Former Ranger Lewis to return to MLB

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Citing family health problems, Colby Lewis has decided to leave Japan and return to MLB for the 2010 season.
Lewis was viewed as one of the game’s best pitching prospects for a time at the beginning of the decade, but he was a complete bust for the Rangers. He had a 6.29 ERA in 34 1/3 innings in 2002 and a 7.30 ERA in 26 starts in his first and only full season in 2003. Shoulder surgery followed in May 2004, and he didn’t pitch in the majors against until Aug. 2006. He threw three innings for the Tigers then and 37 2/3 innings for the A’s in 2007, racking up a 6.45 ERA during the latter stint.
While MLB success was still beyond him, Lewis did show pretty good stuff during his time with the A’s and he caught the eyes of the Hiroshima Carp. He turned out to be a smashing success in Japan, going 15-8 with a 2.68 ERA and a 183/27 K/BB ratio in 178 innings. Last season, he finished 11-9 with a 2.96 ERA and a 186/19 K/BB in 176 1/3 IP. In both cases, he led the Central League in strikeouts.
The 30-year-old Lewis throws 89-92 mph these days. His curveball is a strikeout pitch. The changeup might not be there to make him a middle-of-the-rotation guy in the majors, but he’d definitely be worth a shot in the $1 million-$2 million range. That’s especially the case since he has less than four years of service time. Unless he has special language written into his contract, the team that signs him would be able to control him through 2012.

Report: White Sox will offer Robin Ventura a new contract if he wants to return

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 04: Manager Robin Ventura #23 of the Chicago White Sox in the dugout before the game against the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field on October 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.

Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.

The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.

The Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for Theo Epstein

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 27: Theo Epstein (R), President of Operations for the Chicago Cubs, talks with head football coach Jim Harbaugh of the University of Michigan before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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Carrie Muskat of MLB.com just tweeted that the Cubs will soon announce a five-year contract extension for president Theo Epstein. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that it’s worth in excess of $50 million.

He’s earned it. When he took over the Cubs in October, 2011 the Cubs were a last place team with an aging roster and a front office that was several years behind the state of the art in every conceivable way. Last year the Cubs made the playoffs and this year they are baseball’s best team by a large margin and the franchise looks poised to continue its success for some time.

So, yeah, I’d say locking Theo up is a good idea.