Cubs GM Jim Hendry is releasing a book!

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OK, maybe not, but someone wants you to think he is.

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, somebody circulated a fake press release promoting a book claimed to be written by Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. The title? “How to Finish Near Last Place with the Highest Payroll in the League.”

It gets better. Here are just a few of the chapter highlights:

– Why I signed Milton Bradley.

– Why I released Casey McGehee only to see him hit 20 home runs and drive in nearly 100 runs for a division rival.

– Why I signed players to long-term contracts with limited trade options.

Here’s the photo evidence. Sullivan called the fake release “tacky,” while Carrie Muskat of MLB.com described it as “tasteless.” Both reviews are sure to make it on the fake book flap.

According to Muskat, Brewers’ VP of Communications Tyler Barnes said the team is trying to determine who left the fake release in the press box.

“It’s an unfortunate incident and lousy attempt at a practical joke.”

Really? I thought it was pretty successful. 

Report: Cardinals to sign Paul Goldschmidt to five-year contract extension

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Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.

The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.

With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.