A few items centering on the Cubs…
- Third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant has frequently come up as a trade candidate this offseason, but president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said Thursday that there is “absolutely” a way he’ll return to the team next year, per Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago. “I don’t think it should be treated as a fait accompli that [a trade is] going to happen,” added Hoyer, who expects Bryant to bounce back to his usual form after a 2020 season in which his production fell flat. The Cubs would be selling low on Bryant in a deal as a result of his adverse year, and his projected $18.6MM arbitration salary for 2021 (his final season of team control) doesn’t do his trade value any favors.
- The Cubs have not had “substantive conversations” regarding a new deal with free-agent left-hander Jon Lester, but neither side has closed the door on staying together, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score writes. Lester established himself as a Cubs icon from 2015-20, but after he struggled last season, the Cubs predictably bought out the soon-to-be 37-year-old for $10MM instead of paying him $25MM. They’re now down to Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks as their only proven starters for next season, though that could change as the offseason progresses.
- First baseman/outfielder Jim Adduci had two stints in the Cubs organization, but it appears his playing career is over, as he’s now moving on to another role in baseball. The Cubs have hired the 35-year-old as their run production coordinator, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. Adduci, whom the Rangers selected in the 42nd round of the 2003 draft, played from 2013-19 in the bigs and also saw time in the Korea Baseball Organization.