ORLANDO, Fla. -- The rumor mill picked up some steam Tuesday concerning the Cubs. Just how much of hit was just hot air will be determined over the next few days.
The most interesting had the Cubs interested in Texas first baseman Chris Davis and lefty reliever Darren O’Day. There were mixed reactions to the credibility of this rumor with people close to situations in both Chicago and Texas.
Davis, 24, sounds like a major project for hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. He has a lifetime hitting line of .248/.300/.459, but he also has struck out 34.5 percent of the time. However, he hit 21 homers for Texas in 2009.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he had talks with agent Scott Boras, who represents free-agent first baseman Carlos Pena. Hendry and Boras were expected to talk again at the winter meetings.
Cubs people were denying a report that they were “targeting” free-agent first baseman Adam LaRoche and that they wanted to close a deal soon. LaRoche, however, remains on the Cubs’ radar.
Lefty pitcher Tom Gorzelanny also has been rumored to be drawing interest from Detroit. The Cubs say they are not “shopping” Gorzelanny, that they’re in an “acquiring” mode, but Gorzelanny is a pitcher who could be moved.
Sox seeking relief:
Although it seems former Cubs reliever Kerry Wood probably is too rich for the White Sox’ blood, GM Kenny Williams said he is considering all bullpen options in the wake of J.J. Putz leaving for Arizona as a free agent.
“We have talked to a number of teams, and we’ve talked to a number of free agents that are on our target list,” Williams said. “I think it’s safe for you to assume that anybody who is has good stuff that can pitch in the back of our bullpen or even a bridge to get to the back, we’ve probably touched base with them.”
One rumor had the Sox looking at Jeremy Accardo, recently not tendered a contract by Tampa Bay.
Former Cubs manager Lou Piniella was at the winter meetings on a panel with other retired managers. Bobby Cox had to leave the winter meetings, but Piniella was joined by Joe Torre and Cito Gaston.
After the session, Piniella said Cubs fans should give the Ricketts family, the owners of the Cubs, some time to succeed.
“It’s amazing, Piniella said. “I managed four years in Chicago and had three different ownership groups. I managed three years at Tampa Bay and had two different ownership groups. ... It’s unbelievable. The last seven years I managed, I had five different owners. That’s a lot.
“But the Ricketts, look, first of all, they’re good people. They want what’s best for the city of Chicago and what’s best for the Chicago Cubs. They’re learning the game of baseball. It’s not an easy game.
“They’ve got good people in the front office. They’ve got a good staff on the field. The farm system, I thought we had some good young players coming. You give them some time. And with the passion they have for it and the fact that they want to win, they’re going to bring a winner to Chicago in a short period of time.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.