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Cub Tracks Jaywalks

Blue Jay, CBA, Zielinski Day, and other bullets

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres
Jay running.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In arrested developments just past, Cub Tracks served up an untidy bowl of remarks and commentary, continuing a tradition of being absolutely wrong about many things — in this case, the course of the CBA negotiations. It’s probably expedient, then, to predict the worst-case scenario, since we can be fairly assured that I’ll be wrong, but I dunno. Random stabs in the dark seems workable. I’ll run with that.

Jon Jay is a Cub. I voted meh. He’s a decent player but he’s a stopgap as we wait for some combination of Albert Almora Jr., Ian Happ, and ‘player X’ to materialize. At least he’s on the right side of the rivalry, and I’m sure that he’ll be in the best shape of his life™ by spring training. Hopefully he’ll be as much fun after blueshift as Jim Edmonds was...without the contact problems that made Jason Heyward’s first season such a mixed bag. He’s likely to score a few runs, with his OBP and relative lack of strikeouts placing him somewhere near the top of the order. Can still run a little. Won’t handcuff the offense, has a glove.

David Schoenfield opines that the Jay signing means Dexter Fowler is gone. Jed Hoyer rebuts. Or does he, Patrick Mooney?

Daniel Hudson? Hmm. The Hot Stove seems to be warming up. I hope so. If the expected flurry of signings was prevented by the uncertainty surrounding the CBA, we have maybe-good news: Brett Taylor reported that the CBA is done, based on Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman tweets from Wednesday. So we’ll be spared any more posturing and can get back to rampant speculation...

I think that’s where I’ll draw the line. Here are a few good reads for your Thursday. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): What to expect from Ian Happ in 2017. Best case, Wrigley Field. Worst case, another uniform.
  • Adam Calvy ( Hoyer: Cubs not closing door on Dexter Fowler return. “GM says don't rule out free-agent center fielder, even after 1-year deal with Jay.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Cubs newcomer Jon Jay targeted to fill roles of David Ross, Dexter Fowler. At least partially.
  • roydjt (GasLamp Ball): Farewell, Jon Jay. Tribute from Padres SBNation group writer.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs hurlers expected to be offered contracts. Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm all are arbitration-eligible.
  • Phil Rogers ( Theo Epstein's 'simple' draft strategy continues to pay off. Sam Hughes helped a little.
  • David Adler ( Javier Baez reportedly to play for Puerto Rico at World Baseball Classic. That team looks really good. It might be the last edition, according to some reports.
  • Jim Bowden (ESPN-Insider {$}): Top targets, fallback options for all 30 teams. Relief pitching for the Cubs.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN-Insider {$}): Are the Cubs preparing for the pursuit of a superstar? Turning Japanese? He’s not the only one who thinks this, according to Michael Cerami and Evan Altman.
  • Chris Bahr (Fox Sports): Why the Chicago Cubs would be crazy to trade Kyle Schwarber. Five good reasons.
  • ESPN*: Jed Hoyer talks to Kaplan and Friedell [AUDIO].
  • Carlos Portocarrero (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player profile: Albert Almora. “Players like Almora are often judged by their highlight reel...”
  • Cat Garcia (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player profile: John Lackey. “Lackey has just one year left on the North Side, but it looks like his career is far from over yet if he keeps it up.”
  • Mike Imrem (Daily Herald): If White Sox won't deal with Cubs, they are fools. Even if they do, they still are. Chain chain chain...
  • Tim Baffoe (CBS Chicago*): White Sox’ tilting at windmills is unfortunate. “...if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Cubs GM Jed Hoyer: Proximity, scrutiny complicate any trade with White Sox. Why there have been so few anyway.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Sports): Jon Jay signing just the beginning for new Cubs’ additions. Levine adds just a single link to the chain.
  • Justin Breen (DNAinfo): World Champion Cubs drawn in old-school baseball card form. Mike Noren has created his own almost-Hall of Fame. Very cool.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Cubs scout Stan Zielinski to be honored. Zielinski will be inducted into the Midwest Scouts Association Hall of Fame.

Food for thought

  • Adrian Cho (Science): Astronomers spot signs of weird quantum distortion in space. Polarized light from a neutron star, acting as a funhouse mirror.
  • Peter Dockrill (Science Alert): We now have scientific evidence for why you should never go to bed angry. “...sleep actually consolidates bad memories, making you live with them for longer...”
  • The Science Explorer: Ancient rocks reveal evidence for life before oxygen. “2.52 billion-year-old sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, similar to some modern single-celled organisms that live in deepwater sulfur-rich ocean settings today...”

And so it goes. See you on the flip side for Sunday’s pancake breakfast. Bring your own leprechaun.