The Cubs begin their 2009 Cactus League schedule in 31 days against the Dodgers at Fitch Park....and Jim Hendry is not done 'tweaking his roster'. On the same day the Sun-Times mentioned the Cubs have had discussions with Randy Wolf and Braden Looper, Bruce Levine threw out a couple of new names on Saturday morning....and some old ones as well.
Here's what the Story Breaker had to say regarding Juan Uribe, Aaron Heilman, Jake Peavy and Rich Aurilia as well as an update on Brian Roberts.
Juan Uribe and Corner Infielders
According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs are looking at Juan Uribe to be the 25th man on their roster. Levine said his sources indicated the Cubs are looking for a player to backup second, third, and short and Uribe would fit the bill. He added that the Cubs were interested in adding a backup for the corner spots (first and third), but with the amount of games Derrek Lee plays they have changed their philosophy.
Levine added the Cubs have been looking at Kevin Millar, Eric Hinske, and Rich Aurilia to fill the backup role for first base and third base....but they could go in a different direction and add Juan Uribe.
Ronny Cedeno and Aaron Heilman
Bruce Levine reported in his blog on January 10 that the Cubs had expressed interest in Aaron Heilman....and on Saturday morning he mentioned the Cubs interest again.
The Mariners are interested in Ronny Cedeno according to Levine and if a deal is made would involve Heilman.
With the fact Cedeno is out of options there could be a match with the Mariners.
According to Bruce Levine, Paul Bako will cost the Cubs more than what Henry Blanco signed for with the Padres (Blanco signed a one-year, $750,000 contract earlier in the week). Levine said Bako will not cost the Cubs $500,000 as rumored, but between $700,000-$800,000.
The Cubs apparently were not thrilled with Blanco's play last year and the fact that Bako is a left-handed hitter would give them more flexibility. Levine added Blanco is a good addition to the Padres and he will be a Major League manager one day.
Hendry has done his due diligence on a possible trade for Jake Peavy. The Cubs have made trades that could help them land Peavy with pieces they did not have on December 11. Levine reiterated the new owner must sign off on adding Peavy and his contract.
Levine discussed the fact the Cubs really do not have a true ace with the way Carlos Zambrano has pitched the last two years. The addition of Peavy would give the Cubs a true ace and would push Rich Harden to the fifth spot in the rotation.
Levine said, on paper, if the Cubs add Jake Peavy they would have the best rotation in baseball since the 1993 Atlanta Braves.
According to Levine, Peavy would cost them Jeff Stevens, Garrett Olson, Josh Vitters (although the Cubs do not want to trade him), Kevin Hart, and Welington Castillo.
Andy MacPhail joined Seth Everett and Billy Ripken during Hot Stove (XM Radio) Friday. Among several topics they discussed was Brian Roberts. The Orioles want Roberts back and MacPhail said he's "probably the best leadoff hitter in the game," but added Roberts will turn 31 during the season.
The Orioles are not troubled by the timetable to come to an agreement on an extension with Roberts. MacPhail added they are waiting for the market to settle and he said they are trying to work out a deal that would work best for both sides.
Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday morning that Roberts is looking for a four-year extension to remain in Baltimore. Reports have indicated the Orioles have offered Roberts a three-year, $30 million extension this winter.
The Orioles are keeping their "ears open to teams that are interested in Roberts" according to Rosenthal.
"However, the inability of the Orioles to secure Roberts long-term could lead the team to trade him, a prospect that is currently complicated by the availability of free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson."
Well....that's the latest, and I'm sticking to it!