It continues to be a quiet offseason for the Cubs, though president of baseball operations Theo Epstein tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that the team remains active in exploring various options for upgrades. “There are times to be aggressive and times to be patient, and there are times when you can be aggressive and times where you have to be patient,” Epstein said. “Every offseason is unique. We’re working hard, and there are a lot of things we’re trying to do behind to the scenes to make sure we have a successful season next year. I know thus far we haven’t added the big names that get the fans excited. I understand that’s part of the expectations in the offseason.” Trades, moreso than free agents, have taken up much of Epstein’s time as of late, he said. This could potentially tie into the biggest recent item concerning the Cubs, namely the possibility that they could make a play for Bryce Harper if they can carve out enough payroll room.
More from around the Senior Circuit…
- Even with Cory Spangenberg now officially in the fold, the Brewers continue to be open for business in looking for infield help, general manager David Stearns told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy and other reporters. A “wide variety” of free agent infielders are under consideration, as well as trade possibilities, and the option of acquiring a third baseman and then shifting Travis Shaw back to second base.
- MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert doesn’t see the Diamondbacks trading Archie Bradley or Jake Lamb this offseason, though in Lamb’s case, that could be due in part for his injury-shortened down year in 2018. Arizona’s trade of Paul Goldschmidt is the defining move of its offseason, and while the team may still be weighing trades of Zack Greinke, David Peralta, or others, the D’Backs have resisted going into a full rebuild. Bradley is only arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so he’s still a long-term piece for the D’Backs who could factor into the team’s plans when it again makes a full-on push for contention.
- The Reds announced a series of organizational hires yesterday, including a familiar name joining the coaching staff. Former Reds right-hander Caleb Cotham has been hired as assistant pitching coach, working under pitching coach (and Cotham’s former coach at Vanderbilt) Derek Johnson. Cotham pitched in parts of seven seasons as professional ballplayer, including 35 games and 34 innings for the Yankees and Reds in 2015-16, before retiring prior to the 2017 campaign.