Batch 2: December 4,Update 2.1: December 6
Update 2.2: December 8
(12/8) Pena, one year 10 million bucks. Done.
(12/6) I don't want to talk about James Loney or Lyle Overbay. So I'll just quote some tweets. Oddly, I just did something similar at Another Cubs Blog, also to express concern/horror over a first base candidate. Twice in one day, hmm.
Me: @truebluela would you agree, Loney puts the ball in play a lot and without much authority ... not exactly a corner infield profile?
Eric: @harrypav Yep
Here's the bit at ACB about Bryan LaHair. Now I'm linking to myself quoting myself on twitter. I think the outsourcing firm that handles my narcissism is dropping the ball.
Allow me to quote myself and Zach Sanders on twitter.
Quote:Me: He's only been in three games this winter. He hit really well in Iowa, but he just turned 28 and has been in AAA since 2006.
Zach: Yeah, he's the definition of replacement level.
Me: The Cubs could end up needing him this year, the way things are going.
Flash forward to now.
Overbay, well, not much to say ... he's going to be 34 but might not be a bad option for a year. That's paraphrasing some more twitter thoughts.
I wonder if there's a team with a first baseman they'd like to swap for Kosuke Fukudome, but I can't think of any "bad contract" deals that match-up. I haven't thought too hard, as I suspect the Cubs still have Fukudome as a plan B everyday right fielder.
The proverbial inning eater search is also dwindling, both by signing and apparent disinterest. The Cubs seem focused on Brandon Webb at the moment.
Webb could post a 65% GB rate with two swing and miss pitches (curve and especially change) plus had a new cutter ... before getting hurt. Badly hurt, shoulder being tough to come back from. Even with middling velocity Webb could be very effective.
That's all that is really cooking right now. See below for some older updates and more stuff that's still a-simmerin'
Batch 1 & Update 1, November 29, Update 2 & 3, November 30, Update 4 December 2, Update 5 - 7 December 3, Update 8 - 9 December 4
The Cubs clearly need someone to play first. Tyler Colvin is not a realistic option, and Bryan LaHair is fine for the I-Cubs. It's no secret the Cubs are seeking a left-handed, quality defender to fill the void.
(Update 7) Cubs "pursuing"
(Update 8) Adrian to Boston. A-Gon is going to take a physical, sign an extension and all that good stuff.
(Update 9) Puma to the Cardinals. Am I dreaming or are the Cards currently slated to have Theriot at short and Berkman in their outfield? I'd like to congratulate the Reds on their repeat NLC title in 2011....
Chris Davis was mentioned earlier in the off-season, as was Nick Johnson.
(Update 4) Berkman is looking for $7-11 million
(Update 2) Brad Hawpe. CCO noted his availability, and the Cubs' interest.
This is a dicey point for me. On one hand, you never have enough starting pitching and there are enough questions marks in what appears to be a deep group to justify adding an arm. On the other hand, this is often a costly investment. The phrase "innings eater" on its own gives me a middling dose of agitation.
The Cubs are rumored to be in on Jeremy Bonderman,
(Update 6) Twitter lit up for a bit when Jerry Crasnick tweeted the Nats and Cubs were stepping it up on Brandon Webb.
(update 4) Padilla is staying with the Dodgers.
Bonderman and Webb are interesting, all five are at least a little scary.
(Update 1) CCO tweets the Cubs are in on a couple other reclamation projections, namely Jeff Francis and
(Update 5) Bedard inked a minor-league deal with Seattle. The M's paid him a lot of cash while he was injured. Or their insurance company did. Francis is talking to the Mets, but has not signed (per ESPN.com).
This is a great opportunity to give someone too much money. Jesse Crain is the hot set-up guy, and the Cubs are interested. Joaquin Benoit got $16.5 over three years, which should be out of reach for Crain. But, still, that's a lot of scratch.
(Update 5) Making my own rumor out of thin air ... Bobby Jenks. Please. His walk rate may have slid upward, but his K and GB rates are really good and even the BB rate is easily above average.
(Update 3) Second is not a gaping hole, but the it wouldn't be a surprise if the Cubs aren't sold on Blake DeWitt playing everyday. Anyway, Orlando Hudson is available and the Cubs are said to be interested. O-Dog is (was?) a great defender, which could be a refreshing change.