The cold has broken in Chicago and it’s nearly warm enough to play baseball on this January day, at least it’s warmer than some Opening Days have been.
The hot stove? Still cold, unlit, sitting there taunting us with its lack of activity.
Perhaps today will be the day some big free agent, or even maybe not so big, will sign with the Cubs for the 2018 season, perhaps beyond.
In the meantime I present to you this list of the latest information we have on every Cubs free agent and every free agent (and trade possibility) connected with the Cubs, in the hope to heat up that stove, in alphabetical order.
Alex Avila: At the end of November, Avila said he’d be willing to take less money to play for a contender. Since then: radio silence.
Lorenzo Cain: Was briefly connected with the Cubs via a Bruce Levine radio report, but this only makes sense if there’s a trade to follow.
Alex Cobb: Phillies, but that’s listed as simply a “best guess.”
Sources: The Houston Astros have engaged with the Pittsburgh Pirates on trade talks for starter Gerrit Cole. One name bandied about as a return: outfielder Derek Fisher. For a trade to happen, Pirates almost certainly would need Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley as a centerpiece.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 8, 2018
Getting Cole would certainly make the Astros a formidable team in defense of their World Series championship. Or maybe Cole’s going to wind up with the Yankees; that’s the premise of this New York Daily News article.
Yu Darvish: Besides the Cubs (and Twins?), he’s supposedly also on the Astros’ wish list.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer confirmed that John Lackey plans to pitch in 2018 and didn't dismiss a return to the Cubs: "Its certainly something we're going to talk about." https://t.co/7m5sa5hWUv— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) November 14, 2017
That’s the most recent news on Lackey. That was almost two months ago. At this point, Lackey’s going to have to take very few dollars, or maybe even a minor-league deal, to pitch somewhere in 2018.
Koji Uehara: There isn’t a single news report I can find linking Uehara to anyone. He’s likely either retired, or perhaps he’ll head back to Japan to pitch in 2018.
There are a few other players on this year’s free-agent list who could be decent fits for the Cubs in one way or another, including Darwin Barney, Trevor Cahill, Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, but there’s nothing specific linking the Cubs to any of those players.
That should give you enough to get you through the day. Here’s hoping today is the day that baseball comes out of the desert of non-signings and something actually happens.