It's time to fire up the old rumor thread. For those of you that are new to this site, this is something we tried at the deadline earlier and it was a lot of fun and a good way to keep up with what's going on with the Cubs. We expect this to be a busy offseason and the Cubs wasted no time getting started Friday, though they came up short.
We'll keep updating this page every time we hear a rumor, so keep checking back. We'll scour Twitter, the various websites, and hopefully from some of our sources.
- 10:30 AM: I should probably write a separate article on this idea based on this slightly older piece from Jim Bowden on ESPN Insider. It's Tigers-centric and he doesn't mention the Cubs specifically but he brings up a name that may interest Cubs fans: Rick Porcello. We know the Tigers have been linked to Darwin Barney in the past, but Porcello is a groundball pitcher who needs a good infield defense behind him. So if the Cubs get Porcello, it's probably a good idea to hang on to Barney too. What Bowden says the Tigers may be looking for is bullpen help. The Cubs very nearly traded Carlos Marmol for Dan Haren. Should they look into striking up a deal for Porcello? He's only 24 and is a bad fit on the Tigers. I think he's a perfect fit for the Cubs on a number of levels. They have a solid infield defense with Rizzo, Barney, Castro, and Stewart/Valbuena, he's young enough to be a long term fit if he succeeds, and most importantly for the Cubs right now, he throws strikes (2.3 walks/9 IP for his career). A high BABIP last year and a slight uptick in fly balls leaving the yard may have inflated Porcello's ERA a bit last year.
- 9:24 AM: Nick Cafardo lists his top 20 free agents and has the Cubs listed as interested in two of them: Anibal Sanchez and Ryan Dempster. I've long been a fan of Anibal Sanchez and had him pegged both last year as a trade candidate and early this year as a guy who might fly under the radar as a free agent this season. That is no longer the case as Sanchez pitched well in a high pressure, high profile situations and is likely to draw interest from several teams. At 28, he's still young, however, and if the Cubs were to sign a player who could still be good when they become competitive in another year or two, Sanchez would be it.
- 7:00 AM: The Cubs have shown immediate interest in RHP Brandon McCarthy, writes Susan Slusser. Other teams involved include the White Sox and the Blue Jays. I expect McCarthy to re-sign with the A's but the Cubs have the advantage of being able to outbid them. Given their interest on the first day he was available, perhaps the Cubs are more serious about McCarthy than I first thought. In past signings they've got in early and often to establish a relationship with players they want. McCarthy has really improved his control the last two years, walking less than two batters per 9 innings both years. McCarthy missed time with that scary incident late last season when he took a line drive to the head. McCarthy has also had nagging shoulder issues and has missed time each year, never making than 25 starts in any major league season.
Filed under: Rumors