Question: True/False-A healthy Matt Garza is the Cubs opening day starter.
Bruce Levine: True, with one caveat: that he's built up enough innings in spring training to successfully pitch in cold weather in Pittsburgh on April 1.
Question: Any news on Soriano? will he be traded?
Bruce Levine: The rumor is that the Phillies and Cubs are still talking about a deal, are just that -- rumors. The Cubs and Phillies have not talked about Soriano since Philadelphia traded Ben Revere in November.
Question: Bruce! Ian Stewart says he is now 100% healed and hasn't been 100% since 2010. Do you think we'll see the Ian Stewart that was a good player for Colorado or the one we've seen since 2010?
Bruce Levine: It's hard to say. He was not honest with the Cubs about his injury last year. Also, people in the organization wondered why he left the team after he went on the DL. Still, for some reason they brought him back. He does have the ability to hit a lot of home runs and play a decent third base if he is healthy and focused.
Question: With Dan Vogelbach losing over 40 pounds, is there a chance of the Cubs trying him out at 3rd or is he just trade bait?
Bruce Levine: He needs a couple more years in the minor leagues to worry about that. You can always find room for a quality hitter in your lineup. Left field is the DH of the National League.
Question: How much will the 300 million dollar renovation have affect on the payroll of future team payroll?
Bruce Levine: Absolutely zero. The Cubs will be getting a huge influx of local TV money over the net 5-7 years. They are already getting $500,000 per game for their CSN games. And with the WGN deal soon to expire, Comcast will more than likely try to pick up those games and get a renegotiated contract with both the Sox and Cubs.
Question: Any news on the Cubs trading for Rick Porcello?
Bruce Levine: It's just been a rumor over the last month. If Detroit was interested in any of the Cubs' relievers a deal could be worked out. So far that is not the case.
Question: Bruce, after being dodged by Crane K this past weekend, I felt that one way for this next generation of Cub fans to get to know these young guys is to have the ballpark open for Cubs batting practice, no better way to get up close with these new guys and become familliar with the new regime. Your thoughts on this?
Bruce Levine: Cubs have explored opening the ballpark earlier to accommodate fans for BP, but from a man power perspective they have deemed it as not feasible at this time. Cubs usually take BP more than three hours before gametime.
Question: Why is it Rooftop owners control what goes on around the ball park? Tunney and the city cave into them? This is insane!
Bruce Levine: The Cubs and the rooftop owners have a contract. The Cubs get 17% of the gross from the rooftops. The city also gets amusement taxes from the rooftops. The landmark status also makes it difficult for the Cubs to get things done, like signage etc.
Question: Who's gone first? Garza, Marmol or Soriano?
Bruce Levine: My guess is Marmol. Teams are going to realize early in spring training that they do not have enough bullpen pitching. Marmol has been a durable and mostly effective pitcher the last 5 years. Someone will take them up on his contract.
Question: Any news about Darwin Barney working on his offensive approach this winter?
Bruce Levine: I was at a mini-camp that he was working at in November. He was working on pulling the ball a bit more. He's an incessant worker, always trying to get better.