Morning Marquee: Chicago Cubs to open on ESPN on Sunday Night against Cardinals


The Chicago Cubs will host their first Opening Night game in their history when they take on the St. Louis Cardinals on April 6. The game was originally slated for April 6, but ESPN 2 has picked up the telecast and moved it to Sunday night. The anticipation of the Cubs next season seems to be spreading to the masses with the move. Newly remodeled Wrigley Field will be on display, as well as new manager Joe Maddon. And the possibility of a new pitcher on that night as the Cubs are linked to several top free agent arms.

A.J. Burnett has returned to the Pittsburgh Pirates on a one-year, $8.25 million deal. After struggling to a an 8-18 record in Philadelphia last season, the Phillies and Burnett declined the $15 million mutual option, then Burnett declined his player option. Clearly he enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh as he takes a pay cut to return, while helping bolster the depth of the Pirates rotation.

The Tampa Bay Rays dealt Jeremy Hellickson to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for two minor league players. Hellickson wasn’t due to become a free agent till 2016, but the Rays have made it a habit to trade away pitchers before they reach that point. Hellickson was projected to earn $3.9 million next year in arbitration.

The Japanese team had three pitchers combine for the no-hitter as the MLB All-Stars have dropped the first three of the series against the Japanese National team. Takahiri Norimoto lead the way with five perfect innings. It was no easy task, as the MLB lineup featured six All-Stars. Although the series is decided, they will play the final two games, as well as an exhibition game.

Here are some of the stories you may have missed:

‘Cubs get Opening Night on ESPN against the Cardinals’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Chicago Cubs to meet with Jon Lester next week’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Pirates add more than just pitching by signing Burnett’ – Rumbunter

‘D’Backs acquire Jeremy Hellickson from Tampa Bay Rays’ – Call to the Pen

‘Norimoto leads combined no-no vs MLB’ –