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Winter Meetings: Recent Rumors

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LOHO's Super-Secret Winter Meetings Bunker

So far this evening for your speculating pleasure, we have the following rumors:

The Rangers and Cubs are discussing a trade that would send Chris Davis and Darren O'Day to Chicago, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter).

Davis, 24, has the makings of a slugger, but has struggled to realize his potential. He has 39 homers in 872 big league plate apperances, which projects to 25 or 30 over the course of a full season. Davis has a .248/.300/.459 line in parts of three major league seasons and he strikes out in 32% of his plate appearances.

The Rangers claimed O'Day off of waivers from the Mets in 2009 and saw him develop into a valuable cog in their bullpen. The sidearmer has a 1.99 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 117 2/3 innings for Texas.

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Cubs Interested in Derek Jeter Purple Monkey Dishwasher


Okay, so I  haven't heard anything about the Cubs being interested in Derek Jeter, but the way this off-season is going so far, it's only a matter of time.

This afternoon, as the clouds thicken and the flurries begin to swirl here in Chicago, let's take a look at some of the best (worst? most terrifying?) Cubs rumors to come down the proverbial pipe thus far.

1. Cliff Lee: Cubs fans could barely contain their glee at the prospect of Cliff Lee in Cubbie Blue. Alas, any real Cubs fan knew this story had no legs. We never get teh Cliff Lees of the world. Moving on.

2.  Lance Berkman: People, there is a reason Lance Berkman ended up in the AL as a DH. With Darlin' Starlin Castro's penchant for throwing balls into the dirt/stands/stratosphere, I'm not sure having a sub-par defensive player in the twilight of his career manning first base is the best idea we've ever had.

3.  Carlos Pena: Yes, he's good defensively. But offensively, he's a huge risk. His line from last season? A paltry .196/.325/.407. Given the departure of Derrek Lee and the inconsistency of Aramis Ramirez the last two seasons, I'm not really sure where our offense is supposed to come from, exactly. Pena's numbers are so bad, they make me wonder if Ryan Theriot can play first base.


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May I Take a Moment To Get You Irrationally Excited?

Yankees vs. Jays

Looky here, kiddies:


The Blue Jays want to move Roy Halladay this offseason and have contacted the Cubs about a potential trade, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. However, it's unlcear if the Cubs have room for another $15.75MM in payroll. Plus, they'd have to be willing to part with top prospects, such as shortstop Starlin Castro, to obtain the Jays' ace.


Okay, so I was excited until I got to the last sentence.

On Second Thought. . .


Maybe it's better for us to part ways.


Thanks to Adam for posting the article accompanying the Tweet heard 'round LOHO on the Milton Bradley saga:




Yeah. I guess we can't keep him.


SI's Jon Heyman:


"The Cubs are trying hard to dump the perennially malcontented Milton Bradley here at the GM meetings, as it isn't just manager Lou Piniella who didn't connect with him in his season here. Apparently, several key members of the team -- including Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano -- barely speak to Bradley.


"I don't think they dislike him. But Milton's a unique guy who doesn't fit in, like the oddball kid in class,'' one Cubs-connected person said.


"He doesn't try to fit in. The other guys tried to take him in, but he's one of those kids that simply doesn't want to be part of anything,'' one Cubs person said.


The Chicago Tribune reported that a Bradley blowup with now-deposed hitting coach Von Joshua preceded his two-week, end-of-the-year suspension, a fitting end to a dreadful year. So if anyone on the Cubs is suggesting that they might keep him, they're kidding themselves.


"They're going to get rid of him,'' one NL exec said. "No way he can go back."


It's hard to dimiss this, as it completley echoes what Milton's high school coach said about the way he acted with his team even way back then.


Sorry Milty. If it comes down to you, Crazy Z and a guy who loves cock fights, you're going to lose going away every time. At this point, maybe we can stop accusing the Cubs of trying to appease the fans and start accusing them of trying to appease two of our most valuable players. I'm fully behind this.


I think it's an awesome negotiation strategy that someone in the Cubs organization is talking about this to the media. GAH. 



Harden, Heilman claimed off waivers?

According to Ken Rosenthal. . . yes.

If the Cubs want to point toward the future, this is their chance.

Right-handed starter Rich Harden and right-handed reliever Aaron Heilman have been claimed on waivers, according to major-league sources.

A National League team was awarded the claim on Heilman, one source said. The claiming team on Harden is not known, but presumably he did not get through the NL, either. Players must pass through their own league first before being exposed on waivers to teams in the other league.

The Cubs will have until Monday afternoon to work out trades, allow Harden and Heilman to depart on claims or pull them back them from waivers.

Of the two pitchers, Harden is far more intriguing. He is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break, and his .500 opponents' OPS is the second-lowest among NL starters in that stretch, behind only the Phillies' Cliff Lee.

Harden, however, projects as a Type A free agent, so the Cubs could collect two high draft picks if they offer him salary arbitration and lose him on the open market. His status almost certainly will lead the Cubs to demand a high price in a trade, even though a team that acquired Harden only would have him for September.

Does this mean a deal is in the works?

Stay tuned. . .

Hat tip to @natebeal and @dat_cubfan_dave for the link. 

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