2/19 Ricketts meets with Cubs

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said the team will have some financial flexibility and could add a player during the season but wouldn’t comment on whether adding Albert Pujols is a possibility. Since Pujols rejected the Cardinals’ latest offer, the Cubs have been rumored to be a possible bidder if the first baseman becomes a free agent.

“I don’t have any insights or thoughts on any of that situation,” Ricketts said when asked about Pujols. “All I know is what I read in the paper. I guess it just has to sit until the end of the season.”

He said Major League owners are more concerned about the length of some of the mega deals than the money involved.

“If you’re going to sign someone for seven, eight years, you better make sure that’s the guy you want,” he said.

Ricketts said any additions made in-season would be up to GM Jim Hendry, whom the owners have had more involved in terms of budget decisions so he understands the team’s finances.

“All of that stuff is in Jim’s court,” Ricketts said. “There will be a little more financial flexibility at the end of the season than there has been in years past.”

And Ricketts’ message to the team?

“I think the message for the team this year and the theme for the team this year is the fact that through the last six weeks of 2010 we were one of the best teams in baseball,” Ricketts said of the 24-13 finish under manager Mike Quade. “We have that team back and that manager back and we’ve added to it. I think we build on that momentum and use the next 40 days to get ready for the season and come into the season with a sense of purpose and a sense of pride and get off to a quick start and have a great year.”

— Carrie Muskat

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