The next five days figures to be anything but boring for the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs announced on Tuesday that pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park on February 13 with the first workout on February 14. The first full squad workout for Q’s crew is scheduled for February 19 … 31 days before pitchers and catchers report and 46 days until Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the air from Mesa.
The Cubs kick off their caravan on Wednesday with a luncheon at Harry Caray’s Restaurant. The two-day caravan leads up to the Cubs Convention on Friday.
Four to five teams have checked in with the Cubs about Tom Gorzelanny. Add Doug Glanville’s name to the search for Pat Hughes’ new partner according to Bruce Levine … Gary Matthews, Sr., Keith Moreland and Dave Otto are also in the mix.
Here is the update as the countdown has begun to the 26th Cubs Convention …
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat Tuesday on ESPN Chicago.com … here are the highlights:
- The Cubs “really like” Koyie Hill. In the wake of the Cubs claiming Max Ramirez off waivers Levine does not think that signals the end of the Koyie Hill era with the Cubs.
- The consensus is that Andrew Cashner will be a starter in Spring Training. Cashner could also push the other candidates for the last two spots in the rotation, which could create a lively competition for the fourth and fifth spots.
- The Cubs were not in on Zack Greinke because of the $26 million he is owed over the next two years. The Cubs discussed Greinke during the organizational meetings but they did not have enough room on the payroll to afford him.
- The Cubs are re-structuring their business plan … and the city and the state have both shown interest in talking to the Cubs about a creative plan to renovate the ballpark.
- Levine thinks the Cubs “have put themselves back in position to compete” in the division. It is up to Mike Quade and company to get it done.
- Levine does not think the market is “all that good” for Kosuke Fukudome.
- Four to five teams have contacted the Cubs about Tom Gorzelanny. Detroit was interested before they inked Brad Penny and the Orioles are one of the other teams that have checked in. The Cubs feel they could do without Tom Gorzelanny.
- Starlin Castro could be an option to hit leadoff for the Cubs in 2011.
- It looks like the talks between the Rangers and the Cubs are dead … Robinson Chirinos was the key to a deal with Texas.
- Levine thinks Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Tyler Colvin will be the Cubs’ Opening Day outfield.
- Levine also thinks Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano, Andrew Cashner and Jeff Samardzija will be the starting staff when the season begins.
- The Cubs still believe in Jeff Samardzija but this spring will be his final shot … Samardzija is out of Minor League options.
- Levine thinks Randy Wells will end up either in the rotation or as a long-man out of the pen … or back in Triple-A. Levine said Wells has one more option left.
- The Cubs never considered trading Carlos Marmol this winter.
- If Carlos Silva shows up to camp in shape he will compete for a spot in the rotation.
- Levine has the Cubs down for 87 wins in the upcoming season … as for the South Side, Levine thinks they will win 93 games.
- Levine thinks Mike Quade will bench Alfonso Soriano this season if he does not perform.
- The Cubs aren’t done yet this winter according to Levine.
A Couple of Numbers
According to Cubs.com, Matt Garza will wear number 17 with Carlos Pena hanging onto number 22 (Pena wore 23 and Garza wore 22 with the Rays). The Cubs announced before the holidays that Pena would wear number 22. On a side note, Garza and Pena will likely see more in attendance at the Hilton this weekend than in many of the Rays home games.
2010-2011 Off-Season Calendar
- 5 – 15 – Salary arbitration filing period
- 14 – 16 – 26th Annual Cubs Convention
- 18 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures
- 1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
- 13 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for pitchers, catchers and injured players
- 13 – Cubs Pitchers and Catchers Report to Fitch Park
- 15 – End of Waiver Period
- 16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
- 18 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for other players
- 19 – Cubs First Full-Squad Workout of Spring
- 27 – Cactus League Opening Day – Cubs vs. A’s at HoHoKam Park, Mesa
- 1 – Mandatory reporting date to Spring Training for all players
- 2 – 11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
- 14 – Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
- 28 – Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2010 salary
- 29 – Cubs Final Spring Training Game – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, Mesa
- 30 – Cubs’ Intrasquad Game at HoHoKam Park, Mesa
- 30 – All clubs must reduce their active roster to 25 players
- 31 – Opening Day for 2011 Baseball Season
- 1 – Opening Day for Chicago Cubs – Cubs vs. Pirates at Wrigley Field