So.

While you're waiting for today's entry in the Top 100 Cubs list, here are a couple of things to chew on.

It does, in fact, appear that Mark DeRosa is going to be given the starting 2B job in 2007. This is confirmed here, here, and here. Bruce Miles' article in the Daily Herald quotes Jim Hendry:

"We certainly look at him in the second-base situation as a quality guy there," Hendry said. "We're hoping he can do that job there. We don't have any plans to put him out in the outfield like he was in Texas, but he does give Lou (manager Piniella) a lot of options."

So, perhaps this isn't completely written in stone. It likely makes Ryan Theriot the primary utility infielder -- which is a distinct improvement, I'm sure you'll agree, over last year -- and relegates Ronny Cedeno to Iowa, or to the waiver wire.

It remains to be seen whether DeRosa's very good 2006 season was a fluke, a career year, or whether he has established a level of performance, based on this comment from Phil Rogers' article:

The improvement came from a strong work ethic and a willingness to revamp his swing under hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Hendry is gambling that he has turned a corner.

"He got himself to this point, but we feel the best is still to come," Hendry said. "This will give him a chance to continue his improvement. ... We've liked him for a long time, [but] I have to give the Texas Rangers a lot of credit. Rudy is one of the best hitting coaches ever."

Also, the deadline has passed for entering the BCB Free Agent Frenzy Contest. Of the fifty-plus entrants, three of them chose Daisuke Matsuzaka to go to the Red Sox. Of course, all of them waited to enter until after it was pretty clear that was his destination. If anyone would like to volunteer to keep track of the entries, let me know.

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