You may have heard of this little event the Cubs held this weekend. Turns out the writers knew it was going on, too. So prepare for the onslaught of articles.
With access to the same personnel and pressers, lots of outlets have similar articles. I tried to cut your redundancy down. Tried. But as a wise Cub fan, you probably knew there'd be a lot to read today.
From Comcast SportsNet
- You know Matt Garza and the Cubs avoided arbitration. CSN looks at what that might mean for the pitcher's future.
- Here's a bit more on the assimilation program the Cubs started with Kerry Wood and Mark Prior talking to current Cub prospects.
- Zygote news that may lift your spirits. The team may be putting Javier Baez on the fast track. Beyond that, he may already be considered part of the core.
- Dual tracks alert: Theo says you should judge this team on whether they make the playoffs. Spoiler: failure is coming.
- And Patrick Mooney has a long article about Theo and the state of the Cubs. The team president also sees many changes coming to Wrigley.
- Cub reliever Michael Bowden is enjoying the ride this offseason. The pitcher is happy to be with his "hometown team".
- Video: Matt Garza is ready to be uncaged.
- Video: Jed Hoyer and players are ready for action.
- Video: Jason McLeod talks about Cub prospect camp and the development of the farm.
- Tom Ricketts laid out a new vision for Wrigley Field. He's also changing the narrative, saying Wrigley isn't a museum.
- It was an awkward moment to an awkward answer about an awkward situation. But the team may be ready to mend some fences with Sammy Sosa.
- Edwin Jackson wants to bring a winning attitude to the Cubs.
- Video: Cubs coaches panel.
- Video: Cubs management panel.
- Convention photo gallery.
- A good summary article about the "united front" at the convention. One of the prevailing messages: Theo's experiences in Boston made him ready to tackle the challenge with the Cubs.
From Cubs Den
- When you look at the Cub rotation, you may not see an ace. But it's a group that is solid top to bottom.
- Jason Berken. That name, among others, is enough to make Cub fans shudder. The issue: pitching depth. The Cubs have "seven starters" as it stands now. If (When) the Cubs trade away a starter and/or some get hurt, the hurlers waiting in the wings are hoping to erase the memory of Berken-esque players taking the mound.
- A new Sunday column with a smattering of Cub observations and other stuff.
- The video corner catches up on rookie progress with Cubs lefty Brooks Raley.
- MLB Hot Stove looks at Alfonso Soriano's trade value.
- Javy Baez must really be on the fast track. He was the youngest member of the club's rookie development program. Players involved were thought to be close to contributing at the big league level. That's good news for pitchers Dallas Beeler, Marcus Hatley, Barret Loux, Trey McNutt, Zach Rosscup, Nick Struck, Robert Whitenack, and Tony Zych and position players Jae-Hoon Ha, Matt Szczur, and Logan Watkins.
- One knock on new starter Edwin Jackson is that he has trouble staying in one spot. But that well-traveled nature can sometimes overshadow what Jackson can do on the mound.
- Saying no to the WBC was tough for Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano.
- Ian Stewart says his repaired left wrist is ready to go. Let's hope so.
- According to the Cubs, er, completely independent mlb.com beat writer Carrie Muskat, reaction to the Wrigley renovation plans has been positive. (I'm not saying reaction hasn't been positive. But, what else do you expect them to write?)
- We've heard Brett Jackson has been making swing changes. So far, the Cubs are pleased. My thoughts? Let's see the changes in game action against big league pitching before getting too excited.
- The best curveball at the convention may have been thrown by the fans. Some of the fan questions were beyond garden-variety.
- The Cubs lack advanced pitching prospects. That's not news. So the prevailing notion has been that the Cubs would pick a polished pitcher with the second selection in the draft this summer. But Theo revealed that the plan for this draft could look a lot like last year. That is, Theo will take the best player available in the first round, very possibly a position player, and then load up on pitching in bulk.
- Shark wants the ball on opening day.
From the Chicago Tribune
- Paul Sullivan looks at the Ricketts' proposal to fund Wrigley renovations if restrictions on the club are eased.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- Jeff Samardzjia is used to the spotlight. So he says he's ready for the glare of an Opening Day start, if he gets the call.
- The Cubs are planning to keep uber prospect Javy Baez at shortstop.
- The Cubs asked the Diamondbacks about Justin Upton and then quickly walked away.
- Shark says he won't rush to judge fellow Notre Damer Manti Te'o.
- Matt Garza has been patient. But he's ready to get at it.
- Alfonso Soriano wants to stay with the Cubs, but is "open to change". Cue the rumors.
- The team is anxious and brimming with optimism. And they are ready to dream big.
- More renovation details.
- A bunch of nuggets, including Tom Ricketts on the tv contract situation. The other interesting comment was from Jed Hoyer, who says the team didn't "botch" some of the failed trades and signings.
- A rather long, and editorial, look at the Wrigley rebuild financing debate. The writer labels the Ricketts' perspective about the renovation a "sob story". So there's that.
- If you're a Twitterer / Tweeter / Twitian, or whatever "you people" (tongue in cheek, settle down) call yourselves, Ian Stewart is happy to be your friend. Perhaps this identifies the source of his chronic wrist issues: over-tweeting.
From the Daily Herald
- This article is mostly about Mark Prior and Kerry Wood speaking to the Cub rookies. But there are also some notes on Kane County and where some of the youngsters may start the year.
- As usual, plenty of hope at Cubs' Convention.
Today's food for thought
- I gave you three last Thursday and there's a ton to surf through today. So, food for thought will return Thursday.