The Official Word

With only 9 shopping days left before Christmas what could be left on Jim Hendry’s shopping list….an assistant maybe? According to a report in the Chicago Tribune on Friday the Cubs are looking for an assistant GM. While there does not appear to be an official word on the want ad, according to the Tribune, John McDonough is not denying the rumors of a possible search.

The Cubs also made a couple of deals official on Friday and released the details on Ted Lilly’s contract. Along with Lilly, the Cubs made the signing of Daryle Ward official and should do the same with Jason Marquis soon. Here is the rest from around the league and the Cubs’ new numbers….

While Gary Hughes appeared to step in at the end of the Winter Meetings for Jim Hendry apparently the Cubs are looking to hire an assistant for him and not promote one of the obvious candidates. The report in the Tribune mentioned several members of Hendry’s staff that are scouts and are worthy of the “promotion” but the Cubs do not appear willing to “promote” any of those likely candidates to Hendry’s assistant….just imagine what Mr. McDonough’s inbox looked like on Friday….

Ted Lilly…. Ted Lilly was officially announced on Friday to the Chicago media. Lilly will wear number 30 and not his regular number of 31, that was most recently worn by Greg Maddux and before that, most notably Ferguson Jenkins. According to a report from Yahoo Sports, Lilly chose 30 because 31 was going to be retired by the Cubs in honor of Greg Maddux.”

Lilly’s Contract…. The terms of Lilly’s contract were released. According to a report on Yahoo Sports Lilly will receive a $4 million dollar signing bonus (next month), $5 million in 2007, $7 million in 2008 and $12 million per year in 2009 and 2010. Once Marquis’ deal is made official and the terms are released, the questions about the current status of the 2007 payroll will be answered.

Daryle Ward…. The Cubs also made the signing of Ward official on Friday. Ward signed a 1-year deal worth $1.05 million that includes a mutual option for 2008.

Numbers Game…. With the addition of Lilly and Ward on Friday, the Cubs made a few number changes. Ryan Theriot will wear number 2, Mark DeRosa will wear number 7, Lilly number 30, Rocky Cherry number 57, Clay Rapada number 55, Ward number 32, Felix Pie number 17 and Buck Coats number 27 but the big question remains….will Marquis wear number 21?

Hendry in…. John Donovan released a very good Q&A with Jim Hendry on Friday. It is very similar to the interview he had on Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio Thursday morning. From both interviews it is pretty apparent he is not done adding players this off-season. In the ESPN interview, the health of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior was discussed….the dependence on both being healthy for 2007 is still there but at least this time there is a plan B if they are not ready to go in ’07.

Another $100 million dollar man…. First Soriano, then Matsuzaka and now Vernon Wells. While Matsuzaka’s contract was not for $100 million, the total cost for the Red Sox to sign the very talented right-hander surpassed the $100 million dollar mark (6 years, $52 million and the $51.1 million dollar posting fee). The Blue Jays and Wells on Friday agreed to a 7-year, $126 million dollar extension that will pay the Gold Glove centerfielder $18 million a year….the 6th largest contract in the history of the game. Barry Zito will likely become the 4th player this off-season to cost his new team in excess of $100 million if Scott Boras gets his way….again.

John Donovan and Monopoly Money….Check out how many ex-Cubs (and a couple of current ones as well) are mentioned.

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Well, that’s the news and I’m sticking to it!!!

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe