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Reason For Hope
by Derek Smart
Poster extraordinaire, John Hill (who if he continues to correct my mistakes in comments is going to work himself into an ad hoc proofreading gig), wrote this in the previous thread:
Bruce Levine and Dave Kaplan are reporting with extreme confidence that Nomar Garciaparra is very close to signing with the Cubs, and they're expecting major developments within the next 48 hours. A one-year deal with a vesting option is apparently on the table. I don't know about the reliability of those sources, but I hope it's true.
I donít know anything about the reliability of their sources either, but thereís also a piece by Bruce Miles in todayís Daily Herald about the Cubs working toward a deal with Nomar, and contained therein is this quote from Jim Hendry:
I'm definitely going to have some serious talks [with Garciaparraís agent, Art Tellem] this week and try to come to a conclusion either way before the 7th.
Nothing is solid here, but having spent a lot of time overanalyzing stuff like this during his tenure, Iíd say that this degree of press leakage accompanied by an actual quote from Hendry about his intentions implies very strongly that whatís going down is for real. Obviously, anything can still happen as long as names arenít signed on dotted lines, but this sort of talk, direct or through leaks, generally doesnít come out of the Cubsí front office unless all parties are near certain that a deal is in the offing.
Iíll hold off on analyzing any further until something is actually completed and there are some numbers to throw around Ė although if jinxing were possible I imagine Iíve already done my worst - but as Iíve said before, the shortstop with the potential to provide the most production per dollar is Garciaparra, and if/when this signing happens, Iíll be one happy and relieved fella. Keep those fingers crossed, folks!