My head is spinning thinking about all the “follow” stuff I want to write today about what happened just in the last few hours before I finally went to bed last night. There’s more Jon Lester fallout, there’s more analysis to do on the buy-low pitching market given Tyler Chatwood’s deal, and there’s more necessary discussion about not letting men in your organization be sexual harassers. But for these Bullets, I’m gonna set aside the Lester, Chatwood/market, and Porter stuff so that I can get into everything else.
• So, is Jeremy Jeffress about to be the next Cubs free agent pitcher whom the Cubs could have re-upped with but didn’t:
• The Cubs are reportedly interested in a reunion with Jeffress, but there can be no question at this point that they aren’t going to win any significant bidding wars if it comes to that.
• On the open of International Free Agency, you always see a flurry of reported signings, since those are the deals that have been wink-wink agreed to for a very long time. But then, if you’re operating as an effective organization, there should be a whole lot more signings after that, either because they just hadn’t been reported yet or because some players actually wait until the open of the period to be courted. To that end, the Cubs have added another six signings according to Baseball America, bringing them to 13 for the period so far. Bryan got into the initial round of reporter signings here, including the Cubs’ top prospects in the class.
• Some stray love for one of the Cubs less-hyped signings:
Two sleepers I liked when I saw them early on who signed today.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) January 15, 2021
• The State of Illinois has started loosening restrictions in some areas – including Chicago – related to sports activities. There isn’t a direct relationship to – for example – attendance at pro sporting events, but I mention it because there is obviously a trajectory here that will be important to the Cubs in the future. Illinois’ COVID case count has actually been on the decline since early November, which has been the trend in a lot of the Midwest (remember, the outbreaks are so dang regional with this thing that not every area is experiencing the same situation at the same time). The hope, obviously, is that the trend continues as more vaccine is rolled out and people maybe keep doing a little better to limit the spread. But as more things open back up, the risks go back up. So we’ll keep monitoring, as will the Cubs.
• There wasn’t too much left in the season, so Miguel Amaya’s brief but productive stint in the Puerto Rican Winter League is over:
The LBPRC championship was delayed due to COVID concerns on the other side of the bracket, and it makes sense Miggy wants to get a month off here before Pitchers and Catchers report to big league camp. What a great job by @mamaya_9 in winter ball, looks poised for a big season! https://t.co/F1zHKBvEJQ
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) January 19, 2021
• Amaya will now ready himself for big league Spring Training (he’s on the 40-man roster), where the Cubs will get more eyes on his development, but he’ll ultimately head to AA to begin the minor league season (unless the Cubs want him to start earlier, in which case he’d have to head to AAA (remember, that season is starting earlier than AA this year because of the pandemic)).
• This doesn’t quite count as getting back into the Jon Lester stuff just yet, so I’ll share it here:
This is NOT a knock on Clayton Kershaw but he would have to throw 126.2 scoreless innings in the postseason to match Jon Lester's 2.51 career ERA in the playoffs.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) January 19, 2021
• Jon Lester is dramatically better than Clayton Kershaw, confirmed.
• Laptops, electric toothbrushes, healthy snacks, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad
• Doug Glanville has a new show on Marquee, and I will check out literally anything he does:
I’m honored and excited to introduce Chicagoland friends to my new show on @WatchMarquee. First episode airs tonight with special guests former Cubs manager Dusty Baker and @ASUFootball Head Coach @HermEdwards as we discuss minority coaches in sports. 7pm CT on @WatchMarqee #MLB pic.twitter.com/OrHaVWWFrY
— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) January 18, 2021
• Random great shot of Chicago this morning:
chicago, good morning pic.twitter.com/ZU3hYofrAF
— CtA (@CheerTheAnthem) January 19, 2021
• I mean, if the Cubs aren’t spending any money anyway, why not at least have some fun:
If Cubs are going to fill out the rotation with flyers at this point anyway, might as well bring back an old friend to compete for a job … pic.twitter.com/C3hjEPw9Yw
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 18, 2021