Schuster: Cubs Open Up Camp
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80 degrees and bright sunshine. Ok, now that I got your attention lets get to the news of the day as the Cubs opened up Spring Training with pitchers & catchers reporting on Sunday.
Carlos Marmol showed up and didn’t talk to the media but his million dollar smile told you that he is set to sign a multi year contract with the team. Actually you can make that a multi million dollar smile since the deal is expected to be for 3 years.
Jeff Samardzija did talk to the media and expressed no concern for his status for the upcoming season. This is the final year of a $10 million deal that he has and the likelihood is that Samardzija will make the parent club. Not only is this the final year of his contract but he also is out of options and will probably find himself in the bullpen as opposed to being released.
We also had a chance to talk with Reed Johnson and Blake DeWitt. Johnson is back after agreeing to a minor league deal and don’t discount the chemistry factor of him making the team as a 5th outfielder. Johnson was here a few years ago when the Cubs appeared in the playoffs and is the epitome of a great clubhouse guy. It doesn’t hurt that he is a fantastic defensive outfielder and can be used in late inning situations. As for DeWitt, he is being penciled in as the teams starting 2nd baseman and one of many considered for the leadoff position. Right now DeWitt and Koske Fukodome are the two logical players to hit leadoff.
And though Ryan Dempster would not predict that the Cubs will win the World Series like he did a few years ago he did say that the W.S. is their goal and all the players have to believe that the Cubs can get there.