Cubs Offseason Nuggets: Martinez, Lester, Zimmermann

With holiday feasting nearly upon us, here are some pre-Thanksgiving Cubs nuggets and thoughts for everyone.

Let us start with the possibility of Dave Martinez returning to the Cubs as a part of Joe Maddon’s staff. It has been my belief that the hold-up in Maddon finalizing his list of coaches has been due to Martinez’s uncertain status in Tampa Bay.

With Martinez now officially free from his coaching gig with the Rays, it seems the path to Chicago is finally clear.

General manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday that he will talk to manager Joe Maddon about Martinez, 50, who recently resigned as coach from the Tampa Bay Rays after being passed over for the Rays’ managerial position.

“We’re going to talk to Joe about it,” Hoyer said on the “Kap and Haugh Show” on WGWG-FM (87.7). “Obviously, (Maddon) had a great relationship with Davey. We’ve talk about him in the past, how strongly he feels about him and what he did for him and trying to replicate that.”

“Obviously now that he’s available, Theo (Epstein) and I really enjoyed our sitdown with him last year during the manager hiring process.”

Martinez, who played for the Cubs from 1986-88 and 2000, served as Maddon’s bench coach for the past seven seasons and would likely be a slam dunk if this were anywhere but Chicago. From what I understand though, any issues were addressed during the interview process last year and were eliminated on the Cubs end.

Curiously, it sounds like Maddon wasn’t really all that concerned with bringing Martinez with him one way or the other. Yet, it also seems somewhat odd that Martinez hasn’t gotten a managerial job offer after interviewing with many other clubs in addition to the Cubs.

Maddon’s staff is currently full and they may have to consider moving Brandon Hyde around once again if Maddon so wishes. Things should move quickly now on this front.

Moving on to Jon Lester, I’ve always had an inclination that he would be going back to Boston. That’s based on personal fears, but some of it is mixed in with information that I’ve heard. It sounds like the Cubs have made a strong offer, and I believe Kap’s report over Gordon Wittenmyer’s at this point.

It just seems like Boston is still the most comfortable spot for the pitcher, and the Red Sox, on paper at least, look primed and ready for another shot at the playoffs. The Cubs, on the other hand, would require some consideration and a leap of faith for Lester. However, I do hear that he is very intrigued by the city and opportunity; it still should come down between the Cubs and Red Sox.

If the Cubs do miss out on Lester, I wouldn’t be shocked if they re-engage the Nationals regarding Jordan Zimmermann.

There were some preliminary discussions, and, of course, Washington wants top prospect Addison Russell. That would be a non-starter for me, but I’m not sure The Cubs want to walk away from this off-season without gaining a talented rotation arm.

It should be an interesting next four weeks that lie ahead. As someone mentioned to me yesterday, the Cubs have been quiet, and that usually means they are up to something.

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