Cubs Rumors: Hendry, Payroll, Ibanez, Roberts

Let’s talk Cubs.

  • First things first – the Cubs need to lock in their GM.  ESPN’s Buster Olney says the Cubs are currently trying to convince Jim Hendry not to opt out of his contract in December.  Olney expects a new long-term agreement.
  • Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago-Sun Times talked to Cubs CEO Crane Kenney, who anticipates another payroll bump despite ownership uncertainty.  Maybe the $140MM range?
  • Lot of talk about the Cubs adding a left-handed hitter for balance, with Kosuke Fukudome looking like a failure.  Names suggested by Olney, Wittenmeyer, and Andy Dolan of Raul Ibanez, Bobby Abreu, David DeJesus, Milton Bradley, and Brian Roberts.  Regardless of the path the Cubs take, they seem likely to accept shaky right-field defense in exchange for a middle-of-the-order bat.  The Cubs could also consider Aubrey Huff or Adam Dunn, but they’d be even more of a stretch in right. 
  • Dolan would like to add a more complete shortstop.  If the Cubs feel the same, they could again pursue switch-hitter Rafael Furcal and finally move Alfonso Soriano out of the leadoff spot.
  • Everyone expects Rich Harden‘s $7MM option to be exercised, setting the ’09 rotation.  The Cubs will look at Harden’s shoulder first though.  Wittenmeyer recommends an aggressive run at C.C. Sabathia, which seems unlikely.

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