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Cub Tracks remains in the hunt

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All about Ohtani, invent-a-closer, and other bullets

So you think you can tell?
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Last time around, Cub Tracks remembered a ten. Strangely enough, the history section is still all about Ron. This is okay by me. We’re not even having baseball quotes today. Let’s get right to the Cubs news — as always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in Cubs history:

  • 1973 - The Cubs' plan to trade their veteran third baseman Ron Santo is thwarted when he becomes the first player to invoke the new 10 and 5 rule. The team wanted to send their 33-year-old infielder to the Angels for two pitchers, but his 10+ years in the major leagues with 5+ being in Chicago gave him the right to veto the deal.
  • 2011 - Ron Santo is elected to the Hall of Fame posthumously by the Golden Era Committee, receiving 15 of its possible 16 votes. The former Cubs' third baseman, who played in the 1960s and early '70s, compiled a .277 lifetime batting average, won five Gold Gloves and was a member of nine All-Star teams during his 15-year tenure in Chicago, including a season on the South Side with the White Sox.
  • Happy birthday, Cliff Floyd. Happy belated birthday, Lee Arthur Smith.

Cubs news and notes:

Hell, I wrote about it before he did. It seems obvious to me.

Yu Darvish is the No. 1 pitcher on the market, but the market for him may not be clear until Shohei Ohtani is signed. The Cubs could have the financial flexibility to sign both Darvish and Cobb.

Rather than bid for a free-agent closer -- most likely, Davis -- the Cubs will find out if the Rays are going to trade Alex Colome.

The Cubs' farm system has been depleted by the trades for Aroldis Chapman and Davis, but they still have enough high-end pitching prospects to satisfy the Rays for Colome. — Richard Justice (MLB.com)

Willson Contreras has the strongest catching arm in baseball if you go by average velocity on “max effort” throws. Contreras’s 1.91 average pop time on caught stealing at second base was just 0.01 behind first place. That should be unsurprising given that Contreras rated as the second best catcher in baseball (Tucker Barnhart) by defensive value at FanGraphs. He was tied for third in DRS, behind Barnhart and Martin Maldonado – the two Gold Glove winners. — Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation)

  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): 'Tis the season: Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo give back. “Cubs players spent weekend participating in charity fundraisers.”
  • ESPN: 30 for 30+: Why Wrigley is so special. [AUDIO].
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs chosen to meet with Japanese free agent Shohei Ohtani. “...despite multiple disadvantages in the bidding process for the two-way player.” As reported elsewhere on this site.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago Sports*): Cubs remain in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. Ohtani has until the end of Dec. 22 to choose a team. I hope he hurries up.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): Breaking down the seven finalists in the race to sign Shohei Ohtani. “...the case for each of the seven finalists to ink the two-way Japanese superstar.”
  • Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): A little context for why the Cubs desperately need strike-throwers in the bullpen. Hallowe’en is over, but “you might enjoy being horrified...”
  • Brandon Morrow as a closer? Michael Cerami opines. Ken Rosenthal congrees {$}. Evan Altman expounds.
  • Madeleine Kenney (Chicago Sun-Times*): Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood sells Lake Geneva home. I understand that the Wood family is moving in next door to Easy Ed.

Food for thought:

  • Emily Conover (Science News): In a first, Galileo’s gravity experiment is re-created in space. “Equivalence principle holds up inside an orbiting satellite.”
  • Laurel Hamers (Science News): Here’s yet more evidence that the mythical yeti was probably a bear. “Eight samples of remains such as fur, bones and teeth purportedly from mountain-dwelling yetis actually come from three different kinds of bears that live in the Himalayas...”
  • (Metro.us): Holiday music is bad for your mental health, says science. “It has to do with the "mere exposure effect," which is a term for the U-shaped relationship between how much we hear music and how much we like it.”

Thanks for reading. See you Thursday.