UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 10:45am: Buster Olney says talks for Matsui are indeed picking up, and the Cubs are in the thick of things. He notes that if a team is dead set on acquiring a left-handed hitting middle infielder, its options are limited. It’s possible the Astros are still talking to Matsui.
FROM 11-28-07 at 8:30am:
Since last night, about a dozen people have emailed me about a supposed Denver radio station report. This report purportedly claimed Kaz Matsui had signed with the Cubs for three years and $14MM.
However, none of the emailers had actually heard the report with their own two ears. Details are slim – no one knows who actually said it on air. While the rumor sounds reasonable, it may be made up or a contortion of the truth. It may also be accurate – we don’t know yet.
One sign that the hot stove season has officially kicked in is the spreading of unverifiable radio rumors. These are slippery because they’re very difficult to confirm but have an air of authority to them. That makes radio rumors easy to fabricate and spread around the ’Net. I’ve also seen many cases where radio personalities were clearly speculating, but a few games of telephone later and they were talking about actual offers.
All that said, radio reports have value when verified. For instance Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio 1000 out of Chicago scooped everyone on the Kerry Wood and Scott Linebrink signings.