The Wrigley Field improvement project received final approval from the Chicago City Council yesterday. That does not necessarily mean, however, that all obstacles to half-billion-dollar renovation plan are out of the way. Both the Cubs and the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association are still speaking publicly about possible court battles. Cubs' executives have repeatedly cited the resolution of the Wrigley Field improvement issues as a key factor in increasing the team's payroll. Here's more from the Cubs and the rest of the National League ...
- According to team president Theo Epstein, "it's been a great month for the Cubs," reports Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times. While he warns that "progress won't be linear" and declined to put a timetable on the big club's return to contention, Epstein expressed excitement over the team's future.
- With the Rockies suffering a disheartening sweep at the hands of the Braves, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes that team ownership should (but won't) either sell its interest in the club or "clean house." Less dramatically, Saunders suggests some moves that the Rockies should make to continue their upward trajectory next season. Among them: extend left-handed starter Jorge De La Rosa, add at least one veteran starter, move Michael Cuddyer to first base, and pick up a power-hitting corner outfielder in free agency.
- The Nationals' recently-promoted GM (and now President of Baseball Operations) Mike Rizzo will look to improve the club's bench over the month of August, writes MLB.com's Bill Ladson. The Nats made one of the most impactful post-deadline deals in baseball last year, adding Kurt Suzuki to bolster a thin catching corps over the stretch run. With the Nationals hanging on by a thread as a plausible postseason candidate, Rizzo is understandably uninterested in pursuing players that are pure rentals.