Cubs

Cubs: Jason Hammel credits potato chips for keeping him healthy

Cubs: Jason Hammel credits potato chips for keeping him healthy

Who ever said you can't be healthy while sitting on the couch eating potato chips?

Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel credits potato chips with helping him avoid cramps that have plagued him recently.

Hammel had to be removed from his Memorial Day start against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a cramping issue even though he said he felt like he drank the equivalent of Lake Michigan prior to that outing.

After tossing six brilliant innings against the Texas Rangers to open his second half Saturday, Hammel said his doctor actually had the unconventional prescription of potato chips to combat the cramping.

"Doc called me over the break and actually told me again today — potato chips," Hammel said. "My prescription is potato chips, which blew me away. I never heard of a doctor that said potato chips. For my cramps, if it's a chronic thing.

"He said potato chips because they've got a lot of potassium and obviously the sea salt helps retain water. So I focused on that over the break. I ate a lot of potato chips. Think it turned out pretty well.

"Potato chip prescription. PCP — that's what I'm gonna try and go with."

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Hammel even said he ate the chips in between innings during his start Saturday and joked he should be a sponsor for utz chips.

So there you have it: Eating potato chips constantly can help make you a multi-million-dollar professional athlete.

Cubs free agent Nick Castellanos reportedly agrees to deal with Reds

Cubs free agent Nick Castellanos reportedly agrees to deal with Reds

Yesterday, it was reported that the Reds were the favorite to ink Cubs free agent right fielder Nick Castellanos. On Monday, it appears those two sides have reached an agreement on a multi-year deal, per The Athletic's C. Trent Rosencrans and Ken Rosenthal: 

Given the Cubs' desire to steer clear of the luxury tax in 2020, the odds of a reunion with Castellanos were always low. The club's recent signing of outfielder Steven Souza only furthered that belief.

To lose him to a divison rival, though, undoubtedly stings, especially considering the gumption with which the Reds have approached the offseason. Cincinnati has also notably added Mike Moustakas, Shogo Akiyama and Wade Miley this winter.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the deal is for $64 million over four years and added that the deal includes at least one opt-out.

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Reds are favorite to sign Cubs free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, report says

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USA TODAY

Reds are favorite to sign Cubs free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, report says

The odds of a Cubs-Nick Castellanos reunion happening have seemed slim all offseason. Although they've been connected to him at various points this winter, bringing back the fan favorite right fielder would require some serious financial gymnastics for the North Siders.

With the Cubs cognizant of the luxury tax, the division rival Reds have emerged as the favorite to sign Castellanos, according to MLB insider Jon Morosi.

The Reds have emerged as the frontrunner to sign free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, one source said Sunday, and there are indications the sides have made progress over the past several days. While Cincinnati is now the favorite to sign Castellanos, the Giants also have negotiated with the 27-year-old in recent weeks.

Because of their desire to stay under the luxury tax in 2020, the Cubs have only made low-cost acquisitions this winter. They were penalized $7.6 million for eclipsing the threshold in 2019; if they do so in 2020, they'll be taxed 30 percent on their overages —  and see their 2021 draft pick drop 10 spots, if they go over the figure by $40 million.

At this point, the only realistic scenario where the Cubs re-sign Castellanos is if they shed salary. However, they've reportedly signed outfielder Steven Souza to a one-year deal, giving them five outfielders (along with Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward). That might be the biggest indicator of a reunion not being in the cards.

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