Major deadline deal unlikely for Cubs

ST. LOUIS – Don’t expect the Cubs to be involved in any big deals as baseball’s non-waiver trading deadline comes and goes on Sunday afternoon.

However, looking at it objectively, keep in mind the Cubs moved Derrek Lee a week after the non-waiver trading deadline in 2010.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez reiterated that he would prefer to remain with the team on Friday, clearing the air with GM Jim Hendry. However, there is uncertainty regarding whether or not Ramirez would consider waiving his no-trade clause if approached by the team.

In separate sessions with the media, both Hendry and Ramirez said that for now, the third baseman is staying with the Cubs and won’t be involved in any trade discussions. The truth of the matter is the Cubs most likely would want to approach Ramirez on an extension after this season. Both sides have a mutual option for an extension for 2012 at $16 million. If the team holds on to Ramirez, it will have five weeks to negotiate a new contract before baseball’s free agent period starts following the World Series.

In a related issue, Hendry said Friday that the makeup of the 2012 Cubs will be determined after the season.

“There are certain people who won’t be back,” Hendry said Friday. “But there are a whole lot of people who we should be happy with. Young players. The two kids in the middle [Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney]. We are hoping [Tyler] Colvin gets back to where he was. Marlon [Byrd’s] been a fine player. He has another year left. You basically have a bullpen of a lot of guys coming back that are very good. But you always need some kind of rebuilding when you’re in fifth place.”

For the record, both Hendry and manager Mike Quade have one year remaining on their contracts.
Hendry, assistant GM Randy Bush and Hendry’s staff will be holed up at the Cubs’ St. Louis hotel this weekend, working the Internet and the phones in pursuit of improving this disappointing 2011 team.