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Renovate Wrigley? Dodgers owner Guber provides insight on CTL

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Renovate Wrigley? Dodgers owner Guber provides insight on CTL

Peter Guber joined Chicago Tribune Live Friday afternoon and chatted with David Kaplan about several things. Guber is the owner of the Golden State Warriors and is now part of the ownership group -- along with Magic Johnson -- that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Guber discussed his leadership style as a businessman and his new book, "Tell to Win." He also sounded off on a myriad of different topics on the business end of sports, including the Marlins' recent salary shedding trades.

"They've won and lost with all the different strategies," Guber said. "There's no one clear path to success certainly in sports or in life, but one thing that's for certain is, you better be acutely sensitive to the fact that if you're failing, you have to make a change. And the question is if it's really a failure or just a speed bump.

"And for them, they decided they weren't going to get there, so they cut their losses. One of the things you learn in business is when you have a failed proposition, you want to move off it as quickly as possible...It's a business, after all."

The Ricketts wowed the sports world when they purchased the Cubs for 845 million, but Guber was part of a group that bought the Dodgers for more than 2 billion.

While Ricketts and the Cubs are dealing with potential renovations to Wrigley Field, Guber is facing similar issues with Dodger Stadium -- what do you do with a historical, popular stadium that needs to be updated and modernized? Can you continue to win with a stadium like Wrigley?

"You can continue to win on the field, but everything is a part of the process now," Guber said. "The venue is an important factor. Clubs that don't have good training facilities, good medical facilities, good clubhouses, as well as good bathrooms for women -- a very important issue -- different kinds of food, they compete less favorably...There's different models that have worked different ways. You have to look at your marketplace and decide what you can do."

"The Cubs are a tradition. Going to that park has become part of the culture, it's been venerated. And that's what the Red Sox also did. Is Dodger Stadium that way? Maybe. Maybe not. It's a different kind of fanbase. I think the truth is, at the end of the day, we compete against home entertainment. And as a location-based entertainment venue, you better be up to snuff, cause over time, it'll eat your lunch if you're not."

Cubs Talk Podcast: Laying out a Báez extension and why Contreras' trade value spiked

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Laying out a Báez extension and why Contreras' trade value spiked

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan gives his thoughts on what a Javier Báez extention could look like. He also discusses how Yasmani Grandal signing with the White Sox increases Willson Contreras' trade value.

1:25 - Will Cubs and Javy Báez agree on a contract extension?

3:44 - If Báez doesn't want to commit long term, do Cubs trade him now?

6:15 - Kap gives his proposed deal that Báez could accept.

8:41 - Will Cubs lock up other key players with same type of mentality?

10:52 - Will Cubs be willing to trade Willson Contreras?

11:55 - With Grandal to the White Sox, teams might be more willing to part with their best prospects with Contreras in a deal.

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

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Cubs showing interest in Korean pitcher Kwang-hyun Kim, report says

Cubs showing interest in Korean pitcher Kwang-hyun Kim, report says

The Cubs are one of several teams interested in Korean left-handed starter Kwang-hyun Kim, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (subscription required).

Kim, 31, has pitched with SK Wyverns in the KBO League since 2007. The team posted him on Friday, meaning he’s free to negotiate with all 30 MLB clubs. Kim was also posted in 2014, but the system between MLB and KBO has changed since then.

When KBO teams posted their players prior to 2018, interested MLB teams submitted blind bids for the exclusive right to negotiate with the player. The highest bidding MLB team had 30 days to negotiate a contract with the player if the KBO team viewed the bid as reasonable.

If the KBO player agreed to a big-league contract, the KBO team pocketed the bid. If he and the MLB team didn’t come to terms, the MLB team received their bid back. The Padres submitted the highest bid for Kim in 2014 ($2 million) but the two sides didn’t agree to terms.

The new system —  introduced in July 2018 — is much simpler: if a posted KBO player signs with an MLB team, his KBO team receives a transfer fee based on the size of his MLB contract. As was the case with the old system, players have 30 days to negotiate an MLB deal.

Got all that?

In 12 KBO seasons, Kim holds a 3.27 ERA in 298 games (276 starts) with 1,456 strikeouts in 1,673 2/3 innings. According to Sung Min Kim of the Lotte Giants (also KBO) R&D department, Kim’s repertoire includes a low-to-mid-90s fastball, an upper 80s slider with a sharp break and a slow curveball that averages 69 mph.

The KBO is a lower level of competition than MLB, but Kim could fill a hole on the Cubs’ pitching staff, whether that’s as a starter, reliever or both.

The Cubs have an opening in their rotation after not tendering Cole Hamels a qualifying offer (a one-year deal worth $17.8 million). That would’ve been very enticing for Hamels, but the Cubs payroll is already projected to be $219.8 million in 2020, not including any potential offseason acquisitions.

Hamels could return to the Cubs in free agency at a cheaper salary, but Tyler Chatwood is already under contract for 2020 at $13 million. Chatwood enjoyed a resurgent 2019 season as a reliever/occasional spot starter and has earned the right to compete for the No. 5 rotation spot next season, should Hamels sign elsewhere.

But with or without Chatwood in the bullpen, the Cubs will need to address their relief corps this offseason. The bullpen struggled to pitch in high leverage spots in 2019, and Steve Cishek, Derek Holland, Brandon Kintzler, Brandon Morrow and Pedro Strop are all free agents. And as things currently stand, Kyle Ryan is the only lefty reliever penciled into the 2020 Opening Day bullpen.

Kwang is experienced and would fill at least one need on the Cubs roster. The Cubs did their due diligence on him can't hurt.

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