Harper, Graveman, League Drama, Farnsworth, Ho Ho Ho, and Other Bullets

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Harper, Graveman, League Drama, Farnsworth, Ho Ho Ho, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Family fun-time on tap today, complete with cookie-making goodies for Santa that just happen to align with Dad’s interests.

  • The big-ish Bryce Harper rumor dropped on Friday night, with the Cubs reportedly asking Harper and Scott Boras to check back in with them before signing with another team, just in case the Cubs could move around some salary and make it happen. It’s another one of those things in this pursuit that we could have concluded had gone down behind the scenes, but it’s always nice to see the confirmation.
  • Mark Feinsand is looking to help keep those hopes alive, speculating that the Dodgers’ salary maneuvering with the Reds could help them be in position to spend big *next* year when $50+ million in payroll falls off the books. My response? Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig were both free agents after this season anyway, so … that doesn’t really track. Maybe the Dodgers were targeting next year anyway, but I don’t see any relationship to this trade. Moreover, Bryce Harper is available now, not next year. If he’s a guy they want, they will not pass just because a bunch of salary falls off the books next year.
  • Also from the weekend, if you missed it: the Cubs signed rehabbing starter Kendall Graveman to a big league deal, and signed reliever Mike Zagurski to a minor league deal.
  • As we discussed recently, player salaries declined this past year for the first time in 14 years, and it’s not as if MLB revenues are dropping. To me, that’s a clear harbinger of doom as the current CBA is set to expire after 2021, with no signs that the two sides are ready to work closely together to address any developing disparity (as well as the other host of issues facing the game). Buster Olney gets into that, and rightly notes that some skilled, neutral voices are needed:

  • MLB.com dubbed the David Bote pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam game the best win of the year for the Cubs, which sounds quite right to me. It also won the Cubs’ GIF-off:

  • Kyle Farnsworth, 42, is still playing semi-pro football:

  • A reminder on why that is a surprise to no one:

  • Fun from the Bears’ ugly win yesterday (number 11!), as Mitch Trubisky took a cheap shot, and his teammates REALLY had his back:

  • Merry Christmas, you filthy animals:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.