Could the hiring of Gerald Perry as hitting coach signal an era of change in Chicago? Thus far Jim Hendry has made a point of ignoring the free pass, but Perry is said to encourage a little patience. Of course, Oakland's walk mandate was organization-wide so we can't give Perry all the credit.
Anyway, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has the word on the Cubs' latest hot stove dealings.
- Final offer for Aramis Ramirez will probably come in Saturday night.
- The Cubs wouldn't mind adding Dave Roberts as the new leadoff man. He walks at about 10% of the time, which is nice.
- They may also consider bringing Miguel Batista back to serve as the fifth starter. Batista was last seen in Chicago as a 26 year-old starter with control issues. The Cubs traded him in '97 for Henry Rodriguez. Now Batista is a 36 year-old starter with a tad better control. You could do worse for a #5; he keeps the ball on the ground.
- Sullivan's sources close to Carlos Lee say that the North Side is the slugger's preferred destination - not Houston. We had been hearing this talk in Chicago papers for a while but the Houston hype has drowned it out lately.
- The Cubs have interest in Jason Schmidt at four years or less. I would hope that'd be the breaking point - five years would be truly absurd.
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