The winter meetings are over but it doesn't mean we won't hear rumors and perhaps even a move or two....
- The Cubs announced the signing of Kyuji Fujikawa today (follow @csnmooney and @espncubs for updates) and there are some interesting thoughts from the Cubs new RP, who will wear #11 with the Cubs. He said that he wanted the Cubs all along. "In my head it was Cubs, Cubs, Cubs." said Fujikaway. The ivy in the stadium reminds him of his own team's stadium in Japan, the Hanshin Tigers, and that the Cubs history played a big role in his decision. He also said he has set up and closed in Japan, so it's nice to know he's comfortable doing either. Said it's up to the manager as to when he's going to pitch. It's a good thing that Fujikawa knows not to step on anyone's toes when entering a new organization. Smart guy. I like him already. Jed Hoyer emphatically stated that Marmol is the closer and to have the best bullpen possible. That's something we talked about yesterday that is becoming a strength of this team. Hoyer did say things could change, of course.
- Noticed a lot of speculation in the comment section on Barney in Tom's most recent article. While I don't think the Cubs are looking to trade Barney, I think it's worth noting that the red-hot Luis Valbuena has been playing mostly 2B this winter. That's not necessarily the Cubs decision or recommendation, but it sure makes it convenient for a short term stopgap if there's a team willing to give up something of value for Barney.
- Jon Morosi speculates that the Mariners could be interested in Cubs OF David DeJesus because they need a leadoff man and DeJesus has the sort of OBP skills you like at the position -- all at a reasonable cost. Morosi suggests that the Mariners could part with some of their young pitching. I like DeJesus but that's something the Cubs would have to consider for the long term benefit of the club.
- The Cubs have signed 27 year old RHP Andrew Carpenter, who was once a prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. Carpenter isn't going to blow you away. He's a pitcher that relies on command and mixing things up. But he is versatile. He has had varying degrees of success in the minors as both a starter and reliever. He has some MLB experience as well, but he's been tagged a bit, sporting a 7.50 career ERA in 33.1 IP. The long ball has played a big role in his struggles.
- The Tigers are parting ways with Jose Valverde and are looking for a late inning RP who is capable of closing according to Buster Olney. Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Traderumors mentions Joel Hanrahan and Chris Perez as candidates but perhaps they should consider Carlos Marmol. It seems plausible but the one hang-up for me is that Marmol may be a little too similar to Valverde in terms of erratic control for Detroit's taste. There's a big dfference to me, however. Valverde will be 35 and his stuff has declined while the 30 year old Marmol's arm is in prime shape. Unlike Valverde, Marmol is still talented enough to get out of the trouble his control lapses sometimes create.
Filed under: News and Notes