Notes: Cedeno sees action in outfield

Notes: Cedeno plays outfield

CHICAGO -- The Cubs may have a surprise outfield candidate in Ronny Cedeno.

Cedeno played about a dozen games in the outfield in the Venezuelan Winter League this winter and all reports were that he did well.

"We tried it as an experiment," Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita said. "He was out there during batting practice [during the regular season], and it looked like it would be an easy adjustment. The reports came back that he looked like a natural."

Cedeno has only played shortstop, second and a few games at third for the Cubs. He could challenge Ryan Theriot for playing time at short, and also could win a job as a utility player. In Venezuela this winter, he batted .300 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 55 games for Aragua.

Report card: Pitchers and catchers will report to the Cubs' Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., on Feb. 13, with the first workout the next day, Feb. 14. Position players are scheduled to report Feb. 18 to Fitch Park, and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 19.

The 2008 season will be the Cubs' 30th consecutive Spring Training in Mesa, and 12th at the new HoHoKam Park.

Room service: Alderman Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward has called a community meeting for Jan. 23 to show plans and gather feedback for a proposed hotel complex on Addison Street near Wrigley Field.

Steven Schultz, who owns most of the parcels of land on the south side of Addison between Clark and Sheffield streets, wants to replace the small retail buildings and parking lot on the block. He has proposed two buildings about eight or nine stories tall, which would be slightly higher than Wrigley's rooftop but not as high as the light standards.

The project includes a 137-room hotel, 150 apartments, and 100,000 square feet of retail space.

The community meeting will be held at the Stadium Club at Wrigley Field, beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Fox signs Minors deal: Chad Fox is returning to the Cubs and trying to pitch again in the big leagues after a two-year break.

Fox signed a one-year Minor League contract on Friday, and will attend Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.

Fox, 37, last pitched professionally in 2005 with the Cubs, making 11 relief appearances before he had to go on the disabled list April 26 with a strained right elbow. That injury ended his season.

The right-hander is 10-11 with six saves and a 3.57 ERA in 214 Major League relief appearances in all or part of eight big league seasons with Atlanta (1997), Milwaukee (1998-99, 2001-02), Boston (2003), Florida (2003-04) and the Cubs (2005).

His best season was 2001 with the Brewers, when Fox was 5-2 with a 1.89 ERA in a career-high 65 relief appearances.

The Cubs were expected to announce the other Spring Training non-roster invitees next week.

Cubs convention: Several Cubs, past and present, will gather next week at the Chicago Hilton Hotel for the annual Cubs Convention. The list of players and personnel attending will be released on Sunday. Among the Minor League players invited to the Convention are outfielder Tyler Colvin, and pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Rocky Roquet.

Extra bases: Kosuke Fukudome is preparing for his first season with the Cubs by training in Hawaii. According to the Chunichi News, Fukudome and his personal trainer Hiroshi Nakazawa left Japan for Hawaii on Jan. 7. Fukudome is the Cubs' first Japanese player after signing a four-year deal in December. ... The Cubs enter the 2008 season 15 wins shy of 10,000 wins in franchise history with 9,985. Only the Giants have more, with 10,184 wins.

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