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If Josh Johnson Is Available, Should the Chicago Cubs Call Florida?

November 30, 2009 by TAB BAMFORD · Leave a Comment 

He won't turn 26 until January, but Josh Johnson might be one of the better pitchers to become available this winter. Johnson stands to receive a substantial raise from his 2009 salary of $1.4 million after posting a 15-5 record with 191 strikeouts in 209 innings pitched. Standing 6-7 and weighing 240 pounds, Johnson is physically intimidating and backs it up with phenomenal stuff. Because of the potential raise he'll get in arbitration this year, there have been rumors that the Marlins will look to deal their young ace either this winter or early in the 2010 season. If Johnson is on ...

Wally Hayward: The Next John McDonough?

November 28, 2009 by Matt Trueblood · Leave a Comment 

Success follows John McDonough wherever he goes. McDonough, the current president of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, previously spent a quarter of a century as a rising executive with the Cubs. During that space of time, McDonough's revolutionary ideas changed the entire face of the Cubs' franchise. From 1983 to 2007, the North Siders had nine winning seasons, as many as they had previously compiled since 1940. They attained the post-season five times, as many as they had made since 1919.  More importantly (for the purposes of this discussion), the Cubs' public image and financial well-being saw tremendous improvement under McDonough, who worked on ...

Come to Think of It: Jeff Baker is Not the Answer for the Cubs at Second Base

November 27, 2009 by Bob Warja · Leave a Comment 

I keep reading and hearing from both Cubs fans and the media alike that Jeff Baker is likely to be the starting second baseman for the Cubs in 2010. If that happens, I think it will be a mistake. You see, Baker has never done anything outside of Coors Field. It would be a leap of faith by Cubs general manager Jim Hendry to expect Baker to post the same numbers over a full season as he did during his time with the team in 2009. Similar to the leap of faith exercised by Hendry with Mike Fontenot last year, when he posted that ...

Come to Think of It: Jeff Baker is Not the Answer for the Cubs at Second Base

November 27, 2009 by Bob Warja · Leave a Comment 

I keep reading and hearing from both Cubs fans and the media alike that Jeff Baker is likely to be the starting second baseman for the Cubs in 2010. If that happens, I think it will be a mistake. You see, Baker has never done anything outside of Coors Field. It would be a leap of faith by Cubs general manager Jim Hendry to expect Baker to post the same numbers over a full season as he did during his time with the team in 2009. Similar to the leap of faith exercised by Hendry with Mike Fontenot last year, when he posted that ...

Jim Hendry: What Will He Do With the Chicaco Cubs?

November 27, 2009 by Michael Ashkenasi · Leave a Comment 

With things so quiet on the trade front, you have to assume that the winter meetings will start the momentum of the offseason going—someone will overpay for a reliever that had a career year or a position player that was great two years ago but has been injured since.  The question for us is, what will Jim Hendry do? Yes, getting rid of Heilman was a good move and saved $2 million, but once again Hendry overpaid for a middle-of-the-road reliever: $3.75 million a year for John Grabow is another bad bullpen move. This is like Danys Baez, or Ron Mahay, or ...

Come To Think Of It: Some Lower Cost, High Upside Options For Cubs

November 26, 2009 by Bob Warja · Leave a Comment 

We know all too well that the Cubs are financially constrained this winter. In addition to focusing on moving Milton Bradley, GM Jim Hendry has numerous issues to address on a ball club that seriously underachieved in 2009. But I'm always here to help my friend Jimbo, so, as usual, here are some moves and/or signings that wouldn't necessarily break the bank, yet may provide some high upside for the Cubbies this winter. Justin Duchscherer The right-hander didn't pitch in the majors at all this year — in part because of clinical depression — and is now a free agent. Duchscherer pitched out ...

Giving Thanks: To Jim Hendry, Cubs GM

November 26, 2009 by Marco Radenkovich · Leave a Comment 

The 2003 season changed Cubs' fans lives forever. We all know about Steve Bartman, Moises Alou, Alex Gonzalez, Mark Prior, and Dusty Baker in Game Six of the 2003 NLCS. Each of them had a role in the epic collapse, and each has left a sour taste in the mouths of Cubs fans.   The one man who nobody talks about is the GM at the time, Jim Hendry.   Hendry, who is sitting on a hot seat right now, has taken a lot of criticism in the past six months regarding the roster he put together. After back-to-back division championships, Hendry's 2009 Cubs ...

North Side November: Where Are the Chicago Cubs?

November 26, 2009 by TAB BAMFORD · Leave a Comment 

All is quiet on the northern front in Chicago baseball so far this winter. Which is odd, because Jim Hendry's last few winters have been highlighted by more big game hunting than a weekend with Ted Nugent. When a guy's resume includes bringing in names like Alfonso Soriano, Ted Lilly, Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley, and when you consider how public Hendry's courtship of each player was, the fact that there hasn't been much of a peep from Hendry so far in November is intriguing to say the least. Yes, he traded Aaron Heilman to Arizona. And yes, he signed John Grabow to ...

Is Geovany Soto a Good Fantasy Baseball Pick in 2010?

November 24, 2009 by Eric Stashin · Leave a Comment 

Geovany Soto entered the 2008 season as a player with a ton of upside potential, having made his presence felt in a 2007 cup of coffee (.389, 3 HR in 54 AB).  Having lived up to his potential, owners entered 2009 thinking that he was easily a top five catcher in all formats, taking him early in drafts to ensure they got production out of a position that generally doesn’t offer much. Unfortunately, saying that he fell flat would be an understatement.  His season was a disaster, with inability and injury holding him to a line of: 331 At Bats .218 Batting ...

Chicago Cubs Offseason Analysis

November 23, 2009 by Ben Calloway · Leave a Comment 

With rumors spreading and the off-season well under way, I felt it was time to discuss a few of potential moves for the Chicago Cubs. The most talked about rumor of the off-season would likely be the possibility of bringing in current Detroit Tigers center-fielder, Curtis Granderson. The Tigers have expressed interest in dealing a few of their players in order to dump salary, and Granderson could definitely be one of those players. A Granderson trade wouldn't be cheap, but would it be worth it? It is likely that the Cubs will trade disgruntled outfielder Milton Bradley in the off-season, and move Kosuke ...

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