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Cub Tracks feels a draft

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Roger over and out, slow-moving pitching market, and other bullets

MLB: Winter Meetings
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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last time through the turnstiles, Cub Tracks signed up for more Hot Stove. The package has yet to be delivered and it doesn’t look like it will be. The Stove is warming up a little, just not on the home range. Alex Cobb has apparently been bitten by a corn weevil and is having trouble negotiating the free agency maize. The Danny Salazar thing died pretty quick.

The Cubs just need one from Column A and one from Column B. It’s going to happen — I’d just like it to happen yesterday. But I’ll be patient and we’ll see what the usual suspects have to say — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1948 - It's a busy day for the Phillies when the team purchases Ken Trinkle from the Giants and trades pitchers Walter Dubiel and Dutch Leonard to the Cubs for first baseman Eddie Waitkus and pitcher Hank Borowy. Ruth Ann Steinhagen, a female fan totally obsessed with former Cub corner infielder Waitkus, is very upset by the trade and will try to kill him upon his return to Chicago with Philadelphia.
  • 1977 - The Red Sox trade Fergie Jenkins, a future Hall-of-Famer, to the Rangers for a 23-year-old pitcher named John Poloni, who will never play in another big league game. As a starter for both the Rangers and later with the Cubs, the Canadian right-hander will post a 69-56 record with a 3.71 ERA during the remaining six years of his career.
  • 1985 - After a two-year battle with lymphatic cancer, Roger Maris dies in a Houston hospital at the age of 51. Former Yankees teammates Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, John Blanchard, and Bill Skowron along with Whitey Herzog and Bob Allison will as serve pallbearers.
  • 2014 - In one of his first major actions since becoming commissioner, Rob Manfred denies Pete Rose's application for reinstatement to baseball, citing a reversal of the lifetime ban would risk the sport's integrity. The four-page decision concludes the career hits leader had continued to gamble legally on horse racing and professional sports, including baseball, disregarding all the circumstances which led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.
  • Happy birthday — (Sudden) Sam Jones, Pete Whisenant, Bill Buckner,

Cubs news and notes:

Theo Epstein confirms everything moving slow. Things will carryover past the winter meetings: "Christmas could be threatened," he joked. — Jesse Rogers

  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Cubs have been busy at winter meetings, but what else should they do? “Circumstances have changed or ideas have changed. … There are teams shifting what they want to do,” Jed Hoyer said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs brace for different NL Central as rival Cards go big this winter. “Look, we’ve expected the Cardinals to have a huge offseason,” said Epstein.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago* {$}): Cubs trying to stay flexible amid slow-moving pitching market. "...things could change with one phone call."
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Mike Montgomery to Cubs: ‘I’ve proven I can [start] and want opportunity’. “I’m not going to say trade me or else. I just want them to know I am serious about starting,” he continued.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Cardinals' improvement, Montgomery's aspirations present challenges to Cubs. “You need eight to 10 starters, and Mike Montgomery is going to make plenty of starts,” Epstein said.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Cubs continuing to explore rotation options. “Internal candidate Montgomery might again be in 'pen.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Cubs could go closer by committee, which actually might not be too bad. “It’s fine having someone who hasn’t done it or done it consistently before,” Epstein said Monday. “But it makes sense to name a closer just so you can establish roles.” Contradictory? Find out why.
  • Jake Misener (Fansided): Chicago Cubs fans named best fan base in baseball again in Fandom 250. “I think it’s time we make it a three-peat.”
  • Charles Pulliam-Moore (IO9): Marvel's Death just claimed responsibility for the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series. Grimm, very Grimm, Justin.

Food for thought:

Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!

Thanks for reading.