Chicago Cubs

Cubs make deals with Valbuena, Lillibridge, McDonald

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Cubs make deals with Valbuena, Lillibridge, McDonald

In one month, pitchers and catchers will report to the Cubs complex in Arizona. Whether the front office has another big move in them or will spend the rest of the winter searching for complementary pieces the Mesa picture is coming into focus.
Infielder Luis Valbuena avoided arbitration on Thursday and agreed to a one-year, 930,000 deal. The Cubs also confirmed their list of 16 non-roster players who have so far signed minor-league contracts with invites to big-league camp, including ex-White Sox utility guy Brent Lillibridge, former Boston Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald and Oak Lawn native Brian Bogusevic.
The Cubs have stockpiled pitchers with those deals: Andrew Carpenter; Jaye Chapman; Dayan Diaz; Jensen Lewis; Blake Parker; Zach Putnam; and Cory Wade.
Hisanori Takahashi who went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 61 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011 could emerge as a left-handed option for the Cubs bullpen.
The Cubs have also reached agreements with catcher J.C. Boscan, outfielder Johermyn Chavez, first basemanoutfielder Brad Nelson, and infielders Alberto Gonzalez and Edwin Maysonet.
The Cubs have not yet finalized their complete list of non-roster invitees, which should include some minor-league players already in the system. Left-hander Dontrelle Willis the National Leagues 2003 Rookie of the Year recently signed a minor-league contract that does not include an invite to major-league camp.

Are Dabo Swinney and Joe Maddon BFF's?

Are Dabo Swinney and Joe Maddon BFF's?

Joe Maddon and Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney had one thing in common in 2016. 

They were both champions. 

Yet the extent of their connection does not end there. Swinney, who made his way to Gauranteed Rate Field with his family on Thursday, took a moment to speak with CSN's Kelly Crull. 

Swinney talked about his affection for Maddon and even shared that he had the Cubs skipper address his Clemson Tigers during the season.

He said that Maddon "cares about the players, he engages with them, he develops relationships with them," all things Swinney tries to mirror with his coaching philosophy. 

This begs the question, are Dabo and Joe now BFF's?

Watch the full interview above to find out. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs and Sox gear up for the decisive Game 4 in the Crosstown Cup

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Cubs and Sox gear up for the decisive Game 4 in the Crosstown Cup

Sports Talk Live is on location at Guaranteed Rate Field to preview the decisive Game 4 of the Crosstown Cup. 

Kap is joined by David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic), David DeJesus and Scott Podsednik. 

Plus new Cubs outfielder Jon Jay talks about his first season with the Northsiders .

Listen here.