I hate to be the bearer of bad news this close to the weekend, but . . .
“We’re going to meet with teams and try to identify possible trade fits, but I don’t think it’s the type of offseason where we have a ton of fits with 25 of the 29 other clubs,” Epstein said. “We’ll pursue everything but realistically, our fits might be narrower this year (which would) give us more time to focus on the free-agent market.
“I think we’re going to have a fairly well-defined trade market early, because we don’t have unlimited assets to deal and we don’t necessarily have redundancy at positions in the big leagues or upper (minor league) levels.”
Asked if that means the Cubs would perhaps go after higher-priced free agents, Epstein said:
“You never rule anything out. As a general rule, you pursue good players and see where that ends up. It’s going to be a pretty aggressive (free agent) market and we have to stay disciplined and do things that make sense in the short term and long term.
“We’ll be very thorough and very aggressive, but we’ll also try to be disciplined. … Keep in mind we’re not only trying to build for 2013 but we want to make sure we have a very solid future as well.
Narrow fits, realistic, discipline . . sounds like on boring-as GMs Meeting for us Cubs Fans. As much as I know we’re headed in the right direction, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that missed the asylum-like drama of Jim Hendry randomly giving Alfonso Soriano 8 years out of the blue.
But wait! We might not even NEED Justin Upton, according to Carrie Muskat:
Almora isn’t ready yet. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer are attending the General Managers Meetings this week in Palm Springs, Calif., and will continue talks with agents and teams in their search to find another outfielder. Almora does have a unique spot in Cubs history.
“I was watching the [First-Year Player] Draft video a couple days ago, and they were saying, ‘Oh, Theo Epstein’s first pick,’ and I was like, ‘That’s pretty special,’” Almora said after a workout in Mesa. “I’m a part of a special family here.”
Almora is the future, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum told the teen that he’s close to being part of the present. The two met during a workout at Wrigley Field in October.
“[Sveum] said, ‘You’re ready here in the outfield,” Almora said. “We just want to get you more mature at the plate.”
Perhaps Jed and Theo just aren’t aware of how close to ready Almora is. They should talk to Carrie more often.
More on the GM Meetings from our secret location as warranted. . .