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Zambrano Deal "Close"

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This, from Paul Sullivan in today's Tribune:

The two sides now appear close to consummating a deal by Zambrano's Opening Day deadline...

[Jim] Hendry's close relationship with Zambrano may be the key to getting the deal getting done. Zambrano apparently is willing to play for less money for the Cubs than he would receive on the open market, and his compromise during last month's arbitration proceedings proved the two sides aren't far apart.

And, the Cubs won the first of two games in Las Vegas with the Mariners, 8-5 last night, partly on the strength of Aramis Ramirez' eighth homer of the spring. I saw only two innings of this game, having to get up for work this morning (which is why you see this post so early!).

Rocky Cherry, who I'd expect to be the first reliever recalled from Iowa this season if anyone is needed, had his fifth spring save.

They'll play again in Vegas this afternoon -- I'll have a game thread up later on.