How often do you talk with your friends? I’ll text my buddies every once in a while and might call my parents every couple weeks or so, but I don’t think there’s anyone I really go out of my way to communicate with very frequently. But new Cubs signee Chris Gimenez is not me and none of my friends are the top free agent pitcher on the market.
When the Cubs agreed to a minor-league deal with the Grandpa Rossy clone this past Monday, Cubs Insider was among several voices in the chorus theorizing that the move was made with Yu Darvish in mind. The battery formed a bond after being paired together a dozen times in 2014 and also during Darvish’s Tommy John rehab in 2016. Darvish has admitted privately that Gimenez is his favorite catcher and there was even a rumor that the veteran backstop had been recruiting his former teammate to Minnesota prior to signing with the Cubs.
Gimenez downplayed his role as a recruiter when he joined MLB Network Radio Friday, but admitted that he has talked with Darvish “probably 10 or 12 times” since he signed. Even if we count Monday as a full day (the signing was announced in the evening) and go with the lower end of the estimate, that’s twice a day every day for the last week. There are weeks when I don’t even talk to my wife that much.
I suppose it’s plausible that there’s zero ulterior motive here and that Gimenez is simply checking in on his as-yet-unsigned pal. A pal who just happens to be in active talks with the team that now employs Gimenez. Maybe they’re conducting brief English lessons or talking about how to avoid tipping pitches when you only throw from the stretch.
”Wherever he may end up signing, it’s gonna be the best spot for him,” Gimenez said. “That’s something that I’ve tried to convey to him. I’ve talked to him a few times throughout the offseason here and I just try to let him know, ‘Of course, if you want to come to the Cubs, I would not say no.’
“I do know that if he happened to sign, they might make a statue of me before I even get [to] Wrigley Field. Because apparently, it was me that did it. I really have nothing to do with it, I just kinda talk to him as a friend and if he has questions or advice or whatever else I need to pass on, it’s my job to do that.”
Whatever else I need to pass on? My job? Yeah, that sounds totally innocuous and not at all like he’s acting on behalf of the Cubs in any way, shape, or form. You can listen to more of the interview below and form your own conclusions, but this strikes me as a little more than a guy calling up his buddy just to chit-chat.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) January 27, 2018