Joe Maddon expects no additions to Monday’s first full-squad practice
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MESA, Ariz. — More than five weeks remain before the Cubs break camp. And Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and dozens of other free agents remain unsigned.
But when the Cubs’ full squad fills the spring-training practice fields for the first time Monday, what you see is what you get.
That has been the signal sent from the front office, and it’s manager Joe Maddon’s expectation.
‘‘That’s not been a heavy part of the discussion with me, [president] Theo [Epstein] and [general manager] Jed [Hoyer],’’ Maddon said. ‘‘That doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen; I’m not saying that. But we’ve not talked about that a whole lot.
‘‘I anticipate what you see showing up tomorrow, the [Opening Day] group’s going to be derived from that group. I like that, I’m good with that. So in my mind’s eye, it’s going to happen that way: What you see tomorrow is going to be the group that we’re going to choose from.’’
Among other things, that means that — barring injury or upset shocker — the position-player and starting-pitching spots are set. The lone change in those areas from a year ago is newcomer Daniel Descalso replacing traded Tommy La Stella.
So no Harper?
‘‘I think we’ve been really clear this winter about the landscape we’re operating in and the different areas we can improve the team and the different resources available to us and how we’d have to be sort of creative and value-based and try to attack all areas that we could in an artful way, and this probably wasn’t going to be a winter where we threw money at problems,’’ Epstein said the day pitchers and catchers reported.
Could have just said no.
This and that
Maddon reiterated that, despite Javy Baez’s Gold Glove-caliber talent at shortstop, he still has not considered having Addison Russell prepare to play any other position if he remains with the team after serving the final 28 games of his domestic-violence suspension.
• Maddon said his T-shirt supplier still is working on the new ‘‘Own It Now’’ shirts for this season, so don’t expect to see Twitter pictures of the new slogan from the practice fields Monday.