- Levine says the Cubs will sign backup catcher Paul Bako to a one-year, $750K deal once they clear a spot on the 40-man roster. The 2-for-1 Heilman trade takes care of that.
- The Cubs are still looking at Braden Looper and Randy Wolf if they aren’t able to reignite the Jake Peavy talks.
- The Cubs have Juan Uribe on the radar as a bench bat and backup infielder.
A few Cubs notes from Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald…
- Randy Wolf "remains a possibility" for the Cubs. Wolf should generate decent interest if he’s willing to sign for one year. He probably expected more after making 33 starts for the second time in his career. A Jake Peavy deal appears unlikely by Opening Day, says Gordon Wittenmyer.
- The Cubs are unlikely to re-sign Henry Blanco, but Paul Bako remains on the radar. So far it’s Koyie Hill for the Cubs’ backup catcher job.
- Out of options: Rich Hill, Felix Pie, and Ronny Cedeno. Hill and Pie are good candidates to be dealt before Opening Day. Angel Guzman is also out of options, but he has a shot at cracking the team’s bullpen.
A couple of links for you bar-hopping kids with Blackberries. Happy New Year’s Eve. Be safe out there…
- Aaron Miles said the Cardinals jumped in on the last day, but by then it was too late. He was somewhat miffed by being non-tendered twice during his Cardinals career.
- According to the Chicago Tribune, Paul Bako is expected to sign with the Cubs for around $500,000. He’ll be a nice, cheap backup to Geovany Soto.
- Indians GM Mark Shapiro told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Mark DeRosa is the "perfect fit" for the Tribe.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic wants the Diamondbacks to go after Ben Sheets. "Right now."
- San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Henry Schulman is preaching patience to the Giants’ fan base.
Stray links I’ve collected over the past few days…
- John Manuel and Jonathan Mayo get us ready for the Rule 5 draft. Manuel has a second post on it here.
- Sarah Green looks at A.J. Burnett’s possible commutes.
- LEN3 suggests the Twins might be part of Adrian Beltre’s limited no-trade clause.
- K-Rod signing analysis from Dave Cameron, Jesse Spector, and Keith Law. Also check out the usual solid analysis over at Ken Davidoff’s blog.
- Law also takes on the Edwin Jackson, Ramon Hernandez, J.J. Putz, and C.C. Sabathia moves.
- The Red Sox are likely to non-tender Kevin Cash. Josh Bard is one free agent on their radar. Also, Tony Massarotti learned that the Red Sox are strongly opposed to opt-out clauses.
- UmpBump found some C.C. Sabathia rumors we missed on Monday. Also, the Brewers’ offer to C.C. had unique clauses and two club options.
- The Dodgers knew Jason Schmidt had a partial rotator cuff tear when they signed him.
- Rany Jazayerli on recent Royals rumors, reliever and otherwise.
- Bruce Miles says the Cubs have some interest in bringing Paul Bako back.
- Jason Davis, Raul Chavez, and R.A. Dickey became free agents. Davis may be headed to Japan.
- Nick Piecoro says Junior Spivey is looking for a job.
- Much of the money saved from recent White Sox trades was repurposed for Dayan Viciedo.
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus has his Sunday article up. Let’s go through it:
- The Angels may be willing to match the Yankees $140MM offer to CC Sabathia. They won’t offer 10 years to Mark Teixeira. If they can’t land Teixeira, they will consider Pat Burrell for first base.
- A.J. Burnett is looking at the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves, Orioles, and Phillies.
- The Twins want a left-side infielder for Delmon Young, so they can open a spot for Denard Span in the starting lineup.
- The Tigers are pursuing Jack Wilson from the Pirates and Matt Treanor from the Marlins. They are also putting high priority on signing Joe Beimel who’s getting interest from a number of teams.
- The Dodgers will not re-sign Rafael Furcal for health reasons so the Giants, Athletics, and Reds are his most likely destinations.
- The Cubs will need to offer more than Jason Marquis to the Royals for David DeJesus. If they can’t get it done, they’d sign Raul Ibanez over Bobby Abreu.
- The Braves are interested in Javier Vazquez and Jermaine Dye…
- The Reds need to offer more than Homer Bailey to get Dye.
- The Mets are considering Jon Garland, Vazquez, Edwin Jackson, Andy Sonnanstine. The Rays want more than Aaron Heilman for either of their starters.
- The Mets could soon become suitors for Manny Ramirez.
- The Brewers could soon become suitors for Francisco Rodriguez.
- The Astros are targeting Paul Bako and David Ross as backup catchers.
- The Rockies are trying to find lefthanders, eyeing Alan Embree, Will Ohman, Brian Shouse, and Glendon Rusch.
MLB.com’s Nick Zaccardi talked to Dave Ross’ agent Ryan Gleichowski, who said the Astros are one of at least seven teams to express interest in his client. The interest is mutual. Ross, 32 in March, hit .225/.369/.352 in 182 plate appearances for the Reds and Red Sox. He showed big-time power in 2006, but not much since.
Zaccardi also talked to Barry Meister, who represents Paul Bako. The Louisiana native would be interested in playing for the Astros, but Meister wouldn’t say whether the Astros have been in touch.
9:38pm: A bit more on the Reds from Jocketty via John Fay – Paul Bako won’t be back, and the team has mild interest in Josh Bard.
10:56am: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who said he will not re-sign outfielder Corey Patterson. Patterson, 29, hit .205/.238/.344 in 392 plate appearances. This decade, only Alex Gonzalez of the 2000 Marlins had a worse OBP (.229) over 390+ plate appearances. Gonzalez, however, had only one PA in the leadoff spot (Patterson had 155). Patterson did play strong defense in center field this year.
Sheldon expects the Reds to attempt to re-sign at least two of their nine free agents in David Weathers and Jerry Hairston Jr. John Fay guesses the Reds will also talk to Jeremy Affeldt and Mike Lincoln.
Ken Rosenthal has a new column; let’s take a look.
- Aside from Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr., Rosenthal suggests Walt Jocketty could look to trade veterans Paul Bako, Scott Hatteberg, David Weathers, Jeremy Affeldt, and Kent Mercker.
- Most of the Marlins’ best players will reach arbitration for the first time after this season, which could prompt a trade or two.
- Rosenthal expects collusion investigations to go nowhere.
- The Brewers don’t plan on paying any of the $2.5MM remaining on Derrick Turnbow’s contract in order to trade him. They might end up losing him and paying it anyway, however.
I am going to toss today’s non-Santana odds and ends into this post.
- Paul Hagen runs through some possibilities for the likely-to-be-traded Wes Helms: Marlins, Rays, Twins, Giants, and A’s. Any teams you’d like to add to his speculation?
- The Pirates have moved on from Johnny Estrada to Paul Bako. He’d battle to back up Ronny Paulino.
- OK this is Santana-related. Gordon Edes says the Red Sox will listen to offers for Coco Crisp, but are fine with keeping him around as perhaps the game’s best fourth outfielder. See any good fits for Crisp?