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Cub Tracks Parks It

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From where I sit, everything looks good.

The Friendly Confines
The Friendly Confines
Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Pregame:

The Battery:

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): How the Cubs rebuilt their pitching staff without David Price. "You can have impact pitching without necessarily having all household names (or) bona fide top-of-the-rotation guys," Theo Epstein said.
  • Michael Clair (Cut4): The top 10 slowest pitches of 2015Chris Denorfia makes the list, and checks it twice. The knuckleball, a gift that keeps on giving.
  • Ted Berg (USA Today): Cubs have #1 starting staff in MLB. All 30 staffs ranked.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Jason Hammel worked to be ready to take off again in 2016. He's in the best shape of his life. "Hopefully, the changes he’s making this offseason show up at the end of the year and Hammel can finish the season strong."
  • Shawn Ramsey (Fox Sports): Cubs still determining Kyle Schwarber's best fit defensively. While everyone seems to have an opinion on where Schwarber would be best suited on the field, Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello believes his future is behind the plate.
  • Chicago Cubs Online: Long days on tap for Kyle Schwarber. He reports with the pitchers and catchers.
  • Rob Willer (DRays Bay): Rays trade target: Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. Doesn't discuss what bodies might exchange locations but talks about Contreras' value.

Infield:

Outfield:

  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Cubs, White Sox continue to express interest in Dexter Fowler. "The Cubs are still the most likely landing spot for Fowler," one baseball executive whose club has also followed the Fowler free-agent process said. "He should have taken the Cubs’ qualifying offer and moved into the free agent class of 2017."
  • Anthony Castrovince (MLB.com): Dexter Fowler's five best fits in free agency. "Cubs: Kind of a wild card, but still a realistic one."
  • Doug Mittler (ESPN): The market for Dexter Fowler. Building on Castrovince's article.
  • David N. Wilson (Baseball Essential): Who will Jorge Soler be in 2016? "On a team where nearly every player is a star in his own right, Jorge Soler could be the sleeper break-out player of the year." That would be nice. I would like that plenty.

In the dugout:

  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Good news for Joe Maddon: DH not likely coming to NL soon. "I like NL rules," he said via text on Monday evening. "Always have. Never been worried about pitcher hitting or not."

Front office:

  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago): Why the Cubs spent big this winter (and won't be major players next offseason). "Next winter doesn’t look that great," Theo Epstein said. "(That’s) one of the reasons (why) we were aggressive this winter with bringing in the free agents that we did."
  • Jim Bowden (ESPN Insider -- $): 10 players who deserve extensions. "The Cubs created a big fuss when they delayed Kris Bryant's start to last season to gain an extra year of contract control. So why does Bowden say Chicago should sign him big now?"
  • George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): The Cubs' TV rights bubble [.pdf file].
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cubs will add second Dominican summer team. This helps to offset the loss of the Venezuelan league.

In the broadcast booth:

Miscellaneous:

Food for thought:

We're all in this together. You go first.