Time to fire up the old rumor thread for the winter meetings. We'll keep it going for all 4 days. Tom and I will use our own sources and, of course, the national media sources as well. If you hear something before we do, include the link and we'll add it to the tread... ** Moving up the thread again. Click here for the Cubs hiring of Jim Deshaies to replace Bob Brenly..
- 7:43 PM: Carrie Muskat tweets that Theo says number of free agents have expressed interest in #Cubs. "You don't hear that often after a 101-loss season." That really bodes well when the Cubs actually start winning.
- 6:59 PM: Rogers tweets more thoughts from the Cubs PBO, "Theo says not a lot of calls coming their way since they mostly have prospects (sans sori) so not the time of year for those deals." It's looking more and more like things will shake out the way we thought they would, with Cubs holding on to their long term resources and looking for value on the market.
- 6:15 PM: Jesse Rogers, the new Cubs beat writer for ESPN, tweets the following, "Theo just talked. No surprise Big name free agents still off in the distance. He's not philosophically opposed to platoons at 3rd or OF. Sounds like will make a move or two. Kind of closing in. Maybe lefty reliever and/or non tendered player from other team." We suggested platoons are not only possible, but likely at 3B and OF. As we expected, we should see more under the radar signings and no big names.
- 6:15 PM: Similaraly, David Schuster tweets that David DeJesus will be the Cubs CF next year, meaning the Cubs will look for a corner OF'er, possibly one to platoon with Dave Sappelt. Theo Epstein gives the impression that he could sign a free agent starting pitcher and right fielder while here at the Winter Meetings
- Theo Epstein said he's still interested in bringing back the recently non-tendered 3B Ian Stewart, according to Paul Sullivan via Twitter. "Interested" seems lukewarm to me. Just a guess but Cubs probably want him on a minor league deal to save a roster spot.
- The Cubs apparently have told Carlos Marmol he's trade candidate but they won't "give him away."
- 4:35 PM: The Texas Rangers are close to signing Joakim Soria for 2 years and $8-9M. Mention this only because Texas was mentioned as a possibly landing spot for Carlos Marmol. Soria probably won't be ready until around midseason, however.
- 3:57 PM: You can probably scratch Grady Sizemore off the list. He isn't expected to be ready until mid-season, according to Anthony Castrovince. The Cubs are hoping Brett Jackson will be ready to take over by then. If anything, the Cubs need someone for the first half, not the second.
- 3:15 PM: With the Giants locking up Angel Pagan the Phillies pursuit of Michael Bourn should increase and may soon end any Cubs talk.
- Paul Sullivan tweets that Len Kasper pushed hard for his new partner to be Jim Deshaies.
- 1:05 PM: Eno Sarris writes about swallowing Alfonso Soriano's contract and argues that, while it may not be an exciting pickup for some teams in need of a bat, he may provide good value. He lists the Braves and Rays as possible suitors.
- 12:12 PM: Bruce Levine tweets Cubs interested in bullpen help and Jason Grilli is on their list. That works for me too. Uehara's my favorite, but Grilli has been very productive out of the bullpen. Has put up a 2.48 and 2.91 ERA last two years with Pirates with peripherals to match.
- 11:40 AM: Source telling me the Cubs are indeed looking for pitching but to look at the bullpen rather than the rotation. I don't expect the Cubs to go after big names, though I'd love for them to get Koji Uehara. Realistically, I expect bargain bin types, non tender FAs -- perhaps guys on minor league deals. In other words, more Shawn Camp types to stabilize the bullpen. I also expect the Cubs to take a RP in the Rule 5 and if they want immediate help, I'd go with RHP Josh Fields. If they want upside, I like LHP Braulio Lara.
- 11:32 AM: Doug Mittler of ESPN suggests, as many have, that the Kyuji Fujikawa signing could spell the end for Carlos Marmol. He speculates that the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers could be potential suitors. Earlier Jim Bowden speculated that the Angels could re-engage the Cubs after losing out on Fujikawa. The Angels signed Ryan Madsen but are still looking for bullpen help.
- 11:25 AM: Jon Heyman tweets that the Tigers offered Anibal Sanchez 4 years at $48M. At that rate, every team should be interested, including the Cubs. It's hard to believe that the number is true and the Tigers have already denied it. Sanchez is reportedly looking for 6 years and $90M.
- 11:00 AM: According to a reader (h/t Bryan), Jim Bowden suggested the Cubs are in the lead for Michael Bourn over the Phillies and Reds. Still not convinced this is legit. Would get more serious to me if someone like Ken Rosenthal reports it. If anyone has the link on this let me know. Was unable to find it.
Filed under: Rumors/Speculation