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Left-handed reliever could be on Cubs' radar
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 7/27/2009 11:05 PM

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The nonwaiver trading deadline in Major League Baseball is Friday, and it wouldn't be a shocker if the Cubs pulled off some sort of deal. But with the team getting injured players back, it's also possible the Cubs will stand pat.

"We approach it the same way," general manager Jim Hendry said Monday. "We'll try to do something if we think it's good, if it makes us better, even if it's just a little bit better.

"We could end up doing one or two things, or we could end up doing nothing. Half of it always depends on the other party. We'll just keep doing what we're doing."

With the economy the way it is, there's a good chance a lot of players may clear waivers after July 31, and the Cubs could swing a deal that way.

"I remember in '03, we added Randall Simon and (Doug) Glanville in August, and I don't think we win the division without those two," Hendry said.

A left-handed reliever appears to top the Cubs' priority list. Two names to keep an eye on are Washington's Joe Beimel and Pittsburgh's John Grabow.

Each checks in at or near the $2 million mark in salary. The Cubs' ownership situation is still not settled, but team chairman Crane Kenney said at the winter meetings the team should have flexibility at the trade deadline to make a move.

Grabow had a 1.51 WHIP (walks plus hits per 1 inning pitched) to go along with a 3-0 record entering Monday. Lefties hit .275 against him while righties bat .243.

Beimel was 1-5 with 1 save and a 1.35 WHIP. Lefties bat .233 against him, with right-handed batters going .270.

A right-handed reliever who gets left-handed batters out also isn't out of the question.

Lilly has surgery: Left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday. The Cubs say the procedure went well and that Lilly will be back at the park Tuesday to begin rehabbing the knee.

He's already on the disabled list with left-shoulder inflammation. The Cubs expect him to miss 4-5 starts.

No. 3 pick signs: The Cubs signed lefty Austin Kirk, their third-round pick in this year's amateur draft. Kirk is an Oklahoma high school product.

The No. 1 pick, center fielder Brett Jackson, has been hitting well at Class A Boise. Second-rounder DJ LeMahieu, a shortstop-second baseman, has started 5-for-9 in the first two games of his pro career in Mesa, Ariz.

This and that: The Cubs may want catcher Geovany Soto to get 2-3 games in the minor leagues on a rehab stint as he recovers from an oblique injury. Soto may be back next week. - Manager Lou Piniella said Ryan Dempster (toe) figures to throw 75-80 pitches Tuesday night as he comes of the DL. The Cubs hope that's good for 5 or 6 innings.