The Rundown: Please End the Darvish Rumors, Brewers Owner Says They Can Spend, Giants After Harper

When you’re waiting for some Hot Stove action in between the little spurts of activity every few days, you check Twitter like you’re looking for help from the great beyond. Hell, even MLB Trade Rumors is at a loss these days, so they’re asking their readers to disseminate a lengthy article and then choose from among various given reasons. I mean, the answer is simple: Owners, who control all the money, don’t want to give it up to the players, who feel they deserved to be paid more than apparently is being offered. Call me Professor Obvious.

If I hear one more “Yu Darvish is expected to sign this week” rumor, I’ll…well, I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll be mad. Do you think that rumor has had enough circulation since the week before Christmas? I’ve learned to filter out all the noise and I’ve removed the Darvish alerts from my email account. If the right-hander had a dollar for every time his name has been mentioned in connection with the Cubs since December 18, he could sign for the league minimum.

Sixteen days until spring training. Sixteen days. Either MLB front offices are going to start signing players at the rate of 10 per day or a lot of young wannabe millionaires are going to be googling “unemployment benefits.” Okay, it isn’t that dramatic but you feel me, right?

Cubs News & Notes

Brian Duensing left $3 million on the table to sign with the Cubs. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland was willing to go to $10 million, though she didn’t specify whether it was over the same two-year period. That should send all kinds of good feels to the players union.

For the 42nd consecutive day, the Cubs remain the frontrunners to sign Darvish. Maybe they gave him one of those disappearing ink pens to sign the contract. You know, the ones that you could get in trade for 25 Bazooka Joe comics? Oh, the yuks both parties will have at that presser. I wonder if Darvish can come up with an “Aw, you got me dog” emoji. I hope Evan uses a Bazooka Joe graphic for the lead photo. I don’t want to see any more pictures of Darvish rocking my Cubs Insider Twitter feed until he signs.

Chili Davis, was signed by the Cubs to replace John Mallee as hitting instructor, was inspired by Jason Heyward’s claim that he wants to be the Cubs MVP for 2018. Given the overall success the Cubs had under Mallee, Davis will be judged less on individual performances and more on fixing the most frustrating part of the team’s offense: Stranding runners. Ryan Davis indicates that with a few adjustments, the Cubs right fielder could be worth his contact.

Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the Cubs and their NL Central rivals. How the Cardinals edge the Cubs at shortstop is unfathomable to me.

The 2018 MLB Draft is shaping up to be a very important one for the Cubs. One of the reasons Darvish makes so much sense for the team is that the Cubs would not forfeit a draft pick to sign him.

Weekend Stove

Kenley Jansen knows how to change the course of this glacial offseason. He suggests the players go on strike.

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said the team has the money to add a top-of-rotation starter. Nothing like trying to get to.500 on paper, though I think those estimates are a little light myself.

Keith Law is bullish on the Braves heading into the 2018 season.

When compared to the Adam Eaton trade last year, it looks like the Marlins may have been taken to the cleaners by the Brewers in the Christian Yelich deal.

The Detroit Tigers were the worst team in Major League Baseball in 2017. Is it possible that they could be among the best in 2018? Believe it or not, there is path to that outcome. I needed a good laugh.

The Giants are expected to be in the mix for Bryce Harper next season. Maybe they do not understand the nuances of the Collective Bargaining Tax.

The Diamondbacks signed relief pitcher Neftali Feliz. The Cubs were reportedly considering the former closer, too.

It’s Rodriguez/Jeter II: MLB announcer Alex Rodriguez has a few ideas on how to fix the Marlins. The two participated in a very awkward interview with Bob Pisani of CNBC last May and, let’s be honest, it’s kinda fun when these two agree to disagree.

Monday Walk Up Song

The Great Beyond by R.E.M.

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