Who will Cubs pursue in free-agent market? – Chicago Sun

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BY GORDON WITTENMYER
Staff Reporter

November 3, 2014 10:11PM





Updated: November 4, 2014 12:59PM

After employing a big-shot manager with a lane record of success in October, a Cubs contingency be prepared to go all-in on a free-agent marketplace that non-stop for business Monday night. Right?

Not so fast.

“Having Joe [Maddon] here doesn’t indispensably change a skeleton this winter,” group boss Theo Epstein said. “We’re out to supplement talent. It competence make it a small easier. Joe has a good repute in a game. we know players wish to play for him.”

The Cubs and top-target left-hander Jon Lester have clever ­mutual interest, according to mixed sources, and are certain to rivet in critical talks this winter. But a Cubs don’t trust they are during a theatre where they need a specific actor to win who would make them go Yankee-crazy on a bid if it reaches worried ­territory.

Former Cub Jason Hammel ­remains in a brew as a group looks to supplement a integrate of starters. Left-hander Brett Anderson, whose $12 million choice was declined by a Rockies, also is on a radar as a buy-low choice after pitching good in 9 starts during a deteriorate in that he underwent finger and behind surgeries.

And Royals free-agent right-hander James Shields, who raved about Maddon when asked during a World Series, is in a mix, too, as a intensity fallback position to Lester.

Maddon’s knowledge in removing immature teams with a Rays to trust and win competence lessen some of a need a Cubs trust they have for maestro hall leadership.

But Pirates catcher Russell Martin, who total to be one of a some-more sought-after position players on a market, is rarely desired by a Cubs. Their biggest fear is — as in a box with Lester — a behest fight for Martin competence be too abounding for their blood.

Widely reputable Athletics giveaway representative Jonny Gomes, a crew outfielder, also is on a Cubs’ radar.

And a group will during slightest flog a tires of Yankees free-agent ­closer David Robinson.

But a remarkable employing of a name manager doesn’t speed adult anything a Cubs had designed this winter, they said.

“Any time we have a possibility to get Joe Maddon we do it,” Epstein said. “And maybe it was a year before a expected [effort to] pierce in a manager who had some-more of a lane record to win games, if indeed we were going to finish adult doing it.

“We were going to pierce in some talent from outside, anyway. We consider we’re in a position to make a transition from usually accumulating immature talent to indeed competing on a field. This pierce usually underscores that.”

NOTES: The Cubs and Joe Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero, pronounced they haven’t listened anything from MLB on a widely reported vigilant of a Rays to record tampering charges and insist there’s no consequence to such allegations regardless. Nero called a idea “silly.” Maddon, by several accounts, done a agreement offer to a Rays, believed to be value roughly half what a Cubs paid, that would have kept him in Tampa for a prolonged term. The Rays countered with a reduce offer.

◆ Pitching manager Chris Bosio, a front office’s many devoted and cherished member of a coaching staff, is pronounced to have been approached by a Twins, who usually hired Bosio’s former Brewers teammate Paul Molitor as manager. ­Bosio is underneath agreement by usually 2015.

◆ Theo Epstein, who is underneath agreement for dual some-more years, pronounced there has been no grave contention about a agreement prolongation for him and his tip front-office staff. “Tom [Ricketts] mentioned progressing this year that he unequivocally would like to extend my contract, and we unequivocally conclude that,” he said. “That’s something I’d like to have happen, too. But we’ve usually been too busy. At some indicate in a future, I’m certain we’ll lay down and try to produce that out.”

◆ Maddon pronounced he skeleton to strech out to Rick Renteria, whom a Cubs dismissed with dual years left on his agreement to sinecure Maddon.

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

Twitter: @GDubCub

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