A New Era For the Chicago Cubs...and More on the Way?

Neil FinnellCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2009

Jim Hendry took a step forward on Monday by reportedly agreeing to a three-year deal with Milton Bradley worth around $30 million. Bruce Levine from ESPN 1000 in Chicago joined Joe Castellano Monday night on XM Radio to discuss the deal.

Levine revealed the third year on Bradley's contract is not guaranteed and is a vesting option based on games played in the first two years. Bradley is expected in Chicago by Thursday to take a physical with the official announcement being made on Friday at Wrigley.

The Jason Marquis to the Rockies trade reportedly could be made official as early as Tuesday. The Cubs are expected to send Marquis along with between $875,000 and $1 million to Colorado for Luis Vizcaino. Even with all of the activity in the last week, the Cubs do not appear to be done.

According to a report from Bruce Miles, Jim Hendry is "expected to pursue a starting pitcher of some sort between now and the start of spring training in February." Jake Peavy is still on the Cubs radar, but the sale of the Padres and the pending sale of the Cubs might have put that deal on a permanent hold. The Tribune also reported on Monday night the Cubs are looking for an arm to replace Jason Marquis' innings.

Here's the latest from the mill on the day the Cubs' Spring Training tickets go on sale. Ten days until the Cubs Convention, 39 days until pitchers and catchers report and 50 days until the Cubs first Cactus League game against the Dodgers....

Milton Bradley

Tom Verducci from SI discussed the Milton Bradley signing on the MLB Network during the Hot Stove show. He said Bradley is a perfect fit for the Cubs as long as he stays on the field. He said the Cubs looked at Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, and Adam Dunn but in the end decided on Bradley because of the defense he can bring when on the field.

Verducci added if Bradley is on the field for 120 or more games then the Cubs will be in good shape, if anything less the Cubs are in trouble.

Bruce Miles reported the Bradley deal will be worth around $30 million..."give or take a little, with incentives for games played thrown in." Miles threw in for good measure that it will be a busy week.

The Sun-Times listed all of Milton Bradley's incidents over his career....for those unfamiliar, here's a link.

Brian Roberts

After Bruce Levine discussed the Milton Bradley signing with Joe Castellano on XM Radio, they talked about the rumors the White Sox are interested in Brian Roberts. Levine reported the same to Castellano as he did on Saturday—the Sox are not interested in sending Gavin Floyd to the Orioles for Roberts.

Levine told Castellano his sources have told him Brian Roberts wants out of Baltimore. He said Roberts feels betrayed because he was told the Orioles would be building a team around him. Levine did not mention if the Cubs would be pursuing Roberts again or not.

Ronny Cedeno

According to a report from Scout.com, Ronny Cedeno "looks to be a good bet to get traded. Cedeno ran afoul of Piniella the last two years with what the Cubs perceived to be careless play at times."

Gordon Wittenmyer on the Baseball Beat

The Cubs beat writer for the Sun-Times joined Charley Steiner on the Baseball Beat for a short time on Monday. Wittenmyer discussed Milton Bradley just before news began to surface the Cubs had agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the switch-hitting outfielder.

The discussion then switched to the recent trade of Mark DeRosa. Wittenmyer said one could make the argument that DeRosa was the Cubs' MVP over the past two seasons. He added the Cubs are taking a big risk by trading him but added the Cubs know what they are doing. Wittenmyer added from a baseball standpoint the trade made a lot of sense but questioned if they will be able to replace his numbers.

Jake Peavy is still on the Cubs radar according to Wittenmyer. The Cubs have the room to add Peavy and his contract in 2009 but the big concern is his contract in 2010 and beyond. The new ownership must be in place for the Cubs to trade for Jake Peavy and his contract.

Aaron Miles on Sports Central

The Cubs new utility man joined Dave Kaplan during Sports Central on Monday night. Miles said he always enjoyed watching Cubs' games on WGN growing up and has always liked playing at Wrigley Field.

Kaplan asked him about the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. Miles said he used to be a Cardinal who tried to beat the Cubs, now he will be a Cub trying to take it to the Cardinals.

Miles has been told he will be considered for the job at second base and acknowledged Mike Fontenot is a good player, a lot like himself. Miles added the fact he can switch hit and can play multiple positions gives him a lot of versatility which can help a team win. Miles went on to say he is ready to come in and do whatever the Cubs want him to do.

Tony LaRussa wanted him back in St. Louis and was very disappointed to see him leave. Miles admitted he called LaRussa after he signed with the Cubs. Miles described his relationship with LaRussa as a good one. He said it was tough for him to leave the Cardinals because he has family there. LaRussa told Miles he was one of the best teammates he'd ever been around. Miles revealed later in the interview no one on the Cardinals "hates" the Cubs more than Tony LaRussa.

Miles feels like second base is his best position and he feels more comfortable hitting toward the top of the lineup....but he quickly said he would do whatever the Cubs want him to.

Kaplan discussed what happened to Miles during Spring Training of 2000 in detail. It is a truly remarkable story recently posted on the Chicago Sun-Times.

Miles added he wants all of the Cubbie fans to know no one will be working harder than he does.

Aaron Miles will be at the upcoming Cubs Convention and will join Dave Kaplan on Friday night's Sports Central from the Hilton.

Ken Rosenthal on Sports Central

Here are a few highlights of Ken Rosenthal's time with Dave Kaplan:

  • Loves Milton Bradley but wonders if he can stay healthy and on the field
  • Bradley plays really hard, which is why he's always hurt
  • Rosenthal said it will help that the Cubs have Reed Johnson and Kosuke Fukudome to spell him
  • Rosenthal called Bradley an excellent teammate
  • It may be a challenge for Lou Piniella to leave Bradley alone and let him play
  • Rosenthal said Bradley was good in Texas and with the Padres until the incident with the umpire
  • The same things that are being said about Bradley could be said about Lou Piniella
  • There's an appeal for every player to play for the Cubs
  • Rosenthal like where the Cubs are right now but understands the criticism
  • The three reasons the Cubs traded Mark DeRosa: 1) To get more left handed and add balance to the lineup 2) Cost savings 3) DeRosa will be a free agent at the end of the year
  • The key is to keep Bradley on the field
  • Rosenthal said there is still a possibility they trade for Jake Peavy but with the ownership change in San Diego he put the odds at only 10 percent Peavy will end up as a Cub
  • Rosenthal said it stands to reason that the Cubs could get another starter
  • Derek Lowe is probably a stretch with the pending ownership change

New Look at the World Wide Leader

For those who did not notice on Monday, ESPN.com unveiled their new design.


Well, that's the latest....and I'm sticking to it!


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