Kerry Wood was initially thought to be a shoe-in to come back to the Cubs in 2012 and possibly beyond.
That may not be the case anymore.
As David Kaplan and his panel of guests discussed Tuesday on Chicago Tribune Live, he used to think there was no way Wood would pitch anywhere else next season, but he believes there may be a chance now.
"From what I hear, Kerry wants a fair contract," Kaplan said. "He took the short, small deal last year because the Cubs had financial issues in terms of their budget. Now, they don't have those issues. He wants to be paid like a fair setup guy and they have not come to an agreement yet on a deal."
It was just a week before Christmas that Wood's signing was considered "inevitable."
A month before that, Kap reported how Theo Epstein called upon Wood to talk openly and honestly about the state of the franchise and how they could change the culture. As Kap said then, Wood is the most respected voice in the Cubs' clubhouse on top of being one of the premier relievers in the game.
The fans absolutely adore him. It would not be good business sense for the new Cubs front office to skimp a player like that. If money is the real issue here (which it might not be, admittedly), is an extra 1.5 million or so worth alienating a clubhouse leader and fan favorite?
Hopefully a deal gets done and it's just taking a while because of the holiday and such.
Our first glimpse at the 2020 Cubs will have to wait.
Because of forecasted inclement weather into the afternoon, the Cubs' first spring training game on Sunday will be postponed to later in the day. This is to let the rain past and prep the field for the tomorrow's opener at Sloan Parka gainst the Oakland Athletics.
The Cubs game will now start at 7:10 CT instead.
And it's not just the game that is affected, the Cubs are encouraging fans to reconsider how they plan on getting to the ballpark.
"With high rain accumulation expected through the day, parking at Sloan Park could be limited," the Cubs said in a statement. "The Chicago Cubs and City of Mesa encourage guests to carpool, take public transportation or utilize ride sharing services."
The good news, no ticket exchange is necessary. So if you get there and the rains pass, you shouldn't have a hard time getting in.
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Anthony Rizzo's got jokes.
Thursday, Rizzo poked fun at the Houston Astros cheating scandal. The Cubs first baseman posted on his Instagram story "I think it's safe to say I won't lead the league in hit by pitches this year..." accompanied by a gif of three trash cans.
The Astros used a camera during their 2017 championship season to steal opposing teams' signs. Houston would relay those signs to their dugout, and someone would bang a trash can to signal to Astros hitters the exact pitch coming their way.
The scandal has players fuming league-wide, with more damning information advancing the story seemingly by the day. Now, there's an overwhelming feeling opponents will retaliate by intentionally plunking Astros hitters this season.
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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is warning all 30 teams consequences will come from any intentional beanballs. This could turn problematic fast, as umpires may overreact to any hit-by-pitch. Pitchers have the right to throw inside, and sometimes, a pitch just runs in too tight.
Rizzo is all too familiar with this, hence the bigger punchline to his post. The 30-year-old has been hit 145 times in his nine-year MLB career — second among all active players (Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo holds a slight 'advantage' at 150, albeit with six more seasons on his résumé).
Rizzo notoriously stands on top of the plate, hence why he's plunked so frequently. If an Astro is hit more than him in 2020, one will rightfully make the connection to Houston's scandal.
In the meantime, we're here for Rizzo trolling, and he won't be the last player to do so at the Astros' expense.