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Chicago Cubs

  1. Cubs made offer “well above” five years, $30 million to Jeff Samardzija

    Mar 16, 2013, 7:15 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija

    The Cubs and Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija are still far apart on a deal that would cover his remaining two years of arbitration, reports Jon Heyman. The club offered him a contract “well above” Rangers lefty Derek Holland‘s five-year, $30 million deal signed on March 20 last year. Cubs president Theo Epstein isn’t worried,…

  2. Wrigley Field renovations? Cubs economics? Don’t worry: Rick Reilly’s got this

    Mar 15, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT

    Wrigley Field

    Wrigley Field renovation news. Per the Chicago Tribune, people who live near Wrigley Field want the city and the Rickettseseses to slow down on renovation plans. The Ricketteseses, meanwhile, say stuff has to get moving now or else they will not be able to plan to turn dirt come October as planned. And the rooftop…

  3. Matt Garza not expected to rejoin Cubs rotation until May

    Mar 14, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

    matt garza getty

    Matt Garza has recovered enough from his lat injury to resume throwing, but he’s not expected to rejoin the Cubs’ rotation until May. Garza described his progress to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com as “small steps” and said he’s generally “felt all right” the day after throwing. Garza indicated that he’s aiming for a mid-April return,…

  4. Puerto Rico rallies in eighth to eliminate Italy from WBC

    Mar 13, 2013, 10:55 PM EDT

    Puerto Rico's Giancarlo Alvarado pitches against Italy in the 1st inning of a 2013 World Baseball Classic game at Marlins Stadium in Miami

    Puerto Rico scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to beat Italy 4-3 and keep its World Baseball Classic hopes alive on Wednesday night. Italy was eliminated after losing its second straight game. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo put Italy on the board in the fifth, delivering a bases-loaded double that plated three…

  5. Starlin Castro rejoins Cubs lineup after hamstring injury

    Mar 13, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT

    Starlin Castro Getty

    Out since February 27 with a hamstring injury, shortstop Starlin Castro is back in the Cubs’ lineup today. Castro ended up missing two weeks, including about 10 days after an MRI exam showed what the Cubs called “minor” hamstring inflammation. Castro has been very durable since being called up as a 20-year-old in May of…

  6. 2013 Preview: Washington Nationals

    Mar 13, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT

    Bryce Harper Reuters

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2013 season. Up first: the Washington Nationals. The Big Question: Are the Washington Nationals the best team in baseball? It’s probably easier to make…

  7. 2013 is crucial for Josh Johnson

    Mar 9, 2013, 10:56 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Josh Johnson works from the mound against the Atlanta Braves during the inning of their MLB Spring training baseball game in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

    The Blue Jays, in trading for R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson, have narrowed their focus specifically on the 2013 season. With a roster that already includes two 40-homer threats in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the Jays will be a force to be reckoned with the AL East. Johnson, while he…

  8. Report: The Cubs have told Carlos Marmol’s agent to “expect” a trade

    Mar 9, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

    Carlos Marmol Getty

    There was a report earlier this week that the Cubs were looking to trade Carlos Marmol before the end of spring training. While that was quickly shot down, it appears that the erratic reliever could be on the move at some point in the future. According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, top team…

  9. Italy rallies in ninth, defeats Mexico 6-5

    Mar 7, 2013, 6:59 PM EDT

    Drew Butera

    Thanks to some shoddy outfield defense from Edgar Gonzalez, Italy pulled off a shocker Thursday, defeating Mexico 6-5 to start Pool D play in the World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez, normally an infielder, misplayed two balls in left in the top of the ninth, opening the door for Italy’s two-run inning against Sergio Romo. Anthony Rizzo…

  10. Not so fast on those “Carlos Marmol is going to be traded soon” reports

    Mar 6, 2013, 9:08 AM EDT

    Carlos Marmol

    Yesterday  Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reported that the Cubs “will most likely” trade closer Carlos Marmol before Opening Day. Au contraire says Gordon Wittenmyer: Nothing to reports of trade interest for Marmol, esp. w/ Detroit. Cubs don’t expect to move him till after season starts. Prob at deadline. — Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 6, 2013 So how…

  11. Anthony Rizzo: “our goal is San Francisco”

    Mar 5, 2013, 6:03 PM EDT

    Anthony Rizzo

    The Team Italy-Athletics game just ended. The A’s won 4-3, with the final out coming when an Italian player was gunned down at the plate. Not too bad for a split squad major league team playing a WBC underdog. I spoke with Anthony Rizzo on the field after the game. Rizzo hit a long homer…

  12. Cubs likely to trade Carlos Marmol before Opening Day

    Mar 5, 2013, 5:27 PM EDT

    Carlos Marmol

    Carlos Marmol was nearly traded to the Angels in November before Dan Haren‘s health squashed the deal, but Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cubs “will most likely” find another trade to move the closer before Opening Day. According to Levine “several teams, including the Detroit Tigers, are taking a hard look at”…

  13. Italy invades Phoenix, Mike Piazza handicaps the papal election

    Mar 5, 2013, 1:53 PM EDT

    IMG_0629

    Today’s matchup pits Team Italy against the A’s. The Italian team got here about an hour or so ago and is working out and taking BP now. They look like every other baseball team you’ll see. Except on this one, Nick Punto is probably the second best player. That doesn’t happen very often. Oh, and…

  14. Off to see the A’s vs. Italy

    Mar 5, 2013, 8:05 AM EDT

    Italian Flag

    I’m going to Phoenix Municipal Stadium today to see the Oakland A’s play a game against team Italy from the WBC. It’s a warmup game for everyone, obviously. I just don’t know for which team it is a greater formality. The big names on team Italy: Anthony Rizzo. Chris Denorfia. Nick Punto, who I’ve already…

  15. With scouts watching, Rick Porcello turns in gem

    Mar 4, 2013, 6:24 PM EDT

    Rick Porcello

    At least according to the numbers, Rick Porcello turned in one of the best outings of the spring so far Monday, striking out six in four scoreless innings against the Astros. The watchers were likely pretty impressed, too. With Porcello rumored to be available in trade talks, today’s performance came in front of a “ton”…

  16. Ernesto Frieri adds two pitches to arsenal

    Mar 3, 2013, 7:33 PM EDT

    Ernesto Frieri

    86 percent of Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri‘s pitches thrown last season were fastballs. Despite the patently predictable approach, the 27-year-old has enjoyed immense success in his brief Major League career, owning a 2.32 ERA in 162.2 innings. He also has one of the highest strikeout rates among all relievers. Only five have posted a better…

  17. Jeff Samardzija named Opening Day starter for Cubs

    Mar 3, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT

    samardzija getty

    This is obviously related to the Matt Garza news. According to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, Cubs manager Dale Sveum announced Sunday morning in camp that Jeff Samardzija will get the nod on Opening Day — Monday, April 1 — against the Pirates. Garza would have been given the honor, but he has been ruled out until…

  18. Matt Garza ruled out for Opening Day and might not rejoin Cubs’ rotation until early May

    Mar 3, 2013, 1:19 PM EDT

    matt garza cubs getty

    As first noted by Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs announced Sunday at their spring training complex in Mesa, Arizona that right-hander Matt Garza has been ruled out for Opening Day and probably won’t be ready until May due to lingering discomfort around his strained left lat muscle. Garza suffered the lat injury…

  19. Kyle Lohse is still available

    Mar 2, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

    St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants - Game Seven

    You might have forgotten, in the excitement of the start of spring training baseball and the World Baseball Classic, that starter Kyle Lohse is still teamless. The right-handed Lohse, who finished 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA with the Cardinals last year, has been unable to find a team willing to give him the contract he…

  20. MRI on Starlin Castro shows minor hamstring inflammation

    Mar 2, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

    Starlin Castro

    Starlin Castro tweaked his left hamstring Wednesday and still felt bad enough yesterday that the Cubs sent him for an MRI exam, with the results showing what the team called “minor” inflammation. Manager Dale Sveum doesn’t seem very worried, telling Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune: It showed a little something. They said if you…

  21. Matt Garza probably won’t be ready for Opening Day

    Feb 28, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

    matt garza getty

    Matt Garza played catch from flat ground today as he tries to recover from a strained lat muscle, but Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs right-hander “seems braced for the possibility of opening the season on the disabled list.” “If I try to rush and be ready April 1, I might be re-injured…

  22. Matt Garza cleared to resume spring throwing program

    Feb 27, 2013, 9:37 PM EDT

    garza getty

    Good news tonight out of Cubs camp in Arizona. According to CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, right-hander Matt Garza has been cleared to resume his throwing program on Thursday. Garza had been idle for a couple weeks with a mild lat strain. He’ll probably start off with flat-ground tosses before eventually graduating back to mound work.…

  23. Starlin Castro strained his hamstring

    Feb 27, 2013, 5:54 PM EDT

    Starlin Castro

    Starlin Castro was batting here at Hohokam in the fourth inning when he pulled up lame, reaching back for his hamstring while running out an infield single. A trainer saw him and he came out of the game. The official word now is “left hamstring tightness” which has him day-to-day. Good news, I think. When…

  24. More observations from Hohokam Park

    Feb 27, 2013, 4:19 PM EDT

    IMG_0490

    Sorry I’m all photo crazy today. Just really jazzed to be where baseball is happening and I feel more like soaking it in than thinking too hard about it.  Here’s something to soak in: Seven bucks for an Old Style? Yikes. He told me I “looked like an Old Style Man.” I politely declined. I…

  25. Hello from Hohokam Park

    Feb 27, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

    IMG_0483

    I landed in Phoenix just before 9:30 AM Mountain time, took the seemingly interminable bus ride to the rental car place and was met with an opportunity to see if NBC really appreciates me:   I asked if I could take the upgrade. So far no one has responded. I assume they’re still thinking it…

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