Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at the CCO... While the Cubs reportedly were not interested in Mark Teixeira, the surprising signing by the New York Yankees on Tuesday could have an impact on the Cubs off-season.
Scott Boras came through for another one of his clients on Tuesday when Teixeira agreed to terms with the Yankees on an 8-year, $180 million dollar deal. But what kind of ripple effect will the Teixeira signing have throughout the league?
Will the Angels step up their pursuit of Milton Bradley or Jake Peavy? Did the value of veteran bats, such as Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn, increase? Will the Orioles enter full rebuilding mode and put Brian Roberts on the block? Is there now a market for Alfonso Soriano?
Here's the update from the mill....and a little news too.
Ed Randall reported during his show on XM Radio Tuesday night that he heard Milton Bradley was heading to the Angels. Mark Gubicza was discussing the Angels next step after Mark Teixeira agreed to terms with the Yankees, Gubicza is not convinced Bradley will sign with the Angels....and questioned the fit due to health concerns.
According to Ken Rosenthal before the Teixeira signing on Tuesday morning, "the Cubs are confident of signing free agent designated hitter Milton Bradley." Other teams, such as the Rays, Yankees and Nationals, are also interested. Rosenthal mentioned Pat Burrell or Jason Giambi could be an option for the Rays if Bradley ends up with the Cubs.
Ken Rosenthal reported on Tuesday morning that the Cubs "could revive discussions if they get approval from their new ownership, which is expected to be decided within a month."
Dan Hayes from the San Diego North County Times joined Dave Kaplan on Monday night and discussed the latest on Jake Peavy. Hayes told Kaplan the talks between the Cubs and Padres are not totally dead and the two sides are still talking.
The Padres need to move Peavy's contract because they have an operating budget of $40 million dollars for next season. Peavy is scheduled to make $11 million and $29 million is not enough for Kevin Towers to field a team. Hayes said, "The Padres are going underground with the Peavy talks and will not be as public this time around." Hayes added the Padres tipped their cap before and will not make the same mistake again.
The information Hayes passed along to Kaplan goes hand-in-hand with Ken Rosenthal's report on Tuesday.
"If it heats up, nobody is going to know it. As of right now, we're not talking to anybody. And we don't plan on calling anybody."
"Talking to Barry, he'd rather not be involved in it. We had put him and Jake in a tough spot. (Team president) Sandy (Alderson), Barry and I all agreed, the less we talk, the better to insulate them from the process. We've got a pretty good idea which teams that Jake would maybe consider. If they call, we'll listen to what they have to say. If it's enticing enough, we'll approach Barry and Jake."
Charlie Slowes, radio play-by-play for the Washington Nationals, joined Ed Randall on Tuesday night. Slowes discussed the options for the Nationals in the wake of the Mark Teixeira decision. Slowes mentioned Adam Dunn as a possibility for the Nationals and casually stated that he heard the Cubs were interested in Dunn.
Take this for what it is....a rumor.
Yankees-Cubs Exhibition Games
The Yankees announced on Tuesday that they "will roll back ticket prices to 1923 levels for the first two games to be played at their new home." Bleacher seats for the Yankees-Cubs exhibition games will be sold for 25 cents each and grandstand tickets will be sold for $1.10....the same prices as Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923.
Tickets for the home opener at new Yankee Stadium, against the Indians, will cost as much as $2500 per seat.
Reed Johnson on XM Radio
Reed Johnson joined Ed Randall on Tuesday night. Randall asked Johnson about being an Academic All-American at Cal-State Fullerton. Johnson majored in kinesiology, which is the branch of physiology that studies the mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement.
Mike Marshall also studied kinesiology and Johnson revealed it helps him prepare for the rigors of a Major League season. Johnson trains in the off-season with Aaron Rowand in Las Vegas. He said they do not train for the early part of the season but for the dog days of the summer....July, August and September.
Randall discussed last October briefly with Johnson and he admitted the sting has worn off a little.
Ed Randall told Reed he was shocked when he left the Blue Jays. Johnson figured out last winter, after the Jays signed Shannon Stewart, that it could be a possibility he would end up being the odd man out. Johnson felt he was on a level playing field offensively with Stewart, but superior defensively.
Johnson said he was released at 8:00am on Easter Sunday and by 8:30am the Cubs had already called. He explained that he had always wanted to be Cub. He wants to watch the city explode when the team wins the World Series. Johnson went on to explain it would be very special for all 25 guys, and the coaching staff, to be on the team that ended the drought....but not for just the moment, for the rest of their lives.
Johnson discussed the Cubs-White Sox rivalry for a short time and the fact he likes playing in the National League.
The interview ended with Johnson saying he thinks Jim Hendry has put a good team together. With the exception of Kerry Wood, which he stated will be a big loss, last year's team will return...however, he feels Carlos Marmol is ready to step in and likes the addition of Kevin Gregg. Johnson thinks the Cubs will be a solid team in 2009.
The MLB Network is just over a week from the official launch. However, they have inserted different programming and behind the scene features in recent days. The 24-hour channel has aired clip after clip of historical footage and interviews from Babe Ruth to Fernando Valenzuela to Sammy Sosa to Hank Aaron to Pete Rose and everything in between. The network is set to go live on January 1st at 5:00pm C.T.
After a one-hour look at Baseball's Hot Stove on New Year's Day, they will air Don Larsen's perfect game from the 1956 World Series at 6:00pm C.T. The replay of Larsen's perfecto will be the first time it has been shown, the film was thought to be lost until a collector revealed he had a copy in 2006.
While a majority of Chicago was focused on the Bears and Packers game on Monday Night Football, WGN Radio replayed the Cubs Confidential with Ron Santo. Hearing Santo, his enthusiasm and excitement for the game made a cold winter night a lot more bearable.....pardon the pun.
At the end of the re-broadcast, Dave Kaplan said stay tuned for Cubs' pre-game on WGN....bring on the Cubs Convention.
Well....that's the latest...and I'm sticking to it!