Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Today is the little girl’s first birthday party (actual birthday is tomorrow). That impacts you in at least two ways: (1) you should be going, “awww,” and (2) I’ll probably be unavailable for a large chunk of the late morning and early afternoon. Time flies and all that…

  • It sounds like that report about the Marlins offering Yoenis Cespedes a six-year, $40 million contract during his visit this week was indeed not accurate. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins did make Cespedes an offer, but it was for “LESS” (he capitalized every letter, but didn’t say how much less) than $40 million. If true, you can come to one of many conclusions: (1) it’s still somewhat early in the negotiation process (at least with respect to the Marlins); (2) bidding on Cespedes isn’t going to get quite as high as some thought; or (3) the Marlins are trying to leverage Cespedes’ desire to play in Miami into an opportunity to get him on the cheap. Based on how things have played out, and on the Marlins’ already-pricey offseason, I lean toward number three.
  • Before you get excited thinking, “whoa, the Cubs could easily beat a $40 million over six years offer” (which, yes, they could), remember: multiple sources last week started reporting their belief that, ultimately, Cespedes would sign with Miami. Further, the Cubs and Marlins aren’t the only teams interested in Cespedes. So, while the pendulum may be swinging ever-so-slightly back in the Cubs’ direction, their chances of signing him remain solidly below 50% (let’s call it Marlins 40%, Cubs 30%, another team 30%).

  • Since these Bullets are already turning all Lukewarm Stovey, I’ll note that Jon Heyman says Edgar Renteria is looking to play in 2012, and the Cubs, among other teams, might be a good fit. The Cubs have been looking for a middle infield backup for some time, and, right now, only Adrian Cardenas (and, to a lesser extent, non-roster invitees like Edgar Gonzalez and Matt Tolbert) could back-up at shortstop (Darwin Barney can do it, obviously, but he’s slated to start at second base). Renteria, 35, is becoming something of a nightmare at the plate (OPS+ of 67, 93, and 78 the last three years), and his defense has taken a step back. Minor league deal and a chance to show what he’s got left in Spring Training? Sure. Guaranteed deal and a back-up job? Eh.
  • Phil Rogers thinks both the Theo Epstein compensation decision and the Ryan Braun PED suspension appeal decision will come down this week.
  • New pitching coach Chris Bosio was on the radio yesterday with Bruce Levine, and you can see a recap of his appearance at the CCO. In short, Bosio is heavily focused on the mental side of the game for his pitchers, and he also wants them to work out of the stretch more in practice. Bosio also thinks the Cubs are not done adding pitching depth.

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