Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Eve of the Winter Meetings

Tomorrow is the first day of Baseball's Winter Meetings!

New Poll
First thing- we have a new poll up on the blog! We are continuing to form "The All Decade Cubs". This week's voting is for the best Cubs' short stop from the 2000s. Please vote based on performance in the last decade on the Chicago Cubs only. If there's anyone I forget to make an option that is noteworthy, let me know via comment or email at

Piniella back in 2011?
Next up, Lou Piniella made some pretty big news at Redsfest this weekend. When he was asked about retiring after the 2010 season, he left the door open for a return in 2011. Quotes from the Sun-Times:

-''I don't know [what it would take to want to return]. I like to talk about our baseball team, our organization. I don't like to talk about myself. We'll see what happens. I enjoy what I do, and as long as the organization is pleased -- but let's see. I'm 66 years old. I'm no spring chicken.''

-'We'll see,'' Piniella said. ''But I'm really looking forward to this season, working with our new owner and his family and getting this team back on top again. I met [Ricketts] in Phoenix [at the Cubs' organization meetings] about a month ago, and I came away very impressed. This is what the Cubs needed, a guy who's been a Cub fan his whole life and who is competitive and has built a successful business, and now he wants to win with the Cubs. I'm looking forward to that transition.''

-''I've been doing this a long time, and sooner or later it's time to [retire],'' Piniella said. ''Look, I've been managing for I don't how many years -- 22, 23 years? We have new ownership over there. Let's just wait and see how things go.''

Interesting. If you're the Cubs, do you want Lou back after next season? Right now, I think it depends on how the Cubs do this season and if Piniella is still in to it this season.

First some rumors and then some more Winter Meetings talk:
  • Lou expected to meet with Mike Cameron's agent at the meetings.
  • Texas and Tampa are still the front runners for Bradley according to Wittenmyers' report.
  • Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus tweeted that a signing of Cameron is waiting on the trade of Bradley. Milton being traded has been "imminent for 72 hours.
  • Jon Heyman shot down Carroll's reports. Heyman says the Cubs are still not close to dealing Milton.
  • He adds that the Giants and Padres have been mentioned as other possibile destinations for the Cubs' rightfielder with the Cubbies getting contracts such as Gary Matthews Jr., Aaron Roward, Jose Guillen, or Luis Castillo in return.
  • Bruce Miles had a few interesting tidbit in his story previewing Indy. He says that the Cubs would like to trade Milton, move Kosuke to right, sign a center fielder like Cameron or Byrd, and add a right handed hitting outfielder who can play right field to platoon with Kosuke.
  • Rick Ankiel is not high on the Cubs priority list according to Miles.
  • Bruce says Hendry feels that the starting pitching is OK, even with Lilly out to start the season. However, Hendry would like to acquire a veteran right handed reliever to toss into the bullpen mix.
  • Miles has arrived in Indianapolis, and the buzz is Milton Bradley.
  • Signing Mike Cameron may be at the top of the Cubs wish list once Milton is gone, because the Granderson trade is unlikely right now.
  • Ken Rosenthal of said yesterday that "nothing is hot" right now on the Bradley front, but the Rays remain the front runner.
  • Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella were a part of a large Cubs contingent that attended the Indianapolis Colts' game today.
  • A Texas Source told Carrie Muskat that Bradley was a headache the first time around, and the Rangers may not want to deal with him again.
  • No Jumbotron for Wrigley Field.
  • Paul Sullivan sees Mike Cameron as a clubhouse leader "like Eric Karros in 2003 or Cliff Floyd in 2007".
  • Sully says that what the Cubs need is a guy that lightens the mood inside the clubhouse.
  • Cameron played for Piniella in Seattle.
  • The Cubs are looking for a left handed hitting second baseman to platoon with Jeff Baker.
  • Jerry Crasnick of reports that the Cubs along with the Yankees, Mets, Orioles, Tigers, Red Sox, and Astros, are interested in relievers Rafael Soriano and/or Mike Gonzalez.
  • Jim Hendry wouldn't mind keeping Lou in 2011, but he has not talked about a contract with Piniella yet.

What else is going on this week during the meetings?

  • Monday, the Veterans Committee ballots will be unveiled. Ron Santo is not up for voting this year, but he will be back on the ballot in 2011. This year's announcement will be made at 9 AM CT tomorrow.
  • On Tuesday, Cubscast is holding a #"Dawson4TheHall" event on Twitter at 1:20. Click for more.
  • Bruce Levine will chat Cubs and White Sox Monday-Wednesday. He will have his normal chat at noon on Tuesday and special 45 minute chats on Monday and Wednesday nights.
  • Speaking of Cubscast, they'll have a new episode Monday.
  • The MLB Network will host Hot Stove live from the Winter Meetings Monday through Wednesday from 5-7 Pm CT.
  • Baseball Tonight Hot Stove Special will be on ESPN2 Monday through Thursday from 4-5 PM CT this week.
  • Thursday will be the Rule 5 Draft.

Everything Cubs Will Have Full Coverage

This very site will have full coverage of the meetings throughout the week. It's going to be a very busy week for me, so I'll do my best to post rumors as often as possible. I plan to update at least 3-4 times every day this week. There will be plenty of rumor and news posts, but there will be no usual posts such as Numbers Breakdowns, Cubs Fun & Games Tuesdays, Getting to Know the Cubs, and Winter Ball Reports. Wednesday night we'll have a Rule 5 Draft Preview, with a recap on Thursday night. Also, Thursday will be a very special day for this site, so stay tuned for that...

In Case You Missed It

There have been a lot of posts and news lately, so check these out to catch up:

Past Years at the Meetings

How often are the Cubs active during Baseball's Winter Meetings?

  • 2008- Lots of rumors surrounding Jake Peavy and more, but no action.
  • 2007- trade Omar Infante and Will Ohman to the Braves for Jose Ascaino.
  • 2006- Signed Ted Lilly, and traded Freddie Bynum
  • 2005- Cubs acquired Juan Pierre for a package that included Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto.

How will Hendry fair this year? Stay tuned...

Frick & Spink Awards

In past years, the J.G. Tayler Spink Award (baseball writer) and the Ford C. Frick award (baseball broadcaster) winners are announced during the Winter Meetings.

This year, that is not the case. The Frick and Spinck awards will be announced later in the offseason. The Ford C. Frick Award voting is going on on Facebook right now. The top 3 from the fan voting will be placed on the final ballot. Former/current Cub broadcasters up for the award include:

  • Thom Brennaman
  • Chip Caray
  • Pat Hughes
  • Andy Masur
  • Ron Santo
  • Steve Stone
  • Dewayne Staats
  • Lou Boudreau
  • Pat Flanagan
  • Vince Lloyd
  • Hector Molina

Well I hope you enjoyed are Winter Meetings Warm Up. This is one of the best weeks in the baseball offseason, so let's enjoy. Check back here for updates often!

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