Are we having fun yet? The Hot Stove went nucular. The Cubs could already hit like the Hulk and hurl meteorites in their spare time. Now they're even more better. John Lackey, Adam Warren, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward have arrived, and Starlin Castro has departed. We're sorry to see Starlin go, but...meanwhile, back on the range...
From Comcast Sportsnet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney: How Cubs wound up spending big on Heyward. "Even if you get The Plan, this is still a stunning transformation for a franchise that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908 and finished in fifth place every season between 2010 and 2014." Yes.
- Mooney: Heyward megadeal reinforces World Series expectations for the Cubs. Yes. So much yes. That's the whole idea.
- Mooney: What the Heyward deal means for Jorge Soler and Javier Baez. "...while juggling so many balls in the air, the Cubs won’t be immediately flipping Jorge Soler or Javier Baez, sources said in the aftermath of Friday’s eight-year, $184 million commitment to Heyward." So...what to do?
- Cubs players are fired up about the Jason Heyward signing. Jason Hammel - "Let's make that 173-0." Heh.
From CBS Chicago:
- Bruce Levine: Starlin Castro says goodbye to Chicago. "I did not think I would be traded," he said." Good bye. And good luck. As long as you're not playing us.
- Levine: Cubs still eyeing more moves after signing Heyward. Jake McGee, Matt Moore, Ender Inciarte, Marcell Ozuna? The Cubs "aren’t finished adding to this evolving team just yet." Incroyable!
- Chris Emma: With Heyward, Cubs a real World Series contender. I like the sound of that. Explain, please.
From ESPN Chicago:
- [VIDEO] Are the Cubs the favorite to win the World Series? You make the call. Has yelling. Good times.
- David Schoenfield answers: With Heyward signing, Cubs team to beat in 2016. With [VIDEO].
- Jesse Rogers says: Heyward completes the Cubs offense - - and team makeover. Do tell. "The National League is there for the taking." That sounds good too. Keep talking! With [VIDEO].
- Jon Greenberg: Cubs will head into the season wearing a bull's-eye. Well, yeah. That's part of it, too. Thanks for the reminder. Not ready to wake up yet though.
- Carrie Muskat: Cubs build around young core with Zobrist, Lackey. "Let's just say it was a productive few days in Nashville." Yes. Let's do just that. And then...
- Phil Rogers: With Heyward, Cubs lineup a monster. I like monsters. How about you? How big of a deal is this?
- AJ Cassavell: Center stage: Precedent for Heyward's move to center field. Jason Heyward is not Wil Myers. Let's just say that. And then...
- Muskat: Cubs may move Soler for starting pitcher. Or they may not. "...General manager Jed Hoyer has repeatedly said they need to be prepared for the worst, and don't feel they have enough depth in the organization."
- Muskat: Heyward chooses to sign with Cubs. "One of the lures for free agents signing with the Cubs has been the desire to be on the team that wins the World Series and ends the century-plus drought." Jason Heyward is apparently on the list. And on the team. And then...
- Paul Casella: Five Heyward facts that Cub fans need to know. 1) He's a Cub. 2) He's a Cub. 3)... plus real information.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Bold move shows Cubs are built to win now. Yes. Actually, they're built to win during the months of March through October, but that's a quibble.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Target on Cubs' backs? Maddon wants Cubs to "embrace the target." "...the biggest, baddest challenge for the Cubs in 2016 might be that they suddenly look like the biggest, baddest team on the block." Joe knows baseball. He probably knows Diddley too.
- Matthew Schwerha: Ben Zobrist was in line at Bass Pro Shop when he heard about the Jason Heyward signing. He was probably collecting gloves.
- Schwerha: Rizzo shows off his pipes at Brett Eldredge concert. It was in Red Rocks. Impressive collection. Wait, what? Really it was country music. Anthony Rizzo made like Danny Rockett, only not as good. Sorry, Anthony.
- Schwerha: Rizzo borrows Blackhawks mantra after Jason Heyward signing. Win is win. We hope the Cubs can emulate the Hawks' success.
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello: Should the Cubs stick with what they have? They could. They might. It probably wouldn't be a bad thing. But then... and then. More win is good too.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Brett Taylor: Jason Heyward signing: Took less money, move reactions, signing info, much more. A heaping helping of data. Guess this one -- The ballpark at which Jason Heyward has slugged the highest with at least 100 plate appearances?*
- Luis Medina: Cubs reportedly sign Stephen Fife, coming off Tommy John surgery in 2014. The Cubs are taking a flier on a familiar face with big league experience. Fife is working his way back, but was an up-and-coming prospect a few years ago.
From Cubs Insider:
- Evan Altman: So about Heyward's contract and those opt-outs...analysis of Heyward's deal and the implications thereof.
- Altman: The Rundown: Wait, did anything happen for the Cubs outside of becoming a "juggernaut"? "If anything else happened in baseball yesterday, does it really matter?" Cain Marko approves this message.
- CBS Sports: Mike Axisa: Recent additions mean Cubs have high-end youngsters to trade. Or keep? Axisa says "They shouldn't do nothing else." Analysis with [VIDEO].
- You be Joe Maddon -- what does your Chicago Cubs lineup look like? Interactive article, fun times. Feel free to post your lineup here.
- It's the Cubs world now. Yes. Yes, it is. Even-handed item by Cardinals fan Will Leitch.
- The Cubs just became baseball's new overlords. Yes. Yes, they did. But they do have to prove it. Good piece by Chris Bourg.
- Hey - Hey! Bid on Jack Brickhouse's trove of Chicago sports memorabilia. The bidding is over now but holy cow! "Everything from Jack Brickhouse's well worn, monogrammed briefcase to letters from five U.S. presidents." Very cool. For those of us in a certain age range, Jack was the voice of the Cubs.
- Cubs poised to make World Series run after signing Heyward. "There's no guarantee that they will, but for one of the few times during those respective droughts, all the pieces are in place for them to do so." So much yes.
Can we start spring training now?
Food for thought:
- A super-Earth in our solar system? Not so fast. Astronomers working with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered what they claim could be another large planet on the fringes of our solar system. Although the finding is intriguing, the news has been met with a healthy dose of skepticism.
- Tiny star with huge storm spotted by space telescopes. [VIDEO]. No, not the late Billy Barty. And no Eddie Gaedel, either.
- Neutron stars tear each other to shreds. Starring Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds? Jonathon Papelbon and Bryce Harper? Soler power? Nope. Stars of even greater magnitude. [VIDEO]
* The answer should be pretty obvious, since this is a Cubs site!