I caught a well-respected source shortly before he left for the winter meetings in Dallas today.
He didn't have anything on which way Rafael Furcal is leaning, but he did confirm that the Cubs' offer of five years and about $50MM is on the table. This is nothing new, but now you have one more source authenticating the fact that the Cubs guaranteed the fifth year. Some sources have claimed that the Cubs came out of the gate with 5/50, but in reality their initial bid was four years and $38MM.
The Cubs are still in on Juan Pierre. You've surely heard mention of interest from the Yankees, White Sox, and Padres lately. Just a reminder that the Cubs do indeed have Pierre on their radar currently.
We've been talking about Milton Bradley for a week now, and talks are heating up with L.A. Another name the Cubs are seriously considering is Derek Lowe. Lowe had a resurgent year in Los Angeles, and Hendry would feel much safer being able to pencil in 32 starts from him for '06. You can never have too much pitching.
Here and there, you may have heard that Carlos Zambrano could be had in a trade. That's absurd, of course.
Will Carroll mentioned in his Mill today that the Braves will snag Julio Lugo if Furcal departs. It works the other way too - the Cubs will be hot on his trail if Furcal re-signs with Atlanta.
Finally, the Cubs are thinking about dealing for Dave Roberts to help out as a sort of utility outfielder. The Padres have little need for him at this point.
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