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Cub Tracks fishes for answers

This free agent class is bad, and other bullets

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Chicago Cubs conclude season
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Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

Last time around, Cub Tracks wrote by fridgelight. There’s no truth to the rumor that swimming with the Ti-D-Bowl man is next on the agenda. Cub Tracks only does Cubbie Blue.

A little more content today — read all about it! As always * means autoplay on™ (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1903 - Baltimore’s defunct American League franchise is sold to Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $18,000 and will be relocated to New York to begin the season. The Manhattan team, who will play at Hilltop Park located in the northern part of the island borough, will be first known as the Highlanders before being officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.
  • 1960 - In the first episode of Home Run Derby ever aired, Mickey Mantle overcomes an 8-2 deficit to beat Giants superstar Willie Mays, 9-8, when he goes deep in the bottom of the ninth at LA’s Wrigley Field.
  • 1976 - The Giants announce the team has been sold to a group in Toronto for $13.3 million. San Francisco mayor George Moscone, reacting to the outrage of his constituents, secures a preliminary injunction to prevent the impending move.
  • 1990 - The owners announce a spring training lockout of major league players will begin on February 15 unless there is a new collective bargaining agreement. The work stoppage will begin as scheduled, lasting 32 days, being settled with the owners raising their annual pension fund contribution to $55 million, an agreement be reached for salary arbitration for 17 percent of the players with between two and three years of experience, and an increase of the minimum salary to $100,000.
  • 2012 - The Baseball Writers’ Association of America elects former Reds infielder Barry Larkin as its only player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in July. The Cincinnati shortstop, who received 86.4 percent of the scribes’ votes, was joined by Ron Santo, who was selected posthumously by the Golden Era committee.
  • Happy birthday -- Joe Wallis, Ivan DeJesus, Sr.

Cubs news and notes:

  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): Real or not? Reasons for the sloooow hot stove season. “This free-agent class is bad.”
  • Zack Moser (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Collusion by any other name would smell as foul. “The blockage in the free agent market is caused solely by owner intransigence...”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Why haven’t the Cubs signed a top-tier starter yet? “...the Cubs are the only big-market team willing and able to spend big bucks at the moment...”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic*): Can the Cubs finally ‘onboard’ struggling reliever Justin Wilson in 2018? “He just got off to a tough start, and we didn’t have time to really get it rolling right,” said Joe Maddon.
  • Ryan Davis (FanRag Sports): Is it wise for Cubs to hand closing duties to Morrow? He suggests Pedro Strop.
  • Robert Murray (FanRag Sports): Cubs not the best fit for Jake Arrieta. “...the St. Louis Cardinals, appear poised to be the stiffest competition for Arrieta’s rights.”
  • Carrie Muskat (*): Cubs’ high-octane lineup set to return in ‘18. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo lead club that scored second most runs in NL last year.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN Insider* {$}): Top 10 shortstops: Are Lindor and Correa MLB’s Magic and Bird? Addison Russell doesn’t make the top 10. I disagree.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Russell projects to be worth nearly one more win than Javier Baez in 2018. “Steamer likes Russell more because he has shown better plate discipline so far...”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune* {$}): Kris Bryant destined for big raise in salary. Friday, the players and the clubs exchange salary figures for arbitration. 8.9 million is Bryant’s projected pay.
  • Rian Watt (The Athletic*): Life of a scouting report: How the Cubs have streamlined an age-old process. Michael Cerami from Bleacher Nation elaborates.
  • Bruce Levine (CBS Sports Chicago*): Andre Dawson happy to be a part of Cubs again. “I am looking forward to this very much,” Dawson said.
  • Burt Constable (Daily Herald {$}): How a doctor preserved Chicago Cubs radio broadcaster Pat Hughes’ voice. “I enjoy it,” Hughes says. “When they call you ‘the voice of the Cubs,’ that’s a great way to go through life.”
  • Ashok Selvam (Eater Chicago): Cubs Fans will drink fancy cocktails at this new Wrigleyville bar. “Named after Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, an early 20th Century pitcher for the Cubs, Mordecai should be ready for April 9: Opening Day at Wrigley.”
  • Michael Ivory (Bat Flips and Nerds): How I learned to love the Cubs. “’s all thanks to some baseball fans from Chicago showing me a sport I had been missing out on.”

Food for thought:

Suits me. Thanks for reading.