Cubs talking points: Glanville waits for radio call

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Cubs talking points: Glanville waits for radio call

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011
Posted 3:35 PM Updated 6:22 PM

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

Fans have been asking Doug Glanville about it all weekend. Even the guy that used to walk Glanvilles dogs whos in Korea now saw his name mentioned in an online article and wanted to reconnect.

The idea of Glanville replacing the late Ron Santo in the WGN Radio booth gained momentum among fans on Twitter, but there are obstacles, like his ESPN contract, and the fact that he hasnt been contacted about the job yet.

WATCH: Cubs fans enjoy the convention

I have no idea, Glanville told CSNChicago.com on Sunday. Its not like WGN or the Cubs have called me or anything like that. I work for ESPN. So Ill be working for them this year, but obviously a lot of people come and go in different places like (Buck) Showalter leaves (ESPN) in the middle of the season to manage (the Orioles). Thats where Im focused right now.

All that doesnt automatically disqualify the 40-year-old Glanville, who was signing copies of his book The Game from Where I Stand at the Hilton Chicago. Glanville is a gifted writer who used to contribute to The New York Times op-ed page and appear on CSN.

Team president Crane Kenney interviewed one candidate on Saturday, and said that the speculated names are generally accurate. Dave Otto and Keith Moreland also fit the profile as former Cubs with extensive broadcast experience. It could take weeks before the Cubs and WGN make a final decision.

I dont know where it goes, Glanville said. Im always listening. And you always know, just like in baseball, (that) your job is a blink away from being something else someone gets rid of you. I definitely keep all those options open.

Glanville described himself as a huge Santo fan, and played the day the Cubs retired No. 10. He still lives in the Chicago area, and has young children hed have to think about before considering the travel commitment of broadcasting close to a 162-game schedule.

READ: Santo statue begins Wrigley makeover

But the University of Pennsylvania graduate is naturally curious.

To think about even replacing him for anybody is impossible, Glanville said. But its more about respecting his legacy and then figuring if you can add your own flavor to the passion of Chicago and Cubs baseball.

Whoevers selected will benefit from working next to Pat Hughes, a radio fixture in his own right. With the Cubs Convention closing Sunday, here are some of the talking points youll likely hear from Hughes and his partner in 2011:

The fine manager. Mike Quade recently rode the Orange Line in from Midway Airport, in a car where hustlers were trying to run a game of three-card monte. He insists that hes still going to take the El, figuring hed rather spend two bucks than 20.

Quade knows that he wont have the same sense of privacy anymore, and maybe the job will ultimately wear him down. But a sense of humor will help, like when a fan wonders whether Greg Maddux could become Carlos Zambranos life coach.

If were going to have individual guys taking care of each (player) that has some emotional issues, Quade said, were not going to have a big enough plane.

The passion. Welcome to Chicago, Matt Garza, and endless (unfair?) comparisons to Zambrano, who asked by a fan if hes going to open a rehabilitation center for Gatorade coolers.

WATCH: Garza happy with Cubs

Yes, they are both talented and emotional, and eventually well have a better idea to what degree. But the Cubs did their homework on Garza, even calling his former coach at Fresno State University.

There wasnt one person that works for the Cubs that wasnt all in on Matt Garza, general manager Jim Hendry said. He seemed like the perfect guy because he has three years left before hes a free agent. Hes in the prime of his career. Hes been completely clean medically.

The Rudy Jaramillo effect. Carlos Pena was scheduled to leave for Dallas on Sunday to spend a week with the hitting guru. The Cubs were willing to look beyond Penas .196 average last season, and he will initially get the benefit of the doubt because of his reputation as a class act. But for how long?

All you see is the numbers, (but) it doesnt make sense, Jaramillo said. Im looking to the future. Whatever happened to him in Tampa, (well) figure it out.

The system. The Cubs love hyping their prospects, but Matt Szczur (pronounced like Caesar) is an interesting name to file away. A two-sport athlete at Villanova University, he once put it all on hold to donate peripheral blood cells to a young leukemia patient who had only a 1-in-80,000 chance of finding a match.

Szczur will work out later this month at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and projects as a middle-round pick in the NFL draft. He also hit .347 across 25 games in the low minors last year. He could earn a 500,000 bonus if he commits to play only baseball by a certain date in early February. The NFLs labor uncertainty cant hurt the Cubs in this case.

Weve not lost sight of Matt, scouting director Tim Wilken said. I think we got a real good shot to sign him. Well see what happens, (but) hes got a chance to be a big-time, front-line centerfielder.

The actual, um, baseball team. Too often this offseason the Cubs have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. They are not just a marketing machine and a political action committee. Let Showtime and the San Francisco Giants film their reality show. Even the Undercover Boss is ready for spring training.

My 15 minutes are over, Todd Ricketts said, and we can go back to focusing on baseball.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

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AP

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces of the offseason puzzle as the Cubs try to defend their World Series title while still planning for the future.

The Cubs left this week’s winter meetings in Maryland still involved in the Ross talks, sources said, monitoring an intriguing pitcher they had targeted before the 2015 trade deadline.

The San Diego Padres didn’t really buy or sell during that pennant race and made another curious decision last week when they didn’t offer Ross a contract for 2017. MLB Trade Rumors projected Ross would have made $9.6 million during his final year in the arbitration system.

After issues involving his right shoulder wiped out almost his entire season, Ross underwent surgery in October to address thoracic outlet syndrome.

Ross was San Diego’s Opening Day starter during a 15-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but didn’t pitch again, clouding a future that once had him looking like a trade-deadline chip and one of the best pitchers in the free-agent class after the 2017 season.

That’s when Jake Arrieta will be looking for his megadeal and John Lackey might be in retirement and Jon Lester will be turning 34. That’s why the Cubs are so focused on pitching this winter and trying to balance out an organization tilted toward hitters.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your World Series champions gear right here]

Kyle Hendricks proved he will be a pitcher to build around – and the Cubs believe Mike Montgomery can evolve from a swingman into a fifth starter and maybe something far more valuable – but depth is a real issue.

Ross made 30-plus starts in 2014 and 2015, when he earned an All-Star selection and accounted for almost 400 innings combined. He will turn 30 in April and is seen as a positive force within the clubhouse. He has a 6-foot-6 frame, a second-round-pick pedigree and a Cal-Berkeley education.

Reports have already linked the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates to Ross and not completely ruled out a return to San Diego. During an offseason where the free-agent market is essentially devoid of reliable frontline starters, there could be sticker shock, even with a rehabbing pitcher.

Trading for Wade Davis meant the Cubs were out of the bidding for Greg Holland, another All-Star closer who helped turn the Kansas City Royals into World Series champions. Holland spent this year recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but he will still be in position to capitalize after Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman and eventually Kenley Jansen reset the market for closers.

With Ross, the Cubs will have to get a better sense of the medical picture and the price for all that upside.

Beyond a winning culture, the Cubs can sell the pitching infrastructure that helped turn Arrieta into a Cy Young Award winner and transform Hendricks into an ERA leader and keep the rotation remarkably healthy.

“Those really talented pitchers are going to be in demand, even those that are coming off an injury,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said this week at National Harbor. “We’ll stay engaged on some of those guys, but they’ll have to be just the right talent.

“We’ll have to feel good about the medical and the return to play. And the fit on the club would have to be right, too. But the true elite guys have a real market, even if they’re coming off down seasons.”

Cubs' MVP Kris Bryant signs multi-year extension with Adidas

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USA TODAY

Cubs' MVP Kris Bryant signs multi-year extension with Adidas

Kris Bryant just keeps on winning in 2016.

Two months after leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years, Bryant signed a multi-year extension with Adidas.

"It's a phenomenal time to be partnered with Adidas with all the energy and momentum that the brand has right now," Bryant said via a press release. "Adidas embraced me as part of the family from the start."

Bryant was named National League MVP after hitting .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs. He hit .308 with three homers and 8 RBIs in the postseason.

Bryant first signed with Adidas in 2014 after the Cubs made him the No. 2 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.