I didn’t get to the Bullets yesterday. Just flat out didn’t get to them. I know that in the history of the morning Bullets era (started in early 2011, if I remember correctly), there have been five or six days without Bullets. As near as I can remember, though, each of those times was a conscious decision – either there wasn’t enough to swing it, I was sick, or I chose to do a Lukewarm Stove instead of Bullets. But yesterday, I had stuff for Bullets. I was ready to do it, even if it came much later in the day. And then it just became impossible because the Lester madness started so early and bled well into the afternoon, which was immediately followed by one of the transaction-heaviest stretches I can remember. (And it’s been crazy this morning, too!)
Given today’s busy-ness (TV deal for next year?, and then the Rule 5 beat me to the Bullets), I couldn’t get to the Bullets until now. But better late than never, and I wasn’t going to miss two days in a row …
- In the wake of the Jon Lester signing, and not to mention the Miguel Montero trade and the Jason Hammel signing, Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein is being very careful not to concede the rising wave of hype surrounding the Cubs in 2015. As he said before the offseason, Epstein told Patrick Mooney and Jesse Rogers that the Cubs are not selling out for 2015. The moves they’ve made so far will definitely help in 2015, but they don’t do anything to harm to the Cubs’ long-term trajectory, which is key. “People ask if we’re all-in for ’15,” Epstein told Mooney. “I think the best response is we’re all-in for the future, and the future starts in ’15.” Love it.
- That all said, while the Cubs won’t be selling out for 2015, I still have no doubt that they would like to supplement the roster further – and not solely with a bench guy and a bullpen arm – now that Lester/Montero/Hammel are in the fold. Each of those players will be at their most useful and effective in the very near-term. To the extent the opportunity arises to add for 2015 without harming the long-term – and without adding a ton more payroll, because I’m not sure how much more room the Cubs have this year – I think the Cubs will jump at it. Otherwise, you can expect those lesser, complementary moves, too.
- If you missed any of Joe Maddon’s many comments this week about what lies ahead, this Cubs.com piece is a good read. Also good? Maddon fares well in Hardball Talk’s manager handsomeness rankings.
- Kris Bryant is excited and ready to take the next step in his career – the bigs.
- BP’s fantasy preview for the Cubs offers a dispassionate look at how the Cubs’ individual players project into 2015.
- The BBWAA has voted to increase the Hall of Fame limit to 12 players from 10, which is a very small step in the right direction. It’s still up to the Hall to accept that recommendation, though.
- Jeff Samardzija on his return to Chicago with the White Sox. He sounds very happy.
- Jon Lester isn’t the only new Cub doing some good things on Twitter. Miguel Montero is having some fun.
- Sahadev Sharma chatted over at BP with tons of Cubs-related bits sprinkled in.
- Madison Bumgarner once dated a girl named Madison Bumgarner.
- Starlin Castro spoke about the concert shooting that took place last weekend, with a translation assist from Stan. Scary sounding thing.
- Freshly-plucked outfield prospect Ariel Ovando, whom the Cubs grabbed from the Astros in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft (i.e., he’s theirs now, no restrictions), will be converted to pitcher. Since it’s a no risk move, why not? I like it.