Cubs

Heyman on Cubs' trade bait

752752.png

Heyman on Cubs' trade bait

With Bob Nightengale's column at USAToday coming out this morning discussing how the Cubs are reportedly open for business on everybody, potential deals for Theo Epstein and Co. has been a hot topic of debate.

David Kaplan weighed in and actually would be on board with dealing Starlin Castro if the package coming to Chicago was right.

Expanding on that all a bit, CBSSports' Jon Heyman has a list of 45 MLB players that could be on the move at the trade deadline, including seven Cubs.

Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster come in at Nos. 2 and 3 on the list, behind only Zack Greinke of the Brewers. Alfonso Soriano is at No. 15.

All three of those names are fairly obvious. There has been a lot of talk surrounding Dempster, and if the Cubs could figure out what to do with the remainder of Soriano's contract, he may be dealt, too. Given Garza's value, some teams may be desperate, but the Cubs are also reportedly working on inking the righty to an extension.

Beyond that, some interesting names make the list -- Paul Maholm, David DeJesus, Reed Johnson and Carlos Marmol.

Marmol would figure to be gone if he could raise his value and Heyman brings up valid points on Maholm and DeJesus, two veterans that have performed well and could be minor moves that help a contender. Johnson isn't a starter at this point in his career, but he's a valuable bench player and one of the top fourth outfielders in the game.

One name that is not on this list is Geovany Soto, which is a little surprising. Given that the Cubs already have Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger, Soto doesn't have as high of value with the Cubs as he would have with another team -- such as the Rays or Nationals -- that is searching for some veteran help behind the dish.

This is just one national writer's take on what could happen in the next two months, before the MLB trading deadline. For all we know, none of these guys could be dealt, or all seven and then some could find their way out of Chicago. It's impossible to predict, but Heyman's right, these guys do have some value.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 18th homer of June and 31st of the season came off the Tigers in the Cubs' brief 2-game Interleague series in Detroit. 

Sosa connected in the first inning off Tigers starter Seth Greisinger, going back-to-back with Mickey Morandini. 

The Cubs wound up getting out to a 5-0 start in the game but still lost 7-6 on a Gabe Alvarez single in the bottom of the 11th.

The aforementioned Morandini homer was only the 3rd of the season for the Cubs second baseman. He finished with 8 homers on the year and 224 total bases on 172 hits in what was a very good offensive season. Yet it paled in comparison to Sosa, who had nearly 200 more total bases (416) and a slugging percentage nearly 200 points above Morandini's (.647 to .471), a testament to how truly incredible Sosa's season was.

Fun fact: Tony Clark was the Tigers' cleanup hitter that day. Clark is now the head of the MLB Players Union.

Fun fact No. 2: Paul Bako was the Detroit catcher in the game. He later became the Cubs backup catcher in 2003 and 2004, when he posted a .611 OPS in 119 games over the two years.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.