As long-time Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston celebrates his 49th birthday today, here's the latest out of Wrigley Field…
- Rumors that the Cubs have a $27MM agreement in place with Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler "are completely bogus," GM Jed Hoyer told reporters (including Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune). Soler is still waiting to be officially declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
- Hoyer also says (via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times) that he "wouldn’t be surprised" if the Cubs made a trade before the season begins, though the team is happy with its current roster. The Cubs theoretically have an excess of pitching but Hoyer likes having that extra depth in the staff.
- Anthony Rizzo has hit well this spring while Bryan LaHair has struggled, but Hoyer tells reporters (including ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla) that the Cubs still intend to start LaHair at first base on Opening Day and have Rizzo begin the year in the minors.
- Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago says the Cubs aren't keen on starting the Major League service time clocks of their top prospects, so Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters look to remain in the minors for at least a few months, if not all, of the 2012 campaign. Also from Levine's chat, he discusses the lack of news about possible trades of Matt Garza or Marlon Byrd and now Alfonso Soriano is virtually untradeable even if he enjoys a good first half of the season.