The Chicago Cubs’ front office is still operating under a code of silence while major league baseball commissioner Bud Selig tries to iron an agreement between the Cubs and Red Sox regarding the Theo Epstein compensation. But while Selig settles that issue, Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer is tasked with the trying to fill out the final few spots on the Cubs’ 25 man roster. While the Cubs’ 25 man roster will not be fully constructed until the final days of Spring Training, Epstein and Hoyer still are looking to add pieces to the puzzle. We already know that Epstein and Hoyer are coveting Cuban prospects Yoenis Cespedes, Jorge Soler, and Geraldo Concepcion, but those players are not the only ones on the Cubs’ radar. The Cubs had interest in veteran reliever Chad Qualls before the pitched signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Qualls was not the only veteran reliever on the Cubs’ radar, as the Cubs have another one in their sight. After the jump, we will discuss that reliever, along with a trade rumor involving catcher Geovany Soto.
- There has been a rumor circulating around the Cubs’ blogosphere over the past couple of days that has originated from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin wrote on Sunday that the Rays may utilize their surplus of starting pitchers as a way to improve their other areas of need. One area of need for the Rays may be to solidify their catching position. This would be where Topkin loosely suggests the Rays may be interested in Cubs’ catcher Geovany Soto. Topkin mentions pitchers Wade Davis, and Jeff Neiman as potential trading chips for the Rays. While I could very well see Soto being traded at some point during the 2012 season, I do not think the Cubs’ catcher will be traded to Tampa Bay if all the Rays are offering are Davis or Neiman. The Cubs already have a plethora of starting pitchers, so it is likely that Epstein would focus on prospects in any trade he made that involved Soto.
- As I teased above, the Cubs are showing interest in a veteran reliever. According to Darren Wolfson ( you’re right when you say “Who?”) of 1500 ESPN Minnesota, the Cubs are interested in veteran reliever Todd Coffey. Coffey posted an ERA of 3.62 with the Washington Nationals last season in 60 innings pitched. The Cubs’ interest in Coffey likely is for nothing more than a minor league deal. Wolfson mentions that the Oakland Athletics are also interested in Coffey. With Trever Miller already in the fold for Spring Training, Coffey does not appear to be a direct fit to the Cubs’ and their plans going forward. Though, at this point, Coffey does not appear to be a fit for the Cubs and their direction for the 2012 season. Nonetheless, Coffey would be a nice addition to the Cubs’ bullpen on a low-cost deal.
- Former Cubs’ General Manager Jim Hendry has been hired by the New York Yankees as a special assistant to General Manager Brian Cashman. In related news, Red Sox fans and the rest of the American League East team’s fans are celebrating in light of the Yankees hiring Hendry.
- Matt Garza has had his American League Championship ring stolen from his Florida home. Word is that Miami Marlins‘ manager Ozzie Guillen has taken it as a way to give the Marlins’ in trade discussions involving the starting pitcher. In all seriousness, the fortunate news is that neither Garza nor his family was harmed during the incident.