Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:47 am
Edited on: August 18, 2010 11:01 am

Report: Braves close to getting Cubs' Lee

Derrek Lee
CSN Chicago is reporting that the Cubs and Braves are close to a deal that would send first baseman Derrek Lee to the Braves, who are seeking a bat to make up for the loss of Chipper Jones.

Lee, who is making $13 million in the final year of his deal with the Cubs, has the right to refuse any trade, as he reportedly did earlier in the season when the Angels tried to acquire him. But the CSN story says sources indicate Lee would accept the Atlanta deal to go to a division leader.

Lee, 34, has been out for a couple of days with a bulging disc in his back but is expected to return soon. He is batting .251, 55 points worse than last season, with 16 homers and 56 RBI.

Lee, who plays first base exclusively, isn't an exact fit for the Braves. Troy Glaus is underperforming badly at first, but the former third baseman can no longer play the other corner. Lee and Glaus aren't a textbook platoon, either. The Braves might just send Glaus to the bench and go the rest of the way with Omar Infante at second and Martin Prado at third.

Atlanta leads the National League East by 2 1/2 games over the Phillies.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:32 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 11:34 pm

Could Derrek Lee waive no-trade clause?

Derrek Lee Derrek Lee nixed a trade to the Angels prior to the trading deadline, but that hasn't stopped teams from calling.

Sources tell ESPNChicago.com that there is renewed interest in the first baseman after Lee cranked four home runs in the three-game series against the Cardinals over the weekend. Lee currently has 16 dingers to go with a .251/.336/.416 line that includes a post-All Star break line of .313/.356/.583, exorcising his first-half struggles.

Lee is currently dealing with a bulging disk in his back and received an epidural shot that will knock him out until Thursday.

But would Lee accept a trade just a month after declining the opportunity?

The southern California native declined the Angel trade, citing simply preferring to finish out the season as a Cub and also expressed interest in returning in 2011. Apparently,  postseason race didn't interest Lee, not even with the prospect of moving closer to family and friends.

Lee is in the final year of a five year, $65 million deal.

The White Sox could certainly use a bopper of Lee's stature to DH, although it's unknown if the Cubs would even be interested in moving him to the crosstown rivals, never mind if Lee would be open to the deal. One would think he would be as he would be able to remain in Chicago, but only Lee knows for sure.

The White Sox are slip, slip-slidin' out of the AL Central race and just lost to the Twins on a 10th inning Jim Thome two-run walkoff shot, pushing the ChiSox to four games behind Minnesota. With a motley DH crew of Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay, the South Siders really need a thumper, and Lee would be a perfect fit.

Another possible fit is Brad Hawpe, despite Hawpe's struggles at the plate on the year.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Cubs, Derrek Lee
Posted on: August 11, 2010 7:46 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 8:35 pm

Giants add Fontenot

The Giants have traded for Cubs infielder Mike Fontenot for minor-leaguer Evan Crawford.

San Francisco put shortstop Edgar Renteria on the disabled list right before the team announced the trade. Renteria has a right biceps strain and hopes to be back for the pennant race, he told the San Francisco Chornicle 's John Shea .

Fontenot has played second base, third base and shortstop for the Cubs this season. He's hitting .284/.332/.402 with a home run and 20 RBI. Renteria was hitting .278/.342/.364 with two home runs and 21 RBI.

The Cubs are in San Francisco to play the Giants, so Fontenot -- who had a two-run, pinch-hit double in Tuesday night's Cub victory -- will be able to join his new team rather quickly.

UPDATE: The Cubs will call up infielder Darwin Barney on Thursday. The Cubs head to St. Louis after tonight's game in San Francisco.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:31 pm

Ozzie Smith endorses Sandberg as manager

Ozzie Smith If the Chicago Cubs want to take some advice from a St. Louis Cardinal on who should succeed Lou Piniella, shortstop Ozzie Smith has the name: Ryne Sandberg.

"He has paid his dues. He has been a standup citizen. He is a Hall of Famer," Smith told the Quad-City Times . "I don't know exactly what it is they are looking for, but I think it should be a no-brainer."

Sandberg managed Class A Peoria for two seasons starting in 2007 then was elevated to Double-A for 2009 and is now helming Triple-A Iowa.

"Wouldn't it be great if he were to come back and get that franchise into prominence and, who knows, win a world championship?" Smith said. "Wouldn't that be a great story?"

Sure, but it'll be great no matter who's in the dugout.

Sandberg is fast becoming the popular choice to take over the team, although GM Jim Hendry plans to interview a bevy of candidates who will provide stiff competition. ESPNChicago.com noted that Hendry will interview over 15 candidates.

Some names include former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, Nationals third-base coach Pat Listach  and Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who is slated to have his contract expire after the year. Girardi's predecessor in New York, Joe Torre, has also been linked heavily to the Cubs gig along with Cubs announcer and ex-Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly, Padres bench coach Ted Simmons (who is drawing the eye of the Marlins) and constant candidate Bobby Valentine.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 10, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: August 10, 2010 12:25 pm

Soto hits DL

Geovany Soto Geovany Soto is on the way to the disabled list for the Cubs, briefly interrupting what has been one of the best seasons a catcher could ever put together.

Soto won Rookie of the Year in 2008 as a 25-year-old, hitting .285/.364/.504 in 494 plate appearances and seemed to have given the Cubs a catcher of the future. However, Soto was revealed to have tested positive for marijuana at the World Baseball Classic. He then stumbled to a .218/.321/.381 line in 389 trips to the plate.

Soto's re-established his value in 2010 although he's had to fend off Koyie Hill for playing time. He's up to .288/.401/.519 in 264 PA, cracking 15 dingers. His .920 OPS is good for tops in the bigs among catchers with at least 250 plate appearances. Joe Mauer ranks second with a .868 mark.

Hill figures to get the bulk of the playing time behind the dish to replace Soto. The Cubs also called up 23-year-old Weilington Castillo, who was hitting .251/.317/.507 in Triple-A with 13 home runs in 260 PA.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2010 12:36 am

Zambrano wild in return to rotation

Carlos Zambrano Carlos Zambrano wasn't awful, and that's a start.

In his first start since the blow-up against the White Sox, Zambrano went five innings, allowed four hits and two runs against the Giants in San Francisco. But he did struggle with control -- they pitching kind, not the behavior kind -- walking seven, while striking out three.

The Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan recalls Zambrano's last trip to San Francisco was his last dominant outing, with a two-hit shutout of the Giants last September. Zambrano also made some big boasts last year after that start.
"Look, this is the only season I haven't won 16 or 18 or 14 games," Zambrano told the Tribune at the time. "If it happens again next season, two seasons in a row, I'll quit. Believe me, I'll quit. I just have to put this behind me."

But 11 months and around $18 million later, Zambrano is not any closer to quitting than he was that day. He put 2009 behind him in the offseason, but Zambrano's 2010 season has been one long nightmare, from the Opening Day blowout in Atlanta to the bullpen switcheroo in New York to the dugout tantrum at U.S. Cellular Field to the anger management sessions that followed.

Now Zambrano is starting all over again, hoping to at least put a decent finish on an otherwise forgettable year.

The Cubs' team psychiatrist was with the club Monday, though it was unclear as to whether Zambrano's first start since returning from the restricted list had anything to do with his presence.
The Cubs would be ecstatic if Zambrano did retire, but don't look for him to give up the $35.875 million the Cubs owe him for the next two seasons.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 9, 2010 7:27 pm

Silva has successful procedure

Cubs starter Carlos Silva will start a throwing program by the beginning of next week after he underwent a cardiac ablation in Chicago on Monday to prevent his rapid heartbeat.

The Cubs said it was a "successful" surgery -- but really, does that mean anything other than he didn't die or end up with an extra appendage (or one fewer) that he started with? Anyway, I'd seen the term before but didn't know what it was. It's basically putting catheters into a blood vessel (usually in the groin or neck) and winding it to the heart, where electrodes take measurements and then can send out some crazy electric currents to correct it. It sound horrifying to me, but is apparently pretty safe and there's a high success rate.

So, it's good news for Silva, one of the few bright spots for the Cubs this season. Traded in the offseason by Seattle to Chicago for fellow problem child Milton Bradley, Silva's gone 10-5 with a 3.92 ERA.

Silva left a start against the Rockies on Aug. 1 due to that irregular heartbeat.

The Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan also notes Derrek Lee left the team on Monday to go to Sacramento to be with his ailing grandfather in Sacramento.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 6, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 1:45 pm

Cubs' Silva to undergo more tests

Carlos Silva Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva may have a procedure to correct a heart problem, the team announced on Friday.

Silva has seen the Cubs' cardiologist and on Monday will undergo a diagnostic procedure to determine whether or not to perform a cardiac ablation. If he has the procedure, recovery time is 10-14 days, the team said.

On Sunday Silva left a game in Denver with an accelerated heartbeat and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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