November 16, 2006

Cubs trade for Neal Cotts, other rumors

The Cubs just traded Aardsma for White Sox lefty Neal Cotts. This seems like a preliminary trade. I think the Cubs will either turn around and spin him again or try to move Eyre. Most of the rumors seem to be that they're going to trade Eyre, Cedeno and maybe one of their AAAA pitchers to Cleveland for Jake Westbrook or Cliff Lee. I'm hoping for Westbrook - he's a groundball machine that should translate well at Wrigley.

It also looks like the Cubs are ramping up to sign Gil Meche, who used to pitch for Pineilla in Seattle. I'm not super-wild about this deal...but I don't think the Cubs are going to go after the top-shelf pitching this offseason. Clearly Soriano and maybe JD Drew are their main targets.

There might even be a third starter targeted - Pineilla hinted that the Cubs might land three new starters this offseason. Not sure who else they might land, I haven't heard any real rumblings of interest in anyone other than Meche. Lots of people are high on Lilly, Wolf, and Padilla though.

I haven't heard any specific rumors to the case, but there has been a bunch of speculation that the Cubs might try to move Dempster, especially if Wood is healthy. Too bad we probably won't find that out until closer to spring training, if not the season itself.

Other rumors seem to suggest that the Cubs are actively shopping Barrett, which I think is a terrible idea. People are pointing to the re-signing of Henry Blanco as an indicator of this, but who in their right mind thinks Blanco should start every day? Maybe the Cubs would make a run at Bengie Molina if they traded Barrett, but they better be damned sure they can get him if that's the case.

So, this seems to be how things are trending now, assuming the Cubs get Soriano and the more likely situations occur above.

CF Soriano
2B DeRosa
1B Lee
3B Ramirez
RF Jones
LF Murton
C Barrett
SS Izturis

? - maybe another OF, or a CI type like Scott Moore

1 Zambrano
2 Westbrook
3 Hill
4 Meche
5 Miller/Prior

CL Dempster (Unless Wood is healthy)
R Howry
R Wood
R Wuertz
R Novoa
L Ohman
L Cotts