Now that the Super Bowl is over and the Pats have hoisted another Lombardi Trophy, the sports world turns its sights to spring training and Major League Baseball. With the lack of exciting moves this offseason, here are the storylines fans are going to want to follow when the Cubs’ pitchers and catchers show up on February 12.
We haven’t signed Bryce Harper.
Repeat, we haven’t signed Bryce Harper. Unless something crazy happens, he’s probably going to the Phillies or back to the Nationals. Sorry to any of you who want to see him in Cubbie blue. Also, sorry to those of you who took Theo Epstein at his word following the disappointing Wild Card loss when he said he was going to value production over potential. There were no significant changes. There were no moves to get rid of any of the young potential-laden core who disappointed in 2018.
With the lack of exciting free agent pickups, how could anything of note be worth watching during Spring Training? Don’t we pretty much have the same team back from a disappointing 2018? Well, the easy answer is: yes. The more convoluted answer is: not quite. Injuries, off-field issues, slumps, and bad years make it entirely possible that the Cubs will look like a different team in 2019 if they can come out of the gates as they did in 2016. So, what should we look for and what’s going to be different?