12/5 Cubs talk to Pujols’ agent re: Lopez
Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, did meet with the agent for Albert Pujols on Monday. But agent Dan Lozano also represents Rodrigo Lopez, whom the Cubs would like to return to give them pitching depth.
“You see [Lozano] going into someone’s room, it’s not always that you’re there to talk about the big Kahuna,” Epstein said.
That’s the nature of the Winter Meetings, which officially got underway Monday at the Hilton Anatole with lots of talk, and not a lot of action.
The Cubs do need a first baseman, but Pujols and the multi-year mega deal he’s seeking doesn’t appear to fit what Epstein & Co. are trying to do. Bryan LaHair might. Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer did meet with LaHair, who was at the meetings to receive an award Monday after leading all of the Minor Leagues with 38 home runs at Triple-A Iowa. No promises were made to LaHair, who still has a few more weeks to play in Venezuela.
“We told him we appreciate the things he can do as a player and asked him to concentrate on certain elements of his game as well and said we look forward to seeing him in Spring Training,” Epstein said.
At least LaHair is an option. As far as third base, Epstein said, they “have internal candidates more than definite internal solutions.”
Jeff Baker, DJ LeMahieu, Josh Vitters and Junior Lake on the Cubs roster as options at third. There were reports the Cubs had talked to the Rockies about Ian Stewart, and Epstein said they’ve put a few feelers out.
“We’re not close to anybody,” Epstein said.
— Carrie Muskat