• Andy MacPhail, who was the Cubs' president and CEO from 1994-2006, including a two-year stint as the general manager (2000-01), is keeping an eye on how the current Chicago front office is trying to rebuild the organization.
"They have to do it the way they're comfortable with and the way they think most guarantees their success, and I know that's what that group is doing," MacPhail said Monday at the Winter Meetings.
"I have a lot of confidence in that group that they're going to do it the way they think will most assuredly get them the end goal, because that's the prize, winning the whole thing," MacPhail said. "We got close [in 2003]. You ultimately aren't successful until you at least get to the World Series."
In '03, the Cubs lost to the Marlins in seven games in the National League Championship Series.
• Outfielder Ryan Sweeney hoped to begin work this week with Hall of Famer Rod Carew. The two worked together last season, and Sweeney said he benefited from the sessions. Sweeney batted .266 in 70 games with the Cubs, and he signed a two-year contract extension on Oct. 8.
• New manager Rick Renteria will get together with his coaches in Mesa, Ariz., this weekend to get a tour of the new facility and start preparations for Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13.
• Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs' Minor League Pitcher of the Year, recently completed his studies at Dartmouth and graduated with a major in economics. Hendricks was a combined 13-4 with 2.00 ERA in 27 starts between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
• Junior Lake is done playing in the Dominican Republic winter league, and those who saw him raved about his outfield play.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.