Chicago Cubs: Jim Riggleman
The source said that there were conversations between the two teams, but it never got to the point where the Padres asked for specific Cubs prospects.
The Cubs were led to believe that San Diego was going to hold on to Gonzalez until at least the early part of the 2011 season to market the San Diego native in order to sell tickets after another solid season by Gonzalez and his team in 2010.
“He’s a Gold Glove caliber first baseman,” Boras said. “He’s a guy that gives you power and run production.”
I asked Boras if he has had any recent conversations with the Cubs about Pena.
“There’s a guy in Chicago [general manager Jim Hendry] that you should talk to about that,” Boras said.
Pena is one of three or four still-unsigned, free-agent first basemen that the Cubs have interest in. Others include Lyle Overbay and Adam LaRoche.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo originally signed Webb with the Arizona Diamondbacks when Rizzo was the team’s scouting director. Webb has not pitched competitively in the major leagues since opening day 2009, when he developed shoulder problems.
The Cubs had a scout watch Webb pitch in the Arizona Instructional League in early November.
“Ronnie loved the Cubs,” Riggleman said. “That was the great thing about him, Ernie [Banks] and Billy [Williams]. They loved the team, even after they left. They always supported the Cubs. They never complained about how they were being treated. He was a legend. He was a great guy to be around. I’m just glad he’s not in pain.”
A 20-year-old rookie in 1998, Wood struck out 233 batters in 166 2/3 innings. He had nine starts in which he threw at least 120 pitches. Arm problems plagued Wood in 1999 and thoughout much of his career.
Wood, now the Cleveland Indians' closer, told Chicago Now that Riggleman is not to blame for his injuries.
"Wow, I hadn't heard his comments, and I really don't agree with that," Wood told Chicago Now. "Look, I had bad mechanics back then and it was very hard for me to try to correct them when what I was doing was working. I remember many times thinking that I wish Jim would leave me in the game because I still felt strong."
On Thursday, Riggleman praised Wood and again took responsiblity for overusing him.
"I love that guy, and I feel terrible about what happened to him," Riggleman said on "The Scott Van Pelt Show" on ESPN Radio. "I feel I was part of it. I was responsible for the ballclub. When any of your pitchers get hurt you feel terrible about it. He's just such a man and a stand-up guy that he's not putting it on me or anyone else.
"We threw him in a situation where we were in a pennant race with a chance to win, and he was dominant. We let him pitch and the next thing you know next year he breaks down. It was ligament damage that who knows, maybe it would have happened anyway but if we took the more conservative route it would be a little easier for me to look in the mirror about it then it is when you just pitch him to win."