Yes, I admit, I already used that picture once before for a Heroes and Goats piece. But it was always my favorite photo of Jason Hammel, and I always wondered exactly what it was that Rick Renteria was saying to him at that moment. The world may never know.
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney calls the re-signing of Jason Hammel the first step in the Cubs' rebuilding of their rotation, and also says that Hammel is returning this time as a building block and not a trading chip.
- He also wonders whether or not the Cubs saved up enough money to be competitive with the other teams at the winter meetings that are currently riding the cable television bubble.
- Carrie Muskat writes that Hammel could also join the sales pitch to Jon Lester, this time using the angle of the improvement in his performance under the tutelage of pitching coach Chris Bosio.
- Kris Bryant received another award on Monday, and after an offseason in which he has received several of them, he's ready to move on and set his sights on next season.
- What's the ratio of talk to action at the winter meetings? Theo Epstein puts it at 50-to-1.
- As part of the winter meetings, a charity auction is being held on MLB.com with Cubs packages in the auction including a press box tour and a meet-and-greet with the Cubs broadcasters; a "Dream Day" with the Cubs; and a chance to play catch in the outfield at Wrigley Field.
From the Chicago Tribune via RedEye Chicago:
- With the Jon Lester sweepstakes reportedly coming to a close soon, Mark Gonzales compares the activity to a wild car chase.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- A 1969 autographed Ernie Banks jersey sold at auction for over $150,000 on Sunday. Banks jerseys are reportedly the third-rarest among the members of the 500 home run club, behind Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx.
- Starlin Castro's agent denounced a report linking Castro to a shooting after a concert in the Dominican Republic late Saturday night.
From Cubs Den:
- Meanwhile, as the Jon Lester saga continues to play out, are the Cubs closer to a deal for Miguel Montero? Ken Rosenthal thinks so.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- Is the race for Jon Lester down to the Cubs and Giants? Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman think so.
- More fuel for the Montero trade as well, with reports from Jon Paul Morosi and -- wait for it -- Ken Rosenthal saying the Cubs would send low-level prospects to the Diamondbacks and take on almost all of the salary. Ken Rosenthal is everywhere.
From Cubs Insider:
- Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Jorge Soler are among the 50 most valuable assets in baseball according to Grantland and FanGraphs.
- Ryan Davis makes the case for overpaying in the free agent market.
- John Sickels at Minor League Ball presents his list of top 20 Cubs prospects for 2015.
Today's food for thought:
- For the coffee lovers out there: The taste of your coffee can be influenced by the color of your cup.
- And if you're planning a trip to space, you might want to know why it might have an adverse effect on your immune system.