Surprise! Cespedes signs with Oakland


Surprise! Cespedes signs with Oakland

All of last week, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Yoenis Cespedes would sign with Miami. The Marlins had the ability to offer him years, money and what looked to be a pretty perfect situation for the 26-year-old Cuban defector. The Cubs begun focusing their attention on Jorge Soler, while the White Sox appeared to be pulling out of the fray to sign a Cuban defector this winter.

Detroit and Baltimore also were rumored to be involved in the bidding for Cespedes. So, naturally, he signed with the Athletics on a four-year, 36 million deal.

The same Athletics that have gone all-in on rebuilding, trading away Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez during the offseason. Four years of Yoenis Cespedes doesn't do much for a team that may not contend in the top-heavy AL West until the last year of Cespedes' deal at best.

Cespedes' deal nets him more dollars per year -- a 9 million average -- that he would've got from Miami's reported six-year, 36 million offer. He'll hit free agency sooner, which was probably he and agent Adam Katz' motivation here. Unless Cespedes completely flames out by 2015, he'll make more money taking the Athletics' deal than that of the Marlins.

The Cubs and White Sox aren't really in dire straits after missing out on Cespedes. The Cubs would've had to move an outfielder to make room for him anyway, and while he could've been a vehicle for the benching of Alex Rios or Adam Dunn on the South Side, there's far too much money involved to make that a viable move for the Sox.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective


Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective

NBC Sports Chicago’s own Kelly Crull and videographer Scott Changnon recalled what All-Star week in the nations capitol was like from their point of view.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:


Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world


Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world

What Chicago sports team is worth the most money in 2018?

As reported by Kurt Badenhausen in a Forbes article about the 50 richest teams around the globe, the Cubs are the most valuable organization in the Windy City.

Chicago’s North Side baseball team ranks as the 16th wealthiest team in the world, valued at $2.9 billion, an 8 percent increase from 2017. The Cubs are the third-most affluent franchise in Major League Baseball, behind the New York Yankees ($4 billion) and the Los Angeles Dodgers ($3 billion).

This year, the baseball club owned by the Ricketts family surpassed the wealth of the Boston Red Sox ($2.8 billion), who the Cubs were ranked behind last season at $2.68 billion. In the span of a year, the North Siders gained two spots in the top 50 from 18 to 16 on the list.

What could be the reason for this increase?

Could it be that the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central? Or could it be the incredible performances from players like Jon Lester and Javy Baez?

Whatever the reason is for the Cubs’ prosperity, the team is doing something right.

The club also surpassed the Bears on the list this year. In 2017 the Bears (worth $2.7 billion last year) were tied with the Red Sox as the 16th most valuable sports team on Earth. The McCaskey-owned football team has fallen to a tie at 17 with the San Francisco Giants, both valued at $2.85 billion in 2018. The Bears even increased by 6 percent in the last year, making the Cubs’ jump seem greater.

The Bulls, owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, are the last team from Chicago to make the cut. They stand at 23 in the top 50, tied with the Denver Broncos. Both franchises are worth $2.6 billion. Chicago’s NBA team even fell a spot from 2017, but they still increased their value by 4 percent (worth $2.5 billion last year).

The Bears are the seventh richest team in the NFL, while the Bulls are fourth wealthiest in the NBA.