One More Week Before Cubs Camp Begins

The countdown to pitchers and catchers officially reporting to Fitch Park has hit in the one week mark. In seven days pitchers and catchers will be on the field with the first official workout of the spring.

Several of the players are already in Mesa preparing for the start of Spring Training. The long off-season is almost over.

The Cubs annual organization meetings that are usually in early November will finally take place in the coming week. The meetings were pushed to February due to all of the changes with the front office. Jed Hoyer indicated that the Cubs Organizational Meetings will take place Wednesday (February 15) and Thursday (February 16) in Mesa prior to the players’ physicals on Friday (February 17) and the first on-the-field workouts on Saturday (February 18).

Here is the update …

Alfonso Soriano
During an interview Thursday afternoon on The Carmen, Jurko and Harry Show (ESPN 1000), Jed Hoyer said “it is unlikely Alfonso Soriano will start the season with another team.”

Rumors have suggested this off-season that the Cubs’ new regime has been shopping Soriano. At one point the Cubs had reportedly spoken to eight American League teams about Soriano. The Cubs left fielder downplayed the rumors during the Cubs Convention but stated he would not waive his no-trade clause unless it was the right situation for him and his family. Soriano would agree to leave the Cubs to play for a contending team.

Hoyer said Soriano has been working hard this off-season.

The Cubs would like him to get on base a little more … and to play better defense. They are hoping that if his conditioning and health is some better that would result in better play in the field.

Theo Epstein Compensation
Larry Lucchino joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden during Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio/XM Radio) Friday afternoon. Bowden led off the interview by asking what the latest was on the Theo Epstein compensation issue.

Lucchino refused to say where the issue stands other than it is in Bud Selig’s hands and they are expected a resolution soon. Lucchino added that the compensation should have been settled by now. The two teams tried to reach an agreement before getting the commissioner involved. Selig has been given the parameters of the discussions the Cubs and Red Sox had prior to asking him to resolve the situation. Lucchino then caught himself and said he should not say any more right now.

Lucchino finished the discussion on the compensation issue by stating that Theo Epstein is happy in Chicago and they are happy with Ben Cherington. It is time for the Red Sox to focus on the season ahead and more on from last year.

Carlos Marmol
This just in … Carlos Marmol’s 2011 season was unacceptable.

Jed Hoyer reiterated Carlos Marmol’s performance last year was not good and the Cubs’ GM said “there’s nothing more demoralizing to a baseball team that to win for two hours and forty-five minutes and then to lose in the last ten.”

Hoyer has been told that Marmol’s slider wasn’t the same last year and the Cubs are hoping there is something mechanical that can be corrected.

Keith Law and Cubs Prospects
ESPN’s Keith Law released his list of the top 100 prospects in the game as well as his top 10 prospects lists for each team. Three of the Cubs top prospects cracked Law’s list of the top 100 … Anthony Rizzo (36), Brett Jackson (89) and Javier Baez (95).

The top 10 prospects in the Cubs’ system according to Keith Law:

1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
2. Brett Jackson, OF
3. Javier Baez, SS
4. Trey McNutt, RHP
5. Zach Cates, RHP
6. Welington Castillo, C
7. Dillon Maples, RHP
8. Josh Vitters, 3B
9. Reggie Golden, OF
10. Matt Szczur, OF

Keith Law has always been critical of the Cubs system and prospects … and the ranking of Brett Jackson as the 89th best prospect in the game is further proof.

News, Notes and a Rumor
Tim Sheridan posted photos from Friday’s workout at Fitch … for those that are not familiar with ‘Boys of Spring‘, take a minute and check out Tim’s fine work. It is a must read.

Jed Hoyer indicated Thursday that the Cubs would be talking to Matt Garza about being part of their future. Hoyer added the Cubs need more guys like Matt Garza and if they can “work something out we’ll certainly have those discussions” about a long-term contract.

Jed Hoyer is taking four days to drive to Spring Training … and his golden retriever will be his companion for the trip. Hoyer admitted this will probably be the only year he makes the journey prior to Spring Training.

According to Jon Heyman, Edgar Renteria would be a good fit for the Cubs, Brewers or Astros. Renteria has something left according to Heyman and will play in 2012.

WGN Radio Contest

WGN Radio has asked the CCO to help promote their latest contest … write the official WGN Radio Cubs Song for the 2012 season. For those baseball fans that are also musicians this could end up being your bring break.

All entries must be submitted by February 29, 2012.

Click here for more information and the official rules from WGN Radio.

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

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Quote of the Day

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