Cubs

The Padres apparently didn't like the Cubs' asking price for Javy Baez

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AP

The Padres apparently didn't like the Cubs' asking price for Javy Baez

Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings are jam-packed with rumors, but one of the most head-scratching reports from this offseason's annual get-together involved the Padres and the Cubs.

Yahoo's Jeff Passan indicated the Padres were looking for a young, controllable shortstop and the Cubs could possibly be a match:

It makes sense from San Diego's end: if you're a team searching for a young shortstop years away from free agency, the Cubs are the place to be with Javy Baez and Addison Russell both fitting that bill.

But it was puzzling from a Cubs' perspective given Theo Epstein's front office is searching for high-end, young, controllable starting pitching — an area the Padres aren't exactly flourishing in.

Still, it appears the two teams did talk about Baez, though The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reports the Padres weren't willing to pay the Cubs' perceived price.

Rosenthal didn't get into too much detail about what the Cubs were asking for, but San Diego Union-Tribune's Dennis Lin shed a little more light on the conversations:

It's understandable the Padres wouldn't feel comfortable parting with one of their top young starters, their best reliever and possibly more on top of that when they're in the middle of a rebuild, but from the Cubs' perspective, it makes total sense they would ask for that.

Dinelson Lamet is already 25 with only one season (114.1 innings) of big-league work under his belt. He's under team control through 2023 and struck out nearly 11 batters per nine innings (10.9), but he also has had issues with walks throughout his career, surrendering 4.3 BB/9 in 2017.

Perdomo, 24, has spent most of the last two years in the San Diego rotation, though to not-so-great results: 5.16 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 6.5 K/9. He's been a bit unlucky, however, and posted a 4.40 FIP in 2017 while making 29 starts. He is only under team control through the 2021 season.

Hand will turn 28 during spring training and has two years left until free agency. After working as a swingman between starting and relieving for the Marlins, he enjoyed a bonafide breakout campaign in 2016, leading baseball in appearances (82) while sporting a 2.92 ERA with 111 strikeouts in 89.1 innings.

The southpaw was one of the top relievers on the trade market last summer, but ultimately stayed in San Diego and took his game to an even higher level: 21 saves, 2.16 ERA, 0.9 WHIP, 11.8 K/9.

If such a deal was struck between the Cubs and Padres front offices, Hand would've represented an instant boost in the back end of the Cubs bullpen while Perdomo or Lamet would've served as projects of sort while filling in the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

For the Cubs to get rid of a guy like Baez, they'd have to see a serious boost to their pitching staff, both short- and long-term.

The best quips from the best leadoff hitter of all time, Anthony Rizzo

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USA TODAY

The best quips from the best leadoff hitter of all time, Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo was not only in tip top shape as he reported for the Cubs first full squad workout, but his one-liner game was on point day one, as well. 

Here are some of his best quips from the day.

"It was great. Really probably the best off season I've had, right?"
 
Yes, Anthony... your wedding day is always the BEST day ever and the first offseason with your wife should be the BEST one ever. Quick learner.

"I'm usually not excited to come back, because I hate leaving home. But it was, I can say my wife now, was like 'man, you're really excited to go back this year.' So, it's good to be back."
 
 Emily should be proud, Rizzo seems to really have this married thing/lingo down! And his child-like energy and enthusiasm was palpable. Cubs fans, your first baseman is chomping at the bit.

"That extra month, it's been awhile. The first time a lot of guys have had that extra month. Unfortunately, I know what it's like to have that extra month."
 
Spare Cubs fans the reminder, Anthony. 

"A lot of guys in here are used to going to the NLCS. So, to get knocked out it's like "Whoa, what is this? Barbecuing in October?"

First of all, only those who live in Florida can talk about barbecuing in October, but we get the point. Cubs want to save the brats for November.

"Yea, and also Bryce Harper is coming to the Cubs, right?"

Rizzo thinks that's as likely to happen as the team going 80-82 and finishing last in the NL Central this year.

“So this is what happened. I offered him half of my 12 (million) that I’m making this year. But he turned it down. Put that report out," Rizzo said to Paul Sullivan of the Tribune. 
 
Harper or Machado?

“Both, three million each. I split it in half."
 
https://twitter.com/PWSullivan/status/1097523429681426432
 
Thanks to Sully for catching this quip--Rizzo's plan for the Cubs to sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. Generous, don't you think?

"I've been here for like two hours, so...from what I've heard I've heard it's been amazing, the energy. But, I don't know, what is the date? The 18th? It's February 18th, so every clubhouse is this energetic right now." 

Dates and days of the week are hard during Groundhog's Day, I mean Spring Training. But, props to Rizzo for being honest and the vibe after two hours was pretty great.

"It's the first day, I picked out my outfit last night. I was off to school today." 
 
First day feels...

"Hi Tony! Hi Jon, love you."
 
Mid-response, Rizz wasn't going to leave his guy Lester hanging. The love is real.

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: The Cubs are out of funds

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: The Cubs are out of funds

David Haugh, Hub Arkush and Gabe Ramirez join Kap on the panel.

0:00 - Tom Ricketts meets the media as the Cubs' full squad reports to Mesa. The panel discusses his comments on his father's emails and not having any money to spend this offseason.

6:00 - Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki join Kap from Sloan Park in Mesa. They discuss Tom Ricketts' press conference, how the Cubs players are handling the off-the-field distractions and how Joe Maddon is handling this spring.

13:00 - Tom Ricketts says their no collusion among baseball owners. Meanwhile, the players' union fires off an angry statement. What will happen after another slow winter for free agents?

19:00 - Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber join Kap from Glendale with the latest on the White Sox. They discuss the latest on Manny Machado and Yoan Moncada being the Sox' opening day 3rd baseman.

25:00 - The panel discusses Manny Machado's neverending free agency. Is the price starting to get too high for the White Sox? And if potential free agents in 2020 start signing extensions, should the White Sox overpaid now to land a superstar?

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

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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