Bears

Cubs send Dempster to Rangers at deadline

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Cubs send Dempster to Rangers at deadline

The long-running Ryan Dempster drama finally came to a close on Tuesday, with the Cubs trading their Opening Day starter to the Rangers just before the non-waiver deadline.

In exchange, the Cubs reportedly received two minor-leaguers, as executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer remake the team in their image.

In the final hours leading up to the deadline, Dempster indicated a willingness to go to the Dodgers, Yankees and Rangers and told the front office to make the best deal possible.

This followed last weeks breakdown with the Braves, as a potential deal fell apart after it was leaked to the Atlanta media and exploded on Twitter. Dempster, who had 10-and-5 no-trade rights, didnt feel like that was the right environment to make decision, and wanted to go to Los Angeles.

At the age of 35, and in the walk year of his contract, Dempster (2.25 ERA) will now get a chance to chase a ring and market himself for free agency. After winning two consecutive pennants, Texas isnt content to just get to the World Series. From legendary team president Nolan Ryan to brothers Greg and Mike Maddux, this organization has transformed its pitching DNA.

This continues the dismantling by Epstein and Hoyer, who traded left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Braves for two pitching prospects the night before.

On Tuesday morning, the Cubs officially announced the trade of catcher Geovany Soto and cash to the Rangers for Double-A pitcher Jake Brigham and a player to be named or cash.

At 3:15 p.m., Alfonso Soriano walked out to the hitting area beyond the left-field wall at Wrigley Field in Cubs gear. This was viewed as a softer deadline for Soriano, who has no-trade rights and is owed almost 43 million through the rest of this season and the next two years combined.

Sorianos name again popped up in rumors, but that price tag makes him a virtual lock to clear waivers in August.

Ryan Pace calls Bears' offseason 'aggressive' and 'energizing'

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USA Today

Ryan Pace calls Bears' offseason 'aggressive' and 'energizing'

The Chicago Bears won the offseason. At least, that's what the national opinion seems to suggest.

General manager Ryan Pace may not have read all the news clippings, but he offered his thoughts on the job he and the front office accomplished since January 1.

"It's been aggressive, a lot of work has been done, very exciting and energizing," he said at Bears training camp from the campus of Olivet Nazarene University Thursday. "There's a lot of new pieces and it's really neat to see the assets come together."

Pace and his team certainly did do a lot of work. The Bears made headlines in free agency with the signings of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton, three players expected to provide a huge boost to the Bears' passing game.

In addition to what he did on offense, Pace exercised his option with the transition tag placed on Kyle Fuller and matched the Packers' offer for the ascending cornerback. It was a big-money deal that showed players in the locker room he's willing to reward hard work and effort. It also showed the fans that he wasn't going to let the Packers steal a homegrown talent.

It didn't stop there. Pace strengthened the defense even more with the selection of linebacker Roquan Smith in the first round of April's NFL Draft and gave the offense yet another weapon in the second round when he traded up to select Anthony Miller, a receiver who could challenge for a starting job as a rookie.

Yeah, it's been an aggressive few months.

And let's not forget the biggest change of all: Matt Nagy.

Pace's tenure as Chicago's GM will likely be defined by the last few months. He invested in his hand-picked quarterback and made his first "real" coaching hire after a few years of experience on the job. He'll sink or swim with those two decisions. He knows it, and he went all-in this offseason.

Matt Nagy says Allen Robinson is mentally and physically ready for training camp

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USA Today

Matt Nagy says Allen Robinson is mentally and physically ready for training camp

The toughest part of any comeback from injury in sports is the mental aspect. Players have to build trust in their body again in order to eliminate thought from their movements.

In the case of Chicago Bears receiver Allen Robinson, he has to regain confidence in his left knee after tearing his ACL in last year's season opener.

According to coach Matt Nagy, Robinson is ready.

Nagy, who met with the media at Bears training camp Thursday in Bourbonnais, told reporters that Robinson is mentally and physically ready to go. The biggest issue for Robins, Nagy said, is building chemistry with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Robinson is more than 10 months removed from his ACL tear, an injury that generally takes less time than that to recover. He participated in some on-field work during minicamp sessions this offseason in an effort to build that confidence.

Robinson will look to regain the 1,400-yard, 14-touchdown form he displayed in 2015, a year in which he was arguably the top young receiver in the NFL. 

"For us, he can play multiple positions," Nagy said. "We want him and Mitch to work on timing."

They'll start working on that timing Friday when the Bears kick off their first training camp practice.