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October 26, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Bruce Levine

Bruce Levine
  (1:05 PM)

Welcome to a very important week for the Chicago Cubs, who will find out next Tuesday whether their $84 million training facility will be approved by Mesa voters. White Sox fans should enjoy watching Ozzie do pre- and post-game duties in the World Series -- always appointment TV.

Matt (Chicago)

Given the likelihood of injuries and platoon considerations,the Cubs are going to have to get a solid, right-handed hitting 4th OF, right? Guessing Nady won't be back?

Bruce Levine
  (1:07 PM)

That's including the assumption that Fukudome will be back. There are a lot of ways the Cubs can go, but a big, left-handed power bat is their No. 1 priority, and that name is Adam Dunn.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which Chicago Cubs & White Sox Players will either get traded or signed with other teams?

Bruce Levine
  (1:07 PM)

Likely Cubs to be traded: Fukudome.White Sox: Bobby Jenks.

Josh (Chicago)

Hey Bruce,You think the Cubs will be looking to trade Big Z? Also, priority wise which would you rank highest? Power bat at first, leadoff hitter, or another starting pitcher.

Bruce Levine
  (1:08 PM)

I believe Zambrano could be shopped like any Cubs player this offseason, but he's adamant about staying with the Cubs and he has a full no-trade clause. Pitching is always priority for any team that wants to win.

Dan (Orland Park)

After watching the Giants make the world series on pitching, any chance the Cubs pursue Lee. Would the expiring contracts of Ramirez, Fukudome and Silva after 2011 influence the decisions made on free agency this offseason?

Bruce Levine
  (1:09 PM)

Probably so, but Mr. Ricketts expects the team to fall into budget. Projecting 2012 and '13 budgets might be difficult at this point. But Lee would be my choice. However it will cost you $17-20M a year.

Johnny Blaze (Morgan Park)

What postseason awards will be won by members of the Sox/Cubs? A gold glove for Burhle and Alexi?

Bruce Levine
  (1:11 PM)

Buehrle always is going to win the Gold Glove. Alexei should win it. But Elvis in Texas will get a lot of looks. For the Cubs, Byrd should get a good share of the vote, he only made 3 errors and countless great catches. PS: Buehrle won the Web Gem award from ESPN for the best defensive play of 2010.

Terry (Skokie)

Hi Bruce, how does it look for the Sox keeping Knoerko and Pierzinski?

Bruce Levine
  (1:12 PM)

I wouldn't say great. I'm not sure they can hold onto Paulie at this point. There's been some rumblings about him signing a deal with Arizona. Pierzynski is a more likely signing if he's reasonable about how many years he wants from the Sox.

The Sane Madman (Cubs Nation) [via mobile]

I don't think Quade will be bad. I still have issue with Hendry's incompetence for two reasons: 1. Telling Sandberg to hit the minors, et al, then shafting him in the worst possible way.2. No matter who the manager is, putting a roster together of overpaid stiffs and busts, making it difficult for anyone to succeed. Why is this clown still employed, Bruce?

Bruce Levine
  (1:15 PM)

Jim Hendry's fate will be decided on how many more young players come through the organization over the next year or two and how much closer they get to being a serious contender every season. He has two years remaining on his contract.

fred dortmann (lexa arkansas)

will the cubs have enough money to sign konerko

Bruce Levine
  (1:16 PM)

I don't know if the Cubs will have enough money to sign any free agent. Hendry will have to be creative again, like he was when he traded DeRosa. He had enough money to sign Bradley before 2009. Cubs haven't had an increase in payroll since 2008.

Doug (Missouri)

Bruce, any chance the Cubs trade Byrd while his value is high and let Brett Jackson take over center? Lets start the complete youth movement!

Bruce Levine
  (1:18 PM)

You have to have some veterans to be around to help this team compete. And as a previous chat room contributor said, Cubs will have to have some right-handed hiting. Byrd's ideal role will be as a 500 at-bat rotating outfielder, but he would not be happy with that role at all.

Paul (Chicago)

Is Quade the last manager that Jim Hendry will hire as the Cubs GM?

Bruce Levine
  (1:19 PM)

I would say so. Both have 2 year contracts. Their fates seem to be intertwined.

Sam (Chicago)

Where do you see the following players starting next season? Viciedo (3b/1b/minors)? Mitchell (majors or minors)? Sale (bullpen/rotation)?

Bruce Levine
  (1:19 PM)

Viciedo poss 1b/DH; Mitchell Triple-A; Sale starting rotation.

mark (noblesviile,IN)

the cubs need to get another starter and 2nd baseman.do you think orlando hudson is on the radar and i think a better option at 1st base than dunn is where the cubs should lokk towards

Bruce Levine
  (1:21 PM)

Hudson is an attractive free agent. He seems to be a one-year wonder for a lot of teams. Marlon Byrd told me at the end of the season Hudson would be an important addition to the team as far as a leadership role. Unfortunately Marlon is not the GM of the Cubs.

Wes (Chicago)

Is it too much to ask of Jim Hendry to take a page from Kenny Williams book and be creative this offseason? I am talking swinging a deal for a player such as Zach Greinke, Jacoby Ellsbury, or Matt Kemp? The team is obviously not going to get significantly better thru free agency and has some tradeable prospects within the system and currently on the 25 man roster.

Bruce Levine
  (1:23 PM)

As good as Kenny has been on some of his trades, he's also had his share of failures. Of course the latest being Manny Ramirez, previously Mark Teahen. That said, neither Hendry nor Kenny are afraid to pull the trigger. All the upstanding GMs in the game have made big-time mistakes. Nature of the business.

Kevin Hege (Elgin, IL)

What are the chances the Sox get Rafeal Soriano?

Bruce Levine
  (1:23 PM)

I've heard his name out there. They certainly need to look at their bullpen, especially if Jenks is goign to be traded. Soriano is an interesting name.

Jose Figueroa (Chicago, IL)

Would the White Sox's make a trade say Carlos Quintin, Edwin Jackson, and a top prospect to Milwaukee for lets say for arguments sakes Ryan Braun?

Bruce Levine
  (1:24 PM)

It's a nice fantasy trade, but Braun is pretty much the face of the Brewers. Especially with Fielder going into a walk year.

FAT ED (Golden Corral)

How does the White Sox bullpen shake out next year? Do they no tender Bobby Jenks? Does JJ Putz re-sign? Is Chris Sale a back in the 'pen or is he starter? Can they move Linebrink?

Bruce Levine
  (1:25 PM)

All good questions. The last one I can answer, they probably cannot move Linebrink, unless you eat much of the $5M owed. The rest are questions Kenny and the rest of the Sox brain trust are figuring out right now.

Troy (Rockford)

from what i hear the cubs arent looking to do anything but cut cap so really what are the chances they wind up with cliff lee and or adam dunn?

Bruce Levine
  (1:26 PM)

Lee is way out of their league as far as money. Dunn, if Hendry can find a way to trade some payroll, ie Fukudome, they can probably put Dunn in.

alex (columbia, sc)

Will Ryne Sandburg have a position with the Cubs and what do you think the long term impact of the Mike Quade hiring will have on the Cubs. Thanks.

Bruce Levine
  (1:27 PM)

It's unknown at this point whether Sandberg will be offered a coaching position. To me, it would be extremely awkward. But it will be up to Sandberg and Hendry and Quade to figure it out.

Hula (Old Town, Chicago)

Where do you see the young guys Colvin and Castro in the lineup next year? Are they going to be counted upon to produce runs or will they try to get a few big bats to take the pressure off these guys?

Bruce Levine
  (1:28 PM)

I think the latter premise is the correct one. They definitely need an RBI producer to go along with Ramirez. Soriano no longer can be counted on for major run production. With Lee not being in the lineup, they have to get a run producer.

Ethan (Chicago)

Do you think Dayan is ready to play for a starting job 3rd or 1st?

Bruce Levine
  (1:29 PM)

Not third, that's Morell. He's going to get a chance to play there. Viciedo will get a shot at DH or first. All depends on what the Sox do as far as adding offensive punch. Will they be player for Dunn? They certainly were before the trading deadline.

Miller (Vegas)

What do you think Sandberg ends up doing? I doubt the Cubs would bring him in as a bench coach, that wouldn't be fair to Quade. Do you think he goes back to triple A or gets a big league job as bench coach for another team?

Bruce Levine
  (1:31 PM)

Remember this is the Cubs, so anything is possible. That means Sandberg could be on the staff, could go back to Iowa and manager or could decide to move on. I wish I had more information.

Adam (Chicago)

Bruce - love "Talkin' Baseball." Will the Cubs move quickly to identify who plays first? If it's Colvin, he should probably be told before winter ball starts, right?

Bruce Levine
  (1:32 PM)

My guess is Colvin ends up in RF, and the Cubs get a first baseman of the lefthanded variety. There are probably 6 or 7 out there right now. Dunn is their main ojbective. He'll cost in the area of 3 years, $40M. Washington is still very serious about bringing him back.

Mark (St. Charles)

What are the Cubs going to do at 2B next season?

Bruce Levine
  (1:33 PM)

Right now, it looks like Blake DeWitt. Ideally, they could go get a guy like Hudson. Still don't know how much $$$ Hendry will have, but he has a $125M committed to next year's payroll.

JD (southern illinois)

Why will Adam Dunn have any interest in becoing a Cub?

Bruce Levine
  (1:35 PM)

How about 25 Wrigley Field home runs. Tied for the most with Pujols. Day baseball and Cubs aura compared to where he's been at in Washington.

doubleC (Champaign, IL)

With Angel Guzman recovering from major surgery and the inconsistency from the young RH relievers in the pen, assuming the price is right, any chance the Cubs look to bring back Kerry Wood?

Bruce Levine
  (1:35 PM)

Always a chance for the Cubs and Kerry Wood. But the Yankees are preparing a contract for Wood as well. And Wood did extremely well there this season.

Alfonso Soriano (Left Field)

Bruce, true or false: The Cubs will never win a championship until I am off the payroll (freeing up money) and no longer patrolling left field.

Bruce Levine
  (1:37 PM)

It's ok if you patrol left field, however playing LF is another story. Soriano is not the problem on this team. He works hard and is well liked, the problem is he's not the player he used to be. Quade identified that immediately by dropping him to 7th in the lineup. Something that went unnoticed.

mike (bellwood)

wat minor prospects do u see makin the team next yr 4 cubs....jackson? vitters?

Bruce Levine
  (1:37 PM)

I don't see Vitters. I see Jackson and Jackson. Archer maybe by mid-late summer.

Kevin (Mount Prospect, IL)

Hey Bruce, is it possible that we could see brent morel at third, viciedo at first and flowers or castro at catcher? If paulie and A.J. can't get resigned? and what is likelyhood that they do get resigned? and what is the status with freddy garcia, he was great last year but will edwin jackson take his spot?

Bruce Levine
  (1:40 PM)

Lots of questions from one person. Morel definitely getting shot at third; that you can count on. Flowers' lack of hitting is a concern. He also strikes out way too much. I'd say 50-50 on Konerko, and 75 percent A.J. re-signs. Sox would have to afford themselves the luxury of 6 starting pitchers if you include Sale. But that might be a cheap way of protecting themselves from Sale not being ready or an injury to another starting pitcher. I'm not counting on Peavy being ready for the beginning of the season.

Todd (Seattle)

Dream Cubs scenario.......Colvin works offseason to play 1st (D w/out playing the position has to be better than Dunn), trade Fukudome and sign Crawford to play RF and leadoff?

Bruce Levine
  (1:41 PM)

Great idea, assuming Crawford wants to come to the Cubs. And you have about $17-18M to put into him for the next five years. He'd look good on either side of town, really.

Charlie (Ohio)

If Chris Sale goes into the rotation who's the odd man out? And where does he go?

Bruce Levine
  (1:42 PM)

There is no odd man out if you don't count Garcia. Peavy to me is a long shot returning from that injury. I'm not a doctor, but there's been plenty of trauma in Peavy's arm over the last 3-4 years. I wish him well. He's a great guy.

Adam (Chicago)

The Giants were 9th in scoring and are in the WS. Count on the Cubs to spend all their loot on an error-prone hitter and continue to run Silva and Wells out there 40% of the time. 102 years and counting.

Bruce Levine
  (1:43 PM)

Very good sarcastic points you make. I'm with you, a pitching and defense guy. At the All-Star break, nobody was even considering SF as a contender. Pitching and more pitching, that's what wins championships. Ask the Yankees why they're not in the World Series.

Kyle (Chicago)

Do the Cubs really think that Adam Dunn's 38 hrs and 100 rbi are worth the 200 strikeouts?

Bruce Levine
  (1:44 PM)

Everybody makes 200 outs. It just depends on what you do with the production of the 150-175 balls you hit hard. That's MLB 2010 style.

Kevin (Chicago)

In the long run i think chris sale would be better for the sox in the rotation but how is he not more valuable to them next year in the pen? With all the inning watchers saying to not increase innings to quickly and the obvious bp problems i see him as either the closer or in thortons role this year with him assuming the closer position

Bruce Levine
  (1:46 PM)

Good points you bring up. You don't want to explode a college pitcher's arm with 200 IP right away. However, this kid appears to be ready for that. They can always back away on his innings toward the end of the year if they need to, but with his stuff, you're going to almost have to look at him as a starter. Remember Buehrle is in the last year of his contract, and his so is Jackson.

Bill (Chicago)

Why is the Lou Piniella era considered such a huge failure? Didn't he win here for three consecutive years? So he failed at getting the prize but some people are making it sound like he was Terry Bevington.

Bruce Levine
  (1:48 PM)

I think it's the kind of sad way he had to go out. A combination of a poor record and personal family tragedies changed the perspective on Lou. He did bring a very strong winning attitude with him. Unfortunately, he ended up like all Cubs managers since 1945 not being able to get to the World Series, still an oustanding baseball man.

Vic (Chicago)

Will Kenny and Ozzie be able to act like adults next season, or are we in for another childish feud over signing bonuses, restaurants and whose dad can beant up whose dad?

Bruce Levine
  (1:49 PM)

I don't know about you, but I enjoy the Ozzie and Kenny show. I found that more entertaining than anything that happened on the field last season. Don't you like it when people are honest?

Kevin (Chicago)

So viciedo, beckam, ramirez, morel, florers around the infield. Pierre rios q around the outfield. Wow thats not to exciting

Bruce Levine
  (1:49 PM)

Not so sure Quentin will still be with the team. If they decide to trade Q and Jenks, should be players coming back. As you know, Kenny never stands still.

Phil (Chicago)

How about Juan Uribe playing NLCS hero? Reminiscent of 2005. Gotta cheer for him and Rowand in the World Series right?

Bruce Levine
  (1:50 PM)

Absolutely. It was 5 years ago today that the White Sox won the World Series. Hopefully Sox fans won't have to hold onto that much longer.

John (Chicago, IL)

Why no winter ball for Colvin to get 1B reps? Still coming back from the injury?

Bruce Levine
  (1:51 PM)

Normally players who play a full season in the majors do not play winter ball. However Colvin was considering going to Mexico to hit against some breaking balls. That's probalby not going to happen now.

Derek (Country Club Hills)

Will the Sox resign Garcia? and if they do will he or sale crack the starting lineup?! Bruce use your fortune telling and lead us in the right direction!

Bruce Levine
  (1:52 PM)

Depends on my theory on Peavy. If he comes back strong some how during spring training, Garcia can be the 5th man and Sale can pitch out of the pen.

Rob (Chicago)

Colvin is a 4th outfilder at best. Numbers don't lie. Am i the only one who sees this?

Bruce Levine
  (1:54 PM)

You're right about the high strikeout ratio. And 20 HRs doesn't make you a full-time big-league player. But he does have good full-time potential.

Bill (Chicago)

Cubs' next GM: Rick Hahn?

Bruce Levine
  (1:54 PM)

Professionally, there are very few people who would dispute fact Rick will be a good GM in the future. Taking Hendry's job is presumptious at the very least.

Phil (Chicago)

Buerhle is not really going to retire after next year? Does he return to the Sox or are they going to part ways given all the starting pitechers currently under contract?

Bruce Levine
  (1:56 PM)

Buehrle has had a lot of trouble over the last two years winning games over the last 2 months of the season. Just off the top of my head I believe he's only won 5 or 6 games from Aug 1 on the last two years. I believe him when he says he's going to retire. This is a guy who never missed a start, but the wear and tear on his shoulder has been extreme. He probably leads the league in cortizone shots.

Gene Dillon (Boulder)

Salary swap: Soriano and Silva for Zito and Rowand. Possible?

Bruce Levine
  (1:57 PM)

Too convoluted for me to answer.

Wes (Minooka)

Bruce, should the Texas Rangers serve as a role model for Cubs since Ricketts says he is going to spend money on draft and player development? Its a fun team to watch

Bruce Levine
  (1:58 PM)

Yeah, and it took a long time to develop. Tom is right, that the guts of any team should come from its minor-league system. But that's a simplistic view. Every team wants to do that. Few have been consistenly succcessful, ie Minnesota, Atlanta and the Yankees.

Bruce Levine
  (1:58 PM)

Yeah, and it took a long time to develop. Tom is right, that the guts of any team should come from its minor-league system. But that's a simplistic view. Every team wants to do that. Few have been consistenly succcessful, ie Minnesota, Atlanta and the Yankees.

Derek (Country Club Hills)

What do you think of all the people saying sales arm is due to get broke down with his type of release and that it will only be a matter of time before he tears up his arm?

Bruce Levine
  (1:59 PM)

It's an interesting theory. There have been other side-armers who have pitched for many years without being injured. John Candaleria comes to mind. He has a pretty easy motion, even though it is unorthodox.

Ryan (chicago)

Do you believe Carlos Zambrano will actually retire after his contract is up? or will a potential big run in the playoffs woo him to sign another contract and stick around a little longer?

Bruce Levine
  (2:00 PM)

If the Mets go to the playoffs, he'll be re-signed.

Bruce Levine
  (2:01 PM)

Busy week for the Cubs. Ernie Banks is out there stumping for their new facility. Next Tuesday I'll be reporting from Ariz. as I look at the Cubs-Sox top prospects in the Ariz fall league. See you then.