CHICAGO – In what expects to be a very “Hot Stove” offseason for the Cubs, things are finally starting to heat up as the weather cools down.
First, there is the drama surrounding the bidding for Japanese superstar pitcher and outfielder Shohei Ohtani. Theo Epstein has gotten his team into the final six for the coveted services of the multi-faceted star and according to reports, has already made his pitch to Ohtani to come to Chicago.
This figures to play out for the next few weeks as other storylines arise from the Winter Meetings in Orlando which are slated to start on Sunday. The Cubs still have to decide if they are going to hold onto their own free agent pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis along with pursuing others (perhaps Alex Cobb of the Rays).
Meanwhile the team continues to put in the work this offseason, including one player whose name keeps coming up around the Hot Stove as potential trade bait should the Cubs choose to focus more on young pitching.
On Wednesday morning, the Cubs posted a few videos of a slimmer Kyle Schwarber taking part in offseason workouts about two months before the start of Spring Training.
It appears that Schwarber is putting in more work after a very up and down 2017, his first full year with the Cubs. A miserable start to the season led to his demotion to Triple A Iowa in June and it took him a while to finally get his average over .200.
But a .288 month of September left him with a .222 average for the season while his power numbers remained strong as he smacked 30 for the season while driving in 59 RBIs.