Welcome to the winter meetings in Nashville. A lot of talk and not much action yet from the Chicago teams. Welcome ...
What have we learned at the Winter Meetings so far? Any progression toward the Sox 3B and/or other needs?
They are still a player for Youkilis. It just depends if he can get a third year from other teams. Some of the bigger name 3B are not available by trade.
Are the Cubs showing any interest in Jacoby Ellsbury? He would be a nice fit in CF, moving DeJesus to RF. Could this work?
They are looking for an OF. They have said that at the meetings. They are open to either a CF or RF. I don't have a handle on whether Ellsbury is on the shopping list.
What are the chances for a Garza for a Mike Olt?
Olt is the heir apparent at 3B after Beltre leaves. But right now Garza is an unknown due to the fact that he is coming off an elbow strain. That's probably more of a spring training type deal once they see him throw again.
Any chance AJ comes back to Florida and signs with the Rays? We could use his bat.
Always a chance but they don't really have that kind of money typically on catchers. He seems to fit with the Yankees, Rangers and Dodgers although LA is pretty happy with their catcher.
Will Carlos Marmol still be in a Cubs uniform on opening day 2013? If yes, does he go by the Trade Deadline?
My guess is no. Plenty of teams need pitching. It just depends on what type of talent the Cubs can get back and how much of Marmol's contract the other team will take. He is owed $10 million.
What's your take on the Deshaies hire?
He has a great reputation and he also is friends with Len Kasper, who I think helped the team in their search for a replacement for Brenly. It's a four-year contract but the assumption is only two years is guaranteed due to the fact that WGN may lose the Cubs after 2014.
Do you think the cubs will go after Brain Wilson? We need a better closer, and Kyuji Fujikawa could be our setup man
That would be a gamble and you would have to possibly spend a lot of money on a guy that has two Tommy John surgeries. I don't know if that would be the most prudent thing for a team that is still evolving.
Do you think that Dunn will be playing 1st base more this year because Konerko has less range?
Dunn isn't exactly the guy with the most range either. The wear and tear issues on Konerko might dictate that they share the 1B spot. Dunn improved at 1B last year.
Have you heard anything about the cubs and Nate Mclouth? I know he's struggled but he was so great for baltimore down the stretch last year he could be a great buy low guy.
The Cubs are interested in almost all the free agent outfielders. McLouth is an interesting player but somewhat difficult to project due to a very inconsistent career. He'd be on their list of short-term answers.
Any chance in the Cubbies signing Michael Bourn?
They had one conversation with his agent. It just depends on whether the Cubs feel they are ready to commit to a 31-year-old OF for 4-5 years. Bourn is a talented player who can really help them improve.
What can the Cubs do to fix their needs at third base? Do they have any minor league prospects better than Josh Vitters?
Not at this point. Vitters and Valbuena are the only ones that fit the need right now. Vitters has a long way to go. A lot of baseball people believe he has to change positions. Down the line it's possible either Castro, Baez or Lake play 3B.
Is Yunel Escobar really an upgrade at 3rd base for the Cubs? Why are we interested? His batting average is the only thing better than Valbuena's, and his attitude leaves alot to be desired.
I don't believe he is, and he has had some problems in places he's been. As to whether he has matured or not that remains to be seen.
I think the sox should make a strong offer to the royals for moustakas. I think gavin floyd and maybe a couple pitching prospects could get it done.
As of this point the Royals are not trading him. The Sox have inquired as have many teams. KC believes Moustakas is one of the top young 3B in the game.
Stephen Drew an option for 3rd base? or even a trade for Jed Lowrie? they are both great defensively, inexpensive and produce enough offensively to play atleast 130 games.
It just depends whether teams view Drew as a 3B at this point because he's been a SS his whole career. Also injuries have been an issue for him.
Will the Cubs walk away from these meetings with another starter that projects to be a staple in the rotation next year, or just some more depth?
It appears more depth. It doesn't look like the Cubs have the type of moveable parts to acquire a top starting pitcher.
Think the cubs will make an offer for Justin Upton? Do they have the pieces to trade for him? 3 years 40 millions seems pretty reasonable for him especially after the contract his brother just signed. I know the Cubs are a few years and a lot of pieces away from competing but Upton seems like a good start. What do you think?
From what I understand Arizona is not trading him. They believe in his talent and will try to compete with him for one more year.
I keep hearing that it is unlikely that the Sox will resign AJ....should I take this to mean that they proabably will resign him since it seems like KW and now Rick Hahn will always do the unexpected? I think it will be a huge mistake to not resign AJ. Trade Floyd and/or Thornton to make salary room. Thoughts?
I don't think that AJ is a priority at age 36. The last six weeks of his season he wasn't close to the numbers he put up the first 20 weeks. He dserves a 2-3 year deal somewhere else. The Sox don't appear able to make that happen. However we do know that Reinsdorf loves AJ so we never say never.
Does Tyler Flower have what it takes to be an everyday MLB catcher? And cans he produce?
I believe the Sox are willing to try that out. That won't prevent them from trying to add a catcher but the team believes he can handle the staff and will hit better than he did in 2012.
Any updates on Vizcaino's rehab? Just curious on how much we can count on him for 2012, coming off the elbow rehab
We'll ask Cubs officials that today.
Sori has to be gone right? There are too many teams that need a power bat(baltimore,Tampa Bay, Philadelphia ect.) I understand we'd still have eat some contract but what are chances he's gone?
It's not all that easy. He has total veto rights on a trade. You may remember that he turned down a trade to the Giants last year. Soriano does not want to play for a West Coast team. The reason is personal because the air time for himself and family is significantly longer from the Dominican. The Cubs and Soriano will work together on this one. They tried to trade him at the meetings last year without any luck.
Cespedes made the big club out of spring training in Oakland. What are Soler's changes of doing the same this year?
Zero. He will begin the season at Class A and work his way through the organization. The Cubs will make sure he has the proper amount of minor league experience before he is moved up.
Will Jaye Chapman be resigned? I was surprised that he was non-tendered.
Unclear at this point.
Who is the most likely to fill rotation spot if Floyd gets traded? Would have to sign a RHP, right? Couldn't go with a rotation of 4 LHP, could they?
Most likely not. They would probably look to their minor league system for an answer. The Sox do not hesitate to develop and promote their young pitchers. Nate Jones is an interesting name. Some believe he could start.
With Vitters and Jackson seeing some playing time last year do you think the cubs would be willing to part with any of them? Or put in a deal with soriano or marmol
I think the Cubs would consider anything that will make them better. After trading Colvin last year they may have a better sense of the quality of their minor league players after watching them for one year.
Addison Reed was used sparingly down the wire last season and in certain situations. Any concerns about his ability to the full time closer?
I don't think there is any concern. I think he just suffered from some burnout. Ventura and Cooper handled it pretty well, getting him out of there for some mental rest and then throwing him back in. The addition of Thigpen as bullpen coach should help some of the relievers even though Juan Nieves did a sensational job.
viciedo and thornton to rockies for dexter fowler? any chance?
Fowler's name has been circling around as available. But I talked to one Rockies official yesterday that that is not the case. I don't think the Sox are interested in trading Viciedo. They feel he is on the cusp of 30 and 100.
Any chance Beckham becomes the player we hoped for (offense-wise)? See anything to suggest he might figure it out?
I thought he improved last year. His path to the baseball seemed to have less of an uppercut. He still gets caught in between a lot. At his peak I think he is a .280 hitter with 20 home runs and 70-80 RBIs. He's still young.
I would like for the White Sox to make a pitch for Bourn to lead off and play center, how about you? That would sell some season tickets which is what they need.
The Sox do not have a great history with agent Scott Boras. There is a genuine lack of trust between both sides. Bourn would be a good addition for the Sox but I don't know if the payroll is there to pay him what he needs.
I keep hearing Brandon McCarthy's name in connection with the Whitesox and heard yesterday that they met with agent. I thought by moving Gavin Floyd it would help the Sox create financial flexibility for other needs. If they happen to sign McCarthy would it come a cost which still gives them room to make these improvements?
If they sign him it would give them more pitching options to trade. But McCarthy has had some shoulder issues in the past and that is always a concern.
Do you think the Cubs try to keep at least 1 left handed pitcher in the starting rotation? Currently Travis Wood is the only left handed starter and the names floating around as possible other additions are all right handed ptichers.
I think all the Cubs are looking for is credible starting pitchers. Their main concern is guys who give them between 175-200 innings.
Any chance the Sox are interested in a trade for Marlins Ricky Nolasco & Logan Morrison?
The Marlins are not trading Nolasco. He's actually the only starting pitcher that Miami has that has started over 100 innings in the majors. I don't think a trade is going to happen. I believe the Marlins would trade Morrison but his stock has fallen over the past year.
Buy or sell on Alex Rios' ability to repeat his 2012 performance? Thanks for the chat!
That was asked of Hahn yesterday. He told us he felt that there were adjustments made in Rios' swing that should keep him viable in 2013.
Anything to the Floyd for Salty rumers?
Always a possibility especially with Napoli now in Boston.
Predictions for the Cubs in Thursday's Rule 5?
They may make a pick or they may sell their pick. They have the ability to trade that pick for another player and/or cash.
anything on Dempster?
Have not heard much about him. Just saw his agent walk through the lobby. Hopefully we will be able to talk to him today.
Do you think Stewart would come back to the cubs on a minor league deal or does the lack of 3B on the market almost guarantee him a major league contract with some team?
It appears there is 6-7 teams interested and you identified the problem. There is a lack of 3B talent available. You have to look at Stewart's numbers before his injuries and his 2011 season to determine whether he is a legitimate major league player.
Are the Cubs looking at John Lannan or Jair Jurjenns?
They will look at all pitching available. Theo said that they are open to trade or free agency. Lannan to me is just so-so.
Any news on Jason Grilli?
A major league official said the Cubs have interest in him but nothing is close.
Are The Royals serious about shopping Wil Meyers? Do the Cubs have anything they'd be interested in? Thanks.
The Royals have inventory in their OF. A deal down the line for Meyers that might include Garza would be an interesting possibility. No one has confirmed that that has been talked about.
Any chance the Cubs play on Greinke? Greinke, Garza, Samardzija, and 2 of Wood, Baker, Feldman is a formidable rotation. With a Bourn addition, and a fix at 3rd base, you start to look like a contender.
Zero chance. It's not the time to invest $25 million a year on starting pitching.
Do the Cubs have any interest in Victorino?
He's one of the free agent OFs they are considering. It's debatable whether he would want to play for a team coming off a 101-loss team.
The White Sox have some left handed pitching depth and the Cardinals have depth from the right side....are they speaking?
The Sox are being creative about everyone they speak to but there is a theory in baseball that you don't trade good left-handed pitching. Except Kenny Williams went away with that twice with Gio Gonzalez. Tha matchup with the Cards and Sxo could be worth watching.
Is it true that some free agents have expressed interest in playing for Dale Sveum based on his good reputation? Or, is that just Theo blowing smoke?
I think it's a little bit of both. Sveum is well-liked by players but that would not be a determining factor for a player coming to the Cubs. The main factor is money, length of contract and protection from no-trade clauses. Those are usually 1-2-3 on players' checklists. Who the manager is is a little further down the line.
Will DeJesus be in center or right on Opening Day?
Theo said he could be either next season. On Monday he said that they are comfortable moving him to CF if they acquire a RF. DeJesus has one year left at $4.5 million.
Which teams are interested in marmol? Yankees based on riveras health and age
The Angels obviously did but there doesn't appear to be a match between the two teams now.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter at ESPNBruceLevine, Jesse Rogers at jrogers@ESPNchicago and Doug Padilla at ESPNChiSox as we continue to cover the winter meetings. Also Jesse and Doug will have a chat on Wednesday. Talk to you next week.