Chicago Cubs May Be Closing in on Switch-Hitter Milton Bradley

Mike HulmesContributor IDecember 10, 2008

Winter Meetings 2008: Cubs Waiting to Pull the Trigger?

from Chicago Cubs Online by Neil

Are there any truths buried in all of the rumors coming from the Bellagio in Las Vegas? The second day of the Winter Meetings were filled with more of the same for the Chicago Cubs...a lot of talk and speculation. According to the Tribune, Jim Hendry spoke with "representatives of three of four free agents" and according to multiple reports the Cubs appear to be the holdup in the trade that would net them Jake Peavy.

Mark DeRosa is "considered expendable because he's in the final year of his contract and doesn't have a no-trade clause" according to the Tribune. Also, Jason Marquis and half of his $9.875 million contract replaced Sean Marshall in the proposed trade for Peavy. The Sun-Times indicated Mark DeRosa might not be in the proposed three to four-team deal after all.

The Tribune also indicated the Cubs are "focusing on a left-handed, middle-of-the-order hitter, and may be closing in on switch-hitter Milton Bradley." The Cubs have interest in Bobby Abreu, but "there had been no formal talks as of Tuesday evening." Abreu's agent said he is interested in the Cubs.

Here's the rest from a confusing Day Two at the Winter Meetings....

A report from indicated the Cubs have been contacted by at least five teams "regarding their players as they try to become that third team allegedly need to complete" the Jake Peavy trade....."and Mark DeRosa's name is not the only one being mentioned." According to, one team asked about Carlos Marmol.

Jim Hendry from

"You can't get caught up in everybody's rumors or what people say. We feel confident that before we get to camp, we're going to have a better baseball team than we had when the season ended. That's our goal, and we're not worried about time frames or what somebody says we might be doing. It could still change drastically on the type of plan we thought would go down, and we could end up with a different kind of player."

Peter Gammons reported that the Padres "feel a lot more confident about the Jake Peavy deal tonight than yesterday"...and Gammons' source said it is not likely the deal will happen in Vegas, but it is possible.


Milton Bradley

The Tribune mentioned the fact that Milton Bradley could give Lou Piniella a little more flexibility in the outfield. Bradley can play center field which would allow Kosuke Fukudome to play in right and center, along with Reed Johnson in center against left-handers with Bradley patrolling right field.

The Cubs and Rays are the two teams showing the most interest in Bradley according to the Tribune.

Jake Peavy, Mark DeRosa and Jason Marquis

According to a report in the Tribune, Crane Kenney stated on Tuesday:

"The team can afford to ass a lucrative long-term contract without knowing exactly who the new owner will be, which suggests Peavy's $63 million contract is within the projected budgets that already have been presented to the bidders."

The Tribune indicated the deal for Peavy does not appear imminent, but there has been "enough groundwork to pull it off quickly."

According to a report on, the Cubs are "far from a Peavy deal".

Jayson Stark reported the Cubs and Padres do not necessarily need a third or fourth team to make a deal for Jake Peavy. Stark doubts the deal will be completed in Las Vegas and mentioned the Cubs might have to pick up Peavy's option for 2013. Stark mentioned a third team might be needed to take on another contract and that is where Mark DeRosa might come in.

One thing that appears consistent over the last week is that the Cubs must move Jason Marquis and some of his contract. The reports have varied on how much, but anywhere from $3 million to $5 million seems like will be departing the North Side when Jason Marquis is traded.

Jim Hendry and Kevin Towers were scheduled to meet again on Tuesday night and Towers told CBS that the two sides have made progress, "we're just not there yet."

The Cubs and Padres haven't "completely settled on the pieces" but there is "a general agreement." According to CBS Sports, Josh Vitters, Kevin Hart, Angel Guzman and Ronny Cedeno could possibly be in the deal. The Cubs would send Mark DeRosa to the Phillies for possibly J.A. Happ or Chris Coste to be included with Felix Pie going to the Orioles for Garrett Olson.

CBS Sports also indicated the deal might have to wait until after Thursday's Rule 5 Draft to be announced and might not be made official until Friday or Saturday....the Padres might need to clear room in their 40-man roster.

Reports from the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Sun-Times backed up the CBS Sports report that the deal might be made before the end of the Winter Meetings, but will not be made official until after Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. It does appear that the Cubs are viewing Mark DeRosa and his salary for next season as a way to save money and make room for Jake Peavy.

The Sun-Times indicated a Phillies source said they are interested in Mark DeRosa, but "he didn't expect the Cubs to include the versatile infielder/outfielder." The Phillies are interested in other Cubs players but "wouldn't get more specific."

Yahoo Sports reported the Peavy deal hinges only on the Cubs moving Jason Marquis.


Jeremy Hermida

Ken Rosenthal mentioned the Cubs interest in Hermida on Tuesday afternoon. Several reports have indicated the Marlins will probably not trade Hermida.


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


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