Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

dodgers sign all the playersIn case you missed the Egraphs contest yesterday, you still have time to enter and win one for yourself. The gist of what you need to do to enter is over at the BN Facebook page on this post here. Remember, you’ve got to “like” the BN Facebook page to be eligible to win.

  • The Dodgers’ new TV deal is now reportedly up to $7 to $8 billion over 25 to 30 years, with Time Warner entering the bidding. Previously, we’d heard that Fox Sports was going to get those 25 to 30 years for a mere $6 to $7 billion. Let’s say they get the $8 billion over 25 years (the best possible version) – that’s $320 million PER YEAR JUST FROM THE TV DEAL. (The numerator was so large that I couldn’t even fit it on my calculator.) I doubt the final figure ends up being quite that high, but the point is: whatever the final number, it’s going to be absolutely insane. Once again, for your frame of reference, the Cubs are currently believed to be receiving approximately one-sixth(!) of that amount from their WGN and CSN deals. The WGN deal is up after the 2014 season, and the CSN deal is up after 2019.
  • More from outfielder Nate Schierholtz on his hopes and expectations for playing time in 2013, from CSN: “[Cubs manager Dale Sveum] said he was looking for me to come in and play the outfield every day. That’s something I’ve looked forward to my whole career. I got chances here and there in San Francisco, but I didn’t really get a full-time job ever. It’s my job to come in to Spring Training and show them what I can do. The opportunity here was a no-brainer to me. I wasn’t looking to be a fourth outfielder. I wanted a chance to play every day. I felt like this team is going in the right direction and I thought I could help them out …. What it came down to is I just felt comfortable here. I talked to Dale a couple times before I signed and I talked to a lot of other teams as well. It just came down to Chicago really believing in me and believing I can come in and play up to my potential. It wasn’t as important to me to sign somewhere for, say, two years and potentially not play as much as opposed to coming here and playing. Everything just felt right. I love the city and the fans. I couldn’t be happier to be here.” It sure sounds like Schierholtz was sold on the idea that he was going to play every day in right field. I still think he ends up being the left-handed half of a platoon.

  • Tom Verducci takes his annual look at young pitchers who saw a jump in their innings pitched last year, and isolates those who threw more than 30 innings more than their previous career high in 2012. These pitchers, he cautions, could be guys to watch for possible arm trouble in 2013. Among the Chris Sale’s and Stephen Strasburg’s, a Cubs name pops up: Chris Rusin. His combined 173 professional innings last year were 34.1 innings more than his previous career high. It was a relatively modest leap, when you consider Rusin’s progression from college, so I’m not too worried. Further, it’s not like the Cubs are relying on Rusin to be a 200 inning starter at this point – indeed, he may well start the year in the bullpen or at AAA.
  • Patrick Mooney talks about the Cubs picking at number two in this year’s Draft, with some full quotes from Theo Epstein at the Convention this weekend. There are also some thoughts from Jason McLeod suggesting he thinks this year’s crop is at the top is really down, compared to recent previous years. He says the Cubs are hoping some guys really step up this season to give them some more obvious choices at number two.
  • In his January interview with Vine Line, Theo Epstein once again emphasized that if the Cubs are fortunate enough to have a realistic shot at a playoff berth come the Trade Deadline, they will indeed look to add pieces to make a charge. But if that realistic shot takes the form of say, five games out of the second Wild Card, with four teams in front of them, I doubt they do too much to sacrifice the future. Indeed, that might be about the level at which they’ll have a difficult choice: trade prospects to add pieces, or sell pieces to add prospects. Because standing pat wouldn’t seem a great idea.

  • Tom Ricketts’ role in a Cubs fan getting Ron Santo’s autograph tattooed on his head.
  • Brace yourselves, people of the North: Mark DeRosa has signed with the Blue Jays for $750,000. The fan favorite, and former Cub, is being brought in for his intangibles and clubhouse presence, because it can’t be his performance: his line over the last three years is .220/.309/.269.

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