If you weren’t up last night, you may have missed the latest on Jon Lester – specifically, the Dodgers now potentially being aggressive (with lots of other teams possibly popping back up). I also did an early, early-morning Lukewarm Stove, because there was too much to discuss to wait, and wrote up the Cubs’ signing of infielder Jonathan Herrera. In case you missed any of that.
- An interesting report out of St. Louis that the Cardinals are going to meet with starter John Lackey about possibly re-working his contract. Lackey’s contract, as part of a deal with the Red Sox tied to his Tommy John surgery, had a team option for the league minimum for 2015 (probably should have built into the contract the right to void that option if he was traded … alas). That’s quite a boon for the Cardinals, but there was always a question about just how motivated Lackey would be to pitch if he was, at his age, making just the minimum. Maybe the sides will try to work out an extension that makes things a little bit more palatable for Lackey. If there was any discord there, the Cardinals’ pitching situation would get even more perilous – Lackey is aging and there’s this situation, Adam Wainwright is coming off of (minor) elbow surgery (and also is aging – then, I guess everyone is), Shelby Miller is gone, Michael Wacha was hurt last year, Jaime Garcia is always hurt, Carlos Martinez is unproven as a starter, Marco Gonzales is unproven. Lance Lynn’s pretty good. But that’s a lot of questions. They’re going to have to add at least one sure-fire starter, aren’t they? Maybe it won’t be Jon Lester – but you really can’t rule them out – but they’re going to be involved, maybe quietly, in other names this offseason.
- Darren Wolfson reports a bunch of interesting Cubs-related coaching bits from the Twins’ various searches: turns out the Twins really did want Chris Bosio, but it wasn’t going to happen. So they tried to get the next best thing: Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode. It didn’t work out. The Twins also asked Rick Renteria if he wanted to interview to be their bench coach, but he declined.
- Cubs manager Joe Maddon has changed his Twitter handle, and you are reminded that he’s a pretty active participant in social media.
- So, Torii Hunter’s introductory press conference with the Twins didn’t go so well. After a reporter asked a completely legitimate set of questions about Hunter’s previously-espoused position on gay marriage and related political issues, Hunter answered, paused, and then called the reporter a prick four times. I’m sure that’ll make for a fun atmosphere to try and cover the guy this year.