Morning Marquee: Could this be the Chicago Cubs year?


I’m one of the more optimistic Chicago Cubs’ fans of my family. In my 35 years, I’ve seen enough to know better but I always look for the best. But my family comes from Chicago. They are older, wiser and have seen the heartbreak firsthand more often than me. But they haven’t broken me yet. And my goal is to get them to believe this year that things are going to be different. Maybe I can instill some of the Cubs optimism into them. Three years of agonizing, last place baseball. But a new skipper, a new ace and batterymates, and enough youth to make me feel like I’m chaperoning a school field trip. So get excited Cubs fans, you deserve to believe that this IS the year, not next.

Phil Hughes has reportedly agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Minnesota Twins, worth a guaranteed $42 million. The extension and increase in his annual salary, a total of $58 million over five years, makes it the largest contract for a pitcher in Twins history. Last season Hughes had the opportunity to make a $500,000 bonus by making one more out,but declined the opportunity to pitch again, saying he didn’t feel it was right.

The Cubs are likely to exceed their international spending limits again after sitting this year out essentially. With changes to the penalties for spending over the allowed budget, many teams are being more cautions to not incur the two-year ban for going over on spending. But expect the Cubs to jump right back in next year, as Jorge Soler looks to be money well spent from the international signings.

Here are some of the stories you may have missed:

‘Go ahead and let yourself believe in the Cubs this year’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Twins and Phil Hughes agree to three-year extension’ – Puckett’s Pond

‘Cubs likely to exceed international spending limits’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Reds: Five free agents to play left field‘ – Blog Red Machine

‘Jeff Samardzija: What could have been’ – Swingin A’s