12/5 Cubs working on the corners
Theo Epstein did meet with the agent for Albert Pujols on Monday. But Dan Lozano also represents Rodrigo Lopez, a pitcher whom the Cubs would like to return to give them pitching depth.
“You see [Lozano] going into someone’s room, it’s not always that you’re there to talk about the big Kahuna,” Epstein said.
That’s the nature of the Winter Meetings, which officially got underway Monday at the Hilton Anatole with lots of talk, not a lot of action.
The Cubs do need a first baseman, but Pujols and the multi-year, mega deal he’s seeking doesn’t appear to fit what Epstein & Co. are trying to do. Bryan LaHair might. Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer did meet with LaHair, who was at the meetings to receive an award Monday after leading all of the Minor Leagues with 38 home runs at Triple-A Iowa. No promises were made to LaHair, who was to return to Venezuela on Tuesday for a few more weeks of Winter League play with Magallanes.
“We told him we appreciate the things he can do as a player and asked him to concentrate on certain elements of his game as well and said we look forward to seeing him in Spring Training,” Epstein said.
At least LaHair is an option at first. As far as third base, Epstein said, they “have internal candidates more than definite internal solutions.”
The Cubs’ options include Jeff Baker, DJ LeMahieu, Josh Vitters and Junior Lake. There were reports the Cubs had talked to the Rockies about Ian Stewart, and Epstein said they’ve put a few feelers out.
“We’re not close to anybody,” Epstein said.
– Carrie Muskat