Happy New Year. The winter meetings were almost a month ago, but all it takes is for one prediction, sourced or unscourced, to hit the Internet for a frenzy to begin. Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com "predicts" pitcher Ben Sheets will wind up with the Cubs:
That's a far cry from it actually happening, though. For the record, the Cubs like Sheets and always have like him. However, Sheets hasn't pitched since 2008, when elbow problems led to surgery for a flexor-tendon problem. For any team to sign Sheets, they'll want to see him throw. Even then, they'll want to see him "fire a pitch in anger," so to speak, meaning game action. In other words, spring-training games.
If Sheets' agent is looking for mega-millions, he won't find it with the Cubs, who are scraping together the dough to afford a veteran right-handed reliever and maybe a veteran backup outfielder.
If Sheets hasn't signed with somebody, say, by Valentine's Day, I can see the Cubs offering some sort of a deal with a low base plus incentives. But nothing's imminent, based on the talk I've had with people today and throughout the winter.
It should be a busy couple of weeks coming up. We've got the Hall of Fame announcement Wednesday. You can check out my blog of last week on that. Next week, the Cubs caravan kicks off with an event at Harry Caray's in Chicago. At the end of next week, the ever-popular Cubs convention takes place downtown.
Hey, spring training is just six weeks away.