The Milton Bradley signing is expected to become official on Thursday after he passes a physical. When Bradley is officially announced he could end up sporting a very familiar number. As every day passes the Cubs may be getting closer to resolving their ownership situation. Once the new owners are in place Jim Hendry will know exactly what he has to work with to fill out his roster for the upcoming season.
The Cubs appear to be focusing on adding another starter to the mix and reports from the mainstream media on Wednesday and Thursday morning were rampant with speculation. Names from Tim Redding to Derek Lowe to Andy Pettitte to Ben Sheets made their way into the Chicago papers.
Most feel Jim Hendry will make another run at Jake Peavy, including the Sun-Times. Gordon Wittenmyer's report made headlines on Wednesday and reached all the way to the left coast. Jon Heyman spoke with Padres' CEO Sandy Alderson about Peavy and was told, "At some point here the window (for a trade) will close and we've got to say, 'Pack it up'. At this point, the likelihood is that he'll be with us on Opening Day."
The Orioles and Brian Roberts made few headlines of their own Wednesday. Bruce Levine reported earlier in the week Roberts is not happy in Baltimore and will not sign an extension with the Orioles. Reports from Ken Rosenthal indicated there is a "growing possibility" Roberts will be traded and "the Orioles might have already waited too long to move him" on Wednesday.
According to a report from the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles and Roberts have discussed a contract extension but the two sides are far apart. Andy MacPhail is offering $10 million a year, while Roberts figures to make a lot more on the open market next winter. Andy MacPhail said "he has not had any trade talks involving Roberts for at least a month" on Wednesday.
Here is the rest from the mill and Joey Gathright on XM Radio....
"You deal with what you have on the wall now until somebody else is added. We'll still look at some possibilities."
Jake Peavy and Other Pitching Prospects
Depending on the report Jake Peavy will either be with the Padres on Opening Day or on the North Side. Of late the news surrounding the former Cy Young award winner has been much different from the reports leaked by "Tampering Towers" in November and December.
Bruce Miles said if Jim Hendry was to go outside of the Cubs organization to fill out his rotation that he'd "put his money on somehow landing Jake Peavy from the Padres." Miles does not think the Cubs will try to land Derek Lowe, Andy Pettitte, Tim Redding, or Ben Sheets.....Miles added Chad Gaudin would be a better option than Redding and Sheets on a short-term deal would cost the Cubs a "top draft pick" if they signed him.
According to a report from Fred Mitchell, Barry Axelrod , Jake Peavy's agent, understood there was "a framework in place" for Peavy to be traded to Chicago during the Winter Meetings. Axelrod said, "Hendry seems to be open to anything. There are some GMs you deal with who are all paralyzed by their caution and analysis. Jim is willing to get out there and make things happen. So I wouldn't put anything past him of any kind."
Kevin Towers told the San Diego Union Tribune on Wednesday the discussed proposal from the Cubs "would fill several holes" on the Padres roster.
Despite all of the conflicting reports, the talks between the Cubs and Padres for Jake Peavy appear far from over....at least the Padres train in Arizona.
Chris DeLuca, in a report from the Sun-Times, talked about Jim Hendry's aggressiveness and Hendry asking for patience "insisting his product shouldn't be judged until Spring Training opens next month or by Opening Day." DeLuca hinted to the fact the "later deadline perhaps a nod to always on-talk for leadoff hitter Brian Roberts."
According to a report in the Sun-Times, Chone Figgins is "suddenly available."
While it still appears to be more than a long shot that Derek Lowe could end up in blue pinstripes, his name has "popped up" a lot in the last seven to ten days. Lowe is likely headed to the Mets, but.....
Joey Gathright on XM Radio
One of the Cubs newest outfielders joined Casey Stern on Wednesday afternoon. Gathright revealed he is no longer jumping cars in the off-season and is looking forward to being reunited with his old friends....Lou Piniella and Chad Gaudin.
The excitement Gathright has about becoming a Chicago Cub was evident throughout the interview. Gathright repeatedly stated how much he is looking forward to playing with the Cubs and at Wrigley Field.
Gathright mentioned he is looking forward to playing with a winner. He said he has not experienced playing with a winner at the big league level, one of the reasons he signed with the Cubs.....beside the fact there is a potential to play late into October and possibly in a World Series.
The Cubs speedy outfielder has never been to Wrigley Field. Stern asked him about playing in Houston with the hill and Gathright admitted he is not looking forward to Tal's Hill.
Gathright said he sets goals at the beginning of Spring Training....and one for this year is to be the starting center fielder for the Cubs. He admitted it would probably not happen but that is still his goal.
Gathright was very humble and stated despite the playing time he received last season with the Royals last year was not one of his best seasons.
Joey Gathright seems determined to be a contributor and put together a successful season in 2009.
Finally...The Hendry Way is just not an attitude, it's a street sign.
Well, that's the latest....and I'm sticking to it!