Cubs GM Jim Hendry said he planned to meet with Paul Kinzer, the agent for lefty reliever John Grabow, before the GM meetings break up at noon Wednesday.
Hendry is intent on re-signing Grabow, a free agent. A two-year deal with perhaps an option for a third seems likely.
"It's not a done deal, but both sides obviously have a common ground that John would like to stay and we would like to keep him," Hendry said.
Baker's role: The Cubs may or may not make a trade with the Mets for second baseman Luis Castillo. Even if they do, Jim Hendry sees plenty of playing time for Jeff Baker, a second baseman who can play several spots.
"With the current roster we have, he's earned the right to come to camp with an inside track of a lot of playing time," Hendry said. "That being said, (Mike) Fontenot a year ago played well, and we'd like to think he's going to come back and be what he was. It's going to be Lou's (manager Piniella's) call who plays and who hits where, but Baker, certainly, has earned the right to be included in all positive discussions no matter how the team looks now compared to when we get to camp."
Praise for Samardzija: Jim Hendry said he was pleased with how pitcher Jeff Samardzija threw in Mexico. In 5 starts before coming home, Samardzija went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 8 walks in 24 innings. Samardzija figures to battle for a rotation job in spring training.
"Threw well," Hendry said. "The command of his fastball was better. His secondary pitches were better. Command in the strike zone was better, not just throwing strikes but location in the zone was much better. His slider got better, and the split, obviously, he got back on track with command in the strike zone with that, too."