Winter Meetings Day 2 Open Thread ***UPDATED***

Carlos Zambrano is convinced he’ll remain a Cub next year.

DALLAS — Carlos Zambrano has told friends that after meeting with Cubs President Theo Epstein a few weeks ago in Chicago, he’s convinced he will be able to remain a Cub in 2012.

“All the things he wanted to see gone are now gone,” said one friend, referring to former general manager Jim Hendry and pitching coach Mark Riggins. “He likes Theo and is looking forward to proving himself next year.”

Whether that can happen remains to be seen. Zambrano still has to convince Epstein he’s serious about making amends to his teammates for walking out on them during a game in Atlanta on Aug. 12, leading to his suspension. While Hendry and Riggins may be gone, many in the front office remain, and they’re familiar with previous apologies from Zambrano for past transgressions.

In that same article Theo talks about how Carlos Pena could still come back to the Cubs next year.

“I thought he did a really good job as a Cub, and from everyone I talked to, he lived up to the reputation he established in the American League East as a fine all-around player,” Epstein said. “I think he’s put himself in a position to have multiyear suitors. By offering arbitration we didn’t in any way close the door on Carlos, but we are exploring all our options at first base. My expectation is he’ll decline arbitration. but we’ll continue to have a dialogue, and he’d be an asset to the Cubs or any team.”

A lot of Cubs fans really disliked Carlos Pena. Most of that was because they thought the strikeouts were more damaging than they really were. The fans obviously want Zambrano gone. If Thoyer brings back these two, a large number of fans are going to be disappointed with the new front office.

The Cubs have talked with the agent for CJ Wilson. They’re also interested in bringing Rodrigo Lopez back. More updates to come.

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UPDATE 1: Heyman tweets that the Cubs are looking more at Prince Fielder than Albert Pujols. They won’t do 9 or 10 years for Pujols.

UPDATE 2: The Cubs did submit an offer to Pujols. It was a qualifying bid, which is to say that it wasn’t to drive up the cost. Word yesterday was they’d offer a shorter contract, but with a higher AAV than he’s been offered so far. jtsunami mentioned here he’d heard of a 5 or 6 year offer between $29 and $32 million per year.

The Chicago Cubs also engaged Lozano in talks about Pujols Monday and are believed to have made a qualifying bid. Lozano declined Monday night to address any team’s status in negotiations.

Cubs president Theo Epstein attempted to deflect speculation about his team’s interest in Pujols by noting that Lozano also represents free agent pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, another Cubs target. However, the Post-Dispatch confirmed early this morning that the Cubs submitted a bid for their rival’s longtime offensive centerpiece.

UPDATE 3: The Chicago Tribune is once again being beat by other journalists. The incompetence of the Cubs sportswriters is remarkable.

UPDATE 4: Carrie Musat is a funsucker.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that the Cubs have made a qualifying bid for free agent slugger Albert Pujols. However, that seems unlikely because Pujols, who wants a long-term, mega dollar deal, doesn’t fit into what Theo Epstein has said he wants to do in Chicago. Epstein did meet with Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano on Monday but those discussions were more about pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. The Post-Dispatch says it confirmed the Cubs did submit a bid for Pujols. A Cubs official Tuesday denied the reports.

UPDATE 5: The Rockies asked about DJ LeMahieu and Scott Maine in the Ian Stewart talks.

UPDATE 6: The Cubs back away from Ian Stewart for now.

UPDATE 7: The Cubs aren’t in any kind of process with Fielder according to Dale Sveum.

UPDATE 8: The Cubs haven’t talked about bidding on Yu Darvish according to Sveum.


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