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A scary Cubs team just became terrifying

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Saturday's Say Hey includes the Cubs getting even better with another big splash, who did and didn't do well at the Winter Meetings and Michael Cuddyer leaving money on the table.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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Friday morning, a reasonable person could have declared the Cubs as the World Series favorites and they wouldn’t have been ridiculed. Now, they’re almost certainly the unanimous favorites. Chicago signed Jason Heyward, likely the best position player available through free agency, to an eight-year, $184 million deal. It’s obviously a ton of money, but the final numbers are actually cheaper than many expected. Reportedly, he took less money to join the Cubs. While the allure of playing for the first Cubs championship team since 1908 is likely a selling point, he also benefited from not one, but two opt-out clauses in his contract.

The Cubs now find themselves with one of the most fearsome lineups in the sport, and it’s filled with remarkably young talent. Heyward fits perfectly in a lineup with Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist hitting around him, with Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber hitting behind him. There really isn’t a hole in this lineup (beyond the pitcher’s spot), and at least six of the spots could be held by players on the rise.

To make matters even scarier for their NL rivals, the Cubs reportedly aren’t done, either. With their big offensive free agent in place, the team will likely look to the trade market for additional pitching help. Chicago has plenty of interesting trade chips, with Javier Baez and/or Jorge Soler enough to get talks started for a legitimately scary major league arm.

In fact, they’ve had talks with Cleveland about Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, as well as with San Diego regarding Tyson Ross. Add any of those guys to a rotation with Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks, and baby you got a stew goin'. We’ve seen teams fall apart after winning the offseason enough times to get overly excited, but at this point every other team in the league needs to be terrified of the Cubs.

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