12/4 Looking ahead to Indy

It appears as many as three teams are interested in Milton Bradley, and GM Jim Hendry will spend next week at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis trying to find the right match.

The Cubs may be able to take care of some of the items on Hendry’s wish list with the right trade. The tweaks are minor for 2010, and include finding a center fielder, a veteran right-handed reliever, and a right-handed bench player who could play the outfield.

Bradley would seem to be difficult to move, partly because he is owed $21 million over the next two years and because of his lack of production on the field. But other teams have players and contracts that, for whatever reason, they want to move as well. The Cubs also could take on a player in exchange for Bradley, and then deal that player to another club.

As for center field, it would seem that Reed Johnson would be a perfect fit for the Cubs. The Cubs did not want to offer him arbitration because of budget limitations. But that doesn’t mean Johnson can’t come back. If he can’t find a better deal as a free agent, expect the two sides to resume talks.

The Cubs have had conversations with Detroit about Curtis Granderson, but it’s difficult to believe the Tigers will trade the popular center fielder.

As much as some fans would like to have Mark DeRosa back, he also is out of the team’s price range.

* Cubs athletic trainer Mark O’Neal reports Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez and Geovany Soto are sticking to their rehab routines and are making progress. Ted Lilly, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, will be re-examined after Jan. 1, and then could begin a throwing program.

– Carrie Muskat

22 Comments

The winter meetings are in Indy next week. I hope Jim Hendry thinks before he makes a trade as far as CF get a good backup, Sam Fuld could be the center fielder of the future. Mike Fontanot is our 2B man. Find a right handede hitting second baseman to insert when the opposition throws a left hander at the cubs. Or move Soriano to 2B and get a quality left fielder. Just a thought.

Fontenot had his shot, last year. He did nothing to warrant another chance at the everyday job. We do not need a right handed hitting second baseman. We already have Jeff Baker. Andres Blanco can play second, as well. Soriano to second? Are you insane? He was moved to the OF because he is horrible on defense. Besides, if you believe Fontenot is the answer at second, why would you move Soriano.

Carrie In your article on the main page you mentioned the possibilty the cubs might try to unload soriano’s contract, Does that mean he is willing to waive his no trade clause, also you said he is owed 76 million through 2013, I thought it was 90 million through 2014. If they are trying to unload him I would assume they would be trading for another bad contract and or eat some of his salary. Are they considering trading him? Soriano and cash for Aaron Rowand (3 years 36million). Please tell me they are shopping soriano.

I realize that my name is not Carrie, but there isn’t a chance that the Cubs will be able to move Soriano. With the amount of money that he’s owed, I think it’s a better choice for the Cubs to keep him for at least another season and hope that the new hitting coach can help him get his stroke back. I realize that he’ll never steal 40 bases again, but I still have hope for his swing. When he’s on, he can flat out hit. I just hope to see him hit like he can again. He’s too young to be done already.

Forget granderson,his .249 avg, and his 141 k’s….Theres a PROVEN 5 tool All-Star CF down in Tampa Bay Hendry needs to go get. TB picked up Crawfords option in hopes to get something for him rather than nothing when he walks as a FA next year. Trade Bradley(eat10mil),Marshall,Hoffpauir,Vitters,Cashner for Crawford. Sign Orlando Hudson instead of trading for castillo(cheaper and younger)..CF and 2B are of way more importance than a veteran reliever. Crawford and Hudson at the top of the lineup??..Dan-ger-ous! Lets go JIM!!! Go Cubs!!!!

dafan66 has got to be the biggest idiot ever.

“…and a right handed bench player who could play the outfield.”

Then WHY did they trade Jake Fox ?
Corner OF,CornerIF, emergency catcher, RH hitter.

Harleyrider, I suppose Fox wanted more playing time. Will he get it in Oakland? That’s not our matter anymore.
By the way, any ideas of who might be the 3 teams interested in Bradley as of now?
Ideally, we must get a CF who can lead-off, then a veteran RHP reliever. Hoffpauir is a definitely to be indluded in trade[kinda like McGehey or Pagan a little while ago, he's talented and has no immediate future with the Cubbies].
Nevermind about 2B, whether it’s Baker or Fontenot [let's keep him, he's good Defense insurance] the man will most probably fit in the 8th spot, it’s not worth giving up top prospects for this position.

wrigleyguy, the only reason Soriano’s contract was listed was because I was asked for big deals the team might want to move. Soriano has not waived his no-trade clause. And let’s stop all talk about him going back to 2B. Soriano laughs whenever that topic is brought up. As for Fox, harleyrider, he needs to play on a regular basis — and hopefully, he’ll get that chance with the A’s. It was tough for him to keep his timing/swing as a bench player

Is anyone worried about next year? With our payroll already limited, Lee and Lilly are both FA next year. Lilly has been by far our most consistent starter and Lee was one of the few bright spots this past season. As bad as I hate to see it, Lee or Vitters should be moved for a CF or 2b or Vitters or Rami to 1st base. Vitters is without a position for this club with Rami under contract for years to come. I agree with whoever posted about trading for Crawford and signing Hudson. Inlude Fontenot in that deal also. Baker can be used as a DeRosa type as he can play multiple positions. If Gorzelanny can return, that will make Marshall expendible. I think we also need a backup catcher who can make contact with the ball. Hill was not very impressive at the plate last year.

Is anyone worried about next year? With our payroll already limited, Lee and Lilly are both FA next year. Lilly has been by far our most consistent starter and Lee was one of the few bright spots this past season. As bad as I hate to see it, Lee or Vitters should be moved for a CF or 2b or Vitters or Rami to 1st base. Vitters is without a position for this club with Rami under contract for years to come. I agree with whoever posted about trading for Crawford and signing Hudson. Inlude Fontenot in that deal also. Baker can be used as a DeRosa type as he can play multiple positions. If Gorzelanny can return, that will make Marshall expendible. I think we also need a backup catcher who can make contact with the ball. Hill was not very impressive at the plate last year.

Agreed, that talk about soriano moving to second needs to stop!!!!!!!!!! he can’t even play left field adequately and Catcher, shortstop, second, and centerfield are the most important defensive positions. Of course the cubs would love to get rid of that gargantuan contract. I think it needs to be considered and soriano needs to be asked whether he would waive his no trade clause. The same goes for fukodome. Fukodome is atleast a plus fielder in his natural position of RF, and has a good OBP, not much power, or speed though. Hopefully Soriano’s defense improves somewhat, It should atleast considering the knee surgery, he will be able to cover more ground. His bat should improve too, with healthier legs and a stable base along with help from Rudy Jaramillo. Hopefully jaramillo can help fukodome too but I’m not too optimistic about that given his unorthodox batting style. Regardless if we get fukodome back to Rf, and Soriano with healthier legs and a decent CF our outfield defense should improve drastically from last year.

mdgophins: Thanks on the agreeance of Crawford and Hudson…That would completely change the dynamics of the lineup ALL in just 2 transactions.It would set up every single player to see better pitches.No easy outs and brings exactly what the Cubs been lacking…. FOREVER!…wrigleyguy: Touchet’ on koyie hill…..Also, I believe in Soriano too. now that he’s focused on his legs more, he’ll get that power back. Agreed, Far too young to be done….Pokerocks: Hudson is a free agent and won’t cost “top” prospects to sign him.Font is a offensive liability and we didnt even see half of a season of baker. You get a PROVEN gold-glove switch-hitting 2B in Hudson. If baker is versatile like they say, He’ll be a great utility/bench player.

wrigleyguy, I caution your optimism regarding Soriano’s improvement for next season. Regardless if will be able to cover more ground or not he’s not going to be any smarter covering that ground, besides more ground than he covered last year wouldn’t be a lot of ground covered. He’ll be coming off of knee surgery which we hope will improve HIS HEALTH but that’s always up in the air as there may be some hesitation on his part because of the surgery. No matter what your profession after surgery one will experience some hesitancy performing physical tasks. How he will be improved at the plate being a year older, surgically repaired, same bat weight (?), same brain, same strike zone, same approach….Jaramillo can only do so much.
I applaud your optimism but it is better served at hoping our outfield defense will be improved if Lou has the common sensed to leave Fukodome in right ALL SEASON regardlesll of what the brainiac Hendry “accomplishes” for centerfield. I would much rather see a young kid that can field (Fuld/Colvin) or an aging veteran that has passion and discipline (Rowand) in centerfield with Fukodome in right and Hitton Badley on ANY OTHER TEAM than to see Fukodome return to center and Hendry’s next “right fielder of the day” in right. It appears by trades and not offering arbitration that Hendry is finally cutting bait on some of his blunders. I’m only somewhat optimistic that push has finally come to shove for Hendry and he at least won’t make another mounumental error like the Soriano contract. How could he now that he has depleted, wasted and exhausted the payroll….discipline and wisdom….too little, too late for some people.

Joeydafish, I am trying to be optimistic, since we will obviously be stuck with him his UZR 150(runs above average per 150 defensive games), went from a positive 5.2 in 2008 to -15.2 in 2009 and he had a .950 fielding percent in 2009 (11 errors) compared to a .975 fielding percent (5 errors) in 2008. In 2007 he had 6 errors a .978 fp and a positive 22.4 Uzr 150. While I know these stats don’t include all the balls he should have been able to get to that he simply misjudged and went back on instead of coming in on initially or vice versa. I still feel he can’t get worse if his knees are better after surgery. I have bad knees myself and they limit me some I can’t run very well(played sports all my life and I work a manual labor intensive job that involves being on my feet 10 to 12 hours a day and and constant repetetive heavy lifting). I can’t do things I used to and I am only 29 years old. I know several people who have had knee surgery and while they aren’t like they were when they were 18 to 20 years old there was still a drastic improvement, I simply cannot afford to take that much time off work to have knee surgery at this time. My point is that it can only help. I don’t expect him to steal 30 to 40 bases this year but his range in the outfield should improve. As far as batting I have to be optimistic he is here to stay and he can only do better than last year, I hope jaramillo restores some of his confidence. While I am dissapointed with his performance especially considering the vast amount of money he makes, I can continue to bash him and boo him at games, which doesn’t do anygood, or I can hope he plays better and I am choosing the latter, the same goes for soto, (but he doesn’t have a gargantuan contract) I just don’t want to concede the season before it has started. I can also bash hendry,(which I have done some out of frustration but it doesn’t make me feel better or help the situation) for his poor decision making or hope he learned from it and makes better decisions while I get extremely frustrated sometimes with him i hope he redeems himself and makes wise decisions, and the team improves cause I am still hoping for a world series winning team. It could be worse we could be pirates fans. Our FARM SYSTEM went from being ranked 28th to 18th in one year, tim wilkens and hendry are doing something right that’s a huge improvement in a short amount of time, we can only hope things continue to get better. We have a lot of guys down on the farm to be optimistic about.

wrigleyguy, who am I to diminish your optimism? We agree more than not anyway so God bless you and here’s to all us Cubs fans entering the 2010 season “business as usual” with only hoping our team SURPASSES our expections as we have no foundation of hoping our GM surpasses our expectations. I agree about our farm system improving but it will only bear fruit by promoting young players or using them WISELY in trades to acquire players that improve the big league club. You have more reason to believe that Soriano will improve rather than Hendry.

Everyone has different idea’s on how to get rid of Bradley and what to get for him, then how much the Cubs have to pay on his remaining two years.

My idea is very simple, maybe too simple. If I am Hendry I do not want to trade him for another bad contract, I would just have another bad contract plus whatever portion of Bradleys salary I have to kick in. Trade him for two class A players the other club is going to let go anyway. The trick is to trade him to the team that is willing to pay the most of his Salary. Then trade him for two class A players the Cubs can let go. Accept the remaining loss and move on. The other club may be willing to pay more because they lose nothing in trade.

jasper, I see your logic, however if the A players are to be released (is that what you meant by “let go”?) then it would be just as wise to trade for another bad contract but not a bad attitude and if need be let that player go? At least there would be a chance of that player helping the major leage team? Who knows. All that is evident is Hendry is “working hard” just to un-do his past mistakes as it says in today’s tribune: HENDRY MISSION: TRADE BRADLEY
(by Paul Sullivan) which is a sad indictment of job Hendry did last year. It’s so puzzling that major leage GM can keep his job when his priorities is continually trying to rectify his mistakes. I believe the GM of the Padres was fired after the 2009 season and it might have been because he failed to trade Peavy while the iron was hot. I would think signing an INFERIOR left fielder that can only get worse both in the field, slower on the bases and at the plate for EIGHT YEARS would be ground for dismissal as well but the ownership (old or new) don’t see it that way.

joeydafish, what I am saying is get rid of bradley getting the most paid for his current contract possible. Do not take back a bad contract(example) (Burrell, there is no place for him). It does not matter what you get for Bradley as long as you get as much of his contract paid as possible. Cut your loses.

Joeydafish I didn’t mean to sound harsh if i did respect your opinion a lot. The latest rumors are it looks like cubs are going to trade bradley for burrell, Burrell for luis castillo, and then sign mike cameron. Cameron would be a good option for one year but I wouldn’t sign him beyond that the other centerfield options out there aren’t very intriguing, I still like fuld but if they get castillo to play second fuld can only be seen as a possible lead-off man or a no. 8 hitter so I would be semi-satisfied with this since we get rid of Bradley, and only if cameron is signed for one year, we get castillo (the poor man’s Chone Figgins. What do you think.

wrigleyguy hope you dont mind if I get into this conversation? If so, sorry. Last couple years you hear of this deal(Roberts) going down, then that deal(Peavy) going down. It gets so silly like a bunch of ladies getting together for tea talking about the lady down the street having an affair. To me there is no more speculating, just do it. Stop talking about it and do it. I believe nothing until its done. More gossip than anything else right now and men used to make fun of women for gossiping.

wrigleyguy, agreed, Cameron in center for ONE YEAR, Castillo at 2b (in exchange for Burrell) is an accepptable “out” for Hendry yet as jasper comments it’s all talk as of now and as the years go by such as in the Roberts talk the players get older and less desirable and THAT’S usually when our fearless leader swoops in and makes a cunning deal. Roberts may very well still wind up a Cub under Hendry’s watch but it won’t be during his prime years, that ship has sailed. I personally wouldn’t care if Bradley was swapped for another bad contract in Burrell and Burrell just rode the bench as a PH (replacing Fox’s cheaper contract, duh.) or spelled our other overpaid prima donna defensively challenged left fielder. No matter how you slice it or dice it the Cubs are clearly operating under a “best we can hope for” plan because of Hendry.

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