Monday marks the first day of the Bears' voluntary offseason workouts -- workouts, which Lovie Smith notes, that set the tone as the team prepares for training camp.
Bears running back Matt Forte will be absent during the practices as long as his contract is not fully worked out. The Bears are constructing a multi-year deal, but nothing has been reached to date.
Mandatory practices don't begin until the team holds mini-camp, which for the Bears, will take place in June. However, Forte would not be able to attend those practices until he is under contract.
Although Forte is said to receive a raise of over 7 million, he is waiting for a long-term contract that will guarantee him security throughout the upcoming seasons.
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Ian Clarkin just took another metaphorical trip on the Red Line.
The one-time (two-time?) White Sox pitching prospect was claimed on waivers by the Cubs for the second time this offseason, his fourth stint on a Chicago baseball roster since November.
Clarkin, acquired by the White Sox in the seven-player swap with the New York Yankees in the summer of 2017, was designated for assignment by the South Siders early this offseason. The Cubs claimed him, then tried to get him off their 40-man roster via the waiver process. No luck. The White Sox picked him back up. Then they DFA'd him again to make room on the 40-man roster for the recently signed Kelvin Herrera. And now the Cubs have claimed him. Again.
The Cubs' 40-man roster sits at 39. Will they once more try to get Clarkin to Triple-A Iowa through waivers? Maybe. But the White Sox 40-man roster is a bit more crowded than it was before, meaning Clarkin's days with the White Sox organization might finally be through.
Clarkin was once one of the White Sox highly ranked prospects, but a tough go of things at Double-A Birmingham moved him out of that category. He finished with 4.98 ERA in 68.2 innings with the Barons.
Clarkin, a few weeks away from his 24th birthday, was a first-round pick of the Yankees in 2013.
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It sure seems like we can pronounce the Cubs' courtship of Bryce Harper DOA.
Though there was never much doubt left after manager Joe Maddon bluntly said it wasn't going to happen, news of the Cubs' disinterest in Harper continues to trickle in:
Take every single tweet ever with a grain of salt -- because that's all any of them are worth -- but this seems mighty cut and dry. Granted, this is the same Jim Bowden that spent a not insignificant amount of time trying to convince White Sox fans that their team was the FRONTRUNNER for Bryce Harper, but Bowden is admittedly more well-connected than other baseball tweeters.
Maybe it's just posturing, and if the reports of Manny Machado's $175 million contract are to be believed, it's almost definitely posturing. The more important thing to take away from this, however, is that Hot Stove season is insufferable and would everyone please just sign players so we don't have to Sherlock Homes 16 tweets a day.