Report: Pat Gillick “would definitely consider the Cubs”

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Earlier this week Chicago radio station WSCR-670 (and later the Chicago Tribune) reported that the Cubs had talked to Hall of Fame general manager Pat Gillick about taking a potential role with the team.

The next day Cubs president Tom Ricketts denied having any talks with Gillick, saying: “Reports of a conversation are unfounded.”

And now Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago quotes “one of his longtime associates” as saying that Gillick “would definitely consider the Cubs … if the situation was right for Pat.”

So, to recap: One report said the Cubs had talked to Gillick, the Cubs said they hadn’t talked to Gillick, and now someone who’s worked with him in the past thinks the Cubs should talk to Gillick.

As for Gillick himself, he told the Chicago Sun-Times that he’d be open to potentially leaving his consulting job with the Philllies for “something in a presidency role” elsewhere and “if something came up where it would be above the GM position, I would think about it.”

Gillick is 74 years old and last served as a GM with the Phillies in 2008, but the Cubs seem ready to part with longtime GM Jim Hendry and they could certainly do a lot worse than turning to Gillick even if he’s realistically a short-term solution.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves