Cubs

Cespedes says Cubs have shown most interest

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Cespedes says Cubs have shown most interest

Yoenis Cespedes has drawn a lot of buzz so far this offseason, but the Cubs may have the most interest in the soon-to-be-free-agent outfielder.

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Dionisio SoldevilaYoenis Cespedes told me the Cubs are the team that has shown more interest in him. AP Story (Spanish) http:t.cofRO9ADO4
Jan 17 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

The article states the same thing. It's in Spanish, but our resident Spanish-speaking video producer Jeremy Murayama translated. Soldevila's tweet has the essential stuff that matters.

Cespedes said this on Monday (today), which is pretty telling.

embedly_twitter_89043931background:url(http:a0.twimg.comimagesthemestheme1bg.png) C0DEED; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_89043931 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_89043931 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_89043931 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_89043931 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_89043931 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_89043931 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_89043931 p a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_89043931 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_89043931 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_89043931 a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_89043931 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_89043931 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_89043931 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_89043931 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_89043931 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_89043931 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_89043931 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; dSoldevilaDionisio Soldevila@cubsfan there were some Cubs executives in the stadium today. He says Cubs have shown the most interest, but that it's not a sure thingJan 17FavoriteRetweetReplyBleacherNationBrett Taylor@dSoldevila Any chance it's a negotiating tactic designed to drive up the price on another team?Jan 17FavoriteRetweetReplyin reply to@BleacherNation@dSoldevila
Dionisio Soldevila@BleacherNation He says he hasn't received formal offers since he's not a free agent yet. Cubs have taken him to dinner a couple times
Jan 17 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

So the Cubs are trying to wine and dine the 26-year-old outfielder? Not a bad strategy and the Cubs do have a good foundation for Latin players.

But signing Cespedes when he does officially become a free agent just makes the Cubs outfield all the more crowded.

Maybe a Cespedes signing would be a precursor to a Marlon Byrd or Alfonso Soriano trade. Then again, those two veterans may be traded before Cespedes receives a formal offer from anybody.

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Theo Epstein answered questions from the Chicago media for more than an hour on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but the most interesting part might have been what the Cubs president didn’t say, something along the lines of: These are our guys.

Or at least Epstein didn’t give the same full-throated endorsement of The Core that he delivered after engineering the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox this summer, getting an All-Star pitcher without giving up anyone from the big-league roster.

Whether it’s the way the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs throughout the National League Championship Series that ended Thursday night, the inconsistencies and frustrations during a 43-45 first half of this season or the reality of losing 40 percent of the rotation, you walked out of that stadium club press conference thinking big changes could be coming.

“We’re going to pursue all avenues to get better,” Epstein said.

The Cubs already understood this would be a challenging time to dramatically reshape their pitching staff, with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Big Boy John Lackey and All-Star closer Wade Davis about to become free agents.

The Cubs don’t really have many (any?) high-end, headliner prospects left to trade after borrowing heavily from their farm system to acquire Aroldis Chapman for last year’s World Series run and get Quintana to help solidify the rotation through 2020.

All of Major League Baseball is looking beyond this winter and preparing for the monster free-agent class that will hit the open market after the 2018 season.

Meaning it’s time for the Cubs to make some difficult decisions about all these young hitters they’ve collected.

“It may or may not be,” Epstein said. “Those choices, they’re not unilateral things. You can’t sit there and decide: ‘Hey, this guy, we’re moving him.’ Because you don’t know what the return might be. You don’t know how the different moving parts might fit together.

“I think going into the offseason prepared to make some tough choices and execute on them — and keeping an open mind to anything — is appropriate under the circumstances where we have some obvious deficits and we have some real surplus with talented players who are really desirable.”

Let’s assume All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, MVP third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are essentially untouchable.

The Cubs used the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Ian Happ with the explicit idea that the college hitter should be on a fast track and could be flipped for pitching later: Is it time to sell high after the rookie just put up 24 homers and an .842 OPS?

During an exit meeting with Albert Almora Jr., Epstein said he couldn’t promise an everyday job in 2018, though the expectation would be more responsibilities: Think anyone else would be interested in a potential Gold Glove center fielder who’s already playoff-tested?

Do you want Addison Russell or Javier Baez as your everyday shortstop for the next four years? Is there an American League team willing to bet big that Kyle Schwarber will crush 40 homers a year as a designated hitter?

The Cubs have to ask themselves those types of questions, which could mean getting outside of their comfort zone and taking on some riskier pitching investments and sapping the strength that has turned them into the dominant force in the NL Central.

“We’ve really benefitted from having two or three extra — and ‘extra’ in quotes because they’re not really extra — starting-caliber players on the roster,” Epstein said. “That helped us win 97 games in ’15, 103 last year, 92 this year. That’s as big a part of the club as anything.

“Having an Addison Russell go down and being able to move Javy Baez to shortstop — that’s an obvious example of it. But those things show up every week for us. There’s a day where someone can’t make the lineup and someone else slides in and you’re still starting eight quality guys. That’s huge.

“Sooner or later, you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. There’s no sort of deadline to do that. But I think we’re entering the phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.”

Translation: The Cubs are open for business. Make your best offer.

Cubs Talk Podcast: 2017 season obituary and previewing an interesting winter for Cubs

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: 2017 season obituary and previewing an interesting winter for Cubs

In the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull, Patrick Mooney and Tony Andracki close the book on the 2017 season following Theo Epstein’s press conference, looking back at what will go down as the craziest calendar year in Cubs history from last November through the team’s loss in the NLCS this October.

Moving forward, where do guys like Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Justin Wilson and Mike Montgomery fit? Will the Cubs re-sign Wade Davis or go after another proven closer? And how worried should fans be about the offense that completely disappeared in the postseason?

Take a listen below: