As the general managers meetings get set to wrap up at about noon today at the O’Hare Hilton, the star of the lobby this morning was agent Arn Tellem. A dozen or so Japanese reporters surrounded Tellem, who represents Hideki Matsui, the MVP of the World Series and a free agent.
Tellem also represents pitcher Rich Harden, who is unlikely to return to the Cubs after filing for free agency.
“I didn’t see Jim Hendry here,” Tellem said of the Cubs’ GM. “I have talked to him, and I know we’ll continue to talk. I know he’s just trying to gather information and assess his team’s needs and what’s out there. So I’m sure we’ll be talking more in the next week or two.”
Tellem added that Harden, who has a history of shoulder problems, is healthy. “He’s fine,” the agent said. “If the team had been in the race, he would have been pitching (at the end of the season). No health issues at all.”
Harden told us near the end of the season that he’d like to come back to the Cubs.
“He likes Chicago; he very much likes Chicago,” Tellem said. “So we’ll see. We’re just starting the process. It’s very early, and I’m sure we’ll be talking to the Cubs over the next couple of weeks. Hendry just said that he wanted to take some time and meet with everyone and that we would be talking after these meetings.”
As I've been writing, look for Harden to land someplace other than Chicago.