Right now, Cubs Den is slightly more active than the Cubs. Hopefully that will change soon for both our sakes.
It's been a hectic morning as we undergo some changes here at Cubs Den as we've been working the phones and email all morning. Here are some of the things we have in the hopper...
Cubs Den Podcast
As you know we've brought in a new writer, Mauricio, and not only is he a good writer (his first article will be tomorrow) but he is tech savvy. Some of you may know that I am quite a bit closer to the technologically-challenged end of the continuum.
So the planning of a Cubs Den podcast is in it's early stages and it's something we won't see until sometime in 2014.
It would be Mauricio, Felzz, and myself for starters with an occasional guest. But other than that, nothing is set in stone. Stay tuned.
BBQ, Beers, Bourbon, and Baseball
Also in the early stages of planning are the Cubs Den winter meetings which is really just an excuse to drink beer and/or bourbon and talk baseball. Tentative idea is the Piggyback Lounge in Forest Park which serves great BBQ but as implied, they also have an excellent selection of beer and bourbon. And...there's a lounge downstairs with a bar, couches, and TVs. Couches! It's pretty easy to find (Near Madison and Harlem) and blue line accessible if you are willing to walk a bit in the cold. There are also a couple of free nearby parking lots and street parking.
Date and time to be determined but sometime in the first week of December. Will update as we iron out the details.
Jed Hoyer Speaks
Ben Finfer of the Score did a great interview with Jed Hoyer on the rebuilding process and while I don't have a podcast. The guys at Chicago Cubs Online did their usual great (and painstaking) job of transcribing it for the rest of us.
And interesting excerpt from those of you with financial concerns, Hoyer pretty much reiterates what we've been saying here. It's not that they don't have the money to spend, it's that they are not ready to add that piece. When they are, the money will be there,
No. I mean obviously the payroll has come down a bit. But right now I think we’ve been really focused on acquiring young assets and building through youth. We are very confident that when the players are ready, to augment that group with older players and some free agents, we are very confident we will have the money to do that. So, that certainly has not been a factor. I think that the only things that have really slowed us down, slowed down our progress, is some of the rules changes that were put in place I think have made free agency harder to build in because there are fewer good players now. Obviously the new CBA with the draft restrictions, and the international restrictions, kind of slowed things down a little bit. We’ve been open about that and that was something we didn’t expect. We’ve had to work around it, but the financial part is not something that’s slowed us down at all.
That is pretty much what many of have been trying to say here. You can read the rest of the transcript at Chicago Cubs Online.
Latest on Jeff Samardzija
The news on the Blue Jays slowed down a bit yesterday as Patrick Mooney emphasized there was nothing imminent,
"I won't comment on specific rumors and things like that, but I will say that we're definitely exploring starters with teams," Anthopoulos said. "But also, just like a lot of stuff that's out there that is false, we have not made an offer to anybody with respect to a starter.
"So if there is something out there that we've actually made an offer to someone for a starter, that is not accurate. It doesn't mean we're not inquiring...Right now, there isn't anything imminent."
Julie DiCaro of Aerys Sports said something similar in a pair of tweets last night,
I was told by a reliable source over the weekend that the chances the Blue Jays would be able to put together a package that would pry Samardzija away from the Cubs is “pretty remote.” Chances are that the Blue Jays aren’t going to want to give up young arms like Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez in exchange for a second / third starter with two years left on his contract. To get Samardzija, it would certainly take one of those prospects, if not both. I’ve been told, and Toronto GM Alez Anthopoulos confirmed yesterday, that there is currently no deal on the table for Samardzija.
For what it's worth, I do know the Jays are interested but I have also heard that that there is work to be done. That is not to say a deal can't happen quickly. Trades can come together in a hurry. Sometimes it just takes one concession by either team to get things rolling.
The Nationals remain a strong possibility and Bruce Levine talked about the Diamondbacks being interested suitors as well.
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