Cubs interested in Brandon McCarthy and Shaun Marcum

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According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times the Cubs “already have expressed interest in” Brandon McCarthy and “another buy-low candidate the Cubs are eyeing” is Shaun Marcum.

General manager Jed Hoyer indicated that the Cubs will probably try to sign some veterans to reasonably priced one- or two-year deals, like they did last offseason with Paul Maholm and David DeJesus.

Whether or not health-related question marks are enough to drop McCarthy or Marcum into that sort of contract range remains to be seen, but Hoyer called the short-term, bounce-back deals “a good model of contract that really served us well.”

It’s no surprise that the Cubs are pursuing veteran starting pitching on the free agent market considering they nearly acquired Dan Haren from the Angels for Carlos Marmol before that deal fell apart at the last minute.

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”