While the Tribune Company denies the Cubs are for sale, rumors are rampant that the team might be on the block. Some feel the Cubs' offseason spending spree (more than $300 million) is proof they are trying to glitz up their product for a potential sale.
Suburban Chicago Heights native Jerry Colangelo has his eyes open and wouldn't mind getting in on the action if the Tribune Company indeed decides to sell the club.
"From my perspective, my interest is in the Cubs ... not in the whole company," Colangelo told the Daily Southtown. "If it goes that way, I'm out of the ballgame."
Colangelo has a winning background as a high management figure and decision-maker with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns.
The Cubs haven't won a World Series in 98 years and fans are starving for a title to brag about. Some view Colangelo as a get-it-done-quickly type of executive and would be anxious to see him running the show on the North Side of town.
But it's jumping the gun to believe that Colangelo and the Cubs are even close to talking.
"I think it's way too early for me to say anything other than I'm really interested, and if the opportunity presented itself, I'd love to be able to put a deal together," Colangelo said.
When asked if he is confident he could assemble some investors to take part in such a bold venture, he said, "Reasonably so."
RHP Carlos Zambrano, who could command more than $14 million in arbitration, and the Cubs may try to work on a long-term deal in spring training. The Cubs could offer a multiyear deal in the $16 million range per year. Zambrano, 25, is eligible for free agency after the 2007 campaign, and another monster season could give him the opportunity to become the richest pitcher in major league history.
INF Tomas Perez signed a minor league deal with the Cubs and received a non-roster invitation to spring training.
INF Mike Kinkade, 33, who has appeared in 222 major league games with the Mets, Orioles and Dodgers, was invited to Cubs camp as a non-roster invitee.
C Jake Fox, who was one of the Cubs' top minor league hitters in 2006, has been invited to camp as a non-roster invitee. He hit .313 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 66 games for Class A Daytona before a promotion to Double-A West Tenn. If starting C Michael Barrett (intrascrotal hematoma) continues to have problems, Fox could earn a major league call-up with an outstanding camp.
LHP Ryan O'Malley, who made two starts on the big-league level before suffering an arm injury, will come to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1,480 -- Assists by the Cubs defense in 2006, the lowest total in team history.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm a fixer, so whatever time I have left, I'd be happy to do as much fixing as I can." -- Executive Jerry Colangelo who has an interest in buying and turning around the Cubs if they are for sale.