Cubs Sale Process Takes One Step Forward, Fifty Million Steps Back

It had been days since we'd heard a new reason why the Cubs-to-Ricketts deal still hasn't been closed, but then on Monday, Crain's Chicago Business ended the wait:

The Ricketts family, whose original bid was close to $900 million, now
believes the real price should be closer to $850 million, a source
said. The sides disagree over the value of the team’s multiyear
contract to broadcast games on Tribune’s WGN network.

At issue is about $40 million to $50 million — roughly 6% of the
original bid, which also includes Wrigley Field and a 25% stake in
regional cable channel Comcast Sports.

Broadcasters pay sports teams for the right to air games. The contract
between the Cubs and WGN, which was inked last fall, might have been
set too low, given that the broadcaster and the sports team have been
owned by the same parent: Tribune Co.

This latest delay comes a few days after the Ricketts family had finally cleared another hurdle on their way to the purchase, securing a $350 million loan from J. P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Corp.
and Bank of America.

Separately, in a report that will cheer the hearts of everyone who loves Caddyshack, Taking Care of Business, or Say Anything, Tuesday's Chicago Tribune reports...

Ricketts...has held separate discussions with a handful of
celebrities to raise money from them and other wealthy Cubs fans
willing to pony up as much as $25 million. In addition to (Bill) Murray, he's
met with Jim Belushi and John Cusack,
said two sources familiar with Ricketts' proposal. The meetings took
place several weeks ago, and sources were not sure if the talks had



Well that's great news.

sounds like ricketts is lowering the offer in order to have cash to give hendry for the balance of jake peavy's contract.

i hope.

Please let this be a bad dream that there is any possibility that Jim Belushi can strut around Wrigley Field and say that he owns part of the team.

Well, according to Jim, this would be a dream come true. In fact, he feels like Mr. Destiny. He'd be happy to be just one of the gang - related, not by blood, but by a passion for the Cubs. He once said, "Every year the season ends, but every spring the Cubs return to me".

...Curly Sue.

Fired for not working in a Red Heat reference.

I tried. It felt forced. Ok it was all forced, but still.

Recent comments

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  • I'm guessing 3/30 and all the two foot long hot dogs you can eat didn't work

  • Yes! In a 12-way tie for first!

  • Shit.

    Blew my prediction! I had them signing Zimmerman and trading for another arm.

  • Damn wanted Zimmermann

  • Yeah, this market. Remember when Ted Lilly signed a 4/$40m with the Cubs? It was like "Well, I guess if you can throw a ball, that's what the 3 and 4 starters are all getting." I'm glad I'm not a GM. Of course, they're spending our money...

  • in this market that seems like a decent deal relative to the market.

    given that d.price will probably get 30m-ish a year, 22m for 29yo zimm doesn't seem bad. i wouldn't complain about him suiting up for the cubs. one less option gone...

  • Zimmermann 5/$110m with Tigers. Youch.

    And the updated predications page:

  • Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA. 

  • CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.

  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  •'re flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing