ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cubs general manager Jim Hendry will leave the winter meetings early Thursday to attend the visitation for former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who died last week.
So Hendry planned a busy Wednesday night, meeting with teams and agents about pitchers.
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The Cubs appear to be one of a few teams seriously in the mix for former Cy Young winner Brandon Webb, who has not pitched since appearing in one game in 2009 before shoulder problems shelved him.
Webb, 31, went 22-7 with a 3.30 ERA for Arizona in 2008. The Cubs are taking extensive looks at all aspects of Webb's medical history. It's possible they could sign him to an incentive-laden one-year contract with the hope he could help at some point in 2010.
There does not appear to be a good match for Tampa Bay pitcher Matt Garza. Newly signed first baseman Carlos Pena talked up Garza on Wednesday.
"Matt Garza is one of those pitchers that wherever he goes, he's going to be an incredible asset to them," Pena said. "It's no secret that he's extremely talented. I think he's got Cy Young potential, to be honest with you. His stuff is electrifying. Most importantly, because I think sometimes we as players get in our own way, he's a great kid."
Hendry said he is looking at both starters and relievers.
One person who's been in the middle of the front-office action at the winter meetings is Greg Maddux, the future Hall of Famer Hendry hired as his special assistant last January.
Maddux's longtime agent, Scott Boras, also represents Carlos Pena. In his current role, Maddux advises Hendry and also works with minor-league pitchers.
Reuniting with Rudy:
Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo came from the Texas organization, and he was there when Carlos Pena was drafted in 1998.
"I hear things that they have a really good relationship done," said manager Mike Quade. "I'm thrilled. I don't need to know anything else. Go get them, Rudy. You'd like them to have a comfort level. Whatever progress Carlos makes with us, Rudy and him will have a good relationship."
Mike Quade said lineup questions will take care of themselves in spring training, with Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez providing the heart of the order.
"I don't take months to think of lineups," Quade said. "He (Pena) is a middle-of-the-lineup guy. He gives you a nice left-right fix and so on in the middle. That should help you late in the game when people are trying to match up against you.
"So obviously he's a huge threat that people are going to be real careful with."