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Cub Tracks eats at Joe’s

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MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks
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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, Saturday, hot stove going, daily blue plate specials. Yesterday, Drew Smyly was served to the Rangers as the Cubs helped themselves to a bit more Cole Hamels and a bit of Jack Reinheimer for a palate-cleanser.

Chef Epstein no doubt has a few more surprises under his hat. In the meantime, the critics will review the last set of offerings. Our old friend Rob Huff is on the guest list. Let’s get a nice cuppa Joe and read all about it. As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

Current 40-man roster, updated daily. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are conspicuously absent.

  • Ryan Fagan (The Sporting News*): Speculation alert: Cubs-Dodgers trade involving Joe Maddon is so crazy it just might work. “The line between “so crazy it just might work” and “that’s just plain stupid” is thin and fraught with potential embarrassment. Let’s walk it anyway, shall we?”
  • Rob Huff (The Athletic {$}): Will they break the bank this winter? A look at Cubs spending going into 2019 free agency. “...2019 spending could continue largely in line with prior increases with the club electing to keep Major League spending just below the luxury tax line.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): What the Hamels option means for the Cubs and Harper. “The Cubs have financial concerns that may limit their ability and motivation to make a huge splash this winter.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Olney: Other teams believe Cubs ‘will have to spend very carefully’. “Limitations would come from on high.”
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Harper continues to troll Chicago at the outset of MLB free agency. “...the Washington Nationals extended a qualifying offer to Harper Friday and he now has 10 days to decide whether to accept the one-year $17.9 million deal or not.”

Food for thought: