With apologies, I’ve gotta keep the Bullets brief today, because I’m doing the various Cubs Convention things …
- I’m here at the Cubs Convention for Day Two, with the panel discussions going on. It’s such a different vibe now that the Cubs are in the “sustained success” mode, with friendly questions aplenty. Not that I’m saying I *want* angry, prepared-statement-type comments from the fans, but it certainly kept things lively.
- The biggest laugh at the front office panel (where I’m currently sitting and writing) came after this:
Kid: "Theo when do you think I can get my Bryce Harper jersey?"
Theo: "Ask Kris Bryant he seems to have quite a few."
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) January 13, 2018
- Speaking of which:
Bryant on possibly having his Vegas buddy on #Cubs next year: "Who wouldn't want Bryce Harper on their team? He's 26 and five years, six years in the big leagues and a superstar. That will be an interesting one to follow next offseason. I would love to have him on our team"
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) January 13, 2018
- There was a fantastic question about how it came to be that the Cubs signed so many pitchers early despite the slow market, and whether the Cubs expected things were going to be like this. Scott Harris, recently promoted to assistant GM, took the response: it wasn’t so much about anticipating what was going to happen, but it was more about what they usually do: identify a few guys they really want to sign, target them aggressively early, and try to get those deals done.
- Kris Bryant’s first year of arbitration will net him $10.85 million, which breaks the record set a decade ago by Ryan Howard ($10 million). Theo Epstein said it was a deserved new record (ESPN).
- Kyle Schwarber talked about his physical transformation this offseason, though he says it was less about slimming down, specifically, and more about just trying to be overall healthier.
- At the ownership panel, the Ricketts indicated that Hotel Zachary – across from the ballpark – is due to open in April. And, yes, the McDonald’s will be back.
- The annual Sammy Sosa question:
Tom Ricketts gets his yearly "when will Sammy return?" question. He says we have to be sympathetic to that era, but the players owe us some honesty too. He'd like everything to be "put on the table" before Sammy could return.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) January 13, 2018
- A little recap from the first day of the Convention:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 13, 2018