Word on the Street: Cubs aquire reliever

Word on the Street: Cubs aquire reliever

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011

Cubs acquire reliever from Red Sox
The Cubs completed a minor move today, acquiring minor-league relief pitcher Robert Coello from the Boston Red Sox for minor-league second baseman Tony Thomas.

Coello, 26, will be added to the 40-man roster and will compete for a bullpen spot in spring training. In 2010 Coello split his time between Double and Triple-A, compiling a 7-6 record, 3.86 ERA, and leading the Sox system with 130 strikeouts. (CSN Chicago)
Putz: Sox built to win now

Former White Sox reliever J.J. putz may be a Diamondback now, but he's still a Sox-believer. He said on Tuesday that he believes the team is build to win now.

"I thought we were really close last year," Putz said. "Obviously, if injuries wouldn't have hit, it would have been a completely different story.""And then with Matt's (Thornton) elbow and my knee, we never had the 25 guys all year. That team is built to win, and built to win now. I'll put their rotation up against anybody in the American League." (Chicago Breaking Sports)
Ex-Cub Hill changes style
Former Cubs starter and reliever Rich Hill, who was known for his wicked curve ball, is changing his throwing motion. The lefty will now be throwing his pitches exclusively sidearm, believing it could make him a more effective reliever.

"It's very natural to me, I feel comfortable doing it," said Hill. (Boston Globe)

Ex-Hawk Byfuglien gets big extension

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that former Blackhawks defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has signed a big five-year, 26 million contract with his new team, the Atlanta Thrashers. Byfuglien became a fan-favorite in chicago as he helped the team capture a Stanley Cup Championship in 2010. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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