12/2/21: The lockout is here, but so is Marcus Stroman

The Cubs got a big signing in just as the sport shut down. Is Carlos Correa waiting on the other side?

Marcus Stroman Chicago Cubs
(USA Today Sports)

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Good morning, frents!

The lockout officially began last night and one of the most noticeable changes so far has been player photos disappearing Back to the Future-style from MLB.com.

If Biff can let us know when this all ends, it'd be great ...

Wednesday's result
Loyola 88, Indiana State 76

Today's schedule
Hawks at Capitals (6, NBCSCH)
Bulls at Knicks (6:30, NBCSCH+, NBATV)

The Cubs sign Marcus Stroman at the buzzer ... Is Carlos Correa waiting on the other side?

(USA Today Sports)

By Brendan Sugrue

Leave it to the Cubs to finally make their way into the party just as it ends.

On the same day that Kevin detailed their, um, lackluster acquisitions this offseason  Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins made up for lost time by signing starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to a three-year, $71 million deal on Wednesday night.

The move to get the best available starting pitcher on the market is a confidence booster for fans and helps shore up the team's struggling rotation.

Stroman's deal includes an out after the second season. The 30-year old former All-Star spent the last three seasons with the New York Mets, though he opted out of the shortened 2020 campaign due to COVID concerns.

Stroman is coming off a campaign where he posted an ERA of 3.02 and a WHIP of 1.145. He was the most durable pitcher on the Mets staff, pitching in 33 games and leading the Mets in both strikeouts (158) and innings pitched (179.0).

The addition of Stroman immediately improves the Cubs rotation, which also features Kyle Hendricks, Wade Miley, and Adbert Alzolay.

But Stroman may be just as valuable off the field as he is on it.

The newest Cub isn't shy on social media as he likes to engage with fans from all MLB teams. But he's also open to recruiting other star free agents like former Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

We'll have to wait for the lockout resolution for more movement on Correa, but seeing him at Wrigley Field doesn't seem like a pipe dream.

According to Mark Berman, Correa has heard from teams such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers ...and the Chicago Cubs.

It's no secret the Cubs need a bat in the middle of their order after trading most of them away last season. Correa, who has been a staple in the Astros lineup for years, would help change the narrative from "rebuild" to "retool" should he sign with the Cubs.

But is Tom Ricketts willing to break the bank for the two-time All-Star?

We'll find out at some point. The owners unanimously voted to lock the players out after the two sides could not agree to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expired on Wednesday night.

In other words, enjoy Stroman's signing, Cubs fans. It could be the last baseball-related news we get for quite some time.

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News and results

Bears: Justin Fields limited at practice for banged-up squad

Fields wasn't among the eight Bears who missed Wednesday's practice, but he was listed as limited and Andy Dalton was still working with the starters.

  • Bears reporters said Fields looked better than expected with his cracked ribs, but it could still be a thin group against the Cardinals at Soldier Field Sunday. Roquan Smith, Cole Kmet and Allen Robinson were among those missing.

Bulls: Hit with tampering penalty, Coby to COVID list

Adjust those 2026 NBA draft boards. The NBA completed their investigation into the Bulls tampering with Lonzo Ball over the summer and it's going to cost the team their next second-round pick — which just so happens to not be available for another four years.

  • Coby White became the team's second fully-vaccinated player to test positive for COVID-19. He'll enter protocol and miss the team's trip to New York, which begans tonight against the Knicks.

1. Mark Liptak with a great look at the life and career of White Sox Cy Young winner Lamarr Hoyt, who died from cancer this week at 66. South Side Sox

2. James Fegan with where the Sox stand as the lockout arrives. The Athletic

3.  We're probably never going to see Tarik Cohen in a Bears uniform ever again. Bears Wire

4. Key takeaways from the introductory press conference of new Fire coach Ezra Hendrickson. Hot Time In Old Town

5. Grand opening/grand closing? A non-alcoholic brewery has big plans for Naperville. ABC 7 Chicago

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