Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’
The Cubs have talked to Ian Stewart as well as his agent Larry Reynolds to make sure the third baseman knows that they’d like to have him return to the team. Stewart was non-tendered last Friday, and now is a free agent. He missed most of last season after needing surgery on his left wrist. Because the market for third basemen is so weak, Stewart is now a hot item. The Yankees are in the mix following the news that Alex Rodriguez will need hip surgery. Think players aren’t aware of the market? Free agent Casey McGehee was in the lobby of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on Tuesday to talk to teams.
“[The Yankees] have a need,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. “The question is how long they have a need for.”
Because Rodriguez was expected back at some point in the season, the Yankees may not want to commit long-term to a player. That will determine how aggressive they are. The Yankees reportedly have interest in free agent Jeff Keppinger, and CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says the infielder is looking for around $12 million over three years. Keppinger is recovering from a significant injury of his own, a broken fibula.
Stewart is aware of the Cubs’ interest in him.
“We’ve been really clear with him,” Hoyer said. “He knows how we feel about him. He knows we want to bring him back.”
– Carrie Muskat
It’s good to be a free agent third baseman right now. The Yankees joined the crowded market Monday with the news that Alex Rodriguez needed hip surgery. The Cubs also are in line, and Theo Epstein says they may “have to be creative” to fill the spot.
“[We might have to] rely on players who haven’t held down that position over 150 games in a the big leagues or rely on a platoon or rely on someone who is more of a middle of the field player who can provide plus defense over at third,” Epstein said Monday at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. “There are not a lot of obvious fits of every day third basemen in trade or free agents available right now. When that happens, you don’t throw in the white towel but try to be creative to piece it together.”
The Cubs are still talking to Ian Stewart, who was non-tendered on Friday. Now a free agent, Stewart is considering his options. Stewart batted .201 in 55 games last season, and missed most of the year because of left wrist surgery. Luis Valbuena filled in, and is another option for the Cubs for 2013, possessing all the right attributes, Epstein said. Valbuena batted .219, but was faring better in the Venezuelan Winter League, batting .325. The Cubs also could consider a platoon at third base, which is something Epstein favors. Having two players who can start at third helps the team’s bench, plus gives the manager more versatility. The Cubs also are considering other infielders who might not have been full-time third basemen because the free agent market is a little thin there.
“It’d be good to be Mike Schmidt right about now,” Epstein said.
They could use the Hall of Famer. Cubs third basemen combined to bat .201 last season, worst in the National League.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs are listening to offers for Matt Garza but no team has presented a package of elite prospects that matches what Theo & Co. want in return. On Wednesday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Major League sources are saying the Cubs will part with Garza if another team is willing to deal three prospects from a team’s “A” list. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays were known to be interested in Garza. The Cubs have entertained offers for the right-hander.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told the Detroit News that he did not offer pitching prospect Jacob Turner for Matt Garza. The Tigers did actively pursue Gio Gonzalez but Dombrowski said there are no ongoing trade talks for starting pitching. Says Dombrowski: “There’s been a lot of things written in recent weeks that have been totally incorrect.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs are not going to deal Matt Garza unless they get significant players in return, and the asking price apparently is too high for the Yankees. ESPNNew York’s Wallace Matthews reported Tuesday the Cubs’ asking price is “out of the question” for the Yankees. The Cubs reportedly want at least two and possibly three of the Yankees’ top prospects Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. The Red Sox, Tigers, Marlins and Blue Jays also have been linked to Garza, but the Blue Jays also have reportedly balked at the Cubs’ requests.
– Carrie Muskat
It’s a new year, which means more rumors regarding the Cubs and teams interested in acquiring Matt Garza. The Tigers are apparently the latest to show interest in the right-hander, and are willing to deal Jacob Turner, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. Turner, 20, made 17 starts at Double-A Erie last season, posting a 3.48 ERA with 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.5 walks per nine innings. The Cubs are listening to a number of teams but Olney says no deal is imminent. The Marlins, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays also have reportedly been in touch with the Cubs about Garza, but Theo & Co would have to be overwhelmed with a package of top prospects to part with the right-hander.
The Marlins failed in their bid to acquire Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics and reportedly wanted Class A outfielder Christian Yelich in return. Among the other players teams are looking at in the Marlins’ system include third baseman Matt Dominguez, Gaby Sanchez, Chris Coghlan and Jose Ceda. Dominguez, a first-round pick in 2007, batted .258 in 87 games with Triple-A New Orleans with 12 homers and 18 doubles. Sanchez, a right-handed hitting first baseman, batted .266 with 19 homers, 25 doubles, 78 RBIs and a .779 OPS in 159 games with the Marlins last season. Coghlan, an outfielder, was a first-round pick in 2006. The Cubs know Ceda, who was in their system and traded to Florida in November 2008 for Kevin Gregg. Ceda appeared in 17 games last season with the Marlins.
– Carrie Muskat
Could the Cubs deal Matt Garza? They are apparently still listening to teams interested in the right-hander. The Cubs are most likely looking for a package similar to what the Padres received from the Reds for Mat Latos and what the Athletics received from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez, which means a lot of talented prospects. According to reports, the Blue Jays and Yankees may be the front-runners. What makes Garza attractive to the Jays and Yankees is his 23-15 record, 3.34 ERA in 56 career games vs. the AL East. Plus, he’s 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 19 games against the Red Sox.
Chicago helped its system by dealing Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood and two other players. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said Garza is “exactly the type of pitcher we want to build around” but is willing to listen as the team re-tools. They’d have to be overwhelmed to move Garza, who is under team control through 2013. Gonzalez, 26, and Latos, 24, will be under team control for at least four years.
– Carrie Muskat
Do you want Geovany Soto’s catcher’s mask that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen gave the boot? How about sharing a six-course dinner for 10 at Kerry Wood’s home? Or an autographed ukulele and CD of Eddie Vedder’s “Ukulele Songs?” You can bid now on those items, part of the Kerry Wood Strike Zone Celebrity Bowling Tournament, to be held Sept. 18 at 10pin Bowling Lounge in Chicago.
The online auction is now underway and proceeds from the event will benefit the Wood Family Foundation, which has raised more than $2 million for children in and around the Chicago area already.
Both Soto and Guillen autographed the catcher’s mask that the White Sox manager kicked during an Interleague game between the intracity rivals this year. Other items available is a chance to work with the Wrigley Field grounds crew in 2012 or two tickets to a 2012 taping of “Saturday Night Live” in New York. There’s something for everyone, including autographed jerseys by the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, and a bat autographed by Phillies slugger Ryan Howard. If you’re a South Side baseball fan, there are items autographed by the White Sox’s Juan Pierre, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski. Troy Tulowitzki, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jim Thome and Robinson Cano donated autographed items, and if you’re a Phillies fan, there’s a package that includes jerseys signed by their starters Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay.
The online auction will close at 10 p.m. CT on Sept. 17. The auction will continue at the bowling tournament on Sept. 18. Go to the KerryWoodStrikeZone.org for more information. More items are being added daily so it’s wise to check back often.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs told Carlos Pena on Wednesday they pulled him off waivers after the Yankees claimed the first baseman. Cubs interim GM Randy Bush, who has taken over the GM duties following the dismissal of Jim Hendry, spoke to Pena before the team’s game against the Braves.
“The conversation was to reassure me how much they think of me,” Pena said. “I made sure I told him likewise and that I appreciate being here and being a Cub, and how much pride I take in wearing the uniform.
“Regardless of what I was hearing or what people were talking about, I never lost sight that today I’m wearing this uniform and this is my whole entire eternity right here,” Pena said.
The Yankees put in a waiver claim on Pena. GM Brian Cashman said a deal seemed unlikely. Pena has $5 million of his total $10 million contract deferred until January 2012. If the first baseman was dealt, the Cubs would pay a pro-rated portion of the contract, which means they would be obligated for the $5 million.
Pena had heard the rumors, although not directly.
“I try to stay oblivious to all that,” he said. “It’s almost impossible because of how advanced we are with the media, computers, the Internet. Even if I’m not … connected to the Internet, my friends are, my family is, my brothers may be and they may say something.”
Pena, 33, who signed a one-year deal last December, was batting .223 with 23 homers and 67 RBIs this season, and has reached the 20-homer mark for the fifth straight year.
He didn’t take the waiver process as anything but a procedural move. Most teams put their entire roster through waivers.
“I certainly wasn’t the only one going through waivers,” Pena said. “It was flattering to see the interest. It was more flattering to see how the Cubs pulled back and retained me. If anything, I tried to look at those positives.”
Pena also complimented Bush for the professional way he gave the first baseman the news.
“It’s weird to go through this type of process but at the end of the day, I have to keep it simple,” Pena said. “Get here, put the uniform on, grab a bat, a glove and go play baseball and leave it at that because that’s all I can control.”
– Carrie Muskat
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted that the Cubs were trying to get the Yankees to trade for Carlos Zambrano and that the Cubs would pick up a large portion of Z’s contract. However, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Yankees’ response was: No interest. Zambrano, who has a full no-trade clause, is signed through 2012 plus a vesting option for 2013. He’s being paid $17.875 million this year, and is owed $18 million in 2012. The 2013 option is for $19.25 million. He will become a 10-and-5 player in early August. Zambrano gets the start Wednesday against the Brewers at Miller Park, one of his favorite places to pitch. He’s won his last seven decisions at the ballpark, dating to April 7, 2007, and has a 2.40 ERA. That includes his no-hitter on Sept. 14, 2008, against the Astros.
Would you trade Big Z?
– Carrie Muskat
Former Cubs pitcher Mark Prior tells the New York Daily News that after all the rehab, he’s ready to try again. Prior, 30, signed a Minor League contract with the Yankees that will pay him $750,000
if he makes the team. He will be reunited with Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who caught Prior in his debut game May 22, 2002, vs. the Pirates (a 7-4 Chicago win), and pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
“I think a lot of people wonder if I’m bitter,” Prior told the New York Daily News. “But I’m not. I’m blessed to have three healthy kids, a loving family and friends. When I was a rookie, did I have a vision of what my career would be? Absolutely. Has it gone that way? Absolutely not. But that’s life.
“I think I’ve proved, at least to myself, that I’ve been able to overcome a lot. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career. I knew back then that I was getting to the big leagues, but there are no guarantees at this phase … Now I’m hoping to turn the page and reclaim my baseball career.”
Prior, whom the Cubs selected in the first round of the 2001 Draft with the second pick overall, was sidelined because of bizarre injuries. He collided with Marcus Giles while running the bases in 2003, and took a line drive off his elbow in ’05. His failure to live up to the hype was often blamed on high pitch counts.
“Did I have a high workload? Yes,” Prior told the Daily News. “But did I have freak injuries? Yes. Did those have a role? Probably. Maybe not. I got out of the business of asking … I don’t think anyone has the answer. I was arguing to stay in those games. If I knew then what I know now, would I have argued? Maybe. What competitor says, ‘Take me out.’ People get hurt. It’s part of the game.”
After another shoulder injury in ’09, he decided to try rest rather than undergo surgery. He has not pitched in the big leagues since 2006 and now is projected as a reliever, not a starter.
“It hasn’t been easy,” Prior said. “I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times I said, ‘Enough is enough.’ In 2009, I thought long and hard about it. I had done everything I could for two years and it wasn’t working. But I didn’t want to be 35 and say, ‘Man, if I had given myself extra time, I could’ve gotten healthy.’ It’s worth being patient now rather than having regrets.”
– Carrie Muskat