Winter Meetings Aftermath

It is December 7. What that means is: it's still 115 days till Opening Day, which would give Jim Hendry just a little bit more time to acquire more pieces of the ballclub that will take the field on March 31 against the Brewers at Wrigley Field.

Who will be some of those pieces? According to Bruce Miles, Erik Bedard won't be one of them, though the Cubs could wind up dealing for other Orioles, including Brian Roberts, although Gordon Wittenmyer says a Roberts deal is on the back burner. If the Cubs are looking for pitching, though, there's now a rumor -- perhaps unsubstantiated, although it's right here in Dave van Dyck's article -- that the Tigers are thinking about flipping Dontrelle Willis. For the right price, I'd think about it if I were Hendry.

Meanwhile, Mark Prior is still a Cub, but seeing him non-tendered next Wednesday looms as more and more of a possibility, as Bruce Miles writes:

There are two scenarios pleasing to the Cubs: They can non-tender Prior on the 12th and sign him back the next day as a free agent at a lesser salary (other clubs also are eligible to sign Prior then), or the Cubs and Prior can agree to a one-year contract plus a club-option year.

Cubs insiders say they aren't getting any indication Prior's side will go for an option year. The Cubs also say they have no idea when Prior will be able to pitch again.

And Phil Rogers says non-tendering is likely:

There were rumors Prior was headed from the Cubs to San Diego, Cincinnati or Texas, but sources with the Cubs say there was almost no interest in him from other clubs. Perhaps that's because they expect the Cubs to non-tender him Wednesday, losing the guy once projected as a multiple Cy Young Award winner for nothing.

Kosuke Fukudome watch: the Cubs are going "hard" after him IF he decides to come to North America, and even though there are reports on our favorite site saying "An answer from Fukudome is expected tonight or tomorrow" (regarding a supposed San Diego Padres offer), it seems to me that this may take longer, and also that Jim Hendry, as the MLBTR link also says, that the Cubs are going to try to blow away any other offer that could be made, at least financially. Dave van Dyck says that Hendry has a backup plan, but doesn't say what it is.

So? I'm talking about this guy. He was released by the Cardinals. Yes, he's almost 38 years old. Still, he hit .290/.350/.368 as a spare-part outfielder last year. Is he worth signing, if for no other reason than to have a Japanese-speaking teammate for Fukudome?

Finally, the wacky statement of the day was made by -- who else, White Sox GM Kenny Williams:

Reacting Wednesday to the blockbuster deal that sent power-hitting third baseman Miguel Cabrera and former All-Star left-hander Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins to the Detroit Tigers -- wrecking the Sox' latest offseason plans -- Williams said: "All this has done is put the Tigers in a better position to contend with us."

Mm-hmm, Kenny. Sure. Right now, with the Indians still powerful, the Tigers improving, the Twins always seeming to know what they want, and the Royals making noises as if they want to at least attempt to contend, the White Sox look like a last-place team in the AL Central.

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