Cubs

Cubs looking like dealmakers before deadline

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Cubs looking like dealmakers before deadline

Finally, the Cubs saw some action after all that trade talk and media speculation dominated their clubhouse for weeks, if not months.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer appeared to begin selling off parts on Monday night, with Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto saying what looked like their goodbyes in the dugout during a 14-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.

Soto is heading to the Texas Rangers, according to CSN Chicagos David Kaplan. Multiple reports say Johnson and left-hander Paul Maholm are going to the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs had not made any official announcements yet.

While Johnson and Soto shook hands and hugged teammates, the Cubs executives knew the clock was ticking on Ryan Dempster and Tuesdays 3 p.m. non-waiver deadline.

The Cubs will be glad when its finally over. But it would be impossible to argue that this is a team playing distracted.

You could actually see some signs of swagger, Darwin Barney flipping his bat and staring into the Pirates dugout while his three-run homer disappeared into the bleachers.

Everything inside the front office comes down to this: Is this a player you can build around or not?

Foundation pieces Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro knocked out the Pirates (58-44). Rizzo launched a missile that traveled 375 feet into the right-center field seats for his eighth homer in 28 games. Castro, showing the power the Cubs believe is in there, hammered one to straightaway center for his 10th home run.

The Cubs (43-58) are 19-10 since June 25, the day before Rizzo was promoted from Triple-A Iowa, and looking at a drastically different roster moving forward.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Manny Machado’s value and other Cubs offseason wish list items

Did Manny Machado’s value take a hit at all after he openly admitted hustling isn’t his “cup of tea”? Our Cubs team (David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki, Jeff Nelson) debate that, plus the potential fit of Machado or Bryce Harper for the 2019 Cubs and beyond.

The crew also runs down the top items on the Cubs’ offseason wish list – ranging from bullpen help to infield depth to a set leadoff hitter – in what may be the most impactful winter in Theo Epstein’s tenure in Chicago.

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

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

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NBC Sports Chicago

Bulls Talk Podcast: Getting to know the Bulls Outsiders team; bold predictions for this season

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.

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