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Cub Tracks Weighs Its Options

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Extend his contract or deal him away? Either way, Matt Garza's right arm is valuable. So is his swagger - and the Cubs are playing with more swag lately despite players looking over their shoulder. Meanwhile, Shark is looking short-term and may not be on board with "The Plan". And one of the team's top prospects takes in a game at Wrigley. It is a link-licious day in Cub Tracks.

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USA TODAY Sports

Writers are getting busy leading up to the All-Star break.

From Comcast SportsNet

  • It's a long shot, but Matt Garza may be open to an extension with the Cubs. He's at least giving lip service to being part of "one helluva party".
  • If/When Garza is traded, it might not be easy to replace his swagger, to say nothing of his arm. Hopefully nobody takes his place as post-game pie-in-the-face antagonist.
  • Alfonso Soriano thinks the team is fun, but he may be ready to listen when it comes to waiving his right to veto a trade.
  • Nate Schierholtz wants to be one of the pieces that sticks around.
  • While the Cubs wait on Kris Bryant, mature-beyond-his-years prospect Albert Almora got a little taste of life at Wrigley.

From Cubs Den

  • Forget waves and waves of pitching, the Cubs are trying to build an offensive juggernaut with their youth movement. Be ready, Ballhawk.
  • I almost never link to Game Notes, but this one had a couple interesting links. The first is a "telephone game" situation, but according to Phil Rogers, tapping info from Ken Rosenthal who talked to some unnamed L.A. Dodgers hitters who think the Cubs may have the next Matt Harvey on their hands. Who, you may ask? Well, Jake Arrieta, obviously. The second link is a nice write-up from the Idaho Statesman; the paper profiled young pitching prospect Trey Lang.

From Cubs.com

  • Lefty Brooks Raley is going to fill a (short-term) role in the bullpen. The kid will see if he can stick.

From ESPNChicago.com

From the Chicago Tribune (register to see almost anything but videos)
  • Watching the Cubs play the White Sox while wearing Cubbie Blue was a little weird for South Side native Brian Bogusevic.
  • (Video) At this link, you can watch and listen to Albert Almora.
  • Many fans thought they were scrub fill-ins, but Luis Valbuena and Dioner Navarro are proving their worth.

From the Chicago Sun-Times

From the Daily Herald

From Fangraphs

  • A bonus today from Fangraphs. Jeff Sullivan explains the value of Matt Garza, why he is good but not great, and a pitching oddity he shares with Mets' ace Matt Harvey.

Today's food for thought