Here's the latest from around the web:
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- The press conference to introduce Jon Lester as a new member of the Cubs will be on Monday, and Patrick Mooney says that Lester is the type of star who can make everyone else look better.
- What does Jason Hammel think of everything the Cubs have done this offseason? "This is the new Cubs."
- Who else is happy to see the Cubs making a splash in the free agent market? Scott Boras.
- St. Louis has definitely taken notice, with Cardinals' general manager John Mozeliak saying that the sleeping giant has awoken.
- Theo Epstein still wants everyone to know that the Cubs are not selling out for 2015, but are still focused on long-term success. I feel like this should be a bumper sticker by now.
- And then there's ESPN being ESPN, projecting the Cubs' win improvement for 2015 but deducting 4.37 wins from their projection for the "Cubs, Being, Cubs". Apparently the commas didn't cost extra. And that wasn't even the most bizarre thing in their projections.
- Another person who had an influence on Lester's decision to come to the Cubs isn't even playing for them anymore: Jeff Samardzija.
- Hammel was re-introduced on Friday, and the Cubs hope that returning to work with pitching coach Chris Bosio will help him regain his form from the first half of 2014.
- Despite the big week at the winter meetings, Jed Hoyer says that they're far from having a finished product.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers sums up the Cubs at the winter meetings: they came, they negotiated, they conquered.
- Jayson Stark gives his winners and losers from the winter meetings. He had four of each; as I've done in the past as a fun exercise, see if you can name the four from each side before clicking the link.
- Jason Hammel feels that Joe Maddon is the epitome of a player's manager.
- Source-gate in former Cub news: The Rangers are close to signing righty reliever Kyuji Fujikawa.
From CBS Chicago:
- More reaction from Hammel on the Lester signing, saying that the Cubs probably got him pretty cheap.
- And for those who don't like Jonny Gomes, you probably don't want to hear Joe Maddon say that he has a man crush on him.
From the Chicago Tribune via RedEye Chicago:
- Where did the wow factor begin for Jon Lester? Mark Gonzales says it goes all the way back to when he was a freshman at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Washington.
- In case you were wondering what Chicago pizza Jon Lester likes, the answer is Giordano's. Or at least that's where he was spotted.
- Christy Gutowski says that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas not only for Chicago baseball fans, but also for retailers.
- In news completely unrelated to either Jason Hammel or Jon Lester, Jed Hoyer believes that there is still more power to come from Starlin Castro.
- Paul Sullivan compares Joe Maddon and Robin Ventura, and then goes back to the same old story of Maddon's need to help sell Theo Epstein's rebuilding plan and Wrigley Field drawing fans because it's Wrigley Field. Old dogs and new tricks.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- How many tweets did Jon Lester reply to after his signing with the Cubs? Every one that he got, says David Just.
- Gordon Wittenmyer sums up the winter meetings, saying that the Cubs walked away with their biggest haul in eight years.
- Not to be outdone by Paul Sullivan, Rick Telander looks at the contract that Jon Lester got and compares it to other big free-agent signings for Chicago teams in the past.
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello looks at whether or not the Cubs should be interested in the Phillies' Ben Revere.
- He also looks at what the Cubs may still do this offseason with limited financial flexibility.
- And he also looks at the big picture of how the Cubs are trying to reshape the team.
- Cat Garcia looks at the framing numbers for Miguel Montero and Welington Castillo.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- The top 20 Cubs prospect list was updated after the trade of Jeferson Mejia to the Diamondbacks, with Duane Underwood moving into the top 20 in his place.
From Cubbies Crib:
- Now here's one I haven't heard yet: Should the Cubs pursue Marlon Byrd?
- What about James Shields?
- And can the reunion with Joe Maddon help Edwin Jackson?
From Cubs Insider:
- Evan Altman looks at the Steamer projections for the Cubs' new trio of players.
Today's food for thought:
- Your dog may understand you more than you realize.
- If you're a fan of severe weather and have seven minutes to spare, you might enjoy this video of time-lapse weather imagery shot from May through September.
- More for weather fans: The Grand Canyon is currently full of clouds.