A League of Her Own

Monday Headlines: Hendry Signals Boring Winter Ahead

A terrapin sits on a rock in the depleted Hasbani River near Mount Haramoun in southern Lebanon in this October 31, 2010 file photo. Rising temperatures have caused the river to dry up, exposing rocks and endangering wildlife who depended on the river for their survival. Reduced snowfall will hurt groundwater recharge and rivers. Snow melting earlier in spring means less water will be available in summer when farmers need it for irrigation, Lebanon's Environment Ministry said. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi/Files (LEBANON - Tags: AGRICULTURE ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT)

There's probably not a single one of us who didn't expect it, but Jim Hendry assured us in a Sun-Times article not to expect anything interesting to happen this winter. 
''I'm not worried about the 'splash' factor,'' said Hendry, who might be looking at a 10 percent drop from the $146 million Opening Day payroll of 2010 once chairman Tom Ricketts gets specific with the budget in the next few weeks. ''I'm worried about getting the right guys that make us better. We've already put the fifth-place thing behind us, and we'd like to think we're going to build off the last two months [24-13 finish]. ... It's really imperative that we have two or three really good moves.''

Gordo reminds us that this might not be a bad idea, as Hendry's splash factor signings include Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley. Gordo then goes on to give us an idea of what he thinks Hendry might do. First up, starting pitching.

Look for the Cubs to explore modestly priced veteran free agents with track records for durability and consistent innings -- more in the Kevin Millwood/Javier Vazquez/Jake Westbrook mold. 

It doesn't make any sense to me that the Cubs should be searching for a fifth starter when they have so many internal, cheaper options. Can you explain to me how Javier Vazquez would be any better than Casey Coleman on a team that's not going to win anything anyway? Next, he examines first base. He assumes the big splash would be signing Adam Dunn or trading for Adrian Gonzalez.

More likely, the Cubs will look into a fairly deep free-agent pool of second-tier, lefty-hitting first basemen that includes Nick Johnson, Adam LaRoche and Lyle Overbay.

Does it worry anyone else that this is the second time Nick Johnson has been named as a possibility for first base? The final spot Gordo examines is a right-handed reliever. Of course, the splash we all want Hendry to make is Kerry Wood. Gordo says no.

More likely, the Cubs will go after somebody such as Tampa Bay Rays free agent Grant Balfour or Toronto Blue Jays free agent Jason Frasor to supplement a bullpen that returns back-end forces Carlos Marmol and Andrew Cashner, along with plenty of left-handed options.

Once again, why not fill in with one of the young guys rather than pay a free agent (even a no-name free agent) a million or two per season?

Crazy Uncle Phil has different expectations where the Cubs and Kerry Wood are involved.

Look for relief pitchers to be among the first free agents to start taking contracts. Kerry Wood and J.J. Putz are among those drawing interest from a lot of teams, including the Cubs.

And he wants you to keep an eye out for Marquez Smith.

Marquez Smith, the Cubs' Triple-A third baseman, is off to a solid start in Venezuela (four homers, 14 RBIs in 62 at-bats). He's an unsung guy who could have an impact next spring 

That's all for today, but please pray for something to happen so there's more to talk about tomorrow.

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30 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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Lyle Overbay?

Uuugggghhhhhhh (Krusty the Klown noise)

Doc said:

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If the Cubs don't intend to spend a lot of money on a free agent 1st baseman this off season...then don't get one and let Micah Hoffpauir and Tyler Colvin play there and wait for Adrian Gonzalez to become available.

Don't even waste time bringing in someone like Nick Johnson.

gravedigger said:

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Exactly. And if Hendry is going to be dealing with a $14m budget reduction, what better way to trim than not bring in veterans to do a job that the young guys can do for a fraction of the cost?

plamorte said:

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I still think a one year deal for LaRoche wouldn't be awful. But if they lean towards Johnson/Overbay, then I'm with Doc, why bother?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I could live with LaRoche. But Overbay? Lyle Overbay?

GAH.

plamorte said:

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Yea that would be depressing. I'd honestly ask the Kia Tigers about Hee-Seop Choi before I'd go near Overbay or Johnson.

Doc said:

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My fear is that the Padres will hold on to Adrian Gonzalez until he hit free agency at which point he may become too expensive for the Cubs to sign. Waiting for Gonzalez will be a huge risk. I'm not sure what else the Cubs can do until they shed salary, though.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ryno's going to manage AAA-LeHigh in the Phillies system this year. I guess he won't be at Cubs Con, huh?

Doc said:

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Ryno is going to have a rough adjustment working for a winning organization.

secdelahc said:

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And for an organization that might actually give him a chance on the big league team sometime.

Aisle424 said:

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And getting booed mercilessly the moment he loses two games in a row.

JulieDiCaro said:

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when your major league club is as good as the phillies, you probably have no idea what's going on in the minors.

the only reason we care so much is because we want people to replace our current team.

flyball said:

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The IronPigs, love it

I have a question, if the IronPigs play a team affiliated with an AL East team and I go see them, can I wear my Cubs Sandberg jersey? Or should I just wear purple and be neutral?

JulieDiCaro said:

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no, you should wear your Sandberg jersey. He hates Jim Hendry, not the fans.

flyball said:

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road trip!

Doc said:

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Didn't we have interest in JJ Putz last year?

plamorte said:

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look at the 5th bullet point in that post too

Doc said:

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baaaaahahahahahahaha!

I bet Jim Hendry read that and thought, "Hmmm...Carlos Silva. Sounds like a good fit. He'll be a good eating buddy."

sloan peterson said:

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If the Cubs sign JJ Putz, he will have a built-in nickname if he sucks....

Doc said:

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The problem is that we'll have a hard time separating him from the rest of the putzes on that team.

plamorte said:

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Peter King of SI comments on the rumored Cubs trade (he's a BoSox fan)

e. Dice-K for Kosuke Fukudome. That rumor surfaced the other day. And let me say on behalf of Red Sox followers everywhere: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.''

f. How do you say, "Worst trade since Larry Anderson for Bagwell'' in Japanese?

g. Not saying Fukudome is useless, but a man who has played in a hitter's ballyard for three years and never hit .265 or driven in 60 runs (despite having 590 and 603 at-bats in two of his three years), and made $33.5 million in the process ... well, I'd call that 80 percent of J.D. Drew, and not exactly a solution for any team except the Toledo Mud Hens. Maybe.

JulieDiCaro said:

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This rumor is so stupid, I never even RTed it. Why on earth would the BoSox do this?

"Here. Here's a kinda decent pitcher for a guy who will do us no good whatsoever."

JulieDiCaro said:

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Buster Posey wins ROY. Starlin finishes tied for 5th. 5th? Eeesh. He deserved to be higher than that.

Doc said:

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Not all that surprising with the bumper crop of rookies in the NL this year. At least he finished ahead of Ike Davis. Honestly, though, Castro probably should have been ahead of Sanchez and Garcia.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Good grief. Do you think we all know NW is playing there, now?

http://www.thewrigleyblog.com/2010/11/milking-wrigley-field-and-painting-it.html

flyball said:

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did they get permission to do that? I don't believe purple is historically accurate

Doc said:

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before the 1962 season, the Cubs painted the marquee blue for the 1962 all-star game...and it believe it stayed that way for 2 or 3 years.

That being said, I think the Marquee is protected under the landmarks legislation, so I'm kinda surprised they got permission to do that.

flyball said:

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it is protected, thats why I'm curious, not mad or anything but they must have made a deal somewhere

Edelweiss said:

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Did you notice that David Eckstein is a free agent? It would serve Cub fans right if the Cubs acquired him. Then they would have someone to pick on.

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