Cubs Notebook: Jan. 31

Before the trade with the Orioles came together, the Cubs' chances of dealing Sammy Sosa appeared to be slim. The team's management was trying to figure out what would happen if Sosa returned, which is still a possibility if the Baltimore deal falls through at the last minute.

As of last week, manager Dusty Baker and general manager Jim Hendry said they had not talked to Sosa. Baker and Hendry planned to set up a face-to-face meeting with the star right fielder before spring training.

One Chicago newspaper speculated Baker and Hendry would take separate trips to meet Sosa in Miami, but Hendry said there were no set plans.

"This is the first I've heard of [a trip to Florida]," Hendry said. "I have no plan. I'm still waiting for [Sosa's] call.

"It's just normal operating procedure to think it's going to happen that way, but I'm not going to comment on something that's not planned."

Baker refused to talk to Sosa on the phone. He said the best way would have been to meet with him Sosa and talk man-to-man.

"Number one, I have to talk to Sammy first in person," Baker said. "I don't believe in conducting business over the phone. I like to look the other person in the eyes and talk to him man-to-man and one on one—whether it's in a restaurant, my office, or wherever we conduct business."

Now, it appears that meeting won't be necessary.

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