Weekend Update … Thinking of the Future while Celebrating a Cubs Legend

As the entire Cubs organization and the Faithful spent Saturday celebrating and reflecting on the life of Ron Santo, the future of the Chicago Cubs was the other topic of discussion as the team prepares for the Winter Meetings.

Crane Kenney spent a little time on ESPN 1000 Saturday morning and revealed that Jim Hendry and his staff are already in Orlando … and conversations are already flowing according to the Cubs’ President.

The Cubs lost out on two of their rumored off-season targets Saturday.

The Red Sox and Padres agreed on a deal that would send Adrian Gonzalez to Boston for three of the Sox’s top prospects and a PTBNL. As for the other, Lance Berkamn agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals to play left field, the Cardinals plan on moving Matt Holliday to right.

The Cubs have reportedly stepped up their pursuit of Brandon Webb and could be down to Carlos Pena to fill the void at first … or start the year with Jeff Baker as the player with the most Major League experience at first base.

Here is the rest of the update … including more on the celebration of the Cubs’ biggest fan, Ron Santo.

Notes from Bruce Levine
Bruce Levine discussed the latest on the Chicago Cubs during the final segment of Chicago Sports Reporters (ESPN 1000) and during his show, Talkin’ Baseball, on Saturday morning. The always-informative Levine, had a few tidbits to pass along …

Levine reminded his listeners that the Cubs have close to $123 million committed to 15 players for 2011 … and Jim Hendry still has to pay the rest of his 40-man roster. Levine is sticking to his report last week that the Cubs payroll for 2011 will be between $135-$138 million.

Levine questioned if Jim Hendry has enough financial flexibility to add possibly $5 million for Lance Berkman (note: this comment was made before the Berkman signing was announced) and $5 million for Kerry Wood. Levine said, “Each player does not fit into the budget.” Levine pointed out the obvious that the Cubs do not have enough to compete for the division.

The Cubs should not continue to take the “middle of the road approach”. Levine thinks Hendry should go to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano and tell them we do not see us winning this season, then ask if they would be willing to waive their no-trade clauses. Hendry could trade them to a team that has a chance to win. Levine feels the Cubs could get pieces, depending on the money they are willing to include in a deal, that could help them build for the future.

Crane Kenney on Talkin’ Baseball
Crane Kenney led off Talkin’ Baseball (ESPN 1000) Saturday morning. Kenney discussed a variety of topics with Bruce Levine and Fred Huebner.

Jim Hendry and his team are already in Orlando according to Kenney. Hendry has things to do, but not much. The Cubs are looking for a first baseman, a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher. Kenney said Hendry is “dug-in in Orlando and conversations are flowing.”

Bruce Levine asked about the Cubs budget for the upcoming season. Kenney said there are “various types of currency” both players and money. The Cubs have had a lot of interest in their young players, which could help with their needs.

Kenney said that Hendry has a substantial amount of both players and money and Hendry knows what he has to work with.

The Cubs President spent a little time discussing the Ricketts family. Kenney said that Tom has a chance to change the franchise and he’s willing to do it. Tom takes all of the losses hard.

Miscellaneous Notes
The Cubs, along with the Nationals, have stepped up their pursuit of Brandon Webb according to a tweet from Jerry Crasnick. Could the Cubs lose another free-agent target to the Washington Nationals? Remember last winter, Matt Capps picked Washington over the Cubs.

Aaron Harang reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the San Diego Padres … scratch another reclamation project off Jim Hendry’s list.

Ron Santo
Remembering and celebrating the life of Ron Santo was front and center on Saturday … and will continue for quite some time.

Ron Santo had an impact on every life he touched and all of the wonderful tributes and comments made on Friday and Saturday was just further proof that Santo was not only a Cubs’ legend but he was more importantly a great man.

During his interview on ESPN 1000 Saturday morning, Crane Kenney began his conversation by talking about the passing of Ron Santo and what Santo meant to the Cubs’ organization.

The Cubs front office has had a lot of discussions over the last 24 hours of how the team is going to honor Ron Santo. Kenney spoke to Vicki Santo a lot on Friday and said the public viewing was Ron’s idea as he discussed what he would like done … just in case. Santo requested the celebration to take place in Chicago with County Music playing in the background.

WGN Radio replayed Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game on Saturday afternoon and will replay Carlos Zambrano’s no-hitter on Sunday as part of their tribute to Ron Santo. MLB Network will air ‘This Old Cub’ Sunday at 12:00pm C.T. If you have not seen the documentary directed by Jeff Santo … watch it, record it or buy it.

There will be a public visitation for Ron Santo at Holy Name Cathedral (735 North State Street, Chicago) on Thursday, December 9 at 4:00pm. Santo’s funeral is scheduled to Friday, December 10 at 10:00am.

The Santo family is asking for donations to be made to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) in lieu of flowers. Donations can be made by calling 312-670-0313 or by going to www.jdrfillinois.com and click on “Donate Now”.

For Ron’s words on his struggles and playing baseball with diabetes, click on this link sent to the CCO by Guideposts.

 Pat Hughes on Ron Santo

Pat and Ron on the Radio

Click Here for More Highlights of Ron Santo from Dave Kaplan

Thank you Ron!

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Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon