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Hendry: Cubs don't need mega-moves to improve
Sox GM mum about Jenks
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry says he feels good about the discussions he had Tuesday night with other clubs.


Associated Press

White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, here talking with reporters Tuesday, declined to comment on Wednesday whether other clubs were showing interest in closer Bobby Jenks.


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Published: 11/11/2009 2:21 PM

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As it turned out, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry seemed happy with how the GM meetings went this week at O'Hare International Airport.

No, Hendry didn't trade embattled right fielder Milton Bradley. That would have been a shocker had it happened here, but Hendry did feel he laid the groundwork for something to get done.

"Last night, in an environment here at the hotel, I probably talked to seven or eight clubs, just the normal things," Hendry said Wednesday at the O'Hare Hilton. "Kind of the way I anticipated it. You feel like hopefully there's some business to be done in the next few weeks. Hopefully, you can do something before you get to Indianapolis (next month for the winter meetings).

"Like I've always said, we need a few moves. We don't need mega-moves. We feel there will be some things that will help some other clubs, but you just have to grind it out. I've had really good meetings. It was really a good environment after all. A lot of people were in the same spots, and it was easy to find guys to talk to."

A large sticking point with Bradley will be how much of the $21 million he has coming over the next two years the Cubs will have to absorb. The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays are two American League clubs that appear to have keen interest in Bradley.

The Mets have been mentioned as part of some multi-team scenarios, but some baseball people believe Bradley's final landing place won't be New York.

Nothing ruled out: White Sox GM Kenny Williams seemed weary of questions Wednesday, as he made an early exit.

Williams was asked about the Sox possibly re-signing their own free agents, presumably Jim Thome and/or Jermaine Dye.

"I don't exclude anything," Williams said. "I know which direction I want to go, but I can't exclude anyone. I can tell you the likelihood with each day that goes by is not great. But at the end of the day when January comes around, you can be looking around, and there's going to be some opportunity at the end of December or January. So you got to wait to play your hand."

Williams would not comment on whether other teams have been asking about closer Bobby Jenks.

Still progressing: Jim Hendry said he has spoken with Paul Kinzer, the agent for lefty reliever John Grabow, whom Hendry is trying to re-sign. Hendry added he probably would talk again with Kinzer "over the next couple of days."

Agent speak: Arn Tellem, the agent for Cubs free-agent pitcher Rich Harden, said he did not meet with Jim Hendry this week.

"I know he's just trying to gather information and assess his team's needs and what's out there," Tellem said. "So I'm sure we'll be talking more in the next week or two."

Tellem added that Harden, who has a history of shoulder problems, is healthy.

"He's fine," the agent said. "If the team had been in the race, he would have been pitching (at the end of the season). No health issues at all."

Harden has said he wants to remain a Cub, but his return seems highly unlikely.

"He likes Chicago; he very much likes Chicago," Tellem said. "So we'll see. We're just starting the process. It's very early, and I'm sure we'll be talking to the Cubs over the next couple of weeks."

Budget blues: Like all GMs, Kenny Williams has a budget from his boss, Jerry Reinsdorf.

"Yeah, but I always work on changing it," Williams said.

So is that budget "elastic?"

"No, Jerry gives you a pretty hard number, but we're working on him," Williams said.