Maybe I've missed something in the past, but this is the first time I've seen anything in a non-blog resource that mentions the Cubs going after Jose Vidro. Of course, it's with the caveat that talks with Mark Grudzielanek have to fall through, but it's the only real ray of hope I've seen on the Vidro question.
That being said, I don't think there's a snowball's chance a Vidro deal will happen. Even if a Grudz signing doesn't come to fruition (I happen to think that it will), just looking at the recent exchange between the Expos and Yankees makes me think the price for Vidro will be more than the Cubs could stomach. Granted, I don't think the Expos got equal value in the transaction (although Nick Johnson is certainly tasty), but they didn't get mugged and left for dead on Pierre-de-Coubertin Ave. like they did in the Bartolo Colon trade. The desperation isn't wafting from the Montreal/San Juan/Monterrey/Washington/Portland/Kabul front office like it was this time last year. Yes, they may still be looking to deal, but they won't spend another winter shivering in their long underwear with snow up to their knees and a button missing from that flap on their ass in the interest of fiscal responsibility. They'll want something pretty good for their trouble, and it's not likely to be something the Cubs will give.
The other tidbit of interest is the exploratory talks between the Cubs and Pirates over a possible deal for Jason Kendall. I haven't really looked at this in depth (I should be getting to a piece about the situation at catcher soon), but my initial reaction is to be intrigued. Kendall definitely has his flaws (little power, questionable defense), but if the Pirates would eat half the money on his contract (which seems to be what Hendry is insisting on), I could see this as a positive, depending, of course, on who got shipped out of the Friendly Confines.
Kendall could walk more, but he makes excellent contact, consistently taking the free pass more than he whiffs. He's ceased to be a real threat to steal, but he still has good speed, and that coupled with his ability to get on base could make him a decent lead-off solution for the next couple of years. Which gets to my real problem with this deal, and why the Pirates are having so much trouble making something happen. It's not just the expense of the contract, which for the level of production Kendall provides is obscene, it's the length. Kendall will be 30 next year, and he's already caught over 1,000 games, and when he wasn't injured, he's consistently caught over 140 every season. It's therefore reasonable to assume that, with the remaining four years and his pattern of play, that his contract will take him into 1,600 games caught. That's an awful lot of wear and tear, and while Kendall seems to have taken the beatings well over the course of his career, you have to believe that the accumulation of physical abuse will start to catch up to him at some point, and I, for one, don't want the Cubs to be hauling him around when the inevitable comes to pass.
Okay, I guess I didn't really make a call on whether I like this or not. Obviously, I'm torn. If there were only two years left on his deal, I'd say it's a good idea (again, if the Pirates kick in half of the cash). I just get the yips when I start thinking about carrying him around the second half of that contract. Tell you what, I'm going to say that it's interesting, but I'll pass making a judgment on the possibility until I get to a larger piece on the catching situation in general next week.