Chicago Cubs: Two big-name targets who could replace Jim Hickey

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Team needs this resolved sooner rather than later

Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings are set for December 9-13 in Las Vegas, NV. Why is this relevant? Because it would send a much stronger message to agents of free agents if the Cubs had their internal house in order before Epstein and Jed Hoyer went shopping.

It’s hard to imagine players aren’t at least a little concerned by how Chicago has conducted itself this winter. First, firing Chili Davis and refusing to give Maddon an extension – or even talk about one with their skipper. They lost Andy Haines, their assistant hitting coach, to the Milwaukee Brewers and, now, face the task of replacing Jim Hickey, Maddon’s hand-picked choice to serve as pitching coach last offseason.

Maddon will enter 2019 under the spectre of being a lame-duck manager. Whether or not that affects anything this winter remains to be seen, but the Cubs would be better served in, at the very least, rounding out the coaching staff before that point.

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It’ll be interesting to see which way the Cubs go. If not for Farrell’s ties to both Epstein and the organization (his sons have held a variety of roles with the team – both as players and in the front office), I’d say Hottovy was a safe bet. But those relationships change things, at least in my mind, and could give the former Red Sox skipper a leg up on the competition.