Renovate Wrigley? Dodgers owner Guber provides insight on CTL

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Renovate Wrigley? Dodgers owner Guber provides insight on CTL

Peter Guber joined Chicago Tribune Live Friday afternoon and chatted with David Kaplan about several things. Guber is the owner of the Golden State Warriors and is now part of the ownership group -- along with Magic Johnson -- that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Guber discussed his leadership style as a businessman and his new book, "Tell to Win." He also sounded off on a myriad of different topics on the business end of sports, including the Marlins' recent salary shedding trades.

"They've won and lost with all the different strategies," Guber said. "There's no one clear path to success certainly in sports or in life, but one thing that's for certain is, you better be acutely sensitive to the fact that if you're failing, you have to make a change. And the question is if it's really a failure or just a speed bump.

"And for them, they decided they weren't going to get there, so they cut their losses. One of the things you learn in business is when you have a failed proposition, you want to move off it as quickly as possible...It's a business, after all."

The Ricketts wowed the sports world when they purchased the Cubs for 845 million, but Guber was part of a group that bought the Dodgers for more than 2 billion.

While Ricketts and the Cubs are dealing with potential renovations to Wrigley Field, Guber is facing similar issues with Dodger Stadium -- what do you do with a historical, popular stadium that needs to be updated and modernized? Can you continue to win with a stadium like Wrigley?

"You can continue to win on the field, but everything is a part of the process now," Guber said. "The venue is an important factor. Clubs that don't have good training facilities, good medical facilities, good clubhouses, as well as good bathrooms for women -- a very important issue -- different kinds of food, they compete less favorably...There's different models that have worked different ways. You have to look at your marketplace and decide what you can do."

"The Cubs are a tradition. Going to that park has become part of the culture, it's been venerated. And that's what the Red Sox also did. Is Dodger Stadium that way? Maybe. Maybe not. It's a different kind of fanbase. I think the truth is, at the end of the day, we compete against home entertainment. And as a location-based entertainment venue, you better be up to snuff, cause over time, it'll eat your lunch if you're not."

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.