Did you know you can make ice cream at home with heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk? I did this last weekend with the kiddos, and it was relatively easy and fun (except I whipped the cream by hand, which took quite a bit of effort – but I’m a beast). The best part is that the ice cream was actually really good. Slightly different than “real” ice cream, but close enough, and good in a different way. We’re gonna do it again today. Be a hero and surprise your kids/spouse/friends with this idea.

  • We discussed the Jake Arrieta-related section of Jon Heyman’s latest earlier this morning, but the front of the post is spent discussing Bryce Harper’s future. Harper, 24, is in a situation not all that dissimilar from Arrieta, in that he followed a historically excellent in 2015 with a step back in 2016, and a big 2017 (and/or 2018 in Harper’s case, since that’s when he’ll reach free agency) could create an enormous swing in his expected future free agent contract.
  • Where will Harper go when that day comes? As Heyman writes, it’s not impossible that Harper could stick with the Nationals, but it seems unlikely. Instead, you’ve got to figure that the Yankees and Phillies would be among the most serious bidders, given the current state of their building process and their resources (never count out the Dodgers, either). The Cubs come in for a mention as the fourth most likely team, according to Heyman, behind the Yankees, Nationals, and Phillies. While it’s fun to dream on Harper in his prime being on the Cubs, I think it’s hard to look at the team’s positional core (which could include outfielder Eloy Jimenez on the way in the next two years) and pitching needs, and then conclude that they’ll commit $400 million to Harper. Of course, two years is still a very long way away, and a whole lot can happen between now and then. Regardless, I’m just excited to follow Harper’s free agent process – it could be insane.
  • Speaking of enormous contracts, Craig Edwards takes an interesting look at last year’s big free agent signings (Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist included), and examines how those contracts now look – in terms of future value – after one year of performance. No surprise: the Cubs did not get “value” for Heyward last year, and the rest of the deal now looks like it will be a net negative. On Zobrist, however, the Cubs made out like bandits last year, and project to get even more surplus value the rest of the way. Heyward’s is not the worst of last year’s deals, though, when you project forward – instead, it’s Zack Greinke’s monster contract. Something to keep in mind when discussing how much, for one example, Jake Arrieta should get in free agency. With pitchers – even ones that project to continue being very good for a long time like Greinke did last year – there’s always a lot of risk. (OK, so that was true for Heyward, too. So … I guess the real lesson here is … sometimes big money free agents don’t work out in the first year? Oh, and always put your carts away in the cart corral. Everyone needs that lesson.)

  • Oof. Many of you may have seen the picture he sent out earlier this week, but Cubs.come confirms it: Cubs prospect Corey Black had Tommy John surgery. After a conversion to the bullpen, there was a chance that Black could emerge as a relief arm for the big league team as soon as this season, but now it will be spent on rehabbing and hopefully being in a position to return early next season.
  • Mike Montgomery’s gotten just two innings of Cactus League work in so far, but his arm is feeling good (CSN).
  • Can Ben Zobrist three-peat? Good read at ESPN on the two-time World Series champion.
  • After a great deal of fretting yesterday (that’s pretty reasonable when a pitcher’s elbow hurts, he gets an MRI, and then goes to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion), it turns out the news is very good for the Red Sox and David Price:

  • That’s all good news for baseball, too, as Price at his best could solidify a killer rotation in Boston – which would be fun to follow.
  • Must be a good time for apparel sales because our beautiful BN gear is 15% off with the code STPADDY17, and lots of Cubs gear just went on sale, too:

  • Speaking of shirts, a Cardinals fan blog has created a shirt that responds to the Cubs’ World Series victory:


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