Monday, December 14, 2009

Cubs Roundup: Capps, Cameron, Santo, and More

Breaking News: Mike Cameron has agreed to a deal with the Boston Red Sox. Scratch him off the Cubs shopping list.

Capps Wants to Close
We heard yesterday that the Cubs were interested in non-tendered reliever Matt Capps. Capps was a closer with the Pirates, and according to "the opportunity to close" is going to be a major factor in Matt's decision as to who to sign with. Capps has 8 or 9 teams outside of the Cubs interested in his services.

Cameron Update
Do to focusing on the Milton Bradley situation, the Cubs may have lost out on another one of their outfielder targets. Mike Cameron, who the Cubs have been interested all winter, is in "serious talks" with the Boston Red Sox. Jerry Crasnik says that they have made "significant progress" towards a 2 year deal.

Santo Returns to Cubs Radio
Cubs legend and should-be Hall of Famer Ron Santo will be back in the Cubs radio booth for the next 3 years. Today he signed a new deal that lasts through 2012. Ronny and his partner Pat Hughes have been a fixture on Cubs radio since 1995. Pat is signed through 2010 and is expected to return after that. The contract allows for Ronny to take certain road trips off due to his health conditions. Santo is looking forward to the Cubs Convention in January.

Naples Update
Naples, Florida is still trying to sell it's pitch to get Cubs Spring Training. Their new effort is to get the Collier County community involved. Muskat has said that an announcement is expected next month. The Cubs may still be leaning towards Mesa, but Phil Rodgers seems to think that the Cubs are going to announce that they will spend future springs in Mesa.

Cubs Luncheon
The Chicago Cubs will host their third annual Cubs Caravan luncheon on January 13 at Harry Caray's restaurant in downtown Chicago. The luncheon gives fans to get a chance to get to know the Cubs. The space is limited to 120 guests. Lou Piniella will headline the event. The rest of the list of people that will be on the Caravan has not yet been released. There will be more stops on the week long Caravan, including several more events open to the public. I will let you know as soon as I hear anything more about the Caravan.

Fossum to Japan
Casey Fossum, a left handed pitcher who spent time in the Cubs' organization this season, has signed a one year $600,000 contract to play for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan next season. Fossum is 40-53 with a 5.45 ERA in his big league career. He had signed with the Cubs this season after opting out of a contract with the Yankees. Fossum went 6-3 with a 3.88 ERA for AAA Iowa in 12 games this year.

Notes from Carrie Muskat's Inbox
  • The Cubs will head into Spring Training with 8 pitchers for 5 spots: Michael Parisi, Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, and Tom Gorzelanny.
  • Carrie thinks that drafting Parisi in the Rule 5 Draft helped give them more insurance for the rotation with Lilly injured.
  • The Cubs new more about Harden's health than any other team, so they decided to let him go.
  • Muskat listed Rick Ankiel, Marlon Byrd, Mike Cameron, and Scott Podsednik as possible additions to the Cub outfield.
  • Ryan Theriot is the leading candidate for the lead-off job.
  • The easier travel in AZ could be key factor in the Spring Training decision.
  • Thomas Diamond will get an invite to Spring Training.
  • Chris Robinson isn't quite ready for the big leagues, so the Cubs weren't worried about losing him in the Rule 5 Draft.

Pat Hughes on WGN Radio with David Kaplan

  • It's season number 15 for Pat and Ron coming up next year.
  • Pat's first interview on WGN was with Kap 15 years ago.
  • Hughes can't believe it's been 14 years.
  • Ronny and Cub fans everywhere always believe that next season will be a special year. Pat "doesn't think there's any other way to approach it".
  • The Cubs have been a good team for the better part of the decade, so that gives the Cubs' fans reason to believe.
  • 2009 was not a disaster, it was a winning season. It was disappointing because they did not win the division, but with all the things that went wrong it was really not that bad of a year.
  • Pat hopes, thinks, and feels that this will be a solid team again.
  • A lot can happen between now and Opening Day, but he doesn't think the Cardinals are going to be as strong next season.
  • Hughes has a lot of fun with his Baseball Voices CDs. He was surprised that a lot of people enjoyed the CDs. They make a good holiday gift: is the website. There are 2 new ones: Milo Hamilton and Dave Niehaus.
  • There is so much time to fill on the baseball broadcast, that you have a chance to have some fun. Pat says that separates broadcasting baseball from other sports.
  • Hughes doesn't take for granted working with some great announcers over his career.

A few more notes from Sports Central:

When asked about Starlin Castro, Kaplan said that there are no untouchable prospects in the Cubs organization, end of story. David doesn't see any room in the budget to add a starting pitcher. The Cubs have not contacted Mark DeRosa this offseason. Castro could be there to play short stop in late 2010, early 2011.

Ron Santo on Chicago Tribune Live with Kaplan

  • Santo's doing very well. Life is good, and it's always nice for him to go out and spend the winter in Arizona with his family after a tough season.
  • Ron thinks that the whole Bradley thing never worked because "Bradley never made it work". He was very surprised in Milton's year.
  • Ronny feels that if the Cubs win this coming year, Lou will stay on. Piniella loves Chicago, the Cubs, the fans, and he's a winner.
  • If it wasn't for Lou, Ronny doesn't think the Cubs would have ended up in second place.
  • Whoever plays for Piniella moves it up a notch.
  • Santo hopes the Cubs stay in Arizona because the travel is so much easier. Players like to go where the cities are closer together.

Kaplan doesn't see any way the Cubs move to Florida. He would be stunned if they moved. David Schuster from 670 the Score says that he wouldn't be stunned, because "money makes the world go around, and if they feel they can make more money in Florida, that's where they'll go." If the Ricketts have a personal preference from Florida, that could sway it.

Pat Hughes joined the guys on CTL next:

  • Hughes says "anything is possible" and the decision will come down to where the better deal is (on Cubs' Spring Training).
  • Pat joked about Ron saying that his wife bought him a "sit-up chair". Pat asked, "Would you please explain to me what that is?"
  • When asked about the Ricketts, he said, "I just hope he likes the radio broadcasts." Then added that Tom seems like a very nice man who has a great passion for the Cubs with his strong Chicago roots.
  • Pat doesn't see Milton Bradley with the Cubs in 2010 in almost any scenario.
  • Hughes talked more about his Baseball Voices series. He is offering free shipping on all orders, and there are a total of 8 CDs on
  • Mike Cameron seems like a leader, has some power, and is a very good defensive player.

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

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