Joe Torre has made up his mind . . . and its probably to leave L.A.

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The L.A. Times’ Dylan Hernandez reports that Joe Torre has “said he has decided what he’ll do next year,” and that he has told his wife and Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti. He’s just not telling the public what it is yet.

Query: did Torre have an open invitation to come back that would allow him to simply decide to do so if he wanted to? His contract is up. The Dodgers have looked pretty awful, with many, many underachieving players this season.  Is the decision to return — if that is his decision — really up to him and him alone? Not trying to start a “fire Joe Torre” thing here, but there are reasons other than Joe Torre’s personal wishes for him to not be back in blue next season, aren’t there?

So, if this was a decision he made alone it would, by definition, be that he’s retiring, no?

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.