Here are a selection of tidbits you can relish at your leisure:
From Comcast Sportsnet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney says to Believe the Hype. He goes on to write that the Cubs will be major players this season, and that Theo Epstein’s front office likes to kick the tires on everything and never rule out anything. Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon, pitching, pitching, and pitching are mentioned.
From CBS Chicago:
- Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs and White Sox match up for a trade. But would they do it? Remember Sammy Sosa for George Bell? Jon Garland for Matt Karchner? Neal Cotts for David Aardsma? Could Javier Baez leave the North Side and Jose Quintana leave the South Side? What would happen if Jorge Soler was added to the mix?
- He also remarks that the Cubs must decide how to spend their upgraded payroll. What do you get for 30 million smackers? David Price? Tyson Ross? Carlos Carrasco? Jordan Zimmermann? Jeff Samardzija?
- The GM meetings have begun. Remember the words of David Price from 2014. By now you know these by heart.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers also reports that the Cubs and White Sox match up as trade partners. Rick Hahn could use some infielders. The Cubs like pitchers, and the Sox have a few. Quintana, Carlos Rodon, Erik Johnson...Chris Sale?
- Jesse also writes that money is not everything for the Cubs where free agents are concerned. There might be some action during the meetings. The previously-mentioned are again mentioned, plus Denard Span, Ben Zobrist.
- And he concludes with 10 Cubs storylines to watch. Sammy at Cubs Con? How to spend money...and on whom? Is Kyle Schwarber ready to accept full-time catching duties? Is Miguel Montero on the block? And more.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Cubs position-by-position analysis: Shortstop. Addison Russell has the job. Starlin Castro plays second. Javier Baez looms large as a backup at either position. Gleyber Torres is a few years away.
- Paul Sullivan writes that top free agents could woo the Cubs. For love and money. The Cubs might be "The Bachelor." Who wants them the most?
- Paul also says that offseason plotting for the Cubs and the White Sox is picking up steam at the winter meetings. The market, at 163 bodies, is deeper than usual. Who goes where?
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Baseball execs agree that Starlin Castro is the Cubs infielder most likely to be traded. 20 of 31 rated him higher than Baez. No names named, alas.
- A game-worn Kris Bryant jersey broke the auction price record. Other Cubs' jerseys fetched good prices also.
- Kyle Thele submits a list of the Cubs top 10 prospects before the 2016 season. The biggest obstacles for these players are the players at the MLB level. How they play doesn't matter so much, he says.
- MLB Trade Rumors predicts David Price to the Cubs for $217 million. John Lackey and Denard Span also sign on the dotted line. Magic 8-Ball says "too soon".
- Kyle also reports that Jordan Zimmermann is a dark horse candidate for the Cubs pitching staff. Sports Illustrated still agrees.
From the Daily Herald:
- Bruce Miles writes that lessons learned, the Cubs are ready to move forward. Jed Hoyer vouchsafed a few words before the winter meetings started.
- Bruce also iterates that the Cubs know that power brings strikeouts. I had thought it brought great responsibility, but what do I know? The Royals didn't strike out a lot. Castro praised, Dave Martinez is meeting with the Dodgers.
From Cubs Den:
- North Side Irish brings the rumor thread and wraps it around today's Cubs-news-so-far. Cubs in on Darren O'Day? Andrew Miller available? And many other items in a long list, amended at least once already.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Brett Taylor has various free agent predictions for the Cubs. Johnny Cueto is mentioned in one linked article. Justin Upton, Span, Fowler in another.
- Luis Medina claims that the price of pitching will skyrocket this year. It would be quite a surprise if it didn't, especially given some of the names on the market this time around.
- Brett writes that the Cubs know they need to make better contact and provides several other interesting links and observations.
- How will this offseason compare to last year? Chicago may be becoming a destination of choice for free agents, the article says, continuing the narrative.
Food for thought:
- Cold-hearted planet? Hardly. Pluto may have volcanoes at its heart.
- Werewolf kittens are real..and you already want one. A mutation has led to a new breed of cat, called Lykoi. Larry Talbot would approve.
- The hot dog isn't a sandwich. So says The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. I disagree. It's meat on bread.