Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Roundup: Hendry on Sports Central, Crane Meets Media, Trade Reaction, and More

Post Trade Talk

  • Yesterday the Cubs sent Jake Fox and Aaron Miles to Oakland for Jeff Gray and 2 prospects.
  • Gray has been added to the Cubs 40 man roster, which now stands at 37.
  • Jim Hendry "feels good about the two or three things the Cubs have done since the season ended.
  • The Cubs head into the Winter Meetings still looking to tweak the bullpen according to
  • The Cubs like Jeff Gray's arm strength. Hendry compared him to Angel Guzman. Gray will compete for a spot in the bullpen in Mesa.
  • Milton Bradley's contract is the next order of business. Van Dyck says that it will most likely be addressed at next week's winter meetings in Indianapolis.
  • "Aaron will be better served going elsewhere after a very, very tough year for him," Jim said. Also, Fox will fit better on an AL team, where he can DH.
  • Oakland took on $1.7 of the $2.7 million owed to Miles.
  • Starlin Castro was not a factor in the trade.

HOF Ballot

Bruce Miles has received his Hall of Fame ballot, he will seriously consider voting for the following:

  • Robby Alomar
  • Barry Larkin
  • Bert Blyleven
  • Andre Dawson
  • Jack Morris
  • Mark McGwire
  • Tim Raines
  • Lee Smith
  • Alan Trammell

Carrie Muksat's ballot is in as well. She has already checked Andre Dawson.

Levine talks to Hendry

  • Hendry is still looking to trade Bradley.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets are the top teams interested in Bradley.
  • 3-4 teams could be involved in the deal for Milton.
  • Luis Castillo and Pat Burrell are still being tossed around.
  • The Cubs are looking for a left handed hitting center fielder and right handed platoon outfielder like Reed Johnson.
  • The Cubs will seek guys like Marlon Byrd, Rick Ankiel, Mike Cameron, and Coco Crisp.
  • J.J. Putz and Ben Sheets our options for the Cubbies.

Rehab Updates

Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal told Carrie Muskat that Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramiez, and Geovany Soto are sticking to their rehab routines and are making progress. Ted Lilly will be re-examined after Jan. 1, then start a rehab program is all goes well.

Off the Field Updates

Crane Kenney addressed some Cubs topics at Wrigley Field today.

  • Don't expect a dramatic increase in ticket prices in 2010.
  • The Cubs will have 700 new season tickets next year. There are about 120,000 people on the waiting list right now.
  • The Cubs should have an announcement in January about whether they will keep their Spring Training in Arizona or move to Florida. Naples has become "a very viable option".
  • There is currently some work being done to upgrade Wrigley.
  • The Cubs are going to get the "triangle building" project going.
  • An ice rink in the parking lot west of Wrigley is being built. It will open this winter.
  • All Good news!!

Hendry with Kap

Cubs GM Jim Hendry joined David Kaplan on Sports Central to preview the Winter Meetings and talk Cubs baseball!:

  • Hendry doesn't think it matters where the Winter Meetings are held.
  • There are always scout or affiliate dinners at night.
  • Having it in Vegas last year didn't really make sense, because Jim like to stay at the hotel the whole week.
  • The Cubs are going to have 25-30 employees at the Meetings.
  • There is a big meeting room next to the hotel room that Jim is staying in, and each guy from the organization will get an assignment as to what team to meet with.
  • It's an action packed 4-5 days.
  • Jim likes the meetings. "It's a fun time and a chance to get a lot done."
  • Tom Ricketts has a lot of faith in him.
  • The Cubs don't need a lot of different players to be much better next season.
  • They are looking to make 2-3 good moves in the next couple months.
  • Hendry would like to get a couple things done before the end of next week.
  • Jim thinks trades are better for the game of baseball than free agent signings. He hopes that trades pick up in the next few weeks.
  • Tom has been very friendly. The family have a lot on their plate right now on the business side.
  • The top thing on the Cubs wish list is to be a little more creative instead of going out and buying a free agent. This winter is going to be more of an add here, subtract there type of thing.
  • There is still a chance Reed Johnson returns. Jim loves Reed, and had nothing but good things to say about him.
  • The Cubs would like to add some more depth to the bullpen. A veteran presence will help a young 'pen. Re-signing Grabow was a key move.
  • "Who wouldn't want him," Jim said of Roy Halladay.

Miles Chat

Yesterday I chatted with Bruce Miles right here on this blog! In case you missed it, here's a recap of what he had to say:

  • Bruce started his offseason with a vacation to Europe. Now he's getting ready for Indy.
  • He expects the Milton Bradley trade to be done next week if the money issues can be worked out. There is no scenario where Bradley will be back with the Cubs right now.
  • Texas or Tampa Bay seem like the best bets right now.
  • The Cubs would love to move Kosuke to right field.
  • Sam Fuld will compete in Spring Training, but probably not for the starter's job.
  • In these days, there really is no offseason for any sport. You have to block out your vacation time and comp time and take it, according to Miles.
  • Marlon Byrd and Mike Cameron are options the Cubs will explore.
  • The Cubs will wait for the non-tender deadline to see if they can pick up a bargain or two.
  • As far as the Rule 5 Draft, the Cubs protected everybody that they felt they needed to so they won't feel stung if they lose a player. It's hard to tell what players are at-risk of being lost by the Cubs.
  • Miles likes Alan Trammel a lot as a possibility to take over as Cub manager in 2010 if Piniella retires.
  • Bruce likes having a family own the team. It will be a welcome change.

Piniella at Redsfest

Lou Piniella was at the kick-off of the annual Redsfest this evening. What was he doing at a division rivals fan fest? Piniella was the manager of the 1990 World Champion Cincinnati Reds. This is the 20th anniversary of the team, and many of the members of that club have gathered at Duke Enegery Center this weekend.

"20 years, that's a long time isn't it. It almost seems like yesterday. It's seeing the player that got it done. Unfortunately, not all of them are here, but those that are, they bring back some pleasant memories. What a great group of young men. They were dedicated, talented, and got the job done." Lou told Mark Sheldon of

"I'll tell you what, I enjoyed my 3 years in Cincinnati. Nice people, great fans. I didn't realize how big baseball is in Cincinnati until I got here," he added. Lou received a personal invite from owner/CEO Bob Castellini. The first night of the Redsfest was full of fun, similar to the Cubs Convention. Players signed autographs, there was wiffleball, kids could play video games, there was a rock climbing wall, and much more.

Oh and Dusty was there too...

"There's a lot of excitement," said manager Dusty Baker. "This is the most buzz I've seen in the city for a long time. From being in California in the winter, I've been watching the Bengals, UC football and basketball -- the town is buzzing and winning. I've been there before in Los Angeles and the Bay Area when we all won -- college and pro sports. I feel it happening. It's been coming. We're getting better."

Other Tidbits

It's been a busy week on the Cubs front...

much more to come this weekend as we get ready for the winter meetings, which start Monday in Indy.

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