The Cubs are spending much of their time at the meetings going down the free agent path for the left-handed hitter they're looking for. Manager Lou Piniella said they're operating from a list of about four guys in this area. But while Hendry has started meeting with some of them and their representatives, Piniella today echoed the common belief that the Cubs won't land their big bat before the meetings conclude.
One intriguing name on the Cubs' radar is Garret Anderson, a versatile outfielder who hit .293 with 15 homers or the Angels in 145 games last season and might be had for a shorter-term commitment than others on the list, given the fact he turns 37 in the middle of next season and was said to have considered retirement.
Anderson's attractive for among other reasons the fact he's a lefty who had historically hit left-handed pitching well. On the other hand, he's a generally media shy player who has spent his whole life on the West Coast, which could make the North Side a less than ideal fit. He also has enlisted the services of super agent Scott Boras since the end of the season, making a quick negotiation appear unlikely and possibly raising the potential price for him. And his ability to play right field at this point in his career is at least questionable.
The Cubs also have looked into Milton Bradley and Raul Ibanez, and could find a fit with Bobby Abreu -- although he could be pricey for the Cubs coming off a big contract in New York.
With every hitter in that category who might appeal to the Cubs still available with no imminent indications of signing, the Cubs are in no rush.
...Meanwhile, the Cubs appear willing to do a Jake Peavy deal, once the names and trading partners are all settled, before they land their top-priority bat. But the key remains moving enough of Jason Marquis' salary first.