With the Cubs Caravan beginning on Wednesday, the rumor mill took a small break in favor of actual news.
The Cubs invited 19 non-roster players to big league camp. Ivan DeJesus and Matt Sinatro switched roles. DeJesus will be the Cubs first base coach while Sinatro will serve as a special assistant to Lou Piniella … and handle advance scouting. An announcement is expected by the end of next week on the Cubs first choice for their new Spring Training home.
And what would the winter be without a rumor or two … Reed Johnson, Jermaine Dye, Xavier Nady and Kiko Calero. In quick link format, without “borrowing” too much from Buster Olney, here are the news and notes from Wednesday.
– Reed Johnson is still in the Cubs’ outfield picture according to the Tribune … but so is Xavier Nady. The Cubs are looking for a right-handed bat to platoon with Kosuke Fukudome in right … as well as spell Alfonso Soriano in left.
– Xavier Nady has a career line of .308/.383/.471/.854 against southpaws … at Wrigley Field, .304/.371/.441/.812. The Tribune reported Nady “fits the bill” of the type of player the Cubs are interested in adding to the mix.
– Randy Wells is confident he’ll improve on 2009 according to Bruce Miles.
– Ben Sheets will workout for six to ten teams on Tuesday at the University of Louisiana Monroe … one of the teams that will be in attendance, the Chicago Cubs.
– Micah Hoffpauir told Dave Kaplan that he has already hit with Rudy Jaramillo. Hoffpauir and Jaramillo live within a couple of hours of each other in Texas.
– The Cubs are looking into Jermaine Dye as a possible platoon partner for Kosuke Fukudome according to the Tribune.
– Kiko Calero is still on the Cubs’ radar according to Jon Paul Morosi … but there is a concern with his shoulder.
– Jim Hendry is hoping to discuss deals with the Padres, Blue Jays and Rockies on Wednesday night in Arizona. Hendry is one of 27 GMs attending the quarterly owner’s meetings. There are players with the Padres, Blue Jays and Rockies that Hendry is interested in according to Bruce Levine.
– This weekend’s Cubs Convention will be the first for the Ricketts family. Carrie Muskat said the family was never able to obtain a ticket until now.
– Greg Maddux, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez will not attend the Cubs Convention. Maddux is playing in the Bob Hope Classic.
Well, that’s the latest … and I am sticking to it!
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