No reason to get cute with the title. There's a lot going on. And I hear a fairly significant signing will happen this week. Hopefully on the dotted line with the Cubs.
I also have stayed away from posting too many Tanaka rumor links, since they become dated so quickly. I assume you're up to date on the latest.
From Comcast SportsNet
- Theo Epstein is waiting for all the distractions to fall away.
- Jeff Samardzija thinks signing Masahiro Tanaka would send a message that the "R word" is over. And I still maintain that "messages" are stupid.
- Years of scouting Tanaka make Theo Epstein feel the Japanese ace is worth the gamble of a big money contract.
- By now you probably know Rick Renteria is as positive a person as can be. So in the cases he has to "bite", he wants it to count.
- But will the Cubs' experience eventually break him down?
- Darwin Barney thinks he didn't win a second Gold Glove because of his poor year at the plate.
- If you don't like the new mascot, buckle up. Clark is here to stay.
- Prospect watch checks in on Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and Arodys Vizcaino.
- Jeff Samardzija wants to throw 230 innings this season.
- Also of note, if you go to the CSN Chicago Cubs page, there are a number of video clips from the Convention. I didn't want to link a pile individually, so scroll through what might interest you.
From Cubs Den
- This is more loosely Cub-related. But one of the writers thinks two clubs, the Royals and Blue Jays, are stuck in tough positions after abandoning their rebuilding plans.
- Some notes look at Theo and the rebuilding process, Tanaka, prospects, and the draft. In other words... "I'll have the usual."
- The Ricketts family hit on several topics at the Cubs Convention.
- Rick Renteria is embracing the Cubs' youth movement. Editorial: not that he really has a choice. But I will say this, I'm not an overwhelmingly positive person. I'd like to take positivity lessons from Renteria.
- Arismendy Alcantara (a very fun name, I must say) checks in at number four among all second base prospects.
- The Cubs are stocked with prospects. Duh.
- Here are more quotes from the Ricketts family session at the Convention.
- With or without Tanaka, the Cubs' plan will remain the same.
- And here's a closer look at the Japanese ace.
- Jeff Samardzija wants to stay with the Cubs. Probably.
- In a Q&A with fans, Theo Epstein acknowledged some mistakes. You know, the opposite of being pompous and disconnected.
- Theo Epstein defended the Ricketts family.
- The club and Jeff Samardzija are far apart in contract talks.
- The result of the club's rebuilding is building up prospects.
- The state of the Cubs has many fans lamenting "WHEN?!?!?!?!" If that question refers to the time frame for seeing more and more top prospects in spring training games, the time is now.
- (Video) Everyone's favorite whipping boy Crane Kenney says he "hears the fans."
- Mark Gonzales tackles a mailbag.
- While some have pegged him for the bullpen, Justin Grimm is preparing to fill a hole in the Cubs' rotation. I like Grimm better in the bullpen, but I wonder if he might be being undersold as a rotation candidate due to underwhelming last season with the Texas Rangers.
- Draft preparation is already full steam ahead. I want Tyler Beede and I'm going to keep repeating it until it happens.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- Jeff Samardzija thinks signing Tanaka would have a ripple effect on he and the Cubs. And I still think this is stupid.
- Tanaka has what it takes. You know... it.
- Gordo says the gap between revenues and spending could lengthen the club's rebuild.
From the Daily Herald
- Theo Epstein won't hide from tough questions.
- And the team president isn't wavering in his belief in "The Plan."
- This is a Barry Rozner column so caution applies. But he says Javier Baez is going to force the Cubs to change their plans.
Today's food for thought