Things began to get a little interesting late last night, although not all of it was good news for the Cubs. Here's a few tidbits to start the day and keep our fingers crossed that this will be the day the Cubs finally do something. David DeJesus was a nice, solid signing...but we need more than that...
- According to agent Don Nomura (via twitter), Yu Darvish will be posted tomorrow by the Nippon Ham Fighters. The Cubs are expected to make a bid on the 25 year old RHP, but the competition should be pretty heavy. Many believe Texas has the inside track and they may be more motivated now that it appears they will lose C.J. Wilson to the Los Angeles Angels.
- If Texas loses the bid on Darvish, then it could mean talks that have started between the Cubs and the Rangers about RHP Matt Garza will intensify. If Darvish is gone, then Garza becomes the best option for a front line starter. I talked about some trade possibilities in an article late last night.
- Kelly Johnson, a player I liked as a possible 2B and a LH power source, has accepted arbitration from the Toronto Blue Jays and will not be hitting the open market. I thought he was a nice fit because of his athleticism, solid defense, and OBP skills to go with his LH power. Oh well.
- Another player, potential closer Francisco Rodriguez, also accepted arbitration with the Milwaukee Brewers. This has a few interesting ramifications for the Cubs. The first is that it's one less closer on the market in case they decide to deal Carlos Marmol. It also means that the Brewers probably won't have the payroll space to bid on Prince Fielder and quite possibly, Aramis Ramirez. GM Bob Melvin, when asked if the decision would affect their pursuit of Ramirez said, "Possibly. I'll take a look at it."
- Lastly, the Rule 5 Draft takes place tomorrow and the Cubs pick 6th after two teams ahead of them cleared roster space to be able to select a player. It's uncertain if the Cubs will select a player for themselves or as part of a compensation package for either Boston or San Diego. The latest buzz is that athletic prospect Jiwan James may go first overall.
- The Cubs are widely expected to lose prospect Ryan Flaherty, whose LH bat and defensive versatility almost assure him of making the roster as some team's 25th man. He may even have a chance to start with a team like Houston. Other Cubs who may be taken are pitchers Dae Un Rhee and Ryan Searle, as well as utility IF Marwin Gonzalez. I can only see Rhee being taken in a pre-arranged deal since he's not close to being ready for the majors, but he is a solid prospect if the Cubs allow some team to send him to the minors. Both Flaherty and Gonzalez, however, have legitimate shots of making some team's 25 man roster.
- Some expect the bidding of Jorge Soler to go up to $20M now. The Marlins may drop out at that price. The Cubs are known to be interested but it's uncertain if they'll go that high.