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Cub Tracks still insists it sees the ghosts

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trade the whole roster, RIP Willie, and other bullets

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MLB: NL Wild Card-Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Great Szczur’s Ghost! All-Hallow’s Eve has come and gone, and we’re back to the normal post-season grind instead of Death Wish Coffee. The Hot Stove has been lit, and player personnel are on everyone’s menu, along with undistributed candy and the inevitable pumpkin spice lattes.

The scribes will consider how best to deal Cubs players and mull the intricacies of free-agent acquisitions, and so shall we, fellow fans. Here’s the current 40-man roster, courtesy of cubs.com, something that we may refer to from time to time.

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

  • NBC Sports Chicago: Theo Epstein previews free agency [VIDEO].
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Here is what’s on the Cubs’ offseason to-do list. “We’ve spent a lot of money on players, and that’s not always the answer to rush back out and spend more,” Theo Epstein said.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Does a consistent, stable lineup even make sense for the Cubs in 2019? “...with the current roster construction and no discernible leadoff hitter, it’s much harder to execute.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): What we learned about the Cubs while watching the Red Sox celebrate another World Series title. “...the way this season ended revealed how much the Cubs need to reinvest in their everyday core and cover up the softer spots in their lineup.”
  • Jeff Burdick (Cubs Insider): Should ghost of Carl Crawford still haunt Theo Epstein? “...it’s worth reviewing for any lessons that may still haunt Epstein this offseason.”
  • David Haugh (Chicago Tribune* {$}): As Cubs consider Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the answer is simple: Neither. “For the franchise that embraces Eamus Catuli, two more Latin words: Caveat emptor.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): The first free agent signing isTrevor Rosenthal. “The Cubs were thought to be among the suitors for the former All-Star.”
  • Katherine Acquavella (CBS Sports*): Cole Hamels is open to an extension with the Cubs, his agent says. “We are certainly open to anything that makes sense for Cole and the Cubs going forward,” he said, in part.
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Development isn’t linear, and that’s a good thing for Willson Contreras after a disappointing 2018. “...being a catcher is rather demanding physically and attrition is just an accepted part of the job.”
  • Bill Thompson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Javier Baez and the intangibles. “The Cubs are a better team because they have a player who can play elite defense at multiple positions, and do it regularly.”
  • Kenny Kelly (McCovey Chronicles): The Giants should go after Kyle Schwarber. “Hunter Strickland, Tony Watson, and Will Smith would all make the Cubs better.” Michael Cerami of Bleacher Nation had some thoughts along these lines.
  • Eric Fisher (Chicago Business Journal {$}): Cubs, Marquee to hold a new 2020 Champions golf event. “The Chicago Cubs and their Marquee Sports & Entertainment division are entering the golf business through the creation of a PGA Tour Champions event slated for March 2020 in Arizona.”

Food for thought:

Thanks for reading.