Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’

12/29 Garza hot topic

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

9/7 Wood online auction now underway

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 for more information. More items are being added daily so it’s wise to check back often.

— Carrie Muskat

8/24 Pena: ‘It was flattering the Cubs retained me’

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

7/27 Rumors

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

12/27 Mark Prior update

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

11/19 Rothschild to Yankees – UPDATED

Larry Rothschild couldn’t pass up a chance to be close to his Tampa, Fla., home and work for the Yankees. He signed a three-year contract on Friday to be the team’s pitching coach, leaving the Cubs after nine years. He had exercised his option for 2011 with the Cubs, but had a clause that allowed him to leave if he so desired. The change is not a reflection on Cubs manager Mike Quade, Rothschild said.

“The opportunity presented itself here [with the Yankees],” Rothschild said Friday. “I
didn’t feel it was time to leave the Cubs. It’s hard because I’m very
close with Mike Quade and have a lot of respect for him as a baseball
person and think he’ll do a great job.

“It was time, family-wise, that the decision became relatively easy,” he
said. “The opportunity with the Yankees doesn’t come along every day.”

Cubs GM Jim Hendry was expected to name a replacement shortly after Thanksgiving. Among the internal candidates are Minor League pitching coordinator Mark Riggins and Triple-A manager Mike Mason. One person who is not in the mix is four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux, who is an assistant to Hendry. Maddux has told the Cubs he prefers the more flexible schedule he has in which he works at Spring Training and with the Minor Leaguers and does some scouting.

Rothschild lives less than two miles from the Yankees’ facility in Tampa, and said he’ll be able to get started with the pitchers right away. He knows Yankees manager Joe Girardi well. Girardi was a catcher on the Cubs in Rothschild’s first year with the team in 2002.

— Carrie Muskat

7/31 Lilly, Riot & Z update

It’s decision day for the Cubs. The trading deadline is 2 p.m. MT. says there are still four teams — the Dodgers, Twins, Tigers and Yankees — who are pursuing Ted Lilly. However, reported Saturday morning that the Yankees are out.

On Friday, Lilly prepped as he normally would for his next start, which would be Monday at Wrigley Field.

“Teddy wants to stay here but he knows the game of baseball and he knows that something could happen,” Lou Piniella said. “It’s good to see they want to stay here. That speaks well.”

Lilly is trying to focus on pitching.

“We’re near the end of July and I only have three wins,” said the lefty, who is 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA. “I really want more than that.

“It doesn’t settle so well,” he said. “I’ve got 18 starts and I’ve got three wins. It’s bothersome. That’s what I’m here for is to go out and try to win.”

There’s also been some interest in Ryan Theriot, whose phone was loaded with messages from people, including his agent, wondering if he was pulled from Friday’s game because a deal had been made. It was simply a double switch. The Denver Post reported the D-backs have talked to the Cubs about a possible Theriot for Kelly Johnson swap.

Less than 24 hours after he was activated from the restricted list, Carlos Zambrano also is getting some action. Big Z told reporters Friday in Denver that he would consider waiving his no trade clause if the Cubs wanted to move him. According to, the Mets offered Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo for Zambrano but the Cubs said no. Big Z still has a lot of money remaining on his contract ($6.4 million this year; $17.9 million in 2011; $18 million in 2012).

— Carrie Muskat

4/22 It's all about the ring

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman delivered Xavier Nady’s 2009 World Series championship ring to him personally on Wednesday at Citi Field. Nady played for the Yankees in 2008-09, but appeared in just seven games last season before needing Tommy John surgery, again, on his right elbow. He still got a ring, which was his first.

“I didn’t expect that — it meant a lot,” Nady said Thursday of the diamond-studded ring. It’s really gorgeous.”

The white gold ring has a blue stone in the center and 119 diamonds totaling nearly 4 carats. And of course, there’s the trademark interlocking “NY.”

— Carrie Muskat


4/7 Premium seating

Team Marketing Report’s exclusive Fan Cost Index, which is the total price for a family of four to attend a game, ranks the Red Sox first in the Majors at $334.78, $5 more than the Cubs and $18 more than the New York Yankees.

But the Cubs have the most expensive ticket in MLB, with an average price of $52.56, passing the Red Sox ($52.32). The Cubs had the second-highest increase of 10.1 percent, according to TMR. The Cubs divide their tickets into four pricing levels. This season, they have 26 games in the most expensive tier and 30 in the second-most expensive. In 2009, the team had 14 games in its top category and 34 in the second.

The Cubs do have the lowest percentage of seating classified as premium at 1 percent, according to TMR. This doesn’t include the auction seats, sold on a season or game-by-game basis. The Cubs also added the PNC Club of Chicago this year, located on the mezzanine level.

The cheapest average MLB ticket can be found in Arizona. The Diamondbacks have that distinction for the fourth straight season at $14.31.

— Carrie Muskat

12/21 Big Z to Yankees? Agent says no

According to a story in the New York Post, GM Brian Cashman asked Jim Hendry about possibly acquiring Carlos Zambrano but the Yankees did not like the asking price. Zambrano, who has a full no-trade clause, is owed $53.75 million over the next three years. Another report says the Yankees did not even inquire about Zambrano.

What is certain is that Hendry never asked Zambrano’s agent, Barry Praver, about whether the pitcher would waive the no-trade clause to go to New York. Praver said Monday that Zambrano is not interested in doing so.

— Carrie Muskat