Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Ten Cubs News Stories of 2011: Part 2

Yesterday, we started our countdown of the top ten Cubs news stories of 2011. Click here for the stories that ranked six through ten. And now for the top five!

5. Honoring Ronnie
Throughout the calender year the Cubs organization did a great job honoring Cubs legend Ron Santo, who passed away in December of 2010. It started at the Cubs Convention in January and continued in Spring Training and on Opening Day, when his family threw out the first pitch and sang the Seventh Inning Stretch. On August 10, a statue of Santo was unveiled outside Wrigley Field before the Cubs game against the Nationals. Pat Hughes did a great job all seasons long telling stories about Ronnie on Cubs radio broadcasts in addition to putting together a book and a CD on his longtime partner.

4. Goodbye Hendry
Jim Hendry tenure as the Cubs general manager, which started in the middle of the 2002 season, concluded on August 19 when he was relieved of his duties by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. Ricketts notified Hendry that his days were numbered on July 22, but Jim wanted to stay on to finish signing draft picks and making trades before the deadline. Although some of his moves were often criticized, such as Alfonso Soriano's contract and the Milton Bradley trade, Hendry will be fondly remembered on the North Side for leading the team to the playoffs three times and for his friendliness and loyalty.

3. Z Blows Up
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano continued to make headlines for the wrong reasons when his emotions once again got the best of him on August 12. Z had yielded five home runs to the Atlanta Braves and in his frustration attempted to throw at Chipper Jones. Zambrano was ejected from the game, cleaned out his locker and claimed that he was retiring. He spent a stint on the disqualified list and did not pitch the remainder of the season, leaving his future with the Cubs in question.

2. Cubs Net Theo
The Cubs landed one of the brightest minds in baseball on Oct. 21 when Theo Epstein took over as their President of Baseball Operations. He had already agreed to a five year contract with the squad on Oct. 12. Epstein has already begun to put his stamp on the team, trading Tyler Colvin, DJ LeMahieu and Sean Marshall in order to build his own core of young players. The addition of Epstein along with general manager Jed Hoyer and VP of scouting and player development Jason McLeod gives fans hope for brighter days ahead.

1. Santo Elected to HOF
Without a doubt, the biggest story of the year is Ron Santo finally getting the call from Cooperstown. Santo will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July, a long overdue honor. Friends, fans and family members only wish that Ronnie was here to find out the news. He was very vocal about his wish to be enshrined in the Hall during his lifetime. None-the-less, the ceremony will be a great way to continue to honor and remember Santo.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Ten Cubs News Stories of 2011: Part 1

It has been another eventful year for the Chicago Cubs. Although the team finished in the basement of the National League Central, there was never a dull moment on Chicago's North Side. With the calender year coming to a close, it is time to review the top ten Cubs news stories of 2011!

10. Rebuilding Phase?
The biggest story during the final few weeks of 2011 has been the idea that the Cubs are entering a major rebuilding phase. David Kaplan was the first to report that the Cubs are going to tear the team down and start over in 2012, dumping as many valuable pieces as possible in order to get prospects in return and to save money. The first in what could be a flurry of trades was sending Sean Marshall to the Reds for Travis Wood and two other young players.

9. Cubs Acquire Garza
On Jan. 7 the Cubs made a surprising trade, acquiring Matt Garza from the Rays in exchange for a package of five prospects, including Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee. Nearly a full year later, the Cubs new front office team is listening to offers for the young right hander, who was the most productive pitcher on the Cubs last season.

8. Castro an All-Star
The Cubs young shortstop had a breakout season, earning himself an appearance in the All-Star Game. Starlin Castro became the youngest player in Cubs history to play in the Mid-Summer Classic. At the plate Castro emerged, hitting .307, but his defense needs some work. His 29 errors led the league among shortstops.

7. Sveum Named Cubs Manager
On Nov. 16 the Cubs announced that Dale Sveum would take over as Cubs manager, replacing Mike Quade, who lasted just one season. This hire was one of the quietest ones in recent years by the Cubs, who typically go after big names like Don Baylor, Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella. However, Sveum's style could be a good fit for this rebuilding club.

6. Ramirez Signs with Brewers
One of the mainstays on the North Side of Chicago departed via free agency by signing with the division rival Milwaukee Brewers. It will be difficult for Cubs fans to see Rami play for the Crew, despite that fact that many of them complained that he was overpaid during his final few seasons on the North Side. Ramirez was a contributer to the Cubs '03 playoff run, an RBI machine in 2007 and a key piece in '08. Aramis's absence in the middle of the Cubs order will be felt this season. He was one of the Cubs few power threats in 2011.

Up next, we'll round out our top ten with the top five Cubs news stories of 2011! Be sure to check to back for that post!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Opening Day Roster Predictions: 12-26-11

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! The Cubs have been very active as of late. Today, they added several new players. RHP Andy Sonnanstine has signed a non-guaranteed, split contract for 2012. The deal signed by Manny Corpas last week is also believed to be non-guaranteed. In addition, the Cubs are believed to be close to signing switch hitting catcher Jason Jaramillo to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. Jaramillo will compete with Welington Castillo for the backup catcher's job.

At the start of the offseason, I made my Opening Day Roster predictions- click here to check them out! With the Cubs flurry of moves over the last two months, here are my updated predictions. If the season started tomorrow, this is what I think the roster would look like! I will continue to post updates throughout the rest of the winter as the Cubs continue to make moves. New to roster from my last prediction= italics, change in role= *

Starting Rotation
1. Matt Garza
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Randy Wells
4. Travis Wood
5. Carlos Zambrano
Also in the mix: Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Jeff Samardzija and Chris Carpenter

Closer- Carlos Marmol
LH Setup Man- James Russell*
RH Setup Man- Jeff Samardzija
LH Middle Relief- Scott Maine
RH Middle Relief- Chris Carpenter
Long Relief- Manny Corpes
Long Relief- Andy Sonnanstine
Also in the mix- Coleman, Marcos Mateo, John Gaub, Casey Weathers and Jeff Beliveau

Starting Lineup
C- Geovany Soto
1B- Bryan LaHair
2B- Darwin Barney
SS- Starlin Castro
3B- Ian Stewart
LF- Alfonso Soriano
CF- Marlon Byrd
RF- David DeJesus

Welington Castillo
Jeff Baker
Blake DeWitt
Dave Sappelt
Reed Johnson
Also in the mix: Jason Jaramillo, Matt Szczur, Tony Campana, Brett Jackson, Lou Montanez, Jeff Bianchi, Josh Vitters and Junior Lake

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The 2011 Cubs Naughty & Nice List

It's become a Christmas tradition here on Everything Cubs Blog... the yearly Cubs Naughty & Nice List! Let's find out who's been good and who has not this year!

  • The Golden Era Committee- for finally putting Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame
  • The Santo Family- for handling the honor the right way even though it came too late
  • Starlin Castro- for providing hope for the future for the Chicago Cubs
  • Matt Garza- for stepping up as the ace of the Cubs pitching staff
  • Sean Marshall- for being valuable enough to net the Cubs three solid players
  • Tom Ricketts- for making major changes in the front office
  • Theo Epstein- for starting a major rebuilding phase
  • Brett Jackson- for being the Cubs top prospect
  • Jed Hoyer- for joining forces with Theo in Chicago
  • Jim Hendry- for handling his departure with class
  • Bill Buckner- for returning to the organization as a minor league coach
  • Reed Johnson- for continuing to play the game hard each and every day
  • Jeff Samardzija- for embracing his role as a reliever and putting together a strong year
  • Bryan LaHair- MVP minor league season, joined the Cubs in September
  • Darwin Barney- for winning the second base job and playing well for most of the season
  • James Russell- for the strides he made as a relief pitcher this season


  • The National Baseball Hall of Fame Voters- for keeping Ron Santo out during his lifetime
  • Jim Hendry- for his failure to reach a World Series during his time on the North Side
  • Mike Quade- for the poor decisions that he made in his only season as Cubs skipper
  • Carlos Zambrano- can you get more naughty than Big Z?
  • Casey Coleman- for his ERA, which was over 6
  • Carlos Marmol- for blowing too many saves in 2011
  • Tyler Colvin- for a disappointing final season in Chicago
  • Kosuke- for being overpaid throughout his tenure on the North Side
  • Alfonso Soriano- for being nearly untradeable
  • Geovany Soto- batting average saw a dip, throwing errors increased
  • The minor league system- for not being able to provide quality players when the Cubs needed them this season

Click here for past Naught & Nice Lists: 2010, 2009, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas Cubs fans!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pre-Christmas Cubs Roundup

Happy Holidays Cubs fans! The Cubs have been pretty active this week leading up to Christmas Day, so let's get you caught up!

Corpas Signs with the Cubs
The Cubs have signed 29-year old RHP Manny Corpas to a one year contract. Corpas did not pitch this past season after having Tommy John surgery in September 2010. He is expected to be used out of the Cubs bullpen. Corpas had a 4.62 ERA in 56 games and picked up ten saves with the Rockies two seasons ago. Many feel that with another right hander added to the bullpen, Jeff Samardzija could get a chance to move into the rotation.

Marshall Deal Official
As expected, the Cubs have officially sent left handed reliever Sean Marshall to the Reds for starting pitcher Travis Wood. The two other players acquired by the Cubs in the deal are outfielder Dave Sappelt and 19 year old Ronald Torreyes. Sappelt hit .243 in 38 games with the big league team last season. He will compete for a spot on the team in Spring Training as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Holiday Cubs Coverage
If you need a wintery Cubs fix, you can get it the next few days if you're in the Chicagoland area. WGN Radio will airs its special "Christmas with the Cubs" show on Christmas Eve at 9pm and Christmas Day at 2:00. Comcast Sports Net Chicago will replay the Cubs game against the Dodgers from April 23, 2011 at 1:00 on Christmas Day. That will be followed by Inside Look: Tom Ricketts at 4:30. On Wednesday, January 4 WGN Radio will host Cubs Corner at Wildfire Chicago featuring Theo Epstein. You can buy tickets to the luncheon or tune in to the broadcast at noon.

Up Next on Everything Cubs Blog
Next week we'll review the top Cubs stories of 2011, have my updated Cubs Opening Day roster predictions and check in on the latest from the rumor mill. Tomorrow our annual "Naughty & Nice" list will be posted. And of course, we'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Breaking News: Marshall Traded to Reds

It was the huge news day for the Chicago Cubs. Most notably, left handed reliever Sean Marshall has been traded to the Cincinnati Reds in return for starting pitcher Travis Wood and two minor leaguers. This deal is not yet official, but it is close and pending physicals.

Marshall has been one of the most valuable Cubs for the past few seasons. According to an interesting report from David Kaplan, this is the start of a major rebuilding phase for the Cubs. Although I am upset to see Marshall depart, the deal could make sense for the Cubs since Wood is a young, promising arm who would fill a rotation void. In addition, the deal cannot really be judged until we find out which minor leaguers are coming to Chicago's North Side.

The Cubs also re-signed Reed Johnson to a one year contract today. Johnson will join the outfield mix that already includes David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano.

The Cubs finalized their minor league coaching staff today as well.
Bill Buckner will be a hitting coach for the Class-A Short Season Boise Hawks. Dave Keller returns to the Iowa staff after one year as an assistant to Mike Quade.

Prince Fielder rumors are still floating around. Kaplan tweeted today that the Cubs are not in on Fielder. He also said that they are open to trading everyone except Starlin Castro.

That's it for now, but I'll have much more during the holiday weekend.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cubs Coaching Staff Breakdown

The Cubs have announced their full coaching staff from the 2012 season. Here is a breakdown of the coaches that will serve on the staff, lead by manager Dale Sveum.

Rudy Jaramillo, Hitting Coach
Jaramillo returns to finish out his contract as the Cubs hitting coach. So far his expertise has not been beneficial the Cubs offensive production has declined since he took over for the 2010 season. However, the player seem to respect Jaramillo and maybe he can finally figure out to increase the production of the Cub hitters.

Chris Bosio, Pitching Coach
Bosio will take over for Mark Riggins as the Cubs pitching coach next season. He is an ex big league pitcher who played for the Brewers and Mariners from 1986 to 1996. He has been the Brewers pitching coach each of the last two seasons and also served pitching coach for Lou Piniella's Tampa Bay Rays in 2003.

Jamie Quirk, Bench Coach
Jamie Quirk will be Sveum's right hand man on the bench this season. Quirk played for 11 different teams during a long big league career as a catcher. He was the Rockies bench coach from 2003 to 2008 before spending the last three seasons as the Astros bullpen coach.

Pat Listach, Third Base Coach
Listach remains on the Cubs staff, but moves from bench coach to third base coach. He will still play an important role, both in his decision making at third and his instruction for Cubs players.

Dave McKay, First Base Coach
McKay played infield for the Twins, Blue Jays and A's before starting his coaching career with Oakland in 1988. He moved to St. Louis in 1996, where he worked for Tony LaRussa until the end of this season. McKay should provide some insight as he takes over for fan favorite Bobby Dernier.

Lester Strode, Bullpen Coach
Strode is now the longest tenure Cubs coach. He has been a fixture in the Cubs pen since 2007.

Mike Borzello, Staff Assistant
Borzello is a former minor league catcher in the Cardinals system who never made it above Class A. He worked under Joe Torre as a bullpen catcher from 1996-2011 with the Yankees and Dodgers. Hopefully he has learned something working for one of the best. Borzello will work with catchers and be involved in advanced scouting.

Franklin Font, Staff Assistant
This year the Cubs will have two "special assistants" as Font also joins the staff. He has been in the organization as a roving infield instructor at the minor league level for 17 seasons. Font will coach the Cubs infielders and serve as an assistant to Jaramillo. In recent years the Cubs have had just one extra assistant- Dave Keller (2011), Matt Sinatro (2010), Ivan DeJesus (2007-2009) and Sonny Jackson (2003-2006).

It should be an interesting year with lots of new faces on both the staff and the field.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Look at Ramierz's Time With the Cubs

Aramis Ramirez's tenure in Chicago officially ended earlier this week as he signed a three year deal worth between $34-37 million with the division rival Brewers. The Cubs will fill the void at third base with Ian Stewart, but the hole that this departure leaves in the middle of the order still needs to be filled.

Let's take a look back at Aramis Ramirez's journey with the Chicago Cubs!

July 23, 2003: Traded to the Cubs
Aramis Ramirez was traded from the Pirates to the Cubs, along with outfielder Kenny Lofton. The deal for Ramirez turned out to be one of the best made by ex-GM Jim Hendry. Ramirez panned out for the Cubs during his time on the North Side.

2003 Playoffs
Ramirez hit three homers in a game two different times during the 2004 season, becoming just the 14th player in big league history to do so. Rami's range factor was among the lowest among third basemen. He had a solid year at the plate but was so-so with the glove.

2004- Powerful Season Lacks Defense
Ramirez hit three homers in a game two different times during the 2004 season, becoming just the 14th player in big league history to do so. Rami's range factor was among the lowest among third basemen. He had a solid year at the plate but was so-so with the glove.

2005- An All-Star Season Ends with Injury
The Cubs third baseman was elected to the MLB All-Star Game for the first time in his career. He missed the month of September, finishing the year on the DL.

2006- Inks an Extension
Ramirez signed the extension that kept him in blue through the 2011 season in September of '06. He had a decent year despite a last place finish by the club. He finished the year with a career high 38 home runs.

2007- Leading the Way to October
2007 was one of Aramis' most productive years, leading him to earn the nickname "An RBI Machine." He drove in 101 to lead the team to the postseason, where the Cubs were swept at the hands of the Diamondbacks.

2008- Hank Aaron Award
Prior to the 2008 World Series, Ramirez was honored with the Hank Aaron Award as the best offensive player in the game. He increased his RBI output to 111 and knocked a career best 44 doubles during the Cubs 97 win season. The team was once again swept out of the playoffs, this time at the hands of the Dodgers. Aramis played in the '08 All-Star game as a reserve.

2009- .317 Average
Ramirez hit for a career best .317 average during the 2009 season. He played in just 82 games that year, missing significant time with the dislocated shoulder.

2010- Decreased Production
A-Ram saw a large drop-off in his number in 2010, indicating that his prime may be passed him. He is still a solid middle of the order option for most clubs.

2011- Final Year in Blue
Ramirez hit .306 and launched 26 home runs as one of the few bright spots during a tough season for the Cubs. He declined his option to return to the team at season's end before signing his three year deal with the Brewers this week.

Some of my fondest memories of watching the Cubs involve Aramis Ramirez. He has been one of the Cubs best power hitters over the last decade and came through with some clutch hits that led the team to the postseason in '07 and '08. With the departure of Ramirez, only two players on the team remain from the 2003 season (Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano) and the number of players from '07 and '08 continues to dwindle.

On top of that, the Cubs will have a huge hole to fill in the middle of their lineup. It will be difficult to watch Aramis Ramirez play for the Milwaukee Brewers.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Latest from the Rumor Mill

Rumors were flying around last week at the Winter Meetings, but it was more talk than action. The Cubs brass did leave Dallas with two moves under their belts. The team sent Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu to the Rockies for third baseman Ian Stewart and minor league pitcher Casey Weathers. The team also claimed Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Bianchi is a middle infielder that played Double-A ball last season.

The biggest news of the week, however, was the election of Ron Santo to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We will continue to celebrate Ron's legacy here on Everything Cubs Blog leading up to his induction in July.

Here are a few more news and notes.
  • Albert Pujols signing with the Angels last week was good new for the Cubs. The Cub-killer will leave the division instead of re-signing with the World Champion Cardinals.
  • Many baseball experts believe that the Cubs still have a shot at signing Prince Fielder. Fielder could sign a five year deal with the North Siders.
  • Bruce Levine reported this weekend that Prince Fielder believes the Cubs will make the biggest push for him. Levine thinks the Cubs would like to build a championship team around the young, power-hitting first baseman.
  • In the next three years, the Cubs television contract will expire with Comcast Sports Net and WGN. The Cubs could look into starting their own TV Network.
  • Former Cubs Felix Pie is set to sign with the Indians.
  • The division rival Brewers are in the lead to sign Aramis Ramirez, according to Jon Heyman.
  • Ian Stewart is looking forward to the chance to play every day with the Cubs.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post has said that he cannot see Theo Epstein passing up teh chance to sign Fielder.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Breaking News: Cubs Trade for Ian Stewart

The Cubs have acquired third baseman Ian Stewart and minor league pitcher Casey Weathers from the Colorado Rockies. In return, Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu have been sent to Colorado. The first trade of the Theo Epstein era is in the books.

Stewart will enter spring training as the Cubs starting third baseman. The Cubs did not conclude the winter meetings without making any noise. Weathers will have a chance to compete for a bullpen spot next season.

The big news today was Albert Pujols's ten year contract with the Angels. Although the Cubs did not land Pujols, this is still good news at the slugging first baseman leaves the NL Central. The Cubs could still be in the mix for Prince Fielder, who is now the top free agent on the market. Peter Gammons believes that the Cubs are a real possibility for Prince.

Today in the Rule Five Draft the Cubs selected RHP Lendy Castillo from the Phillies. Two Cubs prospects were selected in the draft- Marwin Gonzalez (Red Sox) and Ryan Flaherty (Orioles). Gonzalez was then traded to the Houston Astros. The Cubs selected Ricky Alverez in the minor league portion of the Rule Five Draft, but then shipped him to a Mexican League team.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter Meetings Day 2 Notes

Ron Santo's Hall of Fame election is by far the biggest headline to come out of the Winter Meetings so far. We'll continue to honor and cover Ronnie in the coming days and week here on Everything Cubs blog. However, there are some interesting tidbits from Dallas today.
  • The Cubs have reportedly made offers for both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. They are not willing to offer a long term contract, but will make up for that with a large per year salary.
  • The Marlins are the front runners for Pujols with a ten year contract offer on the table. However, they are not willing to give Albert a no-trade clause.
  • The Cubs are more likely to sign Fielder, but they are not close with Prince either. They are not willing to go behind a five year deal with the slugging third baseman.
  • The Cubs are still looking for a team to take Alfonso Soriano. They are willing to eat most of his contract. The Orioles were rumored to be interested.
  • Fielder says he has many suitors and "the coffee isn't even hot yet."
  • Carrie Muskat tweeted that Dale Sveum should announce his coaching staff soon. He is still looking for a first base coach. It looks as if Pat Listach will remain on the staff, moving from the bench coach to the third base coach.
  • The Cubs did submit a bid for Pujols today, even though Theo Epstein claimed yesterday that he was talking to Pujols' agent about another one of his clients, Rodrigo Lopez.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Breaking News: Ron Santo Elected to Hall of Fame

Ron Santo has been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

That is one of two sentences that I have been looking forward to writing since I started this blog. Santo received 15 of 16 votes and will be inducted on July 22. He need just 12 votes, 75%, to receive the call.

It will be a great honor for Ronnie's family, however it is a shame that he is not here for it. Santo passed away just over a year ago. Ron Santo belongs in Cooperstown... I'm happy that the voters have finally realized their mistake. Much more coverage on Santo's election later!

Congratulations Ron Santo!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Previewing the Ron Santo Hall of Fame Vote

It's a big week for the Chicago Cubs with the Winter Meetings starting tomorrow in Dallas. We'll have plenty of rumors and new throughout the week, but as far as I'm concerned tomorrow is about one thing and one thing only- the Hall of Fame announcement regarding the late Ron Santo.

Ronnie, who passed away a year ago yesterday, was one of my all time favorite Cubs. There's no doubt he should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame during his lifetime. If he makes it tomorrow, it will be bittersweet for the family, which will wish he was there to witness it. However, it would still be great to be able to honor and remember Cubs legend Ron Santo in Cooperstown next July.

The Golden Era Committee met yesterday and again today to decide the HOF fate of Santo and several other candidates. Billy Williams is on the committee and is his case for his former teammate. The result will be announced tomorrow morning at 10am Central Time. We'll have it posted here on Everything Cubs Blog shortly there after.

The committee is made up of just 16 members. Each of them can vote for just five players or executives, but a 75% vote is needed for election. Click here to check out Phil Rogers' Chicago Tribune article making a case for Santo.

Tom Ricketts is also supporting Santo. Click here for Bruce Levine's blog post on the vote. Carrie Muskat also looked ahead to the announcement on her blog.

Ron Santo belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Winter Meetings Preview

The Cubs made their first move of the offseason this week, with more possibly on the horizon. Here's the latest.

Cubs Ink David DeJesus
On Wednesday the Cubs announced the signing of outfielder David DeJesus to a two year, $10 million contract that includes a club option for 2014. DeJesus can play all three outfield positions. He spent the first ten years of his career in Kansas City before playing for the Oakland A's last season. DeJesus hit just .240 in 2011 after hitting .318 in 2010.

Outfield Update
This move does not bode well for Tyler Colvin, who will have to earn his playing time since DeJesus could be the opening day starter in right field. Brett Jackson will be in the mix in Spring Training as well and Marlon Byrd could be shipped out before the start of the season. The Cubs are also searching for a buyer for overpaid leftfielder Alfonso Soriano.

Chris Bosio and Jamie Quirk Added to Coaching Staff
The Cubs have announced the Jamie Quirk will join Dale Sveum's coaching staff as the bench coach, while Chris Bosio will serve as the pitching coach. Mark Riggins will not return to the staff, while Pat Listach could be back as a base coach. Quirk was the Astros bullpen coach the last two seasons. Bosio, who coached with the Brewers in 2011, and Sveum have a long history together. An official announcement of the full coaching staff is expected this week.

A Busy Week Ahead?
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer has said in several interviews that he expects the team to be very active at the Winter Meetings next week. There are rumors circulating that the Cubs are planning a full roster overhaul. Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Matt Garza could be among the players that the Cubs are shopping, although Epstein has said he would like to build his pitching staff around a player like Garza. The team has been connected to Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Mark Buehrle.

Ron Santo
Today marks the one year anniversary of Ron Santo's death. He will have another shot at the Hall of Fame on Monday as this year's veteran committee vote is release. It would be a shame to see Ronnie go in without him there to see it, but it would be a great honor none-the-less. We'll have more on Santo's potential Hall of Fame induction Sunday and Monday.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on everything Cubs as always.