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Monday, December 6, 2010
Jim Hendry continues to explore all options

By Bruce Levine

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is keeping his eye on the free-agent market and looking for trades at the same time.

“I think in our situation it doesn’t make any sense dealing with clubs that don’t fit exactly what we need,” Hendry said. “We’re not interested in making any deals that don’t help our big-league club.”

The Cubs, Washington and Pittsburgh all have interest in signing free-agent right-hander Brandon Webb, according to a major league source.

Webb, who has had shoulder problems since Opening Day 2009, pitched earlier in November in the Arizona Instructional League. At that time, the Cubs watched him pitch. One scout’s radar gun had his velocity at 84-85 mph, a far cry from the 90-mph mark that Webb used to hit consistently as a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher in 2006.

Another source said the teams that are interested in Webb are looking at MRI images of his injured shoulder.

The Cubs have also talked to several teams, including Cincinnati, Toronto and Texas, about possible trade scenarios, numerous sources have told ESPNChicago.com. According to sources, the Cubs are kicking around a trade with Texas for first baseman Chris Davis, and Texas has interest in some of the Cubs’ younger minor league catchers.

  • Mark Riggins was officially named the Cubs pitching coach of this afternoon.

    Riggins, 53, was the team’s pitching coordinator in the minor leagues over the past three seasons. Before signing with the Cubs, he worked for the St. Louis Cardinals for 29 years in various coaching capacities.

    Riggins believes he and Cubs manager Mike Quade will be a good coaching team this season.

    “I knew Mike from spring training the last three years,” Riggins said. “As far as sitting down, spending a lot of time together, we haven’t. But he and I signed [our first professional playing contracts] the same year, we are the same age, and we both have spent a lot of time [coaching] in the minor leagues before we got our opportunity. So I think we have a lot of things in common that we can share throughout our experience.”

    Riggins replaces Larry Rothschild, who was the Cubs pitching coach from 2002-2009 before taking the Yankees pitching coach position this season.

    Riggins only has one year of major league coaching experience. In 1995 he was the pitching coach for the Cardinals.