The Cubs are finishing up their first losing season since 2006; of course the focus is on next year. The latest:
- The Cubs "remain intent on taking a run at Joe Girardi," tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- The Red Sox "have a lot of interest" in Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, reported ESPN's Bruce Levine in a chat yesterday. It is assumed Ramirez will exercise his $14.6MM player option for 2011, and the clubs would have to work around issues of a no-trade clause and an assignment bonus. Plus, I imagine the Cubs would have to swing another trade to find someone to replace Ramirez at the hot corner.
- Levine writes that "Adam Dunn is a top priority for the Cubs if they can afford him." We learned last month that Dunn likes Wrigley Field and Jim Hendry, but the slugger made it clear yesterday he's tired of discussing his future.
- Levine notes that Cubs ownership has indicated there will be a slight decrease in payroll for next year. Hendry might have to move a current contract or two to create flexibility.
- Cubs starter Ryan Dempster endorsed Mike Quade as manager, saying to CSNChicago's Patrick Mooney and others, "He’s done a great job and I hope that he’s here longer than just this year (and) managing for us next year because he deserves it." Mooney also spoke to hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who's intent on honoring his three-year contract regardless of the team's manager changes.