Given how many times we’ve heard about this year’s “budget,” and how Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry “does not have the money” to make certain moves, it is reasonable to question whether the team is completely locked in as is, regardless of how the team performs, how things play out, and who might become available during the season.

Owner Tom Ricketts was cagey when asked about the subject, but manager Lou Piniella was confident.

New Cubs owner/chairman Tom Ricketts, in town with his co-owner siblings to address the team and check out potential new spring-training sites, said the family ”possibly” would be willing to increase the team’s tapped payroll budget to add players at the trading deadline.

”We’ll take that one day at a time,” he said.

Manager Lou Piniella seemed a little more confident.

”We’ve got probably the fourth- or fifth-highest payroll in baseball, so the commitment is there from a monetary standpoint,” Piniella said, praising what he has seen so far. ”They’re very competitive, and I’m sure that if we get in position during the course of the summer and we need something, there’s a darn good chance they’ll step forward.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

The thing is, Ricketts is a businessman. He’s a fan, sure, but given the crazy amount of debt his family took on to purchase the Cubs, he’s not going to go spend-crazy quite yet. That said, if the Cubs are in it, and there’s a move out there that clearly puts them in a better position to make a deep playoff run, the right business decision is to make the move and temporarily expand the payroll.

  • http://bleachernation roger

    one thing dumb ass hendry should do is sign Lee and Ramirez to extension..i saw that Aramis wants to retire As a Cub! after all we havent had a great 3rd baseman since Ron Santo! we still have felipe lopez still sitting out there…platooning baker and fontenot dont seemed to be an answer…Bakers play and defence is way better the fontenot…trade fontenot free up some money and sign felipe lopez! he cant be no worse than dumb ass bradley! Ricketts should fire Hendry before he ruins this Team…i just hope 2010 is way better than last a lifelong Cubs fan i getting sick and tired of those words “wait until next year” stop the bledding and lets do it this year!

    • Ace

      Ramirez isn’t a free agent after this year (yet), so there’s no extension to be signed. I’m sure he’ll be a high, high priority if he does opt out of his deal, though. As for Lee… well… he’s aging and he’s at an easily replaceable position. I like the guy, but an extension is probably not the right move.

      Ew – look at me defending Hendry…

  • http://bleachernation roger

    so are the cubs done making moves?? we had a chance at adam kennedy..we let that past bye us…felipe lopez is still there!! sign him Hendry ya dumb ass!! trade fontenot… hes still left over from the sammy sosa trade.. also when are we going to shore up the back end of the bull pen…frassor would be a great pick up!! the only thing is which angel guzman is going to show up this year?? i was soo happy that we let kevin gregg go..anouther dumb hendry pick up!! the only thing hendry has done great was picking up Aramis Ramirez! once again i know this is getting old…BUT WHEN IN THE HELL IS HENDRY GOING TO SIGN LEE AND RAMIREZ TO EXTENSION??

    • Ace

      Letting Adam Kennedy go is a good thing.

  • Kevin G

    The Cubs need to start letting the current players leave, I think Ramirez will opt out if the cubs have Bad season. With Lee, Lilly and Ramirez gone that frees up about 38 million for next year if there is no increase in payroll. Cantu will be a free agent not to mention a few pretty good pitchers on the market. So I am think its time for a youth movement.

    • Ace

      It would be nice if a guy like Vitters blows up this year, making decisions like this a little easier.

  • http://bleachernation roger

    once again dumb f*cking hendry passes up a potential short stop until starlin gets the call up…cubs should pick up frasor…. why didnt we sign felipe lopez.?? instead we let the sh*t birds instead!