Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
by Derek Smart
On what is a blisteringly frigid day here in Chicago, it's necessary to search far and wide for even the tiniest scraps of Cub-related news items. Perhaps the local writers are still warming their digits from the time spent following the exploits of a nearby Foot-Ball team I've heard occasional tell of.
No matter. For while our citizen-scribes dare not waste precious, recently defrosted ink on the insignificant offseason doings of the North Side Nine, there are still brave souls in other, similarly affected climes who see fit to relate stories of the Cubs' entanglements with their own fine fellows. Take this tidbit from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The Cubs are very interested in signing Twins outfielder Jacque Jones, but they are offering only a two-year contract to the free agent
Decent enough news. Although I'm still dead set against it, I think there's little chance that Jones will settle for such small potatoes. Still, the same was being said of Bill Mueller before he inked a two-year pact with the Dodgers even though he had a three-year deal on the table from the Pirates.
There's something to be said for having a shot at winning, and no matter what we all might be thinking at this point in the season, I believe the Cubs are still regarded as contenders by a lot of players, which means a two-year deal could actually get something done with Jones if the rest of his suitors are from less able teams. Which brings us to this snippet from the the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Chicago Cubs consider Twins free agent Jacque Jones the best outfielder still available and are expected to make him a $5 million, one-year offer. Jones can get $18 million for three years from the Kansas City Royals, with a fourth year vested were he to achieve performance incentives.
Good news and bad news here. If this is information is correct in relation to the Cubs potential offer, I don't see much chance of Jones being a Cub. Even with the competition being the Royals, I can imagine it must be hard for a player to leave a deal worth nearly four times as much on the table.
Then again, if the Cubs are really going to offer two years, and the Royals offer is accurately reported and the only real competition, then things get a little scary. Needless to say, I have my fingers crossed that this falls through and some sort of worthwhile trade can be found, but I have to admit, there's only so long I can hold that position before my digits begin to cramp.
But wait! Are those reports too meaningful for you to bear? Hang in, then, because there's this from the Denver Post.
The Cubs told the Rockies last week that, for now anyway, they are holding onto reliever Todd Wellemeyer, whom Colorado has attempted to acquire.
This deal has been in the pipeline for a while, but with little real action on it, there's no surprise that the Cubs pulled back. Of course, one can hope that Wellemeyer appears to be a desirable part of a package to acquire an outfielder, but I've only got so much of the stuff to give at a time.
More likely they just wanted to be sure there was backup available should a member of the bullpen go down or flame out, and since they've given away most of the folks that could play that role already, it's sensible to keep him around, even if he wasn't the best choice for the job in the first place.
So, folks, is that enough to keep you warm? Because, me, I'm still feeling the chill.