To date, the Cubs biggest off-season signing so far was when they gave a 3 year $15MM deal to Marlon Byrd to roam center fielder. Since then there has been little to no other moves to help improve the team for the upcoming season. While Jim Hendry says he is not done dealing, don’t be expecting him to make any moves soon.
Here is the latest from a cold “Hot stove” for the Cubs
Free Agents- The Cubs are still eying several starting pitchers that are on the market, but are waiting till their price goes down before they make a move for one of them. The Cubs have shown interest in starters Ben Sheets, Jose Contreras, Jon Garland, and John Smoltz. They are heavily interested in Sheets but are waiting till his price goes down, which they feel will happen eventually. John Smoltz is the new name to the rumor mill, thanks to ESPN Cubs insider Bruce Levine. Smoltz, would like to start next year, but I have a feeling that the Cubs have interest in him only as a reliever, or at least as a spot starter.
Bullpen- The Cubs are looking over several trades to help fix their bullpen, and Bruce Levine reports that is the likeliest route they will go to do so. The Cubs have interest in Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor, but they may not be willing to part with Angel Guzman, whom the Jay want in return. I would not put too much into the Heath Bell rumors, as San Diego officials have repeatedly said that they are not trading him this off-season.
Reed Johnson- Fan favorite Reed Johnson still could return to the Cubs next year. The Cubs have interest in re-signing Johnson, whom would be the 4th outfielder on the team. The Cubs have been waiting till his price drops, since he was originally seeking $3MM, but it is expected that his price has dropped to around $1MM. If Johnson is not brought back, the Cubs may decide to go with Brad Snyder as their fourth outfielder.
Only 51 More Days till the Cubs open up their Spring Training schedule against the Athletics.