A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Wednesday

Opium Smokers
Jim Hendry and Randy Bush burn the midnight oil


As the GM meetings proceed, it becomes more and more evident that the Cubs won't get a whole hell of a lot done until Milton Bradley is traded.

Meanwhile, questions such as these hung in the air: Will the Cubs' leadoff man in 2010 look more like Kosuke Fukudome, Chone Figgins or Luis Castillo? Will the center fielder be Mike Cameron, Fukudome, Reed Johnson or Marlon Byrd? How many left-handed hitters will be in the Opening Day lineup? And will the Cubs increase their starting-pitching inventory to help cover for the early-season loss of left-hander Ted Lilly, who had shoulder surgery last week?

The answers: Most of it still depends on Bradley, who will cost the Cubs millions of dollars to move, with the amount setting the tone for everything else the Cubs want to do this winter.



You're probably all smart enough to know why the Cubs can't do much till Bradley's been dealt, but I'll let Gordo help you understand if you don't:

Unless somebody takes nearly all of Bradley's contract, that likely precludes the possibility of the Cubs going after a premier free agent such as Figgins to lead off. But the switch-hitting Castillo (.387 on-base percentage in 2009) would improve the top of the Cubs' batting order and allow Fukudome, one of the few lefty hitters in the order, to move around the lineup.

We'll turn to The Daily Herald for news of each rumor going around:

• Hendry said he had not met with the Texas Rangers about a trade of Bradley for pitcher Kevin Millwood.

(snip)

• The Cubs have talked about New York Mets second baseman Luis Castillo this off-season, but a three-way trade involving Bradley, the Mets and the Toronto Blue Jays seems far-fetched.

(snip)

• Tampa Bay remains another possible landing place for Bradley.

Bruce Miles also gives us some quotes from Hendry, which seem to back up Gordo's assertion that not much is happening till Bradley gets traded:

"If we can make one or two moves in the next couple weeks, that would probably be helpful," Hendry said. "Then it would kind of give you a little better direction of where you wanted to go. We don't need a lot of marquee-type guys. We've got a lot of good players.

"As we've been saying from Day One, we need them to play better. But you're also going to see good players available late. I'm sure there will be some quality non-tenders. There will be some free agents that will be available late in the year as it was last year, maybe even more so this year.

"I think it's going to be an important winter for us if we can pick up some pieces that are good, quality depth-type of guys or guys that can play a few positions."


Bruce Miles also talked to Hendry about Ted Lilly and the possibility of looking for more starting pitching:


"I think we have a lot of options internally," Jim said. "You've got Samardzija. You've got Marshall. You've got Gorzelanny. Those are three quality guys, and we feel good about the progress Samardzija made in Mexico, and Gorzelanny did a respectable job when we got him. Marshall's always been our classic bailout guy. Whatever role we need him to do, he's always started the season high fashion. We feel like we've got it covered. And we've got a real good corps coming in the Double-A rotation. A couple of those guys are fast-track guys."

"Teddy's surgery didn't change the way we look at Teddy. If Teddy pitches April 3, great. If it's April 23, that's OK, too."


He then asked Hendry if he'd be willing to trade prospects away this winter:


"A lot of guys, you don't want to trade," he said. "We're in a situation now, as we all know, we'll be mixing and matching this winter more than just trading prospects for a high-end salary guy. That doesn't seem to make much sense right now, where we're at. We've always felt better about the system than given credit for the last few years. That just goes with the territory. When the big-league club had a real good year last year, 'The system was really good because Soto was Rookie of the Year and the starting shortstop (Theriot) was homegrown and eight pitchers were from the system.' And then when you win 83 and you don't make the postseason, then all of a sudden the system stinks. It's not something we worry about. Tim Wilken (scouting director) has done a good job the last three years. You're starting to see the fruits of his work."


And while the GM meetings are going on in Chicago, with plenty of rumors going around and apparently some opportunity to talk with Jim Hendry, the Trib is still firmly focused on the Sammy Sosa pale skin story. I won't link to it.

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44 Comments

millertime said:

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So if we don't trade Bradley, we can't go after Chone Figgins?

That's...horrible?

If we trade Bradley, Reed Johnson might get to go onto the field and get some at-bats. That is one of the scariest things I can imagine. Please Jim, don't do this.

millertime said:

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Today, on a local talk radio station, a caller wanted to know if the hosts thought there was any connection to the Fort Hood shootings and the DC sniper, on account they were both Muslims.

These people scare me.

AndCounting said:

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Thanks for the non-link. I was done with that story about 2 seconds after I saw the picture. I'm really not the person to be making fun of how pale someone's skin is. I'm practically translucent.

And of all the rumors to surface, Luis Castillo might be the most worthless name of them all. How many SBOQOT* can you have on one team?


*Second Baseman of Questionable Offensive Talent

Umbra said:

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Remember last year when the Cubs were going to get Brian Roberts? He's refreshingly better-than-average.

AndCounting said:

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The one thing I'll reserve judgment on is the possibility that whomever Hendry gets for Bradley may very well be included in a trade somewhere else. In Castillo's case, maybe Hendry would be trying to include him as part of a Baltimore swap in his neverending quest for Brian Roberts. According to one of those quotes buzzing around yesterday, the same goes for Burrell, if he's DH-only material at this point. I'm just having a hard time understanding the salary end of it. Will the Cubs wind up subsidizing the salaries of Bradley and the guy they get for him? That's an awful expensive way of firing a guy.

flyball said:

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whatever happens its going to be expensive

berselius said:

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Castillo's offensive talent isn't all that questionable. He sucks

Doc said:

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So it would pretty much be a wash with our current 2nd base talent.

AndCounting said:

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To be fair, there have been 3 times in his career (none of them very recent) when he's achieved a 3-digit OPS+. And he's a perennial .330 wOBA guy. And one time he got hits for a bunch of consecutive days.

I don't see any reason why he can't be questionable, suspect, overrated, and a complete suckfest.

Doc said:

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Finally a rumor I like...from key rosenthal this...Marlon Byrd. If you don't succeed with signing former Ranger free agent outfielder, try it again.

I like Byrd more than Bradley, though.

flyball said:

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Happy Veterans Day, and thanks to our LOHO community who have been, and still are, in uniform

flyball said:

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does everyone but me have the day off?

secdelahc said:

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I do not have the day off. I'm sitting in class as we speak.

secdelahc said:

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Agreed. I don't want to learn about forecasting demand in the supply chain. However, I totally rocked my presentation today. Although my class didn't like my positioning of the Cubs. Someone tried to fire me.

flyball said:

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good job!

secdelahc said:

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Thanks! It's the only class where I am totally awesome. Of course, that probably has something to do with me playing on LOHO during class.

flyball said:

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eh, that just means you can multi task, thats an excellent skill

thisyearcub said:

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I'm working as well...just not much to post. People are just rehashing old Milton Bradley stuff that really wasn't new to begin with. I do like the growing possibility of Harden staying though.

Let's see, not much else. Saw Where the Wild Things Are last night, was excellent.

flyball said:

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thats on the list of movies to see, I'm nervous though as the book is so implanted in my psyche, I'm not sure anything can live up to that

with my now free night tonight I'm hoping to get enough done to be able to see Pirate Radio tomorrow night

thisyearcub said:

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Was really good, a little different than the book in that it's a two-hour movie so some things are fleshed out, but I enjoyed it. I couldn't see anyone but Spike Jonze doing that movie though, he nailed it. Having Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs provide the music worked too.

Next up on my list is "Precious." I've heard good things about that movie.

flyball said:

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I would imagine there is a lot of extra stuff, especially since there about 15 words in the book, the visuals look awesome though

secdelahc said:

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I like the possibility of seeing Harden's butt on the mound for a couple more years.

HoboHanson said:

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I'm kinda working. But not too much. It's cold and rainy in Virginia today. Not very motivational. Haven't even gotten dressed yet. Going to see Bob Dylan tonight. So that should rock. I should put clothes on for that.

secdelahc said:

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Only if you don't want frostbite.

flyball said:

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I can verify that frostbite sucks

flyball said:

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I am officially on the "just get the Bradley trade overwith" bandwagon now, you can't find anything but that anymore

except Ken Griffey Jr is talking to the Mariners

thisyearcub said:

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I'm officially on the "stop reworking Bradley stories into trying and getting something new" bandwagon.

Milton didn't talk to his teammates? Shocker!! Trading him away for nothing (read: Luis Castillo) doesn't help this team one bit.

flyball said:

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my favorite is that in one article its that he's a loner, then the next that the team didn't welcome him

so did they not talk to him, or did he not talk to them, or is everyone reading a whole lot into a situation they don't actually know anything about?

my guess is the last one

flyball said:

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non-Bradley rumors!

a new deal with Grabow is getting close

I didn't say it was particularly earth shattering

smwojoz said:

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I am also at work and fading fast. Someone needs to come up with a delivery business for coffee. Call it "Espresso Express". The neighborhood I work in would make that person wealthy. Us small business types who can't leave their store really suffer from lack of a good mocha latte.

flyball said:

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you sir are a genius

smwojoz said:

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You think that's impressive? You should see me when I'm fully caffeinated

AndCounting said:

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mlbtraderumors.com is at it again, this time with a purely speculative but nevertheless delicious suggestion that Curtis Granderson might somehow, some way make his way to Wrigley.

AndCounting said:

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And when I say purely speculative, I mean it. Still, what is being a Cub fan if not dreaming in defiance of reality?

Umbra said:

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I feel like our expectations are so low for who Bradley gets traded for, that the Cubs will end up eating most of Bradley's contract, get a mediocre replacement, and people will gush and gush about how our Long National Nightmare is over.

flyball said:

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yeah, the whole thing really is set up so that the Cubs front office looks like heroes even if all they get back is a new Gatorade machine

that part is a little disturbing

Doc said:

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That Gatorade machine isn't coming back until Z retires.

FrankS said:

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Wow, that almost sounds like a minor definition of insanity!

flyball said:

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but in a nice way

Doc said:

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Well...

A couple things here...the only way the Cubs take Granderson is if Detroit takes Bradley...not likely with the Tigers trying to shed salary right now.

Second, the MLBTR founder guy is a Chicago dude...so he often times will speculate that everyone and anyone will be going to the Cubs. He does a good job on the site and has good people working it, but sometimes that Chicago bias creeps in a bit.

AndCounting said:

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I found that to be true when I followed the link to his 2007 interview with Granderson. When asked about playing in Chicago, he didn't sound at all enthusiastic about the possibility. Only a Cub fan would turn that kind of response into a positive.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I was really hoping for something exciting to happen on Julie's first day of vacation. I hope there are 10 trades while she's gone, then nothing till spring training starts.

Doc said:

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I've got the confetti ready at C.D.E. when the trade of Milton Bradley happens.

I'll say this, this week's GM meeting just sucked.

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