Friday Cubs Notes: Zobrist Not Coming Back, Darvish Clarifies ‘Hospital’ Comments, Odd Bryant Trade Rumor
I’ve felt adjacent to awful most of the day and am typing this from the cafeteria of my son’s elementary as he runs around at their annual bonanza, so apologies if it’s a little scattered. The best option would be to take about a 15-hour nap, or maybe to snuggle up with a robust hazy IPA, but I’ve chosen instead to hit on a few topics of moderate interest.
Now that I think about it, each of the items below are somewhat similar in that they’re rife with either actual or potential misinterpretation.
Ben Zobrist not interested in comeback
The 2016 World Series MVP has been hanging around Cubs camp in uniform this week, but everyone insists he’s just there as a special instructor as a favor to David Ross. Though Zobrist hasn’t officially retired, he’ll turn 39 in May and says his priority remains staying home and taking care of his family.
Well, that whole retirement thing might be up in the air depending on who you ask. See below for more on that…
Ben Zobrist told us in a small group of reporters that he is of course retired and enjoying raising his kids. He said he would like to keep the door open with the Cubs to work in some capacity down the line.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) March 6, 2020
Ben Zobrist chatted with reporters briefly today outside the ballpark. Said his sole focus right now is his family. Not officially retired, but has no plans of playing this season. Has been reconnecting with team this week behind scenes. Wants to keep relationship with org going.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 6, 2020
I don’t believe either Bruce Levine or Jordan Bastian is incorrect in the least here, since Zobrist is definitely retired and has also not made it official. In fact, I wonder if he ever will confirm anything publicly. He seems like a guy who’d just as soon remove himself from the limelight to the greatest extent possible so he can just be a normal dude.
Yu Darvish didn’t go to “hospital”
The ace righty caused a stir Thursday when he tweeted in Japanese that he had been coughing and was at the hospital to be tested for coronavirus. Holy unnecessary fears, Batman! He ended up being perfectly fine and was right back at Sloan Park Friday morning for a simulated start, after which he explained his phrasing.
Darvish on not having coronavirus pic.twitter.com/D2oqCMRZUe
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 6, 2020
“We call it ‘hospital’ in Japan for everything, so it’s not a big thing,” Darvish explained after clarifying that he was just at a doctor’s office. “So that’s why I tweeted in Japanese, but you guys translated the Google translation.”
Kris Bryant trade proposal out of San Diego
I managed to miss this whole thing when it came out a few days ago, but then Bleacher Nation wrote about it and I had to check it out. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune laid out a scenario that the Cubs had reportedly proposed to the Padres centered around righty Dinelson Lamet and others.
According to two sources, the Cubs talked to the Padres recently about acquiring starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet and other players for the 2016 National League MVP, who will be a free agent after the 2021 season. There were multiple scenarios the Cubs were interested in that included Lamet. One source characterized Lamet and catching prospect Luis Campusano as the primary ask for Bryant.
Color me incredibly dubious here for multiple reasons. The whole “recently” thing seems odd, as does the return, so I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. The 21-year-old Campusano is a catcher, hardly a position of need in Chicago, and Lamet is a 27-year-old who has loads of potential that hasn’t completely manifested yet.
Then again, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of the Cubs’ interest in Lamet. He was at the center of a rumored proposal involving Javy Báez back in 2018, so it’s not a stretch to believe the interest is real. I’m still not buying this latest business, at least not at face value, but it’s something to noodle if you’re so inclined.
An now if you’ll excuse me, I need to eat this brisket grilled cheese and catch Sonic the Hedgehog.