Chicago Cubs: Jon Lester, Jason Heyward getting a head start in Mesa
Following a trip to the National League Championship Series, Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs are expected to be one of the best teams in Major League Baseball. And just last years offseason, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer went out and found multiple pieces to the puzzle.
As soon as the Oakland Athletics were eliminated by the Kansas City Royals in 2014, everyone was expecting the Cubs to be a serious player when it came to acquiring Jon Lester‘s services. It came down to the Boston Red Sox and of course, the North Siders who came out the winner in that sweepstakes.
This time around, Gold Glove outfielder Jason Heyward was considered one of the top free agents aside from Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, and David Price. All four men found themselves with new clubs following their own solid campaigns in 2015.
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Now that we’re getting closer to Spring Training, some players are starting to show up to their training camps earlier than expected. Both Lester and Heyward wanted to get a jump-start on their workouts and made their way to Mesa, Arizona over 10 days before the rest of the team.
Lester showed up around Feb. 9 and Heyward followed the next day, showing that they are ready to get things rolling. Hopefully, Heyward can help Chicago’s southpaw work on his pick-off move early on.
The St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of Lester’s weakness in his Cubs debut last April and walked away with the victory. The Cubs will open up the year on the road as they square off against Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels.
Los Angeles may end up featuring former Cub Dexter Fowler. Fowler’s still a free agent and is receiving interest from not only the Angels and Cubs but the Chicago White Sox as well.
Here are a few stories you may have missed:
‘Jason Heyward reported to camp 10 days early‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘Stop worrying about the drought and focus on the future‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘Will the Cardinals pursue Fowler to get even?‘ – Cubbies Crib
‘International Prospect Showcase grows in 2016‘ – MLB