Cubbies Crib: Morning Marquee 12/16

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The Chicago Cubs continue to wait to talk with starter Jeff Samardzija on a contract extension while waiting to see if the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Nippon Baseball Organization will post star right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Japanese players are now capped at $20 million, which is significantly lower than before and other NPB are willing to pay Rakuten to get Tanaka out of the league.

Sunday, ex-Cub Ryan Freel‘s family announced he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalophathy (CTE) which was a result of numerous concussions he suffered from crashing into outfield walls. Freel committed suicide last year.

Chicago Tribune: Family: Ex-Cub Freel suffered from CTE

ESPN MLB: Ten predictions for rest of offseason

FOX Sports: Rosenthal: There’s one good way to get Cubs back on track

SI MLB: Replay system, banning collisions mark big step

Yahoo! Sports: Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker isn’t thrilled about losing number to Corey Hart

NBC Sports: Japanese teams pitching in to help Masahiro Tanaka’s team get rid of him

CBS Sports: Bronson Arroyo race down to Twins, Reds, two other teams

ESPN MLB: John Axford, Indians near deal

MLB.com: The U.S. Mint will produce a curved(!) baseball-themed coin in 2014

The Sacramento Bee: Planned Braves stadium move highlights race, class

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Topics: Chicago Cubs, MLB, Morning Maruqee

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