Monday, December 7th
No trades yet, and Jim Hendry says that he feels no pressure to get something done by the end of the Winter Meetings in Indy. With that said, sources close to the situation say the Cubs talked with 5 or 6 teams about possible deals on the first day of activity here. Several of the teams in discussions are new to the mix. Most likely, Hendry will have to move Milton Bradley before he can add that new piece to the lineup and centerfield.
Lou Piniella talked a lot about team speed at the end of last season. The Cubs didn't have a legitimate base stealer or a true leadoff man in 2009. He still wants both of those things, but admitted that adding team speed will not likely be a part of this offseason. The Cubs established bigger priorities in their organizational meetings in Mesa after the season. Adding an RBI bat, right or left handed is the key. Centerfield is where they want to do it. So, circle Mike Cameron and Marlon Byrd as tops on their wish list. The Cubs also want to add a veteran arm to the bullpen with Carlos Marmol ready to take over as the everyday Closer in 2010.
What to watch for:
1. The Bradley Trade. Once it happens the Cubs will have a much better idea of what they can do. As of 5pm Eastern nothing is imminent.
2. Fontenot in deals? The Cubs would like to have a backup infielder who plays 2nd and shortstop. Fontenot played some 3rd base in addition to 2nd base last year but he struggled at the plate. Don't be surprised if Mighty Mike ends up in a trade.
3. Roy Halladay. Nationally, he is the story here. Everybody is waiting to see if the Blue Jays can move their ace this week. Somebody is going to land one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball.
I'm down in Indy for the MLB winter meetings. Things are off to a great start with a stop at the local Chick-Fil-A around Lafayette. It's amazing what a chicken biscuit can do for your day. I had two.
Hardly recognized Lou Piniella in the lobby. The Cubs manager has a personal trainer and has trimmed down the last two months while fishing in the Keys.
No secret what the Cubs want to do here...trade Milton Bradley. Lou Piniella says its one of the things they'd like to accomplish here. Once the Cubs find a trade parter, look for Mike Cameron to be a guy on their radar. The Cubs want a centerfielder who can not only hit but play solid defense. Cameron is also a solid clubhouse leader. Texas and Tampa Bay remain possible trade candidates along with Kansas City. Jim Hendry will address the media at 5pm ET tonight.
Also from Lou, a challenge for Carlos Zambrano! More on that, plus the latest trade info coming in my live report from Indy on SportsNite tonight. I'll keep you posted the minute anything breaks right here on the Bricks and Ivy blog.