There are concerns that an elbow “issue” is delaying the announcement of the Felix Hernandez contract extension, but Ken Rosenthal says it’s all gonna be OK:
The devil is in the details, of course. It took the Red Sox and Mike Napoli a couple of months to work things out with Napoli’s physical issue. Of course, I don’t imagine the Mariners are trying to get out of the deal so, sure, this could be relatively simple.
I think the most significant thing related to all of this is that Hernandez is on a normal spring training schedule. If they truly thought something was wrong with him, they wouldn’t have him going out there to do they usual do like they are.
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.