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Cubs Close To Signing Preston Wilson?

I've got the latest Cubs scoop tonight.  This is thirdhand information originating from a baseball scout, but I do think it's legitimate.  The source is telling me that the Cubs are close to signing Preston Wilson

It seems that the Tejada deal is dead and the Orioles have rejected the Cubs' offer.  Cubs GM Jim Hendry is looking in another direction for some added power in the lineup, and Wilson is his type of player.  By that, I mean that Wilson is an affordable outfielder with average to below average plate discipline.  He's a career .264/.333/.478 hitter.

The acquisition would push Jacque Jones to left field, a position he hasn't played since 2003.  Matt Murton would platoon with Jones and face southpaws.  Wilson would take over in right field, a position he's played for just 19 games in his career.  The source also mentioned that Corey Patterson is as good as gone, although we pretty much assumed that.

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Why wouldnt Wilson just play center and flip Pierre to left with murton and jones platooning in Right??

this signing has bad vibrations written all over it. i would think that murton would be packaged in a deal with hill/williams for a pitcher such as zito and hope to flip him somewhere else if this is the case.

i prefer to sign eric byrnes to be our fourth/fifth outfielder and go that route.

Cubs-Mylife, I don't think they would move Pierre. Wilson has a great arm too, so right would probably be more ideal for him with his arm and bad knees. but, i don't like his how prone he is to the strikeout.

Cubs-Mylife..

Because the guy chucking peanut bags around Wrigley has a better arm than Pierre, and Murton has never played RF.

they should definitely be platooning jones and wilson, let murton play.

however that is one expensive very mediocre platoon

ive watched the rangers do it to nix the past three yeras, not let him play against lefties, eventually you need to let the kid play, and i think murton is a real talent

Hey guys was at my desk listening to the Score sportsradio 670 here in Chicago this morning and the latest on the potential Tejada trade is this per Chris Rongey. He says that trade talks have stalled because the Orioles are not sold on Mark Prior. They have informed the Cubs that they will trade Tejada only if the Cubs were to trade them Carlos Zambrano. He didnt say if it was injury worries or they just prefer Z over Prior. He also said the Orioles at this point have told the Cubs they will not include Bedard in the deal. (didnt mention anything about any other starters) Either way it looks like getting Tejada could very well cost us our best and most reliable pitcher. Im not sure I do this deal if they will only take Zambrano. It's pretty iffy to rely on Prior, Wood, Maddux

Now the cubs have completly lost it we don't need an more outfielders!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks like the Tejada is all but dead with the following story. http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-orioles-burnitz&prov=ap&type=lgns

Regarding Preston Wilson. Hard to believe it possible for Hendry to come up with a worse signing than the Jacque Jones one, but if he signs Wilson he very well may have done it. Another guy that strikes out a ton, walks almost never (45 total last year in over 500 ABs) is injury prone, has almost no speed left (he stole a whopping 14 SBs in 03 and 6 last year, he was hurt for most of 04)covers almost no ground in the outfield, He did hit alot of HRS in COL , (his stats werent inflated in COL at all of course) but when he got to Wash. he did very little to help that team. All I know is this guy never even hit .300 in Colorado. Even Burnitz managed to do that. He's a career avg is .264 with a career OBP of .333. and here's the real beauty in 139 games between COL and WAS he struck out 148 times last year. Not a fluke either in 02 struck out 140 times in 141 games and in 00 struck out 187 times in 161 games. His on base plus slugging has been over .800 once in the last 4 years My guess is the Cubs will give him even more money than they did Jones. I've been a Cub fan my whole life and I would never do it but I have to wonder how many casual or even more than casual Cub fans might switch sides this year. My best friend has been a lifelong Cub fan and is thinking of going to more Sox games then Cub games this year and you know what, I dont blame him. They win a World Series and their big moves are trading for when healthy arguably the best left handed hitting slugger in baseball, trade for a #2 or 3 caliber starter with potential. resign their star 1B, and today resign one of their young stud pitchers. Our big moves miss out on Furcal so we can overpay for Pierre, sign two relievers (which was good), overpay a K artist with declining stats in most major offensive categories in right, and now apparently on the verge of doing the exact same thing for CF and you could argue Wilson potentially could be worse than Jones. No upgrades for a pitching staff that has 2 real starters and 40 something year old as its third one. Geez Jim wth is going on?

if hendry signs preston "strikeout king" wilson and platoon murton, the only one of the three who has shown plate discipline, with jones it is time to burn hendry in effigy and start a firehendry.com website.

Jones is horrible against lefties.
Wilson is ok against lefties.
It's as simple as that.
I say it's a good move.
This way you get another power bat, without trading anyone.
Plus with the money they save from not pursuing Tejada the Cubs can try and make a deal with the A's for Zito.

This is a terrible move. Hendry is an idiot. Preston = mediocre + aging

Byrnes = less expensive + available + younger + potential to be very good, especially in Wrigley

We need to sign Byrnes cause he is great against lefties and, I think, has enough potential to not need to be platooned with Jones who will hit against righties.

Byrnes is the best option.

I agree, we will need to fire Hendry and start fresh with a new GM and manager next season if he does this.

I think this would be a genius move!!!! I think Matt Murton would be shipped off with Rich Hill to Oakland for Zito then. Murton is a rookie, we all love him, but who knows how well he could do. Preston is a legitimate threat in the 5 hole. He wont be any worse than Murton, besides k's. But gettin Zito would be worth it. But if the cubs just sign Preston and dont get Zito, then I'd be pissed.

Murton and Hill for Zito. DO IT. I don't care who they replace Murton with.

You guys are retarded if you think you're getting Zito for just Murton and Hill.

It will cost alot more than Murton and Hill for Zito....try more along the lines of Murton,Hill,Guzman and Pie...do you really want Zito that BAD??? Hell you might have to put Hairston and Patterson in that as well. That is way to much for someone on a 1yr lease.

i think it'd have to be Murton, Hill, and Guzman/Pie, and a little $$$

Do you guys realize that Zito is a free agent after 2006 season?? So you are willing to give up maybe the best pure hitter in the game (Murton) for a one-season rental? This is lunacy.

The more idiotic moves the Cubs make this offseason, I feel less concerned about my Cardinals and their moves.

The Cubs are still an improved team. They are better at lead-off, better in the pen. And no matter how mediocre Jones/Wilson are, they are no worse than HOllingsworth/Burnintz. Defensively, they remain abhorrent, and probably worse defensively than they were last year.

The best pure hitter in the game? Maybe we should let Murton play a full season before we bestow THAT title on him. And if the Cubs did a deal for Zito, there'd have to be an extension involved. Which shouldn't be a problem for the Cubs, as both Maddux and Wood come off the books next year. In fact, why not just wait until '07 and sign Zito then, because he's not going to make this crap team win in '06.

That pretty much recaps it Jake. Does getting involved in trade discussions that realistically never have any chance of going anywhere and leaking that information consistently count for anything also? Maybey Jim confuses activity with results.

Wilson would be compounding the Jones error. Do the Cubs need to spend more on broken down low OBP guys or should they be looking at their unreliable starting pitching.

Hendry should be concentrating on developing the talent in the organization and then trading from a position of strength

Why the hell do the Cubs need Wilson. I mean were paying Jaque Jones 16 million for 3 years no be a Starter. Murton Is the Future and needs to be Playing everyday like Ronny C.

Hold up a minute, DONUTS...who says Ronny C. is going to play every day? I don't believe that will happen with Dusty as our manager. I would go ahead and pencil in Neifi as our everyday shortstop. Unless Walker gets traded- which I think would possibly be as retarded as signing Preston Wilson- I'd bet money that Ronny Cedeno will be sitting on the bench for the majority of our games this year. As for Zito, besides his contract ending after '06, let's not forget that the numbers that he has put up as a pitcher have come in an extreme pitcher's ballpark. The foul territory in Oakland is supposed to drop something like 20 points off of a batting average. I'm just not sold on Zito pitching at Wrigley Field. I think it's an interesting idea, but not for our good, young players. We're running out of those.

Why the hell wouldn't the A's trade Zito for Murton and Hill? Murton proved he could play well in the majors, and Hill is a pitcher very similar to Zito. 1) Zito is a FA after this year. 2) They got minor leaguers for Hudson and Mulder and those 2 are better than Zito!!!

Does Murton have a disease or something? The guy had a great showing in 2005 in limited time, and has shown some real promise, yet the Cubs are going out and signing all of these retreads who were really never great to begin with.

Why would any of you trade a guy like Murton, who should be here for the next several years, to the A's for Zito, where there is no garentee that he will sign to an extension. If they were to trade for Zito, I would prefer to give up guys that don't have a spot on this team. Right now, Felix Pie has no spot on this team for at least 3 seasons. Why not trade him for Zito and then try to sign Zito to an extension??? If they were to trade Murton we would have an OF of Jones, Pierre, and Wilson, THAT IS BAD!!!!!

Murton needs to play EVERY DAY. I like Preston but as a platoon with Jones but do we really think Busty will figure it out? I think if the signing happens, we're looking at an outfield of Wilson, Jones, & Pierre with Murton getting very limited at bats. Which is a crying shame!

One more point... people that are saying we are improved team are right, BUT we were still a horrible team last year!! We finished in 4th place, 2 game BEHIND Milwaukee. We don't need marginal imporvement, we need MAJOR improvement to be competitive and we're nowhere near where we need to be. Houston will be down but the Cards are the Cards and the Brewers & Pirates will be better.

"Why the hell wouldn't the A's trade Zito for Murton and Hill?"

Because they could get a ton of offers better than that?

- Yes, Murton played well. IN JUST 51 GAMES. He hasn't proven anything up to this point. His average/OBP was the only real thing that stood out. His power numbers and RBIs were nothing special.

- Rich Hill sucks. Flat out. He's similar to Zito? Don't kid yourself. He's just like 1 year younger and while Zito's won a Cy Young already, Rich Hill's been busy giving up 24 runs in 24 2/3 innings. He's not a major league pitcher.

Hmm.

Just a few comments from a Cubs fan who has made a few on this board before.

First, "homer-ism" only goes so far. I was a bit distressed to hear how much uproar there was against trading Prior for Bedard and Tejada, a deal where I thought the Cubs came out ahead; that being said, I never thought Angelos would take it.

To say that it is a seller's market in trade talks the last two years is an understatement. Everybody wants Zambrano and Pie in any trade proposals; and I think Tampa's GM actually wants a potential suitor's immortal soul in exchange for either Huff or Lugo.

Seems yet another of Jim Hendry's predictions have proven quite false -- yet again; it appears that teams aren't just lining up for trades this offseason. I'll chalk that one up with that imaginary line-up of players willing to take drastic pays cuts just for the honor of playing under Dusty Baker.

Back to "homer-ism." I find it hard to comment on some of the Zito-for-Murton blather I've heard here because I actually see some Cub fans thinking WE would be somehow getting the short end of the stick on this. Now is the time to take off the Cub glasses and think reasonably. Getting Barry Zito for a package of Murton and minor-leaguers would be a downright, absolute STEAL for the Cubbies. It boggles my mind that any Cub fan would so highly anoint Murton already that they would even consider holding him over acquiring a dominating, Cy Young-winning Left-Handed 228-inning-pitching stud like Barry Zito!

Yes, he's only got a year left. OBVIOUSLY, Hendry would want an extention discussed before trading three prospects for him. That should go without saying. No, you cannot wait for Zito to be a Free Agent to get him because then a bidding war ensues, and the Cubs will IMMEDIATELY rule him out as they always do with expensive Free Agents; remember, the first time the Cubs get outbid for a Free Agent is always - always - the end of the Cubs' bidding. The moment the Dodgers outbid for Furcal, the Cubs withdrew. That was actually, to my memory, the closest the Cubs have come since Andre Dawson to signing a big-time, young Free Agent entering his prime. Every other Free Agent acquisition under McFail/Hendweak has been a bullpen arm (Hawkins, Alfonseca, Remlinger, Howry, Eyre....the list goes on and on), or a really bad stopgap player toward the end of Free Agency (Burnitz, Jones).

So if the Cubs are ever to get Zito, it's going to have to be via trade and extention. It will never, ever, EVER happen via Free Agency, ever.

I'll continue this post next so I don't lose my connection.............

About Murton--I agree he needs a full season. However, if he hits .300 plus and 20+ homers with an OPS of above .900 (which are all reasonable based on his 51 games last year), I'm sure ALOT of teams would be clamoring to acquire him and the Cubs should consider themselves lucky to have him.

Billy Beane operates on a very tight budget and values young players with high OBP and power (i.e. Nick Swisher). So while the trade may not seem to make sense to you, Beane is probably drooling over a young player like Murton. Granted it will probably take Murton, Dopriak, and young pitcher but i'm sure that Beane is only interested in young players what are several years away from arbitration.

Also, the Cubs have signed many big-name free agents but the problem is that most of them have not panned out! Also, Dawson was not a young player when he signed with the Cubs.

In the latest issue of Vineline, there is an article that states that Hendry expects Murton & Cedeno to be full-time starters in 2006.

Plus, Dawson came begging to play for the Cubs with a blank check and the Cubs gave him just $500K.

....(continued from last post).....

The Tejada deal may be dead. Fine, I'll just be disappointed and move on, because we obviously cannot give up Zambrano. But rather than saddle this team for years with yet another overpaid, lousy stopgap player who will eat-up important payroll and be impossible to trade when they suck, why not pass on Preston Wilson and try something that may cost a little more, but will have a better payout.

Here's a suggestion from this John Q. Cubfan:

1.) Acquire Aubrey Huff. Come to terms with Tampa and get it done. He is quite young, he is not too expensive, and he has a quality record. We are not talking about giving-up too much for Reggie Sanders here. He'd be that big-time lefty bat between Lee and Ramirez who doesn't strike out much and plays every day. He is worth a slight overpayment; mind you, I'm not saying a BIG overpayment. He would help this team, in my opinion, and won't cost Prior or Zambrano. It will also allow Jones to platoon with Murton until Murton eventually stakes his permanent claim at the starting job. Or, if Murton goes via trade, we can work in the coveted Pie with Jones over the course of the season.

2.) Make a serious run at Barry Zito. He is a stud LHP who pitches 230 innings a year and has Cy Young stuff. He's worth pursuing, and can eat the 12 million we will not be paying Maddux after this season. Zito is worth more than a thought, Jim Hendry; he is worth a serious inquiry.

3.) Take advantage of the situation in Washington. A natural #2 hitter is available in Jose Vidro. They aren't likely to let their big acquisition go (Soriano), so see what they want for Vidro. I don't know why, other than defense, Todd Walker isn't in the Cubs' plan; but I'm willing to accept that they know something I do not in regards to Todd. So go after an oft-mentioned Hendry guy with the chance of high payout. There is much discussion on Vidro, good and bad. I think he'd do just fine here, with the chance of being stellar. We have par-level replacements if he should fall (Hairston, Perez, maybe Walker if kept), and he has the potential to be a relatively speedy, switch-hitting, .300/25 guy with a .350+ OBP at the 2 hole in the lineup. Again, don't overpay in talent for him, but Washington will surely listen to reasonable offers now.

This is just my example of how, without necessarily losing Prior or Zambrano, this team can still get better under Jim Hendry.

Sample lineup:

1.) Pierre (L) CF
2.) Vidro (S) 2B
3.) Lee (R) 1B
4.) Huff (L) RF
5.) Ramirez (R) 3B
6.) Jones/Cedeno (L) LF
7.) Barrett (R) C
8.) Cedeno/Pie (L) SS

Zambrano
Zito
Prior
Maddux
Wood (Williams/Rusch meanwhile)

Howry
Rusch
Eyre
Best-available RHP

Dempster

Again, just an example. But I think it does show that this team can still get quite better without losing Prior or Zambrano. Maybe it costs a little talent from the farm; so what? Zito and Huff would be worth it, as they are still young enough to play for quite a while. I don't like trading the farm for old folks, but quality young guys...yes.

Just my opinion. I think Hendry could still get a lot done without more White Flag signings like Jackkques Jones and Preston K. Wilson. Why toss in the towel like that - an expensive towel - just for the sake of saying you didn't sleep through the offseason?

the cubs need a legitimate number 5 hitter. you can see what hendry is trying to do. he'll only make the tejada deal if he can swing the zito trade to keep a strong rotation.

ok forget it.....just go sign Sammy Sosa and get it over with....he should come cheaper than Wilson

Cubs need a #2 AND #5 hitter. I would love to take a risk on Vidro for 2b and to land Huff. I think that would actually make our line-up formidable.

Also, Zito is a possibility... I don't know why so many Cubs fans dismiss it! We can make a run next year... the future is promised to no one... no matter how good of a prospect you may be!

Remember these "untouchables":
Hee Soop Choi
Bobby Hill
Francis Beltran
Andy Sisco
Jason Dubois
Ben Christensen
Brendan Harris
David Kelton
Steve Smyth
Bobby Brownlie

Cubs fans are now freaking out about "third-hand" information? Come on now.

No head cases please, that was one hell of a post and I agree with everything you said. I'm not sure that we will be able to pry away huff from the DRays since they want so damn much and unless they come to terms with the fact that they are asking for an arm, a leg, your first born son, and that thing men use to create their first born sons, we won't. In that case, I still think signing Burnes and platooning him with Jones is the best solution should your suggestions not work out.

Is Hendry getting payoffs from the Cardinals or something?

Paul,

Dont forget

Robin Jennings
Kevin Orie
Lance Dickson
Doug Glanville
Julio Zueleta
Brooks Kieschinick
Pat Cline
Earl Cunningham
Jeremi Gonzalez
Ty Griffin

You realize with Barry Zito, you're gonna be having three starting pitchers commanding $13-15 million per year within the next 3 years?

Sorry guys, the Tribune isn't drastically raising payroll anytime soon.

Re: previous posts responding to me (some without names)

I like the platoon with Byrnes idea as a fallback. If we can't get Huff, and I mean really just can't get Huff, then a mediocre platoon will have to do. One thing is for certain, batting Jones against lefties lands any GM and/or manager in the "five times dumber than a brick" club, in my humble opinion. For that matter, I don't like Jones much against righties, either......

I'm glad to see some folks here are open to the ideas I posted. Sometimes these conversations wind-up turning into an overcritical series of rants that amount to nobody being worth trading for except Albert Pujols - and even then he's surely on the way down in his career (sigh).

I think Hendry should get on the phone with Oakland, Tampa, and Washington and make these less-than-blockbuster trades. The overall lineup becomes very promising, and the price paid isn't as high as some would have us believe. I am glad to see fellow Cubs fans post the series of "certain superstar prospects" that wound-up getting us next to nothing; indeed, the future is not guaranteed. Felix Pie could go Corey Patterson on us, and Murton, Cedeno, Dopriak, etc. could have elbow surgery next year...who knows? Who really knows?

Again, I don't like trading the farm guys for older players who may be running out of gas; but in the case of, say, Zito and Huff -- well -- they're young and very good, which is about what you hope your prospect(s) MIGHT someday turn out to be.

Call me nuts, but if we did trade a handful of prospects for the above two or three guys, yet kept Lee, Ramirez, Zambrano, Prior, and possibly Wood, as well as just 4 of our "top ten" prospects....well.....darn it I say we made out like bandits!

But that's just me, I suppose. I look over that lineup I posted, keeping all of those important guys I just mentioned, and I feel just peachy about letting some guys go who've never played a major-league season. Sure they may turn out pretty darned good; but seriously, is it realistic to expect that they'll ALL turn out to be great players who'll come back to haunt you because every one of the young stars you picked up all tanked? I just don't see that as realistic.

Young, good guys in return? Trade some youth with confidence! Old guys winding down in their careers? I'll pass on giving up youth, thank you.

All I'm saying is, getting Huff, Zito, and/or Vidro while holding on to those key players.......doggone it, it just seems like we come out ahead to me.

Why is everyone slobbing on Eric Byrnes' knob? The guy is worse than Preston Wilson.

Cubs aren't getting Byrnes--he's going to the D-Backs for 2.25 MM. He had a miserable year last year--so I don't think anyone can say he's a better option than Wilson (although I don't want him either).

The talks about Wilson coming to the Cubs has been going on for quite sometime, well before Jacque Jones. Wilson and his agent actually approached the Cubs and told the organization that Preston would LOVE to play for Dusty Baker and he'd do it for less money than others. A signing of Wilson would make Murton highly expendible, especially with Jones locked in for 3 years and Pierre set up to get an extension.

As for Oakland, Beane wanted in the rumored Cubs-O's trade talks. And Beane's not too worried about trading/losing Zito this offseason or at the deadline or to free agency especially with the safety net of Loaiza signed this offseason at 21 million/3 years. The Cubs could definately pry Zito away with a package of Murton, Hill, Williams and maybe another prospect. It's along the same lines as the Cardinals deal last offseason for Mark Mulder. That cost the redbirds the best teenage prospect in baseball at the time in Daric Barton, and two pitchers that helped immediately in Danny Haren, and Kiko Calero.

And here's a shameless plug for Cubs' fans, visit Cubshub.com

Dave Kaplan from WGN radio in Chicago is saying the Cubs are after Barry Zito. Put this together with the Wilson rumor you posted the other day, and i think the Cubs might be offering a package including Matt Murton, a reliever (Michael Wuertz, Roberto Novoa, or Todd Wellemeyer), and a young SP (Rich Hill, Angel Guzman, or Jerome Williams) for Zito. Then the Cubs would sign Wilson to play RF and shift Jacque Jones's inaccurate arm to LF.

This is a dream rotation:
Zambrano (Big Z)
Zito (Little Z)
Prior
Maddux
Wood (+ Rusch and Hill/Williams)

Bullpen
Rusch (when Wood is healthy)
Hill/Williams
Dempster
Williamson
Eyre
Howry
Novoa/Wuertz/Wellemeyer

An additional possibility if the Cubs get Zito is they could send him as part of a Prior-less package to Balitmore for Tejada. Zito, and Patterson might do the trick, as the Cubs would no longer be asking for Bedard in return and would also be alleviating the O's concerns with Prior's injury history.

The rotation would change back to what it currently is, but the the lineup would be formidable:

Pierre
Walker (Cedeno if Walker is traded)
Lee
Tejada
Ramirez
Wilson
Jones
Barrett
Pitcher

you guys actually think you can get Preston Wilson, Miguel Tejada AND Barry Zito?!? Where is all this money suddenly coming from? The Cubs have never been willing to shell out money before, so you can stop dreaming of them shelling it out now.

We are getting Preston Wilson and either Zito or Tejada not both!!!

According to today's Houston Chronicle, the Astros have made offers to Preston Wilson and Jeromy Burnitz. It said the Astros could very well announce signing one of the two as early as today.

Burnitz in a way makes more sense (leftie power bat) than Wilson as we already have Willy Taveras in Center and Jason Lane in right. Depending on the Bagwell situation, Berkman will play Left or 1B. Only thing that seems to makes sense it that the Astros plan on shipping out Willy T to Chicago for Contreras (Willy is also coincidently the only Boras client on the Astros squad) or maybe pack Lane to Baltimore as part of a trade for Tejada.

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