Weekend Update … What’s Next for the Cubs?

With Mike Quade in the fold, what is next for the Chicago Cubs? Quade, Jim Hendry and the front office are expected to meet in the coming week to discuss Quade’s coaching staff for 2011. Larry Rothschild, Rudy Jaramillo and Lester Strode will return but the Alan Trammell, Ivan DeJesus and Bobby Dernier could be on their way out. One of the spots on Quade’s coaching staff could be filled by Pat Listach … if he doesn’t end up as the boss in Milwaukee.

While the Texas Rangers wait to see if they will face the San Francisco Giants or the Philadelphia Phillies in the Fall Classic, here’s the latest on the Chicago Cubs … including an update on Ryne Sandberg.

Ryne Sandberg
According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks “are considering talking to Sandberg about opportunities in their organizations.” Sandberg is still under contract with the Cubs organization until December 31 and Levine added, “Don’t rule out Sandberg staying in some capacity with the Cubs.”

Ryne Sandberg is technically the manager of the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs are interested in him remaining with the organization, despite the fact they did not tell him as much after they informed him Mike Quade got the big league gig.

Levine discussed Sandberg at length on Saturday morning during Talkin’ Baseball (ESPN 1000). According to his sources, Sandberg has not been contacted about the Pirates’ vacancy. Levine feels Sandberg should stay with the Cubs organization if he is not able to get a job on a Major League coaching staff.

Cubs Payroll for 2011
Tom Ricketts has gone on record saying his team payroll will go down slightly from 2010 to 2011. But as Levine asked, down from which payroll number last season … the $144 million, plus they started the year with or the roughly $128 million they ended with in Houston.

The Cubs have roughly $125 million already committed for 2011 … between arbitration raises and players already under contract, some with escalating salaries, see John Grabow and Marlon Byrd. If the payroll goes down “slightly” from the $128 million figure, will Jim Hendry have any room to add free agents this season?

With Hendry’s track record the last two winters, it might be a blessing in disguise if the Ricketts family does not give Hendry much to spend this winter.

Adam Dunn
Bruce Levine is still hearing the Cubs top priority this winter is signing Adam Dunn, if there is enough payroll flexibility. Rumors suggest Dunn is looking for at least a three-year contract in the $30 – $40 million range.

As Mike Quade pointed out during his press conference on Tuesday, this is not a fantasy baseball team … so why does Jim Hendry continue to target players toward the end of their career that cost too much and add so little? While Dunn can still mash the baseball, he can’t catch it and when he goes cold at the plate he and Alfonso Soriano in the middle of the lineup would make it very easy for the opposition.

Starlin Castro
Bruce Levine is hearing Hak-Ju Lee will begin 2011 in Double-A. Lee projects as the shortstop of the future for the Cubs and could push Starlin Castro to another position. Many have speculated Castro would just move across the diamond to second base but Castro’s future could be at third base according to Levine.

The Cubs organizational meetings begin in two weeks, right around the time of the big vote in Mesa on November 2.

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Well, that’s the latest … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver