The Cubs' 15-year deal with NBC Sports Chicago will expire at the end of 2019, so they plan to launch their own regional sports network in time for the 2020 season, business operations president Crane Kenney told Jordan Bastian. com and other reporters on Saturday. "We're going to have our own channel, we have a seat at a much larger table, so we've been involved in conversations not at a local level, but at a national level, about how we will launch our channel and with whom we will launch it." said Kenney, who added the Cubs. "We will do it with a strategic partner." cast "The details of that will be more evident in the next 30 days." Kenney also hinted that another baseball team will be involved, although he revealed that it will not be a local club, according to Bastian.
Here is more about the North Siders:
- Although the Cubs will not seek an extension with Joe Maddon this offseason, baseball operations president Theo Epstein said on Saturday he wants the manager to stay beyond 2019. "Sure I hope so," said Epstein, who, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, is "betting that Maddon will remain as manager this season." The Cubs have had a resounding success in their four years under Maddon, who turns 65 in February, as 387-261 with an appearance in the playoffs in each season, two titles of the Central NL and his World Series championship that break the drought in 2016
- Maddon indicated earlier this week that the Cubs will not sign the free agent outfielder Bryce harper, and third base Kris Bryant I threw more cold water on that possibility on Saturday (through Bastian). "He is not signing here" Bryant said of Harper, a lifelong friend who had been a speculative target for the Cubs entering the offseason. However, because the Cubs seem to be maxing out on their expenses, they have not been to the Harper market this winter. The team is scheduled to execute a payroll of the opening day of the franchise record in 2019, as Jason Martinez of Roster Resource estimates, and Epstein "emphasized" on Saturday that it can not exceed the budget, by Gonzales.
- Epstein also spoke this week about the shortstop Addison Russell, who, to the chagrin of many observers, remains in the Cubs' plans despite incurring a 40-game suspension for domestic violence. While Patrick Mooney of The Athletic retransmits in a subscription piece, Epstein declared on Friday that the Cubs' initial reaction was to pbad Russell. But, instead, they are prepared to keep Russell, 24, and pay him a salary of $ 3.4MM, in part because Epstein learned that "Experts in domestic violence do not believe in zero tolerance." Rather, they advocate "A second chance if the offender is willing to do the difficult job of stabilizing his life and relationships and growing so that this does not happen again." The Cubs are giving Russell that second chance, although Epstein pointed "People have the right to boo" Russell, and the team is prepared to "Move on instantly" of him if he wasted his opportunity. In particular, Epstein added that Melissa Reidy, Russell's ex-wife whose accusations of abuse led to his suspension, supported the Cubs' decision to keep him in the herd, saying: "She felt that this was Addison's best chance to put her life in order and get our support with the incentive to earn her way back to the Cubs."