SAN DIEGO — The White Sox and Cubs have owned these Winter Meetings with the Sox trading for Jeff Samardzija and signing free agent closer David Robertson and the Cubs landing free agent prize Jon Lester and trading for catcher Miguel Montero.
“It’s great to see the Monsters of the Midway are back at it in Chicago,” agent Scott Boras said from the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel, “on both sides of town.”
The Sox have positioned themselves to be contenders in the AL Central with their two moves plus the signings of Adam LaRoche and Zach Duke last month. The Cubs reeled in manager Joe Maddon, signed Lester to a $155 million deal and are set to play for keeps after years of losing through a teardown process.
Sox manager Robin Ventura, who played for both the Yankees and the Mets in New York, knows the buzz that winning clubs can create both sides of town. In his three years as manager of the Sox, that hasn’t happened. But now it can.
“Absolutely,” Ventura said Wednesday. “Even what the Cubs are doing. The city is better off when both teams are good. I saw that in New York. When the Mets were making the playoffs, the Yankees were in the playoffs. Hopefully both of us can play better than we did the last few years.”
“I think it’s great,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “Chicago fans have suffered through a couple of tough summers, at least on our side of town and I think it’s exciting when there is an opportunity for all baseball fans in town to enter the spring with optimism and excitement over what their clubs have been able to do in the offseason. As it compares us to them it’s really an issue only four or six times a year until we’re both able to get to the point where we can face off in October, which is obviously each of our ultimate goals.”
The Sox and Cubs play each other July 10-12 at Wrigley Field and Aug. 14-16 at U.S. Cellular Field, both weekend series.