02/07/09 3:15 PM EST
Inbox: Why sign Bako over Blanco?
Beat reporter Carrie Muskat answers Cubs fans' questions
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
I'm curious why the Cubs didn't re-sign Henry Blanco. I know he had a great year and hit free agency to try to get a bigger contract, but he only signed with the Padres for $750,000. Meanwhile, the Cubs signed Paul Bako for $725,000. I feel like Blanco at $750,000 is a steal compared to Bako at $725,000.
-- Dan D., Naperville, Ill.
Blanco was the perfect teammate. He was a terrific mentor to Geovany Soto, who gave the veteran much of the credit for his success after he won the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year Award. Blanco also didn't complain about his limited playing time. One reason for the switch is because Bako gives the Cubs another left-handed bat. The team's other backup-catcher option is Koyie Hill, a switch-hitter, who is back after suffering a horrific hand injury.
What is the latest on the Jake Peavy deal? They said it would probably coincide with the sale of the team.
-- Zac H., Des Moines, Iowa.
The Cubs' ownership situation has not been finalized. Tom Ricketts is in exclusive negotiations to purchase the team and Wrigley Field, and the Cubs would like to get things resolved by Opening Day. But the package didn't include Peavy. Ricketts is not at a point where he can give the go-ahead to any deal. Also, the Padres are undergoing their own transition with an ownership change, and Jeff Moorad may decide he wants to keep Peavy.
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.
I know that Mike Fontenot can not take over the everyday spot at second base now that Mark DeRosa is gone. Will the Cubs try to go after a guy such as Brian Roberts or another player they know can be an everyday starter?
-- Blair S., St. Louis
Fontenot will get an opportunity to show you and the Cubs that he can be an everyday guy. Heading into Spring Training, Fontenot and Aaron Miles will share time at second base. Who starts during the regular season will depend on who's hot, matchups, and if one of them is needed elsewhere. Piniella has talked about starting Miles at short and Fontenot at second against some right-handers to give Ryan Theriot a break. Expect to see both Fontenot and Miles at third this spring. With DeRosa's departure and Ronny Cedeno gone, the Cubs need to see who can play where. The Roberts talks won't be revived any time soon.
How do you make a contribution to the "We Believe" movie? It's on the Web site but I can't find out how to donate?
-- Rebecca Y., Chicago
If you go to the movie's Web site, webelievethemovie.com, and click on "Be In the Movie," you'll see a small title that says "Get Credit." That's the form. It costs $100 per name for a credit line in the movie, $50 for the DVD, and 50 percent of the proceeds will benefit Project 3000 and Little Cubs Field. You need to mail payments to We Believe the Movie Films, LLC, 101 W. Grand Avenue, Suite 322, Chicago, IL 60654-7172.