- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said Monday morning during a radio interview that although the Cubs' payroll is the highest in the National League at $144 million, he believes there would be some wiggle room for general manager Jim Hendry if a player were needed to fill an important role or injury dictated replacing a player.
Ultimately, Ricketts said during an interview on WSCR-AM (670) that although the Cubs have plenty of resources to pay for players, the farm system will be depended upon in the future as the main feeder system for the major league club.
Ricketts pointed to the Cubs' last four No. 1 draft picks being on track for the major leagues.
The new Cubs owner also said that at least three or four free agents signed out of Latin America also were tracking toward Wrigley Field.
Outfielder Tyler Colvin, the No. 1 pick in 2006, already is on the 25-man roster. Dominican shortstop Starlin Castro most likely is half a season away from making his major-league debut.
Ricketts was making the rounds during as part of ceremonies for the Cubs' home opener.
The Cubs unveiled their new marketing banner, which stretches 100 feet and says "It's A Way Of Life."
The planned Toyota sign on the back of the left-field bleachers still is not in place. The Cubs are talking with the city of Chicago and the landmark commission on being able to install the new advertising.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.