Mailbag: Thoughts after a busy week
Beat reporter Carrie Muskat answers Cubs fans' questions
Donnie Veal, Angel Guzman, Jake Peavy and backup catcher options are among the topics in this week's mailbag. Make sure you include your name and hometown in e-mails.
I heard that Veal was picked by the Pirates in the Rule 5 Draft. What exactly does that mean? Did they just take him away completely from the Cubs organization? I thought he had a great future, and I would be very disappointed to see him leave.
-- Ross K., Avon, Ind.
He is now a Pirate. Veal was not among the players protected by the Cubs and was available in the Draft, which took place last Thursday at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. What it means is the Pirates paid $50,000 to draft Veal, and he has to stay on their big league roster in 2009 for Pittsburgh to keep him or else be returned to the Cubs for $25,000.
I'm a little confused with the Cubs withdrawing from the Peavy trade. Did the Padres want more than Jason Marquis, Felix Pie and a couple Minor Leaguers? Surely Jim Hendry didn't think that was too much to pay. How much more were they wanting?
-- Bryan D., Frankfort, Ky.
There were other names mentioned, and to avoid any additional angst this offseason, I won't list them. The deal was not completed because Hendry decided the combination of who the Padres wanted plus Peavy's large contract was just too much. Padres general manager Kevin Towers had every right to ask for the moon. But the Cubs had a very good rotation before the Peavy talk started and they have a very good rotation without him.
I've read that Hendry is looking to sign someone like Paul Bako. Are the Cubs not going to re-sign Henry Blanco?
-- Nick V., Muncie, Ind.
Blanco is being courted by other teams, and even though the Cubs would like to have him back, they also wouldn't mind a lower-priced alternative and someone who bats left-handed. That could be Bako. This spring, the Cubs will consider Koyie Hill, a switch-hitter, as a possible backup to Geovany Soto.
While the Cubs are looking for a left-handed power hitter, have they looked at the Cardinals' Rick Ankiel? He is a left-handed power bat as well as someone to fill the void in center.
-- Evan B., Stamford, Conn.
Actually, Ankiel would be perfect. The Cardinals aren't likely to help out the Cubs.
Have a question about the Cubs?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Cubs beat reporter Carrie Muskat for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
How about Guzman? I've read the Cubs are considering to send Jeff Samardzija to the starting rotation but nothing about Angel. He was the real deal until his shoulder was injured. In my opinion, he could fit perfectly next to Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster in the rotation. So much young talent -- what a great problem to have.
-- Gergely H., Budapest, Hungary
Guzman will likely be in the Cubs' bullpen in 2009, one, because he's finally healthy after surgery on both his right shoulder and elbow, but also because he's out of options. (Other Cubs out of options include Pie, Ronny Cedeno and Rich Hill). Samardzija could be in the 'pen with the big league team or start at Triple-A Iowa, depending on what the Cubs need.
Will you please tell me who played first base during Ivan DeJesus' time with the Cubs. I've got a bet on it.
-- John S., Sebring, Fla.
DeJesus played for the Cubs from 1977-1981, and the Opening Day first basemen in those years were Larry Biittner (1977) and Bill Buckner (1978-81).
I was reading the mailbag and read that Mike Fontenot was in trade talks so we could get Mark Teahen. Why? This is coming from a guy who owns an authentic Mike Fontenot jersey and loves the Little Babe Ruth (as Ron Santo calls him).
-- Taylor F., Watertown, Wis.
Taylor, the Cubs are not trying to trade Fontenot. The Royals asked about him because he is so valuable. There's a difference.
Is there any news when that film about the Cubs' 2008 season will be coming out? I remember some talk about it early but haven't heard anything for a while and I wasn't sure if they were still doing it.
-- Greg P., La Grange, Ill.
The documentary "We Believe" is expected to be released in Chicago before Opening Day 2009.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.