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Buzz Around The Game

Let's take a look at what some other sources are reporting today on the rumor front.

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post mentions that Marquis Grissom's agent said he will sign with the Cubs.  When you look at Grissom's 2005, there's not much to like.  He doesn't get on base and he's pushing 40.  On the flip side, Grissom mashed lefties to the tune of .315/.356/.577 in 2004 and he'd make a great platoon partner for Jacque Jones

UPDATE: You probably assumed this, but I've verified with a reliable source that the Grissom deal is for one year and will be incentive-based.  Nothing unexpected, but worth a mention.

The Mets are apparently finalizing a deal for Danys Baez where they'd give up either Jae Seo or Aaron Heilman plus prospects.  In my opinion, this trade is going to weaken the Mets in 2006.  I've projected Baez to post an ERA near 4.  Click here to read MetsBlog's take.

From my inbox today: "You would be crediable if your rumors actually came true."  Why do some people spend so much time writing long, incoherent emails about how they don't like my site?  Just stop reading it if you don't like it.

Dave Kaplan of WGN Radio Chicago has reported that the Cubs are in discussions for Barry Zito.  Wouldn't be bad to see a durable pitcher on the North Side of Chicago to complement Zambrano.

As you've certainly read, Miguel Tejada still wants out.  More on details on teams in play later today.

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Marquis Grissom is about the speed we are running this offseason. Guess his stats from a couple years weren't all that bad but not exactly what we need to bump us up a notch competitively.

Now Barry Zito would be great of course, but wonder what they are wanting for him.

Yeah, I haven't been able to find out the Zito asking price yet.

Mets are weakened if it's Heilman for Baez. If it's Seo, it's fine.

Marquis Grissom?

You're kidding, right?

Were it not for that Barry Zito mention, I'd be about ready to throw in the towel on the Cubs' 2006 season.

Gavin, did you look at Monger's post? He rocked lefty pitchers last season. I may be mistaken but Isn't that exactly what we need to complement a Jacque Jones who is good against righties but awful against lefties? I mean I would prefer Byrnes cause he is younger but a 1 year deal shouldn't set us back too much.

Gavin, man, I'm with you.

I am finding it hard to imagine a more depressing offseason. Honestly, I thought it could not have been worse than last year, where we had to dump Sosa, eat salary, and overpay Burnitz.

But right now, Pierre is the lone shining moment with about 50 dark clouds that won't go away...

If the Cubs acquired Zito the top two names Beane would request, without a doubt, would be Murton and Williams. And with all the talk of the Cubs signing a veteran outfielder like Wilson or Grissom, Murton becomes more likely to be dealt.

Gavin, breathe buddy. This is a great signing by Hendry. It limits Jones's exposure to lefties, whom he can't seem to hit at all. Grissom kills lefties. Grissom can pretty much play all OF spots. Thus he can give Pierre, Murton, or Jones a day off. Also, if Murton turns out to not pan out, you have a somewhat decent hitter in Grissom out there as backup. I like this move quite a bit. Grissom also forms a very good bench: Grissom, Mabry, Blanco, Hairston (if Walker isn't traded), CPat (if not traded), and Neifi Perez. I like this.

Now just go get a solid starting pitcher Jim Hendry. This team needs another starter. Be it Zito, or even Weaver. A rotation of Zambrano, Prior, Maddux, Rusch, Williams will not really scare anyone. But I guess once you get Wood back (assuming he comes back 100%) and the possibility of having Guzman...it might not be so bad: Zambrano, Prior, Maddux, Wood, Guzman. Who knows.

rumormonger-

about the people writing about your site, dont pay attention.

it's not like the namesake of your site doesnt have the word "rumors" all over it.

Alex, read the post.

Marquis was good against lefties 2 years ago, at the age of 38, not last year. I'm sure we could sign Rickey Henderson for one year with incentives, too. He was good against lefties in 1999 (sarcasm).

Jones is not good against righties; he is just less atrocious against righties than lefties.

I am disheartened by this move. More valuable salary flushed down the toilet of a bad player we don't need, and perhpas the final White Flag signing of 2005 for the Cubs. I just wish the last two offseasons weren't spent basically in their entirety making White Flag signings. Two years should have DAMN well been plenty of time to make some quality moves, Jim Hendry. You are out of excuses now, Hendweak.

You have built this disaster, Hendry, and continue to plug the leaky damn with chewed bubble gum. The sad thing is that is it completely within your power to make the team better, but you won't. Everything and everybody is just "too expensive," like always. Too costly in talent, too pricy, too many years, blah blah blah....

Same excuses, different year. It is time to relieve Mr. Hendry of his GM duties before he signs Jose Canseco to a three-year, 16 million dollar deal. Because he just might.

Let's move on from this regime already.

Screw that; sign Zito next offseason. With Baker, the Flubs are going nowhere, and they need to keep Murton and Williams (young, cheap, and talented) as part of 2007's possibly contending team.

i have a novelty idea, guys. please, for the love of christ, stop going to cubs games. you're like crank addicts that complain, bitch, get on their hands and knees, but in the end, find themselves in the same goddamn place. at wrigley field, sucking the perverbial wanker of the corporate beast you so loathe.

two winning seasons under your belts and you become whiney bitches. the first manager/coach duo to do this in YEARS and you're all ruining it. go be white sox fans. they WANT you, and they won.

christ on fire.

Dan

Or perhaps you could stop coming to a board, bitching and griping about posters who displease you, and proving yourself to be a hypocrite?

Does anybody think the cubs will end up with zito? And if they do have an offer who will the cubs trade?

Does anybody think the cubs will end up with zito? And if they do have an offer who will the cubs trade?

well, headcase, you're turning the tables and trying to leave no room for people like me to combat people like you. so...

you're absolutely right, dear (i learned this strategy with my wife).

whatever helps ya sleep at night.

I will be soooooo pissed if the cubs sign grissom, this guy is 40 phucking years old!!! give me a break!

I just cant figure out what the As would trade Zito for...basically all we have is Pie, C Pat and young starting pitching. The As have a surplus of both young outfielders and young starting pitching. I guess we could trade Walker, but I just dont see what the As could want from us, unless their as enfatuated with Pie as Hendry is.

A trade for Zito opens the door a Zambrano for Tejada trade or a Zito for Tejada trade. Either way you swing it, overall it'll probably pretty much be Murton and prospects for Tejada. Personally, I would much rather keep Zambrano than Zito but whatever it takes to get Miggy in Cubbie Blue for '06.

I'd like to see Tejada and Preston Wilson over Ronny Cedeno and Murton.

Rumormongor, I personally enjoy your site immensely...keep up the good work...when im not a work i check your site at least 3 times a day. It's like a soap opera magazine for baseball fans....it keeps me going during the winter months..it gives me my baseball fix. And for all those who are upset at the fact that your not omniscient, they should take a moment to consider the idea that very rarely are trades completed w/ the first or second proposal...thats why you'll often here the word "hammered out" when referring to a completed deal. And when the rumors finally do morph into facts its then posted as news b/c that day the rumors would have been confirmed by a press conference otherwise at the end of the day it still just considered a rumor. I hope you understand that.
Looking forward to future postings.
Loyally Yours, Pete Rose

"I will be soooooo pissed if the cubs sign Grissom"

You know you actually need veteran bench players to fill the roster genius. Getting bent out of shape for Marquis Grissom? Grissom will be a key 4th or 5th outfielder. Mabry and Grissom is an upgrade over Hollandsworth/Macias

This goes back to the tejada deal but we should just take away rich hill or corey patterson and add Felix Pie because if we offer Pie, Prior and cedeno, and hill/patterson they will probly accept the trade because they want Pie. PLus we dont even know if pie will be playing in the majors or AAA yet.

for current and future payroll purposes (with a pitcher retiring after this year, some hitting their contract breaks soon), i'd just keep pie. you know he'll at least put up acceptable numbers sometime, and he wont eat chunks out of your payroll for at least a tiny bit.

sign grissom. bat him against lefties. we'd have a way better bench. people should get upset over this. bench players are situational. and grissom and mabry are great situational players, no?

I'd like to hear from "No Head Cases Please" what his suggestions are to make the Cubs better.

Teetz--you make a good point that we do need more outfielders--lots of us have missed that. WIth Jones/Patterson/Murton/Pierre/Mabry we only have 5.....not enough depth.

Prior and Hill for Tejada and Bedard is already lop-sided in favor of the Orioles--especially when you consider the fact that they have the burden of trading a disgruntled player. Adding Cedeno and Pie, however, would be insane. Not only would we be overpaying INSANELY, but we'd also be giving up on 3 of our best prospects, along with our second best starting pitcher.

Whether Pie, Hill, or any other prospect pans out at the major league level *is* a gamble. And there is the possibility that none of them will ever become the studs that we hope they become--that's why they are prospects and not superstars. However, they are very highly-touted prospects, which means that a lot of people in baseball think very highly of them. If we decide that Pie or Hill doesn't fit into the master plan, it'd behoove the Cubs to use them to acquire separate pieces of the puzzle--not package them all together at once to knock some GM off his feet.

As for Grissom, if he is acquired to either platoon with Jones, or be a bench player with the occasional spot-start, it would be a very good signing. While he's not a high OBP kind of player, he is definitely an upgrade over Macias, and his addition will mean that we have a couple of players who can play all outfield spots if needed. It would add great depth...IF, however, he is being acquired to be a starter, or if Murton is made to platoon with Jones, it would be an absurd signing. I want Zito on my team, but I'm not willing to trade Murton(who you *know* Beane will probably insist on getting)to acquire Zito. We'd be better off taking a chance on Wade Miller, or trying to sign Weaver (not a fan of him, either).

Rich Hill sucks and you'd have to part with more than Murton to get Zito anyway.

The Cubs don't need pitching. They need offense.

This is my opininon trade wise..

Offer- Prior,Pie,Hill and Cash-- Tejada and Bedard

For Zito- Murton,Cash, and someone out of the bullpen and maybe Walker

Since that would leave us without a 2nd baseman go after Jose Vidro for Kerry Wood

The rotation would look something like this

1.Zambano
2.Zito
3.Maddux
4.Bedard
5.Williams/Rusch

Jon,

If you go to the "Cubs Close to Signing Preston Wilson" link on the left, you can see some of my suggestions. I basically tried to offer some moves the Cubs could make which I think would significantly help this team, but wouldn't necessarily be considered "blockbusters." I happen to think there are three reasonable moves Hendry can make which wouldn't cots too much, but could be key additions. My explanations are on that board, please check them out; but to sum up:

1.) Get Aubrey Huff, platoon Murton and Jones until Murton takes over for good.

2.) Acquire Barry Zito - stud LHP who gives you 230 innings and has won a Cy Young.

3.) Try to get Jose Vidro from the Nats, but don't overpay. High return potential with a still pretty young Vidro.

Anyhow, rather than make everybody re-read my post, just please check it out on the left.

Thanks!

I was looking through Bill James' handbook the other day looking for a good platoon partner for Jacque Jones when I stumbled across the name Craig Monroe, a right handed hitting outfielder for the Tigers who has destroyed lefties in his brief career. I have no idea if he is at all available but his numbers against righties and lack of any other good skills suggest that he is probably best suited as a platooning outfielder. I don't know how to make a link to his numbers otherwise I would, but you should look for yourself. Like I said I have no idea if he is the least bit available or how he stacks up with the Tigers but if we could get him I think it makes sense. Hits lefties hard, struggles against righties, still young and is a year away from free agency. I wonder if we could make a trade?

Platooning Murton is a bad idea. I think he's going to impress even more this next year. I think he is going to be a hitting machine in the big leagues. If you look at his minor league numbers, there is nothing that suggests that he will struggle against righties like some people have come to believe. As a matter of fact he hit 4 of his 7 big league home runs against righties. His average against righties was lower mostly because Dusty played him so sparingly against righties early on so he was maybe seeing a righty once a week. I don't think Murton has anything left to proove in the minors or in a part time role. He continued to hit really well in the Fall League. I think he's earned it.

I can't find one thing appealing about Jose Vidro. I still can't believe that the Cubs didn't even look into Orlando Hudson considering we are supposedly looking into dealing Walker and he was on the market as well. If the Blue Jays were looking for bats I think a deal including Walker would make sense. Then again Hudson was one of Toronto's best dealing chips so it might have been tougher than I think. I can't help but like the idea of a good 2B to help Z and Maddux. The Cubs seem to believe Cedeno's got the glove to handle short so those two could have made a nice double play team.

I don't think the A's are going to deal Zito. They have a really good shot at winning the West this year and I can't think of a package the Cubs could put together that would make them a better team now. And while I love Zito, I don't think he'd fair very well at Wrigley. Zito has always been a flyball pitcher who has really benefited from playing in one of the harder parks in the AL to hit a home run. Even with that, he's only managed to post ERA's in the mid 3's and even 4's. I'd stay away from Zito if I'm the Cubs.

Zito's GB/FB ratio last year was 1.05 which was far and away his career high. Prior to last year he was consistently in the .80 range which would give him one of the worst ratio's in the AL.

No Head Cases-

The problem with your suggestions is that you don't suggest what we would give up. I'm sure if it was as easy as you claim, Hendry would love to have Barry Zito in the rotation. But we don't get him for free. Who do we give up? The same goes for Vidro and Huff. Do you think we can do that all with just prospects?

I certainly don't see Matt Murton as an untouchable. If we can get Barry Zito, I would definitely pull the trigger. Murton will be a nice player but he's not superstar quality. It would be nice to sell Murton when his value is high.

If Zito is acquired, the Cubs can either spare a starting pitcher to land Tejada or go the White Sox route and try to win with a dominant pitching staff and a so-so offense and just hope the team hits a super hot streak in October like the White Sox did.

Bob-

Vidro and Huff, yes with just prospects. I'm not exactly sure about Zito since nobody has given me a real feel about what his actual asking price is; though some suggestions have been bandied about on these boards (Murton, Hill, & Patterson, for example).

My suggestion wasn't that we could get Vidro, Huff, and Zito for free. My point was that Vidro, Huff, and Zito are three names rumored to be on the trading block whose price would not be Prior or Zambrano, like Tejada was. The Cubs have asked about Huff before, and WGN radio has said the Cubs are "very interested" in Zito. Vidro is a guy oft mentioned as a Hendry favorite; considering the Cubs apparently do not want to go the Todd Walker route, and Soriano is making a real stink about playing the OF, it would seem like a good opportunity to ask about a switch-hitting 2B who plays the #2 spot in the order nicely and can post a .350 OBP.

I could take up a lot of space with trade proposal ideas on prospects, but that isn't my point. The point is/was who these trades WOULDN'T cost the Cubs (Prior, Zambrano, Lee, Ramirez, etc.). I just think there are still a few options available to Hendry without having to give up big Z or Prior along the way, that's all.


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