There has been some exciting stuff cropping up lately and as usual, it has to do with the Cubs future -- but now suddenly that future doesn't seem so far away.
- Nate Schierholtz has cleared waivers and will be a free agent by Friday, according to Mark Gonzalez. I presume this means he will not be outrighted to Iowa as is his choice. Several teams looking for an outfielder could take a flyer on Schierholtz and hope he regains his 2013 form.
- Jake Arrieta is open to a contract extension, according to Gordon Wittenmeyer, and is willing to override the desires of Scott Boras in order to make it happen. Arrieta said he is not looking for astronomical money, just what's fair. Of course, deciding what's fair can be tricky too. Arrieta is clearly the Cubs best pitcher right now, but he also has had just one good season. There isn't a huge track record at this point.
- We have talked about and lauded this rebuilding program for the last 3 years now, but after an offseason in which writers kept questioning the Cubs spending habits, it appears the tide is beginning to turn. It's nice to read that the national media is seeing what is going on here. Rany Jazerli of Grantland writes about how the Cubs built reverse to conventional thinking. That is, they built with hitters rather than pitching. And now that that hitting is either in the big leagues (Castro, Rizzo, Alcantara, Baez) or on the cusp of it (Soler, Bryant), the attention turns to starting pitching. He notes that the Cubs are in prime position to add this offseason.
- We have heard whispers that many of Jon Lester's teammates believe he will sign with the Cubs this offseason. We have also heard how David Price thinks it would be great to bring a winner to Chicago. Now former Cub prospect Chris Archer gets into the act, "When you have a pitcher like David Price saying he wouldn't mind getting traded over to the Cubs right now, knowing what they have in store for the future and knowing the management that they have there and what they're willing to do to win, I think that says a lot," Rays pitcher Chris Archer said during Tuesday morning's edition of Kap and Haugh. "And I think that the Cubs are going to be a surprise this offseason because there are guys, there are top-10 players, starting pitchers especially who want to go pitch there." Archer also said that players want to play for creative management such as the one here in Chicago or the one he currently plays for in Tampa Bay. He also said he "wouldn't be shocked" if David Price signed with the Cubs. It's all happening, people! It's all happening!
- A nice article on Cubs newcomer Bill McKinney on MiLB.com about how he is acclimating quickly to the Florida State League.
- As Cubs Den continues to grow and pick up new readers, I thought it'd be a good idea to link our commenting policy. As always, I want to thank this great community for their contributions. I am not exaggerating when I say I get letters complimenting our commenters on a regular basis.
Junior Lake makes an appearance while Justin Ruggiano recovers from a minor injury. Ruggiano said he is available to come off the bench and could have started.
- Coghlan RF
- Baez 2B
- Rizzo 1B
- Castro SS
- Valbuena 3B
- Alcantara CF
- Baker C
- Lake LF
- Wada P
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