It’s so good to be back. After three years away from CubsCon, it was nice to be surrounded by excited Cubs fans who just want to have fun in relation to their favorite team. I enjoyed the energy of the opening ceremonies, I enjoyed all the folks I saw and talked to, and I enjoyed the get-together after the convention. So many good people.
Today is a little more news-y, in theory, with the various panels throughout the day. I’m on my way to the Ricketts Family panel to kick off the day, and I can only assume the Q&A portion will be interesting.
Meanwhile, some Cubs Bullets before I get into full convention mode …
- Oh, hello, Michael and Trey:
- I have no extra inside dish on this one beyond what Michael said, except that I know him well enough to know he isn’t tweeting that out unless it’s legit. Doesn’t mean the Cubs will definitely land Mancini, but it makes me very happy to hear that they’re still interested. They need that quality depth, as we’ve discussed, and Mancini is among the best options still available.
- If you missed it last night, the Cubs avoided arbitration with all four of their remaining arbitration-eligible players (Ian Happ ($10.85M), Nico Hoerner ($2.525M), Nick Madrigal ($1.225M), and Codi Heuer ($785K)). The Happ deal didn’t come down until late in the night, but it’s good to know the sides could work it out, and the Cubs won’t have to deal with any arbitration hearings. There will be a few around baseball:
- At the Opening Ceremonies, the Cubs announced that Mark Grace and Shawon Dunston will be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame this year:
- Eric Hosmer told CHGO why he chose the Cubs over other options on the market (because remember, at the league minimum (Padres are paying the rest), he was going to have options). In addition to the usual Chicago/Wrigley Field stuff, which is true, he also sees upside:
“Just a young energetic group that, from the other side looking in, you see the talent, you see the way up with the guys that are on the way up,” Hosmer said. “And then some of the signings they’ve made, from Dansby to Cody [Bellinger] and all those guys. It just seems like a really good group, and it seems like a division that’s wide open that these guys can have a really good chance, so I’m glad to be a part of it.”
- Dansby Swanson just wants to win:
And Nico Hoerner has no issue moving to second base to accommodate Swanson (Tribune):
“I love playing shortstop,” Hoerner said. “It was always a dream of mine to play shortstop in the major leagues. Got to do it for a full season (last) year and was proud of how I carried myself. Always will be confident in my ability to do that, but the needs of our team are very clear. And it’s not an issue moving forward at all.
“The game is emphasizing athleticism, as much as we’ve had for a long time, and so getting to play second base without three people on that side of the field, it’s going to make for some harder plays. There’s going to be a lot of value at that position and I’m excited to see what it looks like.”
- More CubsCon Day 1: