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posted: 1/19/2013 7:35 PM

Ricketts: Cubs may reach out to Sosa

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Slugger Sammy Sosa has not been welcomed back by the Cubs since his bitter departure as a player after the 2004 season.

The chill might be thawing.

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Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said Saturday it might be time to revisit the idea of inviting Sosa back to team events, such as the annual convention.

"It's a great question," Ricketts said. "Maybe we should revisit that. When we got here, there wasn't much communication. We just really hadn't focused on it. Maybe it's an issue we pick up this year and see what we can do about it."

Sosa's name has been in the news lately. He garnered only 12.5 of the vote in Hall of Fame balloting as his name has been linked to the performance-enhancing drug scandal that rocked the sport over the previous two decades.

The Cubs traded Sosa in early 2005 after he walked out on the team on the final day of the 2004 season. Ricketts said he wasn't sure what the reason was for Sosa not being welcome.

Sosa hit 545 of his career 609 home runs with the Cubs.

Not so fast:

During one session during Saturday's Cubs convention, manager Dale Sveum said a deal with free-agent pitcher Carlos Villanueva likely would be done sometime during the day.

That turned out not to be true, and the Cubs may not announce anything until Tuesday at the earliest.

The Cubs reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with Villanueva weeks ago, but the contract language has not been finalized. The Cubs also will have to drop a player off their 40-man roster once the deal gets done.

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