Last time around the bend, Cub Tracks felt a draft. On this particular Sunday morning, we are ensconced in the dining car, digging into a breakfast of links and predictive waffling, some of which we’ll add to the glorious post-Meetings spread.
Something to keep your eye on . Cubs in on numerous pitchers and are kicking the tires on Yu Darvish now .— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 16, 2017
Feel free to belly up to the buffet — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
Today in baseball history:
- 1891 - The American Association disbands. The Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Browns, Louisville Colonels, and Washington Senators will become part of the 12-team National League.
- 1920 - The AL votes to allow pitchers who used the spitball in 1920 to continue using it as long as they are in the league. The NL will do the same. There will be 17 holdover spitballers in all.
- 1928 - NL President John Heydler's designated hitter idea gets the backing of John McGraw, but the AL is against it.
- 1964 - The Yankees fire long time television and radio voice Mel Allen. This well known broadcaster popularized the 'going, going, gone' home run call and often said 'how about that' to describe happenings on the ball field.
- 1975 - Bill Veeck, who became the owner of the team yesterday, fires manager Chuck Tanner and selects old friend Paul Richards to manage the White Sox.
- 2010 - After losing the right-hander to free-agency two seasons ago, the Cubs sign Kerry Wood, one of the franchise's most popular players of the recent past, to a $1.5 million, one-year deal that includes bonuses for appearances and games finished. After attending Ron Santo's funeral last week, the 33 year-old free-agent reached out to Tom Ricketts, letting the club owner know he would accept a modest offer to return to the north side of Chicago.
- Happy birthday: Marvell Wynne
Cubs news and notes:
Working out with Kyle Schwarber.
- Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): It’ll never be the same with the Cubs as it was in 2016. “I probably should warn you that a hot take is coming.”
- Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Yu Darvish is on the Cubs’ radar. “The price and length of the contract that Alex Cobb was seeking at the Winter Meetings was prohibitive in the Cubs’ mind, a source said recently.”
- Mike Axisa (CBS Sports*): Cubs interested in Yu Darvish as search for pitching continues. The Cubs are reportedly interested in Yu Darvish.
- John Graff (NBC Sports Chicago*): Jon Lester: The most important signing in Cubs history. "This signing really marks a transition of sorts for the Cubs, the start of a period where we are clearly very serious about bringing a World Series to the Cubs and the people of Chicago," Theo Epstein said back on Dec. 15, 2014.
- Kyle Hendricks is excited about Cubs’ offseason moves. “I am really excited about the moves so far,” Hendricks said.
- Jared Wyllys (Cubs Den): Small ways the Cubs can improve in 2018: Pitching. “Quite simply, the key to the Cubs bullpen in 2018 might just be Justin Wilson returning to form.” Ooooof.
- Darius Austin (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: John Lackey. “The nature of the hits Lackey surrendered was the problem...”
- Randy Holt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): 2017 player profile: Ian Happ. “For all of the swinging and missing, Happ still managed to walk at a rate of almost 10 percent.”
- William Boor (MLB.com): Fall League unveils Top Prospects Team. David Bote is named to the team.
Food for thought: