Here are a couple rumors coming from the north side of Chicago on this Monday afternoon:
- Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano told reporters that he is so disappointed with his play in 2009, that if he doesn't see signs of improvement soon, he will retire. My knee-jerk reaction is this is 'Carlos being Carlos.' Zambrano did say "if it happens again next season, two seasons in a row, I'll quit." So he hasn't ruled out 2011 if he has another bad season, which he says won't happen because he already has an intensive offseason regimen to get himself back in shape.
- After Rich Harden shut himself down for the rest of 2009, he said he wanted to return to the Cubs. Unfortunately, the Cubs aren't too interested. Harden's shoulder is very fragile, and his number suggest his shoulder isn't as strong as it has been. Harden has put up his highest numbers in ERA, WHIP, and opposing batters average since his first two seasons in the majors. My guess is he'll sign a two year deal worth 11.5 million dollars, plus incentives.
- Cubs pitcher Randy Wells isn't having nearly as much success as he experienced in the first half of the season, but has pitched himself into consideration for the 2010 rotation. Wells has a 3.61 ERA since the All-Star break, with a 1.48 WHIP (compared to a 1.12 WHIP in the first half). Wells has pitched in 184 1/3 innings, the most in his professional career.
- The Cubs priorities appear to be adding a leadoff hitter to fill in at second base or center field, meaning the Cubs may go with in-house options in their rotation. Relief prospect John Gaub is a candidate to make the major league club next season, while Jeff Samardzija and Tom Gorzelanny will compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. One interesting free agent could be Randy Wolf, who is likely looking at a two year deal worth 14-16 million dollars.