Chicago Cubs: 2012-13 Hot Stove

Sources: Cubs cut off Upton talks

January, 18, 2013
1/18/13
10:43
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks recently discussed the feasibility of a trade that would have sent right fielder Justin Upton to the Cubs, according to two major league sources.

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Report: Dontrelle Willis, Cubs close

January, 4, 2013
1/04/13
10:17
PM CT
By Associated Press
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CHICAGO -- A person familiar with the situation says the Chicago Cubs are closing in on a minor league deal with left-hander Dontrelle Willis.

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Cubs court two at once, land Edwin Jackson

January, 2, 2013
1/02/13
6:59
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- This offseason the Chicago Cubs identified Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson as the two free-agent starting pitchers who best fit their criteria.

Sanchez and Jackson were talented enough to help the team improve in the present, but they were also young enough to be part of their future core.

The Cubs only wanted to add one pitcher though.

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Sources: Cubs, Phils talked Soriano

December, 12, 2012
12/12/12
12:21
AM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies discussed the parameters of a deal involving Alfonso Soriano, but there is nothing going on between the two teams presently, according to two major league sources.

The sources said the Cubs would have received pitching in return for the veteran outfielder. One source said the conversation initially took place a month ago as the Cubs seek relief from the $38 million that remain on Soriano’s contract.

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Ryan Dempster says no to Red Sox

December, 7, 2012
12/07/12
10:39
PM CT
Edes By Gordon Edes
ESPNChicago.com
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BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox made a two-year, $25 million offer to free agent right-hander Ryan Dempster but were turned down by the pitcher and his agent, Craig Landis, according to a source.

Dempster is believed to be seeking a three-year deal and reportedly is being wooed by the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers.

A source also said Dempster turned down a two-year, $26 million offer from the Kansas City Royals.

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Soriano, Marmol remain trade possibilities

December, 4, 2012
12/04/12
8:59
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeAlfonso Soriano
AP Photo/Paul BeatyAlfonso Soriano is drawing interest from American League teams.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Chicago Cubs have been pleased to find plenty of interest in veteran players such as outfielders Alfonso Soriano and closer Carlos Marmol. And although these winter meetings have been more about free-agent signings than blockbuster trades, teams are encouraged that the logjam on deals could be broken before teams go home Thursday.

Soriano had the best power year of his career in 2012, hitting 32 home runs and driving in 104 (third best in the NL). Marmol regained his closer’s role with the help of pitching coach Chris Bosio and manager Dale Sveum after losing his way in April and May.

“Some of our veteran guys played really well (last season), Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “They performed better than they had performed in prior years and bounced back from some sub-par seasons and played well.”

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Cubs: Free agents see past losses

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
9:40
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While last season’s 101 losses certainly aren’t a selling point, they won’t necessarily keep free agents from deciding to join the Chicago Cubs, according to club president Theo Epstein.

“We’ve been pleased with the expressed desire by players to come play in Chicago,” Epstein said at the end of Day 1 of baseball’s winter meetings. “Dale (Sveum) is making a name for himself as a manager players want to play for. Free agents recognize we had a good clubhouse. Generally free agents believe in the direction we’re going.

“Elite baseball players are real competitive. They like the thought of being part of the solution and being a member of the team that wins a World Series here. I’ve had a number of players tell me that directly.”

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Cubs unlikely to add big-name outfielder

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
8:20
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Don’t expect the Chicago Cubs to make a big plunge into the outfield pool to grab a high-profile player.

Although a source said last week that the Cubs brass had a conversation with agent Scott Boras about free agent Michael Bourn, the chances of singing the former Brave to a long-term deal are remote.

The team will look to add a center fielder or right fielder as a short-term answer while their farm-system players mature in the minor leagues.

“It is starting to come into focus,” said president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, who is attending the winter meetings. “The outfield market is tiered a little bit, so there is a domino effect with each move. With each day it becomes a little more clear.”

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Cubs non-tender Ian Stewart

November, 30, 2012
11/30/12
9:37
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Cubs non-tendered three players before Friday night’s deadline, including last season’s opening day third baseman Ian Stewart.

Two minor league pitchers, Zach Putnam and Jaye Chapman, were not offered contracts and become free agents as does Stewart.

Stewart had an aborted 2012 season due to a persistent wrist injury, playing only 55 games and hitting .201 with five home runs and 17 RBIs.

The Cubs can still negotiate a new contract with Stewart, who would have been arbitration eligible after making $2.237 million last year. General manager Jed Hoyer said that the two sides had been in contact and alluded that they had hoped to get an agreement with the 27-year-old infielder before Friday’s deadline.

The Cubs acquired Stewart from the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder DJ LeMahieu on Dec. 8, 2011. The Cubs also received right-hander Casey Weathers in the deal.

Also Friday, right-handed pitcher Casey Coleman cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa.

The Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 37 going into the winter meetings on Dec. 3 in Nashville.

Cubs interested in Michael Bourn?

November, 30, 2012
11/30/12
5:58
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Cubs have had conversations with free agent centerfielder Michael Bourn's agent, according to a major league source.

Bourn, whose agent, Scott Boras, will be seeking more than $100 million for the speedy outfielder, may not be an obvious fit for the rebuilding Cubs, but they would be looking at him much the same way the Washington Nationals viewed Jayson Werth. The Nationals made a statement two years ago when they overpaid the marketplace in order to establish a winning mentality before the team was ready to win .

The Cubs might view a player like Bourn as a leadoff man and centerfielder who could add runs on offense and take them away in the outfield. Farm system players such as Brett Jackson and Jorge Soler are not ready to make an impact on the Cubs roster, making the team buyers this offseason.

“We do have to address our outfield and we will look to do that,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said in a phone conference with reporters on Friday. “We like our prospects, but when they are as far away as some of those guys are you can’t think about those guys. You have to think about your team now.”

At 31, Bourn is still an impact leadoff man who has led the league in stolen bases three times. With 42 stolen bases and a league-leading 383 putouts last season with the Atlanta Braves, the multi-talented veteran would bring the numbers and the clubhouse leadership that could help the Cubs begin to turn the corner after a 101-loss season.

The Cubs have a lot of payroll flexibility with more than $50 million coming off the books from the 2012 season. The team has around $75 million in payroll commitments for 2013.

Neither the Cubs nor Boras would comment on Bourn when contacted.

“There are a number of players we will be talking to over the next few weeks,” Hoyer said in his media phone conference.

Jed Hoyer: Cubs looking to add arms

November, 30, 2012
11/30/12
5:33
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Pitching will remain the primary concern of the Chicago Cubs heading into the winter meetings next week in Nashville, according to general manager Jed Hoyer.

"We still look at it as an area of need," Hoyer said in a conference call with reporters on Friday. "Organizationally we need a lot of depth. We'll be active trying to find bullpen help at the meetings, for sure, and after. As far as the rotation goes we do have some guys coming off injury that are on our roster so we will be active seeking depth."

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Don't rule out Dempster returning to Cubs

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
3:01
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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Ryan DempsterAP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezRyan Dempster went 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA after his trade to the Rangers last season.
The Chicago Cubs are on the record in their pursuit of starting pitching this offseason. Although it might seem a stretch, don't count out the possibility of Ryan Dempster returning to his former team.

Last week Dempster randomly bumped into a top Cubs executive on the street and had a casual conversation. Early this week the team had contact with Dempster and his representatives about his free agency.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167