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Cubs weigh options on new first baseman

Cubs weigh options on new first baseman

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ORLANDO -- The Cubs are in the early stages in their search for a new first baseman.

General manager Jim Hendry said Tuesday he and his staff sorted out the various options during the organizational meetings last week in Arizona.

"There's a lot of different ways you could go," Hendry said during a break at the General Managers Meetings at the Waldorf-Astoria. "We'll have to see how it flows."

There are options. Among the free agents on the market are Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Lyle Overbay, Lance Berkman, Paul Konerko, Carlos Pena and Aubrey Huff. And they're all a little different.

"Obviously, somebody who plays first base at this level has to be able to swing the bat," Hendry said. "You have a combination of guys who are real good hitters, and some guys are good hitters and better defenders. Some guys are real good hitters and maybe not as good defenders.

"The more [options] the better because if you look at it, it's probably a position where there's enough people available to go with the teams that need someone at that position," he said. "That always factors into it too, supply and demand. There are a lot of clubs who have real good first basemen and I'm sure there are three or four others like us looking for one."

Hendry also is talking to teams about matchups for possible trades, saying there has been more conversations about that than in years past.

"Usually at this time of year, people are trying to get out of the gate and sign that quick free agent," he said. "I thought a lot of guys were interested in seeing if there were matchups on trades right away, which I think would be good for us. To get better, we're going to have to make a trade or two and hopefully do well with that. I was encouraged by that kind of dialogue [Monday]."

Besides first base, Hendry also is looking to add more pitching despite the Cubs' apparent depth both in terms of starters and relievers.

"Pitching is something you always want to have a little extra," he said. "We've got some volume, we've got some kids coming, we've got some guys who have pitched late. We're certainly not opposed to adding pitching if we can, whether it's in the rotation or another pen guy. I'd like to have extra if we could going into camp."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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