Despite a wildly disappointing Winter Meetings, which saw the Chicago Cubs accomplish nothing – most notably, Milton Bradley is still a Cub, and pool of interested teams dwindles by the day – General Manager Jim Hendry is still optimistic that things will turn out all right when all is said and done.

Although he expressed disappointment at not making a trade, Hendry expressed confidence trades and free-agent signings could get done within the coming days and weeks because of the groundwork laid at the meetings.

“We paved the way for some potential bullpen deals,” Hendry said. “We had a lot of talks. We kind of caught up yesterday on some free-agent outfielders. The first couple days, we were meeting with teams. Yesterday, we met with a lot of agents. We feel like we’ll have some conclusion to some of the things we wanted to do, hopefully in the next week or two.”

Hendry finished the winter meetings with a rush of activity. His Thursday lasted well into Friday morning, as he touched base with teams on a potential Bradley trade (including Tampa Bay) and with representatives for free-agent outfielders such as Mike Cameron, Marlon Byrd and Rick Ankiel.

All three of those outfielders are in the mix for the Cubs to sign, but Hendry said late Thursday that he and assistant GM Randy Bush have not begun prioritizing among the three. Daily Herald.

Boy, I sure do love seeing Rick Ankiel’s name keep popping up. He’s clearly the kind of player this Cubs team needs: streaky, HGHy, strikeout proney, all or nothingy. Marlon Byrd is only slightly better, but is done in by the likelihood that Jim Hendry would give him a 3 year, $30 million deal.

And some groundwork has been laid for some bullpen deals? Well that’s just spectacular. That will fix this team. Forget the fact that there are already 12 reasonable options competing for 4 bullpen spots – keep adding!

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