Notes: Hendry looking beyond season

Notes: Hendry looking beyond season

CHICAGO -- Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is taking a different, and unwelcome, approach heading into Monday's trade deadline. Instead of pursuing a player who could give the team a boost into the postseason this year, Hendry is looking ahead.

"We're not going to be adding high-level free agent guys who are done in October -- that would make no sense," Hendry said Thursday. "I think what happens now is you've got contending teams who are trying to add that piece. For us to add a high profile guy, it would have to be somebody to keep after this year, and those opportunities haven't come up."

That doesn't mean the Cubs will be idle even if they're not in the loop for the big free agent acquisitions.

"We'll try to stay on the fringe and try to do something that might help us down the road, or if we could acquire somebody who could be with us more than a couple months, we'd be interested in that, too," Hendry said.

One player whose name is mentioned as possibly being traded from the Cubs is Greg Maddux, who will be a free agent after this season. The 40-year-old right-hander has a no-trade clause and will have the final say.

"Greg Maddux has earned the right to have discussions with me if people do call about him," Hendry said. "I told Greg Maddux a long time ago that I have no interest in getting rid of him. If people call, I'll let Greg know. I'm not interested in getting rid of Greg Maddux because of his salary or because he may not be back next year. He's earned the right to do what he wants to do."

Hendry will send his scouts out to look at prospective free agents and plans on taking an aggressive approach to get the Cubs back on track.

"You obviously don't want to go through this again," Hendry said. "It's been a tough year and a half."

Roster move: The Cubs activated left-hander Rich Hill in time to start Thursday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, and optioned right-hander David Aardsma to Triple-A Iowa. Hill was 7-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 15 starts at Iowa and leads the Pacific Coast League with 135 strikeouts. Hill has had six 10-plus strikeout games in the Minors.

Aardsma needs to work on his secondary pitches, Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

"He has a real good fastball," Baker said. "If he can get that secondary pitch, he can really be beneficial to this team."

Hill has had a tough time making the transition to the big leagues. He was 0-4 with a 9.31 ERA in four starts from May 4-20, and is 0-6 with a 9.21 ERA in 14 career Major League games.

"He just has to pretend he's in the Minor Leagues," Baker said. "Sometimes you have to trick yourself. Just tell yourself it's the same game. You've got better hitters, quality hitters, but it's basically the same."

Closure: Baker said he hasn't had a private chat with closer Ryan Dempster after Tuesday's game in New York and didn't feel a need to. The right-hander had given up two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning against the Mets, and was pulled in favor of Bob Howry, who got the save.

"I don't think it's that big a deal," Baker said.

Told that Dempster was upset about the move, Baker said he didn't blame him.

"You can't help that guys might get upset," Baker said. "It's not always happy and hunky-dory all the time. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions. That was a tough decision. If the same situation was there and it was two days in a row, 27 pitches and not demonstrating a lot of control, yeah, I probably would do the same thing. I've rarely been in the sitaution where I have to do that."

Hot corner: Chris Speier rejoined the Cubs, and was back coaching third base on Thursday. Speier had taken a personal leave after he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

"I need to make an apology to the people who have been close to me at this period in time, and I especially want to apologize to the Cubs management," Speier said Thursday. "They've been completely supportive. This is the last thing this year needed to bring, was another distraction. For that I'm deeply sorry."

Speier also thanked Hendry and the Cubs' Human Resources department for helping him.

"I'd like to definitely apologize to Dusty, the coaching staff, and all the players to have this as a distraction," he said. "Last, but not least, the Cub fans, I owe them an apology. I want to thank all those who have written me and their support in this. It's time to move on. Glad to be back. I hope I get a lot of action tonight."

Triple-A Iowa manager Mike Quade had been filling in for Speier, and will rejoin the Minor League team on Friday.

Strike 'em out: Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and wife Sarah will pitch in to help children with cancer by hosting a celebrity bowling tournament and silent auction at the 10-Pin Bowling Lounge in Chicago on Aug. 6.

Several of the Cubs players will attend, including Mark Prior, Dempster, Maddux, Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee, Glendon Rusch, Aramis Ramirez and Michael Barrett. Also, Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg is scheduled to attend.

This is the third annual Kerry Wood's Strike Zone to benefit Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The event has raised more than $650,000 for pediatric cancer research at the hospital.

The silent auction will feature such items as bat boy for a day at Wrigley Field, throwing a first pitch at Wrigley and one-of-a-kind memorabilia, including a porcelain clubhouse drinking fountain autographed by the Cubs team. For more information go to

Sing along: Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent will lead the Wrigley Field crowd during the seventh-inning stretch on Saturday, followed by Chicago actor Gary Sinise. New Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald will lead the crowd on Monday, followed by David Cassidy.

Minor matters: Ryan O'Malley gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits over seven innings in Triple-A Iowa's 4-3, 12-inning loss to Tucson on Wednesday. Micah Hoffpauir had two hits and is riding an eight-game hitting streak. ... Scott Moore hit a two-out solo homer in the sixth, his 15th of the year, in Double-A West Tenn's 6-4 win over Chattanooga. Richard Lewis hit the game-winner, a three-run shot in the ninth. ... Joel Santo, acquired from San Diego in the Scott Williamson deal, gave up two runs on six hits over six innings in Class A Peoria's 11-4 win over West Michigan. Alberto Garcia was a triple shy of the cycle with five RBIs. ... Mark Pawelek gave up one run on five hits over five innings in Class A Boise's 5-4 win over Spokane. Pawelek struck out six. Alfred Joseph had three hits and an RBI. Tyler Colvin had two hits, and has hit in nine straight games.

On Friday, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to make his final Minor League start of this season for Peoria. After the game, the right-handed pitcher was to return to Notre Dame for football and classes.

On deck: Rookie Carlos Marmol is on schedule to start Friday in Game 2 of this four-game series against the Cardinals. Game time is 1:20 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on WGN Radio and Comcast Sports Net.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.