jody Davis, 1984
D) Scott Servais, 1998
Name That Cub

No, it's not Sammy Sosa.
Quote of the Week
"I'm telling you, nothing destroys a clubhouse more than bad chemistry. Nothing."
-Don Baylor
Thanks to everyone who voted on our last poll! Right now, Everything Cubs Blog would like everyone to vote on our new poll, which is explained here.
Random Cub Fact
The 1901 Cubs lost so many players to the new, rival American League that some Chicago newspaper writers call the club the "Remnants".
Link of the Week
Check out our friend Ace from Bleacher Nation, who does a great job with Cubs posts over there. Check it out by clicking here.
Remember you can email me anytime at

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hot Stove Quick Hits: Free Agents, Granderson, Lilly, & More

  • John Grabow and Chad Fox filed for free agency today. All Cubs eligible have now filed. Friday is the deadline for teams to keep exclusive negotiating rights with their players before they hit the open market.
  • Andrew Baily won the AL Rookie of the Year, while Chris Coghlan took home the NL honors. Obviously, this means that Cubs ROY candidate Randy Wells did not take home the award.
  • Jim Hendry is in favor of instant reply in MLB according to Bruce Levine.
  • Jeff Samardzija will not be used in the bullpen next year. He will compete for a spot in the starting rotation for the Cubs next year, and if he doesn't win that he will most likely be in Iowa's rotation.
  • The Rangers, Mets, and Rays, are the front runners to land Milton Bradley.
  • Marlon Byrd and Mike Cameron have become back-up plans to Curtis Granderson for the Cubs.
  • Aaron Miles had to deal with personal problems throughout the season this year. Levine expects Aaron to have a bounce back year in 2010.
  • Curtis Granderson is turning into this offseason's Roberts or Peavy.
  • Bruce Levine shoots down the report that says the Cubs would be willing to trade Carlos Marmol or Starlin Castro in a Granderson trade.
  • Ted Lilly will most likely not be back until late April or the start of May.
  • Geovany Soto will go into the season as the Cubs starting catcher with Koyie Hill as his back-up.
  • According to Phil Rogers, (not the best source but...) the Cubs have enough to get Granderson. He says that Jim Callis rates "the Cubs 1, Yankees 2, Angels 3".
  • Rogers goes back on his previous reports saying that the Cubs don't want to part with Castro.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The "All Decade" Cubs

On January 1, we will enter a new decade! So this decade is over for the Chicago Cubs. In the next month and a half leading up to the new year, we will be having polls on our right sidebar asking who is the Cubs top player of the decade at each position. On New Year's Day, we will announce the Everything Cubs Blog "All Decade Team". The first position up for voting is catcher. Here are your nominees:
  • Joe Girardi
  • Todd Hundley
  • Robert Machado
  • Damian Miller
  • Paul Bako
  • Michael Barrett
  • Henry Blanco
  • Geovany Soto
  • Rob Bowen
  • Jason Kendall
  • Koyie Hill

Please vote only once. Voting will last until next Sunday morning, at which time the poll will be switched to first basemen.

More posts to come...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Granderson Rumors Heating Up

  • Cubs GM Jim Hendry is absolutely interested in offering a prospect heavy package to the Tigers for Granderson, according to Phil Rodgers.
  • Hendry and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowki discussed Granderson and other Tigers players during the GM meetings earlier this week.
  • The Angles and Yankees are also exploring a Granderson deal.
  • The Cubs offer could be built around 19-year-old shortstop Starlin Castro, who is emerging as one of the top prospects in the minors.
  • Rodgers tosses out other guys that could be included in the deal: Hak-Ju Lee, Josh Vitters, Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson, and Chris Carpenter.
  • Jake Fox, Aaron Miles, Micah Hoffpauir, Aaron Heilman, and Tom Gorzelanny could also be placed in the deal.
  • The Tigers will not trade Granderson quickly, they could wait to stike a deal at the winter meetings.
  • Keith Law says Curtis has become a platoon player because of his struggles against left handed pitching.
  • The Detriot news disaggres with the Chicago Tribune by saying that the deal could happen soon.
  • My take: The Cubs should not give up what the Tigers want for Curtis Granderson. I think trading for him would be a big mistake. I would not give up Josh Vitter, Starlin Castro, Jay Jackson, or Andrew Cashner for him, even if it was just a 1 for 1 trade. If they'll take say Hak-Ju Lee and that's it, then it would be an OK deal for the Cubs. However, I feel strongly that this would be another Kosukeish and Bradley-like mistake.
  • Only non-Granderson related tidbit today is thanks to Bleacher Nation, and is from Mark Miller- It is rumored that Harden doesn't have much interest in returning to Chicago since he supposedly felt overused and suffered from some poor defensive play by Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley. Interesting.

That's all we have today! I would expect for things to be heating back up in the next week. The Rookies of the Year, MVPs, Cy Youngs, and Managers of the year; will be handed out in the next week and a half. Randy Wells in a candidate in a strong NL Rookie field. Tomorrow I'll have a number breakdown for you, Monday we should have some rumors and/or radio recaps, and Tuesday I'll get a Cubs Fun & Games post up, which will include some trivia.

Keep in mind, there's only 62 days until the Cubs Convention!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Chatter: Zambrano, Sosa, and More

Carlos Zambrano has won his 3rd Silver Slugger Award! He was the only Cub to be honored, winning the NL Pitcher Silver Slugger for the second year in a row. Zambrano hit .217 this season with 4 homers and 11 RBIs. Here are the rest of the Silver Sluggers:

1B- Albert Pujols
2B- Chase Utley
3B- Ryan Zimmerman
SS- Hanley Ramirez
OF- Ryan Braun
OF- Andre Ethier
OF- Matt Kemp
C- Brian McCann

An odd story making Chicago headlines lately has been Sammy Sosa's change in skin color. At the Latin Grammys, Sosa appeared much lighter then he did when he was with the Cubs. Sosa says the cameras and lights made his skin look lighter then it really is, and he also mentioned a facial cream he's been using. Some bloggers, writers, and fans have speculated that the change in skin color could be steroid-related. Here's some pics:

Cubscast discussed an interesting topic on one of their recent shows. "The World's Thinnest Books", a thing being discussed on Twitter. Here are a few examples of Cubs related World's Thinnest Books from Twitter:
  • Soriano's defensive strategy
  • other teams interested in Aaron Miles
  • Milton Bradley trade rumors that sound both encouraging and plausible.
  • Improving the Cubs: 2008/2009 Offseason Edition by Jim Hendry
  • Objectivity in Broadcasting by Ron Santo
  • Top World Series Moment of the Last 100 years by the Chicago Cubs
  • Yes, I Left Early, Yes I Corked My Bat on Purpose and Yes Something is Going On With My Face By Sammy Sosa
  • Endearing Yourself to Cubs Fans for Dummies by Milton Bradley
  • Aaron Miles Hall Of Fame Accomplishments
  • Twitter Link
  • If you have any email them to me at

There's been some Granderson to the Cubs rumors going on, so here's notes on that and more:

  • Phil Rodgers says that the Cubs are not yet actively involved in trade talks for Curtis Graderson, but they will be once the Tigers are ready for offers.
  • Jim Callis thinks the Cubs could trade SS Hak-Ju Lee in the Granderson deal, not Starlin Castro.
  • Some sources are saying the Cubs would give up Carlos Marmol and a top prospect for the Tiger's center fielder.
  • Dock of the Rays speculates that if the Rays toss Andy Sonnanstine into a Burrell for Bradley trade, the Cubs could pay more of Bradley's contract.
  • Phil Rogers says Curtis fits the clubs need.
  • CCO posted some You Tube Videos of Cubs prospects today.
  • BCB takes a look a Millwood for Bradley trade.
  • The Seattle Mariners may have some interest in Rich Harden.

That's it for now, let's hope the moves start soon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cubs in Winter Ball Stats

It's Thursday, so here's the latest stats from Cubs playing in Winter Leagues:
  • Andres Blanco, VWL: .289 AVG, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 24 Games
  • Michael Brenly, AFL: .385 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 Games
  • Matt Camp, MPL: .328 AVG, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 28 Games
  • Welington Castillo, AFL: .357, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 8 Games
  • Starlin Castro, AFL: .387 AVG, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 20 Games
  • Robinson Chirinos, VWL: .356 AVG, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 21 Games
  • Mario Mercedes, DWL: .500 AVG, RBI, 5 Games
  • Nelson Perez, DWL: .381 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 15 Games
  • Brad Snyder, MPL: .330 AVG, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 27 Games
  • Kevin Soto, VWL: .125 AVG, 6 Games
  • Josh Vitters, AFL: .364 AVG, 4 RBI, 13 Games
  • Andrew Cashner, AFL: 2-2, 4.32 ERA, 5 Games
  • Thomas Diamond, MPL: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 Games
  • John Gaub, AFL: 1-1, 11.74 ERA, 8 Games
  • Blake Parker, AFL: 2-1, 5.40 ERA, 9 Games
  • James Russell, AFL: 0-1, 1.59 ERA in 9 Games
  • Brian Schlitter, MPL: 1-0, 4.30 ERA, 14 Games

A few more things:

  • The Mesa Solar Sox are in second place in the AFL East, 1.5 Games back of Phoenix. Mesa's record is 12-12.
  • Last Saturday the West out-slugged the East 8-7 in the Arizona Fall League All Star Game. Click here for my full recap.
  • Follow my Cubs Farm Updates Twitter.
  • I'll continue to have a weekly winter ball report on Thursdays!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Latest as the GM Meetings Close

  • The GM Meetings ended at noon today.
  • Adrian Gonzalez won the NL Gold Glove for first base today. Derrek Lee did not get the award, so no Cubs received Gold Gloves.
  • Tomorrow the Silver Sluggers will be announced.
  • Rich Harden's agent, Arn Tellem, said today that he has not seem Jim Hendry at the GM Meetings, but they have talked. "I'm sure we'll be talking more in the next week or two," he told Bruce Miles.
  • A report from Ken Rosenthal yesterday started the speculation that Marlon Byrd is on the Cubs radar. Byrd could be the Cubs new center fielder in 2010 once Bradley is traded, with Kosuke moving to right.
  • Mike Cameron is another outfield option for the Cubs.
  • Accoring to a Report from the Cubs are nearing a deal with LHP John Grabow. The deal could be for 2 years.
  • Jim Hendry would like to have a couple of deals done in the next few weeks before the winter meetings begin on December 7.
  • The Cubs and Rangers continued talks yesterday on a deal that would send Milton Bradley back to his former team, according to the Chicago Tribune.
  • The Giants are not willing to do a bad contract sway for Bradley.
  • The Mets and Rays are also options for the Cubs to deal their right fielder.
  • The Cubs are in no hurry to open up talks with Derrek Lee on a contract extension.
  • The Cubs and White Sox will battle in Vegas again in Spring Training 2010. The Cubs will be returning to Cashman Field for the 6th straight year. The games will be March 12 and 13 this year, and they will be split-squads for both teams.
  • The full White Sox Spring Training schedule is out. The Cubs and Sox have 3 other meetings: Saturday March 6 in Mesa, Sunday March 7 in Glendale, and Friday March 19 in Glendale.
  • The Cleveland Indians also have their schedule out, so we know that the Cubs will play them on March 22 in Mesa.
  • The South Siders start their Spring Training on March 5, so expect to the Cubs start around that date (a little later then last year). The full Cubs Spring Training Schedule has not yet been released.
  • Bruce Miles notes that the Cubs have a lot of arbitration-eligible players this offseason.
  • Carlos Marmol, Jeff Baker, Sean Marshall, Ryan Thriot, Koyie Hill, and Angel Guzman are all on the arb list.
  • Jim Hendry is not looking for a short stop. He's very happy with Theriot and he expects Fontenot and Miles to have bounce back year. Also, Jim likes Andres Blanco's defense.
  • There's been no talk with Carlos Zambrano about waiving his no trade clause.
  • Mike Fontenot has earned "Super Two" status, which means he could get a big raise.

The latest from Bruce Levine's chat yesterday:

  • Right now, the teams most interested in Milton Bradley are Tampa, the Mets, Texas, and possibly the Angels. Hendry talked with Tampa Bay a lot this week.
  • The Cubs will most likely pick up a player that another team wants to get rid of in the Bradley trade like Lyle Overbay, Luis Castillo, or Pat Burrell.
  • The Cubs are counting on Rudy Jaramillo to get the very best out of guys that slumped in 2009.
  • Jim Hendry has no money to spend on Free Agents at this point. If the Cubs add someone, it will most likely be via trade.
  • Mike Cameron is the Cubs "Plan D out of A, B, C, and D according to Levine.
  • The Bradley for Castillo trade talks are not strong.
  • The Cubs are looking to get a better player, whether he is right handed or left handed.
  • Sam Fuld is a diabetic, so the Cubs are hesitant to make him a full-time player because of his disease.
  • An Orlando Cabrera type signing would be "difficult to fit in the budget right now".
  • The Cubs are trying to project their own guys like Caridad for roles in the bullpen next year.
  • They do have some interest in Mike Gonzalez, but they should be able to finish negotiations with John Grabow in the next 10 days.
  • Jake Fox is a 24th or 25th player on a good team in Bruce's opinion.
  • He thinks Bradley will end up on an AL team.
  • Dan Uggla is not a good fit for the Cubs because of his lack of defensive skill.
  • Levine gives it a 5% chance that Milton will be on the Cubs roster on Opening Day.
  • The only way the Cubs will add a guy like Roy Halladay is if they trade Zambrano, and at this point that doesn't appear to be happening.
  • His guess is that the Cubs will eat about $5 million of Bradley's salary.
  • Rich Hill is not a good alternative for the Cubs. (Um Duh..)
  • Alfonso Soriano is working hard in the Dominican right now.
  • If the Cubs get Kevin Millwood in a Bradley, they could turn around and try to trade him again, or they could keep even though he's injury prone.
  • Levine shoots down the idea of Mark DeRosa returning to the Cubs.
  • The Cubs don't want Pat Burrell, but they want Milton Bradley a lot less.
  • Bruce like Marlo0n Byrd.
  • The Cubs could be interested in Ramon Troncosa, a power arm from the Dodgers.

Bruce's chats have a lot of great info. He does one every Tuesday, so each week I will try to get a recap up with Cubs related highlights.

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted as the hot stove continues to burn...

Getting to Know the Cubs: Micah Hoffpauir

Born: March 1, 1980 in Forth Worth Texas

Big-League Debut: May 18, 2009

Position: IF/OF

Bats/Throws: L/L

Height/Weight: 6-3/215

Hobbies: Micah enjoys listening to country music.

Childhood: Born and raised in Texas, and will forever be a proud Texan.

Family: Micah and his wife Tiffany had their first child, Addyson, in December 2008.

Interesting Fact: Micah's given name is James.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Numbers Breakdown: The Cubs In the Tribune Era

With Tom Ricketts finally taking over the Chicago Cubs, I thought it would be interesting to get some final stats from the Cubs under the Tribune Company:
  • 26 years
  • 6 playoff teams
  • 3 NLCS appearances
  • Final Record of 2,202-2,310
  • .488 Winning %
  • Best Season: 2008 (97 wins)
  • Worst Season: 1981 (38 wins)
  • First Place Finishes: 5
  • Second Place Finishes: 2
  • Third: 3
  • 4th: 8
  • 5th: 6
  • Last Place: 5
  • Records over .500: 10
  • Records under .500: 18
  • Managers: 17- Lou Piniella, Dusty Baker, Bruce Kimm, Don Baylor, Jim Giggleman, Tom Trebelhorn, Jim Lefebvre, Jim Essian, Joe Altobell, Don Zimmer, Frank Lucchesi, Gene Michael, John Vukovich, Jim Frey, Charlie Fox, Lee Alia, and Joe Amalfitano.
  • World Series Rings: 0

Let's take a look at a few updates the Tribune Co. made to Wrigley Field:

  • 1988: Added Lights
  • 1989: Built Mezzanine Suite level and constructed new press box in upper deck
  • 2003: Added Dugout and Bullpen Boxes
  • 2005: Expanded bleachers by 1,800 seats
  • 2006: Constructed Batter's Eye Lounge
  • 2007: Reconstructed field to add modern drainage system

Remember... the numbers don't lie!

Quick Hits: Gregg, Bradley, and More

  • Jim Hendry says Milton Bradley may be back in 2010, and said his 2009 season was a major hiccup according to Carrie Musksat.
  • Ken Rosenthal, on the other hand, has reported that the Cubs are working on a 3 team deal where Luis Castillo would end up with the Cubs, Bradley would go to Toronto, and the Mets would get Lyle Overbay. He says that deal is a long shot.
  • Bruce Levine agrees that Rosenthal's report has some validity to it.
  • Kevin Gregg filed for free agency yesterday. He is a Type-A FA.
  • The Cubs will not be releasing Bradley.
  • Jerry Crasnik asked 20 baseball executives who would be harder to trade, Bradley or Vernon Wells. All 20 said Wells.
  • ESPN has mentioned the idea of a Bobby Jenks for Milton Bradley exchange between the Cubs and White Sox.
  • Billy Williams is not ready to give up on Milton.
  • Paul Sullivan says the Blue Jays want no part of Bradley. He disagrees with Rosenthal's report.
  • Rich Harden is one of the 10 riskiest free agents this winter.
  • Harden is hoping to return to the Cubs according to the Tribune.
  • Check out last night's full rumor roundup for more!

Day 2 of the GM Meetings today will mostly be spent talking about instant reply. American League Gold Gloves are announced today. The rumors are flying....

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Night Rumor Roundup

GM Meetings Getting Started
The Major League Baseball GM meetings at the O'Hare Hilton in Chicago. The meetings last until noon Wednesday. The Organizational Meetings went great according to Hendry:
"We had a chance to meet the Ricketts family, and we feel they are going to be tremendous owners for the city of Chicago."

Hendry's Priorities
After Milton Bradley is gone, Paul Sullivan lists the areas the Cubs would like to upgrade this winter as: leadoff batter, center field, and middle infielder. Chone Figgins may not be in the Cubs price range, and they'll probably stick with Kosuke Fukudome. Speaking of Kosuke, they could move him back to right field and add a center fielder such as Aaron Roward. Bruce Levine adds a relief pitcher to the Cubs wish list.

The Bradley Latest
Gordon Wittenyer reports that the Cubs have at least 3 teams interested in Milton Bradley that have contacted them in the last week or so. Hendry and Randy Bush hope to meet with 5 or 6 teams and figure to look more toward trades than free agents this winter. No deals are expected to be made this week by the Cubs. Bruce Levine says that the Cubs could kill two birds with one stone by dumping Bradley. They would improve both chemistry and talent.

Cubs Award Candidates
Carlos Zambrano could win another Silver Slugger award when they are announced on Thursday. Big Z won the award in 2006 and 2008. AL Gold Gloves will be announced tomorrow, and Wednesday is the National League. Derrek Lee has a good chance of adding another Gold Glove to his trophy case.

Cubs Free Agents
John Grabow and Kevin Gregg have been named type A free agents, and Rich Harden is a type "B". The Cubs will receive a first round draft pick from the team that signs Gregg or Grabow, or a second round pick if Harden signs elsewhere. The Cubs will get nothing if they lose Reed Johnson because he isn't a type A or B FA. According to Bruce Levine "Rich Harden and Kevin Gregg will not be back next season". The Cubs would like to sign Reed Johnson, but Reed is seeking a multi-year deal and the Cubs do not want to give him that.

300 Home Cubs
The Cubs could have 3 players reach the 300 homer mark in 2010. Lee has 293, Ramirez is at 264, and Soriano is just 10 homers shy of 300 career.

Roy Halladay for Bradley?
Bruce Miles from the Daily Herald writes that one scenario has the Cubs getting ace pitcher Roy Halladay for Milton Bradley and a package of prospects. To get Roy, the Cubs must move money. Roy would provide "an instant jolt in the Cubs' rotation."

10 Names
Here's the list of 10 guys that the Cubs are looking at according to different sources:
  • Roy Halladay
  • Jason Bay
  • Miguel Tejada
  • Marco Scutaro
  • Chone Figgins
  • Johnny Damon
  • Mike Cameron
  • Aaron Roward
  • Mark DeRosa
  • Pat Burrell

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted as the Hot Stove starts to sizzle.

MLB Network and a Few Cubs Notes

The MLB offseason is officially getting under way. Starting today is the GM Meetings, so it should be an interesting busy week for baseball. Let's start this Monday with taking a look at the MLB Network's schedule for the next few weeks. Those of you that have the Network should be sure to tune it to those shows, and for those that don't have it or if you miss some of the shows, I will post anything Cub related.

  • Today at 3 CT: AFL Rising Stars game repeat
  • Tonight from 6-8 CT: Prime 9 Repeats
  • Tonight at 9: All Roads Lead to Baseball-MLB Players and Personnel Share Their Road Trip Stories
  • Tues. 6:00, 7:00: Studio 42 Bob Costas sits down with Cal Ripkin Jr. then Bud Selig.
  • Wed. 5:00: The season debut of Hot Stove!
  • Thurs. 5:00: 2009 Silver Slugger Special
  • Thurs. 6:00: Hot Stove
  • Thurs. 8:00: 2009 Clutch Performer
  • Monday Nov. 16 5:00: Hot Stove Rookies of the Year Special
  • Nov. 17 5:00: Hot Stove- NL Cy Young
  • Nov. 17 7:00, 8:00: Studio 42 w/ Bob Costas- Closers, Bruce Froemming
  • And much more throughout the winter

Now let's get to a few Cub rumors as we get set to start a new work week, and the GM Meetings start in Chicago:

  • The Cubs "might have interest" in Chone Figgins according to MLB Trade Rumors.
    Paul Sullivan says the Cubs are ready to let Rich Harden and Reed Johnson go.
  • Phil Rodgers thinks the Cubs will attempt to add bullpen depth via trades.
    Rodgers also thinks that they could be looking for starting pitching with Lilly's healthy a question mark and Harden likely leaving. He notes that Samardzija has pitched well in Mexico.
  • Thanks to Chicago Cubs Online for this one- according to Baseball Prospects there are some rumors floating around about the Cubs looking to move Geovany Soto. Interesting tidbit.
  • Baseball Prospectus also notes that The Cubs might listen on ace Carlos Zambrano, but would need to be overwhelmed to deal him.
  • Kerry Wood, Bobby Jenks, and Matt Capps are available, as are Renyel Pinto, Dan Wheeler, and Mike Wuerz. Will one of these relievers end up in a Cub uniform?

That's it for now, it should be another interesting week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Future MLB Stars Battle in AZ

Yesterday the Arizona Fall League "Rising Stars" game was played at Surprise Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Texas Rangers and KC Royals. The AFL East team, which included players from the Cubs organization, lost to the West 8-7. The East scored 7 runs in the top of the first inning, but they did not score again the rest of the way as the West roared back to "surprise" the East squad. McBride hit the go-ahead homer for the West in the bottom of the 8th inning.

Josh Vitters, Starlin Castro, Blake Parker, and Andrew Cashner were all named to the Rising Stars contest, but only Castro and Parker were able to play in the game.

Starlin Castro
Castro was the starting SS and number 2 hole hitter for the West club. The star Cubs prospect had a first inning broken bat single that fell in center. He came around to score on a 3-run Brandon Allen homer that started the scoring in the game. The team batted around in the inning, so Castro ended up flying out to end the 7-run frame. He blooped another Texas Leaguer for his second hit in the 4th inning. Starlin made a nice read on a ball in the dirt to advance from first to third. Castro was taken out for a defensive sub in the bottom of the 5th, to end his 2-3 day. He was one of three 19 year olds in the game.

Blake Parker
The 2009 Tennessee Smokies closer came on to pitch in the bottom of the 7th inning. He allowed a lead off single to Jordan Danks, who's from the White Sox organization. Carlos Rivero flied to left for the first out. Jordan, brother of John Danks, advanced to second on a Parker wild pitch. Parker walked Chris Heisey to put 2 men on, but then he struck out Yonder Alonzo for out number 2. Ike Davis was retired by Blake on a ground ball to get Parker out of trouble in a key spot. The scoreless inning of work kept the East in front for the time being by a score of 7-6.

It was great to see all of top prospects from all 30 teams playing on one field. Game like this are what I really like about the MLB Network, and why I think a Cubs Network is needed.

The AFL Championship game will be televised on the Network on November 21.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm?

For now, all is silent on the North Side, but are moves on the way? Next week is the GM Meetings! Cubs Rumors are flying, but today let's take a look at some of Bill James 2010 projections:
  • Carlos Zambrano: 12-3 with a 3.60 ERA
  • Ryan Dempster: 12-10 with a 3.83 ERA
  • Ted Lilly: 11-8 with a 3.76 ERA
  • Randy Wells: 10-10 with a 4.16 ERA
  • Carlos Marmol: 3.45 ERA with 34 saves
  • Derrek Lee: .291 AVG, 30 HR, 98 RBI
  • Aramis Ramirez: .292 AVG, 26 HR, 97 RBI
  • Alfonso Soriano: .263 AVG, 30 HR, 77 RBI
  • Kosuke: .265 AVG, 61 RBI
  • Geovany Soto: .273 AVG, 20 HR, 79 RBI
  • Milton Bradley: .276, 18 HR, 64 RBI

That's it for today, I'll have a full report on the AFL Rising Stars Game and a Numbers Breakdown posted tomorrow.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Organizational Meetings Day 3-4 Tidbits

  • The first two Cubs filed for free agency yesterday in Reed Johnson and Rich Harden.
  • Harden, a type B free agent, could return to the Cubs if he will take a one year deal, but the Cubs are hesitant to give him a multi-year contract according to Carrie Muskat of
  • Reed Johnson's 2009 season was limited because of injuries. With Sam Fuld and Tyler Colvin on the way up, if the Cubs add 1 more outfielder to replace Bradley (assuming they trade Milton), Reed may not be a fit for the Cubs. The Cubs do love his heart and hard work.
  • For the next 2 weeks, the Cubs have exclusive negotiating rights with Johnson, Harden, and the other 3 Cubs free agents who have yet to file.
  • Expansion of the women's bathrooms on the first-base side of the ballpark and upgrading the lighting fixtures in the men's room will take place in 2010.
  • They also plan to move the umpires locker room from the third-base side to the first-base side of the park next season according to Bruce Levine.
  • "Upgrading the work environment for the players is also a major goal of the new owners."
  • The Cubs hope to step up their fan-relationship department by hiring a chief hospitality officer, whose only job would be to check with fans on daily basis to make sure their experience at Wrigley Field is going well.
  • The Cubs will also have a "well-known" marketing director named to that position by the end of the week.
  • The Chicago Tribune speculates that Josh Vitters could be next in line for the Cubs third base job after Ramirez becomes a FA after the 2011 season. Vitters said, "Sounds good to me."
  • Derrick Goold, a Cardinals beat writer, expects the Cubs to make an offer to Mark DeRosa.

The Cubs are going to need to add a power hitting outfielder that can play either center or right if they trade Bradley. Here is the full list of free agents outfielders (RF & CF):

  • Rick Ankiel
  • Rocco Baldellli
  • Marlon Byrd
  • Mike Cameron
  • Endy Chavez
  • Coco Crisp
  • Darin Erstad
  • Jeff Fiorentino
  • Ryan Freel
  • Jerry Hariston Jr.
  • Reed Johnson
  • Andruw Jones
  • Corey Patterson
  • Scott Podsednik
  • DeWayne Wise
  • Jermaine Dye
  • Brian Giles
  • Vladimir Guerrero
  • Eric Hinske
  • Geoff Jenkins
  • Austin Kearns
  • Jason Michaels
  • Xavier Nady
  • Randy Winn

See any names you like? (Corey Patterson or Jerry Hairston Jr.?)

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Cubs In Winter Ball

Brenly Joins AFL
Michael Brenly, son of Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, has joined the Mesa Solar Sox to do some catching in the Arizona Fall League. Brenly launched a 2-run homer yesterday to lead Mesa to an 8-5 win, and he has 2 hits so far in today's game against Peoria. Brenly is replacing catcher Welington Castillo on the team. He spent most of 2009 with the Peoria Chiefs.

Samardzija Done in Mexico
Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija has finished his assignment with the Mexicali team in the Mexican Pacific League. Jeff started 5 games, going 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. "The Shark" is hoping to start for the Cubs next year, and the injury to Ted Lilly could give him a chance to start the year in the rotation.

Diamond to hit the Winter League Diamond
In early September the Cubs claimed right handed pitcher Thomas Diamond off of waivers from the Texas Rangers. Thomas was the Rangers' first pick in the 2004 First Year Player Draft. Tomorrow, Diamond will head to Mexico, where he will take Samardzija's spot on Mexicali's roster. He is just getting healthy from a Tommy John surgery he had in March of 2007. Diamond pitched in the Arizona Instructional League at Fitch Park earlier this fall. He is hoping to earn an invitation to Cubs Spring Training.

AFL Rising Stars
Saturday is the Arizona Fall League "Rising Stars" game. Starlin Castro and Josh Vitters are the two Cub farm hand position players who are on the AFL East roster. Andrew Cashner was named to the team, but will not be able to play in the game, so he will be replaced by fellow Cub minor leaguer Blake Parker. Parker, a left handed pitcher, played for Tennessee and Iowa in 2009. The game will be televised on the MLB Network Saturday night.

Castro Scares Cubs
Top prospect Starlin Castro jammed his finger diving into a base early in the week, but he was not badly injured and returned to the Solar Sox lineup today. STAR-lin is leading the league in hitting at .425.

Cubs Organization Looks at Future
The entire Cubs organization, in Mesa for their annual meetings, was in attendance today to watch some young Cubs play as the Mesa Solar Sox hosted Peoria at HoHoKam Park. The Solar Sox stomped on Peo Javelinas in the game by a score of 8-1. All 4 Cubs pitchers that are playing in the AFL got into the game. Andrew Cashner got the start, and ended up with the win. He worked 4 scoreless frames. James Russell pitched a 1, 2, 3 fifth inning. He was followed by John Gaub, he allowed 0 runs on a hit, and Blake Parker, who yielded 1 run on 2 hits. On the hitters side of things, Brenly and Castro each went 2-4, while Josh Vitters did not play.

Blanco Continues to Play Well
Cubs infielder Andres Blanco has had a great winter season so far for Magallanes, of the Venezualan Winter League. Andres has a .303 batting average in 18 games. The Cubs people are happy to see him hitting well, because they know he can play good defense. Blanco will go to Spring Training competing for infield jobs with Ryan Theriot, Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, Aaron Miles, and anyone else the Cubs add this winter. Robinson Chirinos, Cubs minor league catcher, is hitting .410 in 16 games for Magallanes.

Other Winter Ball Tidbits
  • Nelson Perez is hitting .405 in the Domican Winter League for Toros. He has played in 12 games.
  • Matt Camp is hitting .351 and Brad Snyder is batting .333 with 4 homers and 19 RBIs. Both are playing for Mexicalli.
  • J.R. Mathes is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in the VWL.
  • Welington Castillo is done in the AFL, he finished with a .357 batting average and 2 RBIs in his 4 games.

I will have a recap of the AFL Rising Stars game up on Sunday, and I will have my next full winter ball report next Thursday!

Yankees are the Champs

Congratulations to the New York Yankees, the champions of the baseball world for 2009. A special tip of the cap to former Cub Joe Girardi, the current Yanks' skipper. I also want to congratulate former Cubs Chad Gaudin and Jerry Hairston Jr. on their accomplishment, even though neither had outstanding Cub-careers.

Now that that's over with, let's get the off season started! What does the World Series being over mean for the Cubs?

The First 15 Days~
The first 15 days after the conclusion of the World Series is the window in which players can file for free agency. The Cubs would like to get John Grabow re-signed before he even hits the free agent waters. Other Cubs who will become free agents are Reed Johnson, Kevin Gregg, Rich Harden, and Chad Fox.

Next 4 Days
The Cubs, and all other MLB clubs, have 4 days left to add their own Rule 55 minor league free-agents to their 40-man roster. One Cub who is a candidate to be added to the 40-man roster is Brad Snyder. If they don't add him, they could try to re-sign him to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, but Snyder will most likely try to sign with a team where he will have a better chance to play in the big leagues next year.

November 20
Deadline for adding minor league players who are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft to the 40-man roster. The Cubs could try to add guys like Welington Castillo, John Gaub, Blake Parker, and Matt Camp. Any of the 4 that are not added to the roster by the 20th will likely be lost in the December 10 Rule 5 Draft. Other candidates to the drafted include Rafael Dolis, James Adduci, Steve Clevenger, Chris Robinson, Jeremy Papelbon, and Alessandro Maestri. Last year the Cubs lost Donnie Veal.

December 12
Deadline for clubs to tender 2010 major league contracts to unsigned players on the 40-man. Neal Cotts could be non-tendered.

MLB Awards
The BBWAA Awards will be~
Nov. 16: Rookies of the Year
Nov. 17: AL Cy Young
Nov. 18: Managers of the Year
Nov. 19: NL Cy Young
Nov. 23 AL MVP
Nov. 24 NL MVP

Other important November Dates:
Nov. 9: MLB Network Offseason Shows Start
Nov. 9-11: GM Meetings in Chicago
Nov. 10: End of Waiver Period
Nov. 11: Start of New Waiver Period
Nov. 30-Dec. 4: Major League Baseball Players Association executive board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona

It should be fun! I'll keep you posted on all the rumors & news all offseason long here at Everything Cubs.

Later in the Day:
-Updates from Organization Meetings
- Cubs in Winter Ball Updates

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 2 in Mesa, Lilly's Surgery, and More

Today is the second day of the organizational meetings in Mesa. For a look at day 1, click here.

Lots of news today, let's do a full roundup!

Surgery for Lilly
According to Bruce Miles & other Cubs sources, the team has announced that Ted Lilly underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder yesterday in L.A. The procedure was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum. Yocum found no major damage to Ted's shoulder. The procedure consisted of a wash out and cleanup of the shoulder. It took about an hour. Ted will start a rehab program and will be evaluated after January 1 to see when he can begin a throwing program. The Cubs are hopeful that he can be in the rotation within the month of April. The Cubs may need an extra arm for insurance early in the season.

Spring Training Talk
The "folks from Mesa" are having a news conference today to talk about their efforts to keep Cubs' Spring Training. According to and the Ricketts family was to tour Mesa today by helicopter to look at potential sites along the Loop 202 freeway for Cubs Spring Training. Last night, Arizona officials spoke to the Ricketts family at a dinner at the Red Mountain Ranch Country Club. Levine says that "Arizona groups have to start worrying now about the possible loss of the Cubs, their most popular draw, after the 2011 spring schedule." The Cubs would like a complex like the one that the Dodgers and White Sox share in Glendale. Ricketts may visit East Mesa and an Indian reservation casino next. Also, the Cubs will insist that the ballpark must have similar dimensions and many of the same physical characteristics of Wrigley Field.

AFL Talk
Cubs prospect Starlin Castro injured his right hand sliding into third base yesterday, but he is OK, and is expected to play tomorrow. The entire Cubs organization will be in attendance at Hohokam Park to watch Castro and other Cub farm hands play tomorrow. I'll have a full Winter Leagues report posted sometime tomorrow.

Iwamura to the Pirates
The Cubs were rumored to be interested in acquiring infielder Akinori Iwamura from the Tampa Bay Rays. Akinori has been traded, but not to Chicago. The Rays sent him to Pittsburgh for Jesse Chavez yesterday.

Levine's Chat Recap
  • The Cubs love Reed Johnsons' heart and the way he plays the game, but his back problems continue to haunt him. His broken foot is 100%, but the Cubs are having trouble deciding.
  • The most likely trade scenario for Milton Bradley is to the Rays for Pat Burrell.
  • Starlin Castro is the short stop of the future.
  • Castro might be ready at some point during the 2010 season.
  • The Cubs could choose to sign Orlando Cabrera to a one-year deal and move Theriot to short stop for next season, or they could sign Orlando Hudson and leave Ryan at short for one more year before bringing Castro up.
  • Levine expects the Cubs to make some kind of offer to Derrek Lee before the 2010 season. He expects both Lilly and Lee to end up back in the Cub uniform in 2011.
  • Most likely the Cubs will keep Jake Fox as a right handed bat off the bench.
  • If Hendry trades for Burrell, he will look to turn around and trade him ASAP.
  • Bruce doesn't think Ryne Sandberg will be managing the Cubs in 2011. "Possibly the Iowa Cubs."
  • "Don't believe anything you're reading" about a Vernon Wells for Bradley trade.
  • The Cubs are committed to making Jeff Samardzija a starting pitcher.
  • Micah Hoffpauir's role is probably limited to a part-time pinch hitter again next year.
  • The relationship between Tom Ricketts and Jim Hendry is still in the early stages.
  • Chone Figgins will get 3 or 4 years at more than $10 M a year, and that doesn't seem feasible for the Cubs at this point.
  • There is no chance of Kosuke Fukudome being moved this offseason.
  • Derrek Lee has a full no-trade and has no interest in leaving the Cubs.
  • Kosuke appears to be the opening day center fielder again, but Bruce says he's an above average RF and a way below average CF.
  • Orlando Hudson would solve the problem of lead-off man and the middle infield need.
  • Mike Cameron could get interest from the Cubs if everything else doesn't work out.
  • Rick Ankiel to the Cubs has been discussed... first we've heard that!
  • Josh Vitters has a strong enough arm to play third base.
  • Upton to the Cubs for Bradley is "a nice dream."

The Cubs are going to need some middle infield help. Here's a list of all the free agent middle infielders:

  • Ronnie Belliard
  • Jamey Carroll
  • Alex Cora
  • Craig Counsell
  • Mark DeRosa
  • Jerry Hairston Jr.
  • Orlando Hudson
  • Adam Kennedy
  • Felipe Lopez
  • Mark Loretta
  • Pablo Ozuna
  • Placido Polanco
  • Luis Rodrigez
  • Juan Uribe
  • Orlando Cabrera
  • Juan Castro
  • Bobby Crosby
  • Adam Everett
  • Chris Gomez
  • Alex Gonzalez
  • Khalil Greene
  • John McDonald
  • Luis Rodrigez
  • Marco Scutaro
  • Miguel Tejado
  • Omar Vizquel
  • Jack Wilson

See any names that interest you?

As the Yankees and Phillies get set for Game 6 of the World Series, we'll stay focused on the Chicago Cubs! I will update this post if I hear anything else tonight, so keep checking back!

Getting to Know the Cubs: Kevin Gregg

Kevin Gregg's season was not a great one, and he may be done in a Cub uniform.... but hey, it's better late then never, right?

Born: June 20, 1978 in Corvallis, Ore.

Big-League Debut: Aug. 9, 2003

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Height/Weight: 6-6/240

Pre-Season Quote: "I'm really going to enjoy being a part of this organization." Really?

Hobby: Loves the outdoors, especially fishing.

Childhood: Played Little League with his brother growing up.

Family: 2 children, Ryann and Max

Interesting Fact: The glasses he wears while playing are Oakley's.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 1 of the Organizational Meetings Roundup

Notes from the Chicago Tribune:

  • One player the Cubs are interested in is Akinori Iwamura. Iwamura is a left handed hitting second baseman.
  • New Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts will introduce himself to the baseball operations department personnel at the meetings.
  • He also will meet with Mesa city officials and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to talk about keeping Cubs Spring Training in Arizona. According to the Tribune, nothing will be decided this week.
  • The meetings run today through Friday.
  • Other things on the Cubs list: 1. Re-signing John Grabow in the 2 week window after the World Series, 2. Trying to find a lead-off hitter speed, and 3. trying to find a corner outfielder with power.

Bruce Levine's notes from Mesa:

  • According to Bruce Levine, "plans are already in motion on the business front."
  • Ricketts and family met the baseball side of the organization for the first time today.
  • Tonight Tom will meet 90 people in baseball operations Tuesday night at the team's hotel in Mesa at a meet-and-great dinner.
  • Tomorrow the Ricketts family will spend most of the day looking at possible sites for a new Cubs spring training home.
  • On Thursday, the meetings will move to Ho-Ho-Kam Park, where the baseball operations people will have a lunch and watch top Cub prospects play in the Arizona Fall League.

Arizona Fall League All Star Rosters have been announced! The "Rising Stars Showcase" will be on the MLB Network on Saturday night. Josh Vitters, Starlin Castro, and Andrew Cashner are the 3 Cubs farm hands that were named to the team, but Cashner will not be able to participate. Looking forward to seeing Vitters and Castro playing on TV on Saturday!

Ricketts wants to keep the Cubs in the top 3 payrolls in baseball.

More from Mesa tomorrow...

Some Cubbie Fun & Games

A few weeks ago, we had some trivia and such on our blog. Here's the link to that post, and here are the answers needed from that post:

Trivia Question: This Chicago franchise has a storied history. They began in the National Association before the National League even existed. What was the franchise's first team name?

Answer: D, White Stockings

The Picture Matching:
1. B
3. A

Naming Cubs pitchers!

Can you name all the Cubs' pitchers from the 00s? Sporcle, a great trivia site, gives you 15 minutes to names as many as you can. Give it a try!

Cubbie Birthdays

Today- Ken Holtzman, Fred Richards, and Danny Young
Tomorrow- Eric Karros and Angel Salazar
Friday- Bob Addis, Justin Speir, and Don Wengert
Saturday- Clarence Jones, Joe Niekro, and Reggie Patterson

Trivia Question of the Week
Who was the Cubs manager in 1945?
A) Cap Anson
B) Dusty Baker
C) Leo Durocher
D) Charlie Grimm

Name that Cubs

*Hint: His birthday is this week!

Random Cubs Fact
Since the Chicago Cubs last won a world series, George Burns celebrated his 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th, and 100th birthdays.

Link of the Week
Great post by Rob G. of The Cubs Reporter!

Email me any time at

Answers next Tuesday!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lots of Ricketts Talk on the Radio & Grabow Update

Some more good Ricketts links, Q&As, videos, and interviews.

Some other Cubs notes:

  • Bruce Levine on John Grabow: "The two sides are talking about a two-year deal for anywhere between a total of $6.5 million and $7.5 million. Grabow's people would like a vesting option for a third year added to the contract. "
  • Neither Kevin Gregg nor Rich Harden is expected to return to the Cubs.
  • The Cubs will have rights to negotiate with Harden, Gregg, Johnson, Fox, and Grabow until 10 days after the World Series, when they will become free agents and free to negotiate with any team.
  • The Rangers are not ruling out the possibility of Milton Bradley returning to Texas.
  • Carrie Muskat said in her Inbox that the Cubs are interested in Aroldis Chapman but he doesn't fit their budget.
  • Phil Rodgers, on the other hand, says the Cubs "have the resources to compete for Chapman."
  • TCR takes a look at Mike Cameron as a Cub offseason target.
  • Andres Blanco still has to show Lou Piniella he can handle big league pitching according to
  • There seems to be very little chance of the Cubs staying at HoHoKam Park for Spring Training.

The Cubs have announced the following crowd-management employees for their 2009 awards:

  • Ushers of the Year- Jan Awker and David Hamann
  • Parker of the Year- Leslie Marie Huff
  • Crows Control of the Year- Fred Pearson
  • Supervisor of the Year- Joe Carter
  • Rookie of the Year- Cindy Roy
  • ADCDE Award- Jennifer Aparicio

What do Cubs do in the offseason to stay in shape? Vineline asked!

  • Kosuke Fukudome- "I'll just relax for 7-10 days then start walking, then jogging, and then work up to running. I'll begin weight training, then start hitting."
  • Jeff Samardzija- "I'll work out 4 times per week with weights and conditioning. Then I'll start throwing to get stretched out."
  • Aramis Ramirez- "First, I will take a month off. After that, I'll be in the weight room at the gym 3 or 4 times a week and then start doing all the baseball stuff."
  • Ryan Dempster- "I'll be running a lot. I have a personal trainer, and we will do a lot of agility training and some hill training also."

That's it for now, I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!