Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

theo epstein and jed hoyerA reminder to those who missed the Bullets yesterday: the Taylor Family heads to Disney World tomorrow (through Thursday), so you should brace yourself now for reduced posting at BN during that period. I’ll still be writing in the mornings and at night, and you’ll see some great stuff from Michael, Luis, and Luke during the week, too. So you won’t be totally bereft of your favorite #content. It’ll just be reduced.

  • The GM Meetings are at an end, and the week was about what you’d expect it to be, even as Theo Epstein indicated teams and agents may be inclined to move a little earlier than usual (and, heck, we’ve already seen several trades, including last night, when the Braves really did end up trading away Andrelton Simmons). For the Cubs, Epstein says the week was the top of the first inning, and was a good “feeling out” process for other teams and agents ( There’s a lot of great stuff in that article, so you’ll want to give it a read.
  • I especially liked Epstein’s acknowledgement that they know how fortunate they’ve been in the rotation the last several years to not suffer through a series of tough injuries at the front, which would really expose the lack of depth they’ve had at times in the 6th through 10th starter range (though I’d add that, last year, they were absolutely eviscerated by injuries in that depth portion). You should look for the Cubs to be really aggressive in adding depth starters this offseason, in addition to adding a guy or two who obviously slots into the rotation, and pushes everyone else back a spot.

  • (Also, and I know no one wants to hear it, but I have to say it again: because this free agent class is so uniquely stacked on the pitching side, it could be a great opportunity for the Cubs to add two very good starters (for less total money, on a shorter commitment) than one of the top tier starters. It’s great to dream about an Arrieta/Price/Lester front three – and, again, if the Cubs go that route, I won’t complain – but we know how easily pitchers can be derailed by injury. And if the Cubs put all of their offseason pitching eggs in one elite starter basket, what happens if one or two of those guys go down for a lengthy period? The rotation could look nightmarish, and the season could be lost. It’s all something that must be considered.)
  • James Russell won’t be returning to the Cubs (well, at least not immediately), as he’s signed a minor league deal with the Phillies. Good decision by him, because there should be opportunities there to try and rebuild value.
  • One Chris Denorfia on the Cubs last year was a lot of fun (he actually hit several walk-offs, you know). But how about 600 Chris Denorfias waiting for you on your doorstep? Now it’s a party.

  • Today’s Cubs on Amazon is a sweater … for your beer. That’s what it looks like, anyway.

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