Lots 'o links for a Sunday.
By the way: I strongly advocated for signing Francisco Liriano. Just sayin'.
From Comcast SportsNet
- The Cubs know Alfonso Soriano is a streaky hitter and hope he's getting hot at the right time.
- The stats suggest a move to the AL would be good for Soriano.
- The team is making a splash with international signings. I just don't see it that way. Outside of those who love prospect lists and following the minors, signing these teenagers isn't going to 'move the meter' with "casual fans".
- Matt Garza has been putting on a show in what is developing into a seller's market. For his part, Garza says he's a Cub until his cell phone rings. Keep it charged, Matt.
- The Cubs ultimate roster makeover is continuing.
- Jeff Samardzija is going to need to make adjustments more quickly.
- The team is still waiting for Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to be consistent.
- The catching tandem of Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro has been pretty productive at the plate.
From Cubs Den
- The Cubs need to "win" a Matt Garza trade. Well, yeah.
- If the Cubs are just ignoring IFA spending limits (which I doubt and/or feel like something must have changed amidst all the trades), what does it all mean? Real nice write-up.
- It is sometimes hard to see, but halfway through the season, this year's Cubs are definitively better than last year's version.
- Some members of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks were able to take batting practice before Friday's game. And the Cup visited on Saturday.
- Scott Feldman had a whirlwind 36 hours.
- Here are some midseason awards for the Cubs.
- The Cubs are actually a playoff contending team. Well, they would be if they didn't have to play their divisional opponents. Through Friday: 11-26 against the NL Central and 25-22 against everyone else.
- Travis Wood's manager thinks coaching has played a big role in the lefty's success.
- Watching Starlin Castro has been frustrating.
From the Chicago Tribune (register to see almost anything but videos)
- The return for the (eventual) trade of Matt Garza is crucial for the Cubs' system.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- The front office went all-in for impact talent in the international free agent market.
- Closer Kevin Gregg is suddenly a hot trade chip.
From the Daily Herald
- Plenty of pitching moves and Jed Hoyer "unfiltered" in Bruce's blog.
- The Pirates are showing the Cubs how it is done. Kinda makes all that "Pittsburgh West" garbage even sillier (and, no, it won't take the Cubs 20 years to be good again).
- Blackhawks Brandon Bollig and Bryan Bickell enjoyed their day at Wrigley.
Today's food for thought
- Google captured views from the world's tallest building.
- Some kids stumbled across a mastadon tooth.
- The self-proclaimed world's strongest redneck (his words) helped a kitten stuck in a can.