The Latest from the GM Meetings

More rumblings about the Cubs have made their way onto the rumor mill…

Bruce Levine: The Cubs will make a strong push for 26 year old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.  However, Darvish still has not been posted as the Japan series has yet to conclude.  He’s expected to be posted after the series between Chunichi and Fukuoka ends though, but an MLB team may not be able to sign him for quite some time.

Bruce Levine:  There’s no doubt that pitcher Kerry Wood will re-sign with the Cubs.

John Morosi and Phil Rogers: The Cubs are interested in ex-White Sox Mark Buehrle.  The Cubs have spoke with Buehrle’s agent more than once, but no contract offer has been made yet.  It’s reported that Buehrle is looking for a 4-year contract and Jim Bowden is predicting Buehrle will land a 4-year/$56 million contract.  If that’s the case, the Cubs should stay away from Buehrle.  I have a feeling a team will regret that contract if that’s what they give him.

It’s presumed that Jason Varitek will land in Chicago as the back-up catcher.  That means Koyie Hill will finally be gone.  What many Cubs fans may be upset about is that Bruce Levine says it’s time to play the youngsters (Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger), which doesn’t sound so bad until one realizes that if Varitek and Castillo or Clevenger are playing, a certain player, Geovany Soto, must have been traded at that point.

Levine thinks that Andrew Cashner will be in the bullpen next year, possibly as the closer if Carlos Marmol is traded. Marmol is expected to gain interest from several other teams.

Chicago Sun-Times: The Cubs are interested in another Cuban, 19 year old outfielder Jorge Soler.  The Yankees and the Nationals are also interesed in signing Soler.  One scout said he has an average arm and average bat speed.  John Manuel of BA said “Soler has a strapping 6-foot-3, 205-pound body and has five-tool potential.  Soler has bat speed and what one scout called ‘explosive power’ to go with above-average arm strength.”  The Cubs could have more interest in him because he is only 19 years old.  A signing of him or Cespedes would be great.

Terry Francona: “I will not manage in 2012”.  So you can cross him off the list of the Cubs managerial candidates.

Danny Knobler: “Cubs realize they have long-term rebuild.  Will listen on anyone.  Could be wild trade market with both Chicago teams.”

Jon Heyman: Pitcher Bruce Chen has received multiple multi-year offers, and the Royals and Cubs have been talking to him.  The 34 year old went 12-8 with a 3.77 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 155 innings.  I really don’t see how a signing of Chen helps the Cubs, but I guess if the price is cheap, go for it.  However, signing Chen should not be fast and look at all the other options first via trade and the free agent market.

Buster Olney: “Two Cubs who figure to draw most interest from contending teams between now and next July 31: Sean Marshall and Matt Garza.”

Bob Nightengale: “Cubs telling teams they’ll listen to trade offers on everyone this winter while trying rebuild to be competitive in future.”  This Winter could get interesting.

That’s the latest from a busy week in Milwaukee.

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