A League of Her Own

Cubs Tuesday Headlines: Do We HAVE Anyone At The Winter Meetings?

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Not the Cubs' GM

 I understand that the Cubs  expected to be less-active this winter than in the past.

I understand that the Cubs are trying to cut payroll and are not players for the Cliff Lees and Derek Jeters of the world.

I understand that making a move solely to keep the fans happy is not the wisest course of action.

However, I am beginning to worry that the Cubs don't understand that we are going to need someone to at least STAND NEXT TO FIRST

 

I get it, it's only December, plenty of time to make some moves, yada yada yada. On the other hand, Jim Hendry must be hiding behind potted plants for the Cubs to be  as invisible at the Winter Meetings as they've been this year. I've never seen a team so completely off-the-radar during the aptly-named "free agent frenzy."

With the Dunn, Gonzalez, and other palatable options at first base off the market., it's looking increasinglly like Carlos Pena is the Cubs' current target-of-choice to take over at first base. And even THAT race isn't looking good for the North Siders:

Carlos Pena is the most prominent available free agent who fits the Cubs' description, and Hendry will meet with his agent, Scott Boras, this week. But even with a .196 average last year for the Rays , Pena is being pursued by the Blue Jays, Nationals and Orioles, which could force the Cubs into a bidding war they likely can't win.

 

Pena's career line looks like this:

.241/.351/.490/.841

However, his stats have dropped like a rock since 2007, when he OPSed over 1.000. And when I say "like a rock," I mean down to .196/.325/.407/.732 in 2010. He's also represented by Scott Boras, which ensures that anyone who gets Pena will overpay by a large margin.

It also appears that the Cubs are on the lookout for some starting pitching, which begs the question of whether someone like Ryan Dempster could be on the trading block.

Stay tuned.

Ron Santo

The tributes to Ron Santo continue to pour in, including Ron Santo: A Wonderful Life from Windy Citizen and this article from The Hardball Times. Both worth a read.

Don't forget the Public Visitation for Ron Santo will be held Thurday, December 9, at 4:00 pm at Holy Name Cathedral.

For those who missed Ronnie's shout-out to Kiwibob this summer, here's the link. 

Mark Riggins:

As menioned yesterday, the Cubs have a new pitching coach:

 The Cubs later today will name Mark Riggins their pitching coach, succeeding Larry Rothschild. Riggins, who turns 54 next month, has been the Cubs' minor-league pitching coordinator for the past three seasons after doing that job for the Cardinals for 12 years.

I don't know much about Mark Riggins, but he appears to have a super mustache, so that's a great start.

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Please do not try to find LOHO's Super-Secret Bunker. But if you do, please bring beer.

Of course, LOHO will continue to monitor the winter meetings all day long from our super-secret Winter Meetings Bunker, assuming I can get Carl sobered up and out of the hottub.

And a final friendly reminder: There are still plenty of tickets for Cubs Con available, so head on over to Cubs.com if getting wasted and yelling at management appeals to you. Then make sure you RSVP for the Cubs Fans Mid-Winter Meetup at Kitty O'Shea's on January 14. You don't need a Cubs Con ticket to come hang out!

And if you live in or frequent the Western Burbs, there's a Holiday Get-Together on December 17 at Quigley's Irish Pub in Naperville. Hope to see a lot of you there!

FINALLY, the ChicagoNow Holiday Party is Tuesday, December 14 at Funk Groove Bar on Division.  I'll be there and I hope you will be, too!

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42 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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A big LOHO Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people anywhere, Hollie Maim! Happy Birthday, Hollie!

Doc said:

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Happy Birthday, Hollie!

plamorte said:

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just give Adam LaRoche $7 million for one year and be done with it.

Doc said:

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Based on the deals made so far this off-season by other teams, that would be a gross over-payment for a player like LaRoche. My estimations are that the Cubs, with their current roster, have about $5 million to spend unless they trade someone with a substantial salary (not Sloth).

plamorte said:

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I didn't say he deserved $7 million, but it's Hendry. So i threw out a higher number

Doc said:

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Based on the fact we haven't seen anyone signed yet this year (Baker doesn't count), and based on the signings last year...I don't think Jim Hendry has the same open checkbook he had in the past. Whoever Hendry does sign for first base, expect a Byrdesque deal.

plamorte said:

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in money or in "initial outrage but quietly approve of by years end"?

Doc said:

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Money...

Getting Byrd for $3 million last year was an absolute steal...especially after his previous season in Texas.

plamorte said:

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And they're shopping Sloth, who made $800K last year, a bargain at that price. But hey let's get rid of him to open up a rotation spot for a $5 million dollar rehab project (Webb, Francis, etc) or WORSE....Shark.

JulieDiCaro said:

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What are we rehabbing Samardzija from? Sucking?

Doc said:

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I actually think Samardzija needs rehab because of the Cubs. They are his addiction. He needs an intervention.

Doc said:

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Honestly...trading Sloth right now would be a mistake. If these rumors are true, it would indicate that the Cubs aren't going to do a true rebuilding and actually make a pathetic effort to compete this year.

It would make more sense for the Cubs to hold on to Sloth until the trading deadline in July and try to dupe some competitive team into trading for the lefty. The Cubs will be more likely to get more for him at that point...assuming Sloth doesn't have a horrible season to that point.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Unless he completely tanks in the first half of the year, which is entirely possible.

Doc said:

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Sloth? Never.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is make a fire. I'm like Laura Ingalls Wilder over here.

plamorte said:

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better than feeling like P. Diddy

sloan peterson said:

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Why, is Didddy down?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Since the FB "update," I can't post anything to LOHO's fan page. Ideas?

Doc said:

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just shut down this site and then you never have to worry about posting updates on facebook for it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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LATEST: Cubs shopping Gorzelanny, met with Bradon Webb's agent.

Doc said:

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Yeah...trade away a cheap, flexible, left handed pitcher and replace him with a much more expensive, oft injured right handed, rehab project. Someone explain this one to me.

Doc said:

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This just royally sucks.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Julie, I heard they were shopping Sloth in hopes to bring back Harden!! Just Kidding.

Doc said:

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Mark Prior?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Do it!

Actually, there are apparently 7 teams that have expressed interest in Prior. SEVEN TEAMS.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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There are also 7 teams interested to Harden as well.

gravedigger said:

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I mentioned yesterday that we should be in on this.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Yankees, WHITE SOX interested in Kerry Wood.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Can you imagine Kerry on the Southside?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm trying desperately not to.

Doc said:

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My goodness...Adam Dunn AND Kerry Wood on the wrong side of town? Ugh!

plamorte said:

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makes me feel stabby

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Please elaborate on feeling "stabby."

gravedigger said:

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I keep reading that as "elongate"

ELRaythar said:

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I understand him going to the Yankees; he got traded not really his choice. But the ChiSux?!

You wouldn't do that to us Kerry, would you?? WOULD YOU??!?!?!?!!?!! *gnaws on fist

gravedigger said:

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i remember when the winter meetings used to be fun

Doc said:

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That was before the Rickettses bought this team.

For better or worse, things were more entertaining when TribCo owned the team.

plamorte said:

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"Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Cubs are targeting free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche.The Cubs are also looking into free agent first baseman Carlos Pena, but LaRoche should come cheaper and might be just as productive as the former Tampa Bay first baseman. LaRoche, 31, batted .261/.320/.468 with 25 home runs and 100 RBI this past season for Arizona while playing decent defense at the first base bag. Pena is a far worse defender."

I called it! I think last sentence might be a typo, I thought Pena was great defender...

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