Cubs

Cubs moved up to national spotlight on ESPN to begin 2017 title defense

Cubs moved up to national spotlight on ESPN to begin 2017 title defense

Don't expect the Cubs World Series party to stop just because the calendar flips to 2017.

Major League Baseball moved the Cubs' 2017 season opener against the Cardinals to Sunday, April 2 as part of a primetime game on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

ESPN also hooked the Cubs for their home opener on April 10, which will also include the championship ceremony. 

The Cubs will host National League Manager of the Year Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles Dodgers at the first game at Wrigley Field since ending the 108-year championship drought.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your World Series champions gear right here]

Cubs-Cardinals will be the third game as part of MLB's Opening Day festivties on April 2, with two afternoon games in Tampa Bay (Yakees-Rays at 1 p.m. ET) and Arizona (Giants-Diamondbacks at 4 p.m. ET) prior to the NL Central showdown under the arch.

With the Cubs' season opener moving up a day, they will now have an off day on Monday, April 3. From there, Joe Maddon and Co. will finish their series with the Cardinals with a night game on April 4 (7:15 p.m. first pitch) and then a matinee at 12:45 on April 5.

The Cubs will be off on Thursday, April 6 before heading to Milwaukee for a three-game series over 2017's first full weekend of action.

Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki

tulo.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs reportedly interested in Troy Tulowitzki

According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the Cubs are one of the teams interested in free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The 5-time All-Star will be holding a workout soon, with Chicago being one of the six teams reported to have a scout present at his workout.

Heyman did mention that while the Cubs aren’t necessarily the favorites right now, we will know how good of a chance they will have soon. Tulowitzki and his team are reported to be narrowing down their list to (at least) 6 teams.

Last season Tulowitzki played 66 games for the Blue Jays, batting .249 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI. For his career he is a .290 hitter and is looking for a bounce-back season after dealing with complications from bone spur injuries in both heels over the years.

Toronto has to pay the $38 million left on Tulowitzki's contract, freeing up other teams to sign the veteran to a more reasonable deal. Since the Blue Jays went the route of cutting him, teams can offer Tulowitzki a league minimum salary.

For the Cubs, he represents-however small-a chance to extract great value from a veteran player, which would be a big bonus considering how the Yu Darvish signing backfired in year one.

Tulowitzki is likely to be searching for playing time on a legit title contender, so if he can provide any solid offensive production going forward, he and the Cubs could be a solid match.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap

descalso-pod-1214.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Winter Meetings recap

When nothing happens in Vegas, it stays in Vegas. Luke, Kap and Tony talk about the Cubs lack of moves during the Winter Meetings.

In this episode of the Cubs Talk Podcast with Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki:

00:10 - What happen in Vegas stays in Vegas and this year that means nothing. Luke, Kap & Tony talk Cubs lack of moves at Winter Meetings.

00:50 - Where the heck is all the money? This was supposed to be a wide-open window - we step on the accelerator.

01:25 - Cubs keep throwing money at the problem (Chatwood, Darvish) and it has become a cautionary tale.

02:50 - Are the Cubs playing at the shallow end of the kiddie pool?

03:50 - Tony talks about the volatility of the relief market.

05:15 - Where is the bullpen market? Brewers are making moves, but it's still "crickets" for the Cubs.

06:20 - Tony: Other than bullpen - Cubs have to address backup middle infielder most of all.

06:57 - Daniel Descalso rumors. Kap describes him as a grinder who fits the leadership mold.

07:47 - Luke is a little worried about Steve Cishek. He threw a career-high 70 innings last season.

09:34 - The guys talk about the possibility of a "second deadline" for the Winter Meetings to force clubs to make more moves.

11:06 - Luke: "I wanted to see Machado and Harper walking down the strip and making it rain!"

12:45 - Cubs still have so much to address. Some Cubs fans are starting to get a little itchy. Teams in the division are making moves. What about us?

14:45 - Question: Is Anthony Rizzo the third-best 1st baseman in the Central Division?

15:50 - Prediction time: What's biggest move the Cubs will make before opening day? Kap believes that Ian Happ will not be a Cub before the regular season starts.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Cubs Talk Podcast

Subscribe: