The hot stove is lit, and things should be crazy at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis. The Cubs have been in the news a lot lately, so I figured I'd take the blog out of hiatus and get cracking again.
Once an elite closer, Saito is turning 40 in February and has been in decline since 2007. Thing is, he's still serviceable and may not be a bad middle/late inning guy in 2010. The rumor mill says eight teams are kicking the tires, so that may make the price go up too much. I have more on Saito's decline at The Hardball Times.
Milton Bradley, Luis Castillo and Pat Burrell
This is one that keeps coming back. Milt and cash to Tampa, with a hopeful flip of Burrell to New York for Castillo.
Castillo would be about average in terms of overall value, but I can't get behind middle infielders in their middle thirties. Even though I can't see the Cubs getting fair value in any scenario involving Bradley.
Twitter was popping about Ankiel recently. As in, the Cubs are "poised" to sign him once Bradley is gone. I found the origin at Hot Stove Cubbies. Sourcing seems weak, and I have no idea of that blog's track record on these things:
According to sources, the Cubs are poised to sign Rick Ankiel as soon as Milton Bradley is traded. The Cubs have been linked to Ankiel recently along with Crisp, Cameron, Byrd, among others....It is also rumored the Cubs will in fact offer Ankiel a multi-year deal so they can can make the money disperse more over years rather than him signing a one year deal worth a higher figure.
I really don't know what to make of this report, but who knows. Besides, Ankiel isn't much of a player. He's not a kid anymore (30) and even a rebound from last year's bomb wouldn't be much of a treat, on offense or defense.