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Twitter mailbag: When does Theo Epstein's new contract get done?

The Cubs and Theo Epstein insist that a new contract will happen but that the team has been focused on other things. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

ST.LOUIS -- Time to empty the Twitter mailbag as I have (some) answers to your questions on the Chicago Cubs:

Jesse Rogers: At this point I would imagine it would be soon, but every time there looks to be an opening to complete it both sides say they're focused on something else. Epstein has cited offseason moves and spring training as priorities then the Kyle Schwarber injury happened. Not that any one thing is holding it up but remember this involves more than just Theo. It's also about some of the people under him as well. Unlike a manager on the last year of a deal this does not have that "lame duck" feeling to it. It's different for an executive so maybe it doesn't matter when it happens as long as it gets done by the end of his current contract. JR: There are really only two choices, Anthony Rizzo or Kris Bryant though the way Dexter Fowler is hitting I suppose you can't rule him out. I'll go with Rizzo. It's the easy choice since he'll face plenty of right handed pitching which in theory he can tee off on. Plus, he has more experience and is simply a more consistent hitter right now. I will say it's not easy for lefties to hit home runs at Wrigley Field depending on those wind patterns but you can't go wrong with Rizzo. JR: Have to go with false. One player would be a nice accomplishment. Ben Zobrist, Rizzo and Jason Heyward are the only three that have a chance. Zobrist actually did it last year for the first time in his career while the other two haven't really come close despite their keen eyes at the plate. Rizzo and Zobrist are off to good starts in terms of walks to strikeouts but it's doubtful that will last. JR: It really hasn't changed anything as far as I've noticed. John Lackey and Jon Lester hang out 24/7 while Heyward fits in nicely with the outfielders. It's about the same. Maybe there's a touch more maturity in the room now -- a few new older guys combined with the young guys -- but it feels about the same as last year. JR: I think it depends on a few factors. Obviously if he's clearly throwing better than others he would probably be the choice but it could come down to what type of pitcher they want or how much work he's had at that very moment. Setting that stuff aside it's usually the guy getting people out. Pretty simple stuff. JR: Hard to say. When they start losing games consistently? Notice how I reference wins and losses and not just runs scored. If Zobrist is getting on base a decent amount then he'll stay there. With him it's definitely more about on-base percentage than anything else. Maddon wants to "feed" the sluggers and Zobrist is taking his walks despite the lack of hits lately. So I don't have the answer but I don't see him changing much unless they go into a tailspin. Or he really slumps. JR: That's always difficult because who's doing the rating? In general I think guys get the proper amount of respect. I would say from outside the organization it would have to be Fowler, especially when you consider what happened -- or didn't happen -- during free agency this past winter. But I think Cubs fans respect him so I would go with Tommy La Stella. I heard one too many people asking if he'd be cut during camp. No way. The Cubs like everything about this guy for the role he's asked to play. It is not easy to come off the bench and produce good at-bats after good at-bats. La Stella does that for the most part. Not every time, but mostly, so I'll go with him.

JR: I think the idea will come up but quickly be dismissed. That kind of a change has many ramifications so considering the complexity of the negotiations I don’t think there is anywhere near a consensus to making that happen this time around. Too many other things to address. If there was overwhelming support by all parties then I could see it but we’re not there yet.