Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley crowd win flagWith apologies to Wham!, the best of the many versions of ‘Last Christmas’ is the Taylor Swift version.

What up.

  • It’s fun, especially now, to read this article about Joe Maddon’s interview from the Winter Meetings, knowing that the Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward additions hadn’t yet come to pass. Again, Maddon said this¬†before the Cubs made their big additions:¬†“The target’s going to be bigger, and I want us to embrace the target. The pressure is going to be possibly greater, and I want us to embrace the pressure. The bigger target, the greater pressure, I think, equals a grander chance for success. So I’m all about that, and I definitely will bring that to our guys’ attention.”
  • How true, eh? The offseason still has a ways to play out, and there are a huge number of quality free agents still out there, and trades potentially to be made (though that could include the Cubs, too). It’s possible that the Cardinals, for one example, could add a big bat and a big arm, and would look on paper plenty good. The Nationals, recently a cautionary tale about paper tigers, could make a couple big moves and leap to the top of the pack. The Dodgers could add Johnny Cueto and complete the uncomfortable Aroldis Chapman trade and they, too, would look fantastic on paper. But, all that said, as things stand today, the Cubs are the team that won 97 games last year, and have improved dramatically – *on paper* – this offseason. Right now, the Cubs look like the best team in the National League. But it’s still relatively early in the offseason, and this can all change easily once the games start being played.

  • The deal hasn’t officially been announced, by the way, but Jason Heyward has made it known on Twitter that he’s a Cub.
  • And, on the Heyward deal, there’s a great read in the Tribune from a familiar face – it’s Luis on whether Heyward is worth $184 million. The short version? Based on projections and the expected cost of 1.0 WAR in the coming years, yes, he’s extremely worth it.
  • BN’er mjhurdle is putting together a college football bowl contest for fellow BN’ers, and he’s going to send the winner a trophy, and I’ll send the winner their choice of a BN t-shirt. You join the group here, and the password is ‘heyward’ (all lowercase).

  • Anthony Rizzo is a star (again):

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