Chicago Cubs: Rumblings Before the Convention

Neil FinnellCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2009

For starters, pitching was one of many topics covered by Jim Hendry with the media on Wednesday. Hendry is looking for another arm to take the place of Jason Marquis. Internal options are Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija, Chad Gaudin and Angel Guzman. If the Cubs go outside of the organization and cannot land Jake Peavy, Randy Wolf could be an option.

The Cubs could be close to adding another potential back-up catcher to the mix. The Daily Herald said a deal could be made within a week and mentioned the name Paul Bako once again.

Lou Piniella missed the stop of the Cubs' Caravan at Harry Caray's on Wednesday with a viral infection. He is expected to attend the convention this weekend.

Ernie Banks delivered his annual preseason slogan on Wednesday..."The Cubs will be divine in 2009!"

Here's the latest with updates on Rich Aurilia, Rich Hill, Felix Pie, Ronny Cedeno, Jake Peavy, Henry Blanco, Koyie Hill and Paul Bako.....

Rich Aurilia

The Tribune reported the Cubs rumored interest in Rich Aurilia on Wednesday. The Cubs have spoken with Aurilia's agent about a one-year deal to back up Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee.

Aurilia has been in the Cubs' rumor mill for the last month.


Ronny Cedeno, Rich Hill and Felix Pie

What do Cedeno, Hill and Pie all have in common? All three were put on notice Wednesday and their days with the Cubs' organization appear to be numbered., the Tribune, the Sun-Times and the Daily Herald each stated.... "All three figure to be with different teams by the end of Spring Training, if they are not dealt beforehand."

Randy Wolf

Bruce Levine reported the Cubs' interest in Randy Wolf on Saturday....and the rest of the mainstream media mentioned Wolf as one of the outside possibilities to take Jason Marquis' spot in the rotation.

The Cubs, in this writer's opinion, should look for a fourth starter, not a fifth. Rich Harden should be slotted in the fifth spot in order to give him the rest he requires to try to keep him off of the DL.


Henry Blanco, Koyie Hill and Paul Bako

According to a report in the Tribune the Cubs are not planning on bringing back Henry Blanco. Jim Hendry is "looking for a left-handed-hitting, defense-oriented catcher" that will compete for the Cubs back-up catcher spot with Koyie Hill.

According to Bruce Miles, "Hendry feels he'll add another potential backup catcher to compete with Koyie Hill, maybe within a week." All signs point to the return of Paul Bako.

If the Cubs sign Paul Bako to a Major League deal they will have to make another roster move. The Cubs' 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players.


Odds and Ends

The Cubs are counting on Carlos Zambrano to bounce back from last season according to the Chicago Tribune.

Jeff Samardzija wants to be the Cubs' fifth starter when camp breaks at the end of March according to Fred Mitchell.

According to the Daily Herald, Jim Hendry mentioned Milton Bradley could hit fourth in the Cubs lineup next season between Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.


Jake Peavy

According to the Tribune, "Jim Hendry will meet with the new owner of the Cubs as soon as the Tribune Company completes the sale. He'll then find out whether he can find a way to fit Jake Peavy's $63 million contract into the Cubs' budget."

Well, that's the latest...and I'm sticking to it!