Posted on 21 December 2010 by Lou
The Chicago Cubs appear to be falling out of the race for starter Brandon Webb. Webb has pitched a total of just 4 innings combined during the 2009 and 2010 MLB seasons because of shoulder injuries. But it appears that Webb is healthy again and he is receiving strong interest from the Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals. The Rangers have strong interest because they lost out in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. The Nationals have strong interest because they will be without stud Stephen Strasburg for all of 2010 because of his Tommy John surgery. Any deal would most likely be incentive-laden because of his past arm injuries, but he is an intriguing starter in an otherwise “weak” starters market this winter.
We’ll keep you posted if the Cubs make a strong move down the stretch here. Given the Cubs signing of Kerry Wood which will allow them to move Andrew Cashner back into a starting role for 2011, their need for another starter is not as urgent. But I guess you can never have too many starters, especially if Webb is really healthy and if he only gets paid a hefty sum if he earns it with positive production on the mound…
Posted on 15 December 2010 by Lou
According to Carlos Zambrano’s camp, Big Z isn’t going anywhere. After the New York Yankees lost out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes on Monday night, many “insiders” claimed that the Yankees would then turn their attention to Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs. But Zambrano’s agent reiterated that the Cubs have not asked him to consider a trade and that Big Z has not requested a trade either. Big Z is under contract through 2012 and a guaranteed contract for the 2013 season kicks in if he finishes 1st or 2nd in Cy Young voting in either 2011 or 2012 (that will likely not happen). Since Zambrano has 5 and 10 rights, he must approve any trade that the Cubs propose to him.
Zambrano finished strong in 2010 after a tumultuous start to the season which included a team-imposed suspension for a month to hash uot “anger management” issues. He won his last 8 starts, including a stellar 4-0 September in which he posted a spectacular 0.78 ERA. A move to the Yankees would mean that he would be re-united with former Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild. We’ll keep you posted…
Posted on 14 December 2010 by Lou
Could we see Andrew Cashner as a starter at Wrigley Field during the 2011 MLB schedule? Andrew Cashner was always a starter until he was drafted by the Cubs and he has pitched as a reliever ever since. A lot depends on what the Cubs do the rest of the off-season.
GM Jim Hendry keeps saying that the Cubs are in the market for a starting pitcher and they have pursued vigorous trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays for Matt Garza. If the Cubs landed a player like Garza, then there is very klittle chance that we would see Cashner as a starter.
But now that the best free agent starting pitcher – Cliff Lee – signed with the Philadelphia Phillies instead of the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, the Yankees and Rangers could make a strong play to try to lure Garza away from the Rays. That could limit the Cubs chances to snag him, which could open up a spot for Cashner if he has a solid spring.
Also, the Cubs could try to shop Carlos Zambrano around again after his solid end to the 2010 MLB season. Zambrano has a no trade clause, but the Cubs could try to convince him to waive it to play for a team like the New York Yankees where he could win a World Series now. Big would also be re-united with the only pitching coach he has ever known – Larry Rothschild – who recently left the Cubs to take the Yankees pitching coach job.
Should be interesting to see how things fall into place now that Lee has signed. We should start to see all the dominoes fall over the next few weeks…