Lou extended through 2010

While pitchers were practicing pickoffs and taking fielding practice at the start of this afternoon’s workout, general manager Jim Hendry announced that the club had picked up the 2010 option on Lou Piniella’s contract. The deal, signed in late-2006, originally called for three years with a club option for a fourth.

Jim approached Cubs chairman Crane Kenney previously about extending Lou, and he said the timing was right to do it now rather than in the off-season, when contracts, extensions and changes fill the news headlines. Jim expressed that he was grateful that Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell approved the deal while a sale of the team is in the works.

“Obviously, no one doesn’t want Lou,” Hendry said.

He also explained that, when he got on the plane to Tampa Bay two years ago, his gut told him that Lou was the right guy and that their relationship has developed well. Lou understands what the general manager’s job is about from his high-pressure days in New York in the late-80s, just as Jim knows when not to interfere with Lou.

“In my opinion, there’s no more important relationship than between the GM and manager,” Hendry said.

– Sean Ahmed

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