Archive | December, 2008

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Final Bids Submitted for Cubs Sale

Posted on 03 December 2008 by Lou

The deadline for the submitting bids for the purchase of the Chicago Cubs came and went on Monday, December 1st. The Cubs received bids from the following bidders:

The Tom Ricketts Group – Ricketts is the CEO of Incapital LLC, a Chicago-based investment bank.

The Marc Utay Group – Utay is managing partner of Clarion Capital Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm.

The Hersh Klaff Group – Klaff is a real estate executive with strong ties in Chicago.

The Chicago Cubs did not comment on any of the bids and it is unclear how the current economic crisis affected any of the bids submitted or will affect the timing of the sale.

In a surprising turn of events, the Cubs received 1 less bid than expected. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who was rumored to have the top bid in the initial round of bids, chose not to submit a final bid. Cuban faces a federal civil law suit for insider trading and some felt that once federal regulators filed the suit, Cuban’s prospects of gaining approval from MLB owners would be even tougher than already expected. Several sources have speculated that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the “old boy” owners network would never allow a “maverick” like Cuban into the ranks of professional baseball team owner.

We’ll keep you posted the second we hear anything about the future sale of the Cubs.

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No Arbitration Moves for Hendry, Cubs

Posted on 02 December 2008 by Lou

Cubs GM Jim Hendry elected not to offer arbitration to any of its free agent players, including Type A free agents Kerry Wood and Bob Howry. The Howry move was a no-brainer for Hendry, but I am surprised that Hendry did not offer arbitration to Wood. The Cubs have made it very clear that Wood was not part of their long term plans when they traded for Marlins set-up man Kevin Gregg in November. If the Cubs offered Wood arbitration and he signed with another team, that team would owe the Cubs 2 compensatory draft picks in the 2009 draft. It is all but certain that Wood will re-sign with another team, so I’m not sure why they didn’t offer him arbitration to get the 2 draft picks.

Does this mean that Wood may return to the Cubs by signing a multi-year free agent deal? Who knows at this point. Manager Lou Pinella and the Cubs have indicated that they need another veteran arm for the bullpen, so you can’t close the door on Wood just yet.

The winter meetings begin next week in Las Vegas, so we should be in for a fun week of rumors over the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see where the Cubs look for left-handed hitting and bullpen help before the start of the 2009 MLB season. Stay tuned.

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Arbitration Deadline for Hendry and Cubs

Posted on 01 December 2008 by Lou

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MLB’s arbitration deadline occurs tonight at midnight. That means Cubs GM Jim Hendry has until tonight to figure out which players he wants to offer arbitration. As a 6-year Type A free agent, the Cubs will likely offer arbitration to former closer Kerry Wood. If Wood signs with another MLB team, that team would have to give the Cubs 2 compensatory draft picks in the 2009 MLB draft. Reliever Bob Howry is also a Type A free agent, but the Cubs are not expected to offer him arbitration because of his poor 2008 showing, and the ability for the Cubs to build bullpen support from within.

Jim Edmonds and Daryle Ward are also free agents, but they are non-compensatory players. That means that even if the Cubs offered either player arbitration, and either player signed with a different team, the team signing either player would not owe the Cubs any draft picks.

We’ll keep you posted how Hendry plays his cards with these free agent players. Most likely, Wood will be the only free agent offered arbitration by the Cubs.

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