Rick Renteria

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MESA, Ariz. — Jon Lester signed with a last-place team when he had so many other great options.   

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MESA, Ariz. – Almost exactly a year ago, Edwin Jackson decided to freelance his way through a Cactus League start and only throw fastballs to the Cleveland Indians.

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This is Joe Maddon’s smiling “Before” picture, promising to buy everyone a round at The Cubby Bear.

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The Cubs tried to trade for Ben Zobrist before the Tampa Bay Rays flipped the super-utility player to the Oakland A’s in an arbitrage deal.

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A trip to New York reminded Joe Maddon of the nowhere-to-hide scrutiny that comes with this job. But having no OFF switch must sound ideal to someone who loves the bright lights.

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