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Monday, April 19, 2021

Report: Javy Báez Declined Cubs’ Offer ‘Somewhere in Range of $180 Million’

I’ve been steadfast in refuting the report that Kris Bryant turned down an extension offer of “well north of $200 million,” so I want to tread carefully when it comes to the latest report about Javier Baez‘s negotiations. Or rather, his past negotiations. We do know via multiple outlets, one of which was Javy himself, that the shortstop was engaged in extension talks last spring prior to the shutdown. We also know that he did himself no favors with an abysmal 2020 performance.

According to Buster Olney, who wedged the info into a larger column for ESPN+, that disappointing campaign “followed a negotiation that concluded with him passing up a Cubs’ offer somewhere in the range of $180 million.” In Javy parlance, that’s a large number. So large, in fact, that it seems pretty difficult to believe in light of the organization’s spendthrift ways when it comes to position-player spending over the last several years.

Even before they slashed payroll and reportedly low-balled Anthony Rizzo, and even when Javy was still viewed as a potential perennial MVP candidate, $180 million would have been a stretch. My attempt at predicting a deal back in January of 2020 came to $136 million over six years ($22.67M AAV) with a max of $160 million over eight years ($20M AAV). Olney didn’t give a length on the deal in the two paragraphs devoted to the topic, but I’m thinking it had to be eight or nine years ($20-22.5M AAV).

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 19, 2021 at 07:15 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javy baez

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Why the Cubs’ awful offense could trigger full rebuild if downward trend continues this summer

As a team, the Cubs have a 66 OPS+. For those not very familiar with the stat, that means if you lump their on-base percentage and slugging percentage together, adjusting for ballpark and league context, they are collectively 34 percent worse than a league average hitter. ...

Now, here’s where we talk about small samples and how it’s early and all that. The problem is that this isn’t new. The Cubs won the NL Central last year, but they hit .220/.318/.387 as a team with mostly the same personnel (swapping out Kyle Schwarber for Pederson isn’t a huge difference, skill-set-wise). Sure, there was lots of context behind that, including that it was only a 60-game season during a once-in-a-century pandemic.

If we looped that back in, though, we’re now talking about a 70-game sample with pretty terrible offense. Back another year, one of the complaints about the Cubs from 2019 was too much boom-and-bust. That was, they’d go a stretch scoring little or no runs and then would explode and it would make their overall stats a bit deceptively good. Well, the boom is gone now. In 10 games, the Cubs have scored this many runs per game, sorted by most to least: 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 0.

Unable to string hits together, four of those runs have come on sac flies while 14 of their 29 runs have come on home runs. Ross pointed out after Monday’s loss they seem to be too offensively-reliant on the home run, but the problem with the home runs isn’t necessarily the percentage. It’s that 10 of their 12 home runs have been solo shots. No one is ever on base. If there was more traffic, those 12 homers might’ve resulted in something like 20 runs and they could be 6-4 or even 7-3 right now.

Instead, this has all the makings of a pretty terrible offense, baking in the context of how their six games against the Pirates’ went.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 15, 2021 at 11:48 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins is Getting a Statue at Wrigley Field!

In the pantheon of Chicago Cubs pitchers through the decades, very few can match the dominance and longevity of Fergie Jenkins. That’s probably why he’s a Hall of Famer, and roundly considered one of the best – if not the best – pitchers in franchise history. He’s certainly among the best starting pitchers in baseball history.

For those reasons, it is wholly appropriate that the man is going to be forever immortalized at Wrigley Field, where he pitched so well for so long:

Fergie will join Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Harry Caray with statues at Wrigley Field.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 06, 2021 at 02:37 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fergie jenkins

Monday, March 29, 2021

Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo doesn’t expect extension by Opening Day: ‘I can’t tell you what the future holds’

The Chicago Cubs core that ended the 108-year World Series drought in 2016 may be entering its final season together. The Cubs said goodbye to Jon Lester and Kyle Schwarber this past offseason, and stalwarts Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo will become free agents after the season. Bryant continues to be a popular name on the trade rumor circuit.

Contract extensions with Baez and Rizzo seem more likely than an extension with Bryant, though Rizzo confirmed no deal is imminent Monday morning. He does not want to negotiate during the season and said the two sides won’t have an extension in place before Opening Day.

Rizzo also said, “I can’t tell you what the future holds,” according to Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Sun-Times.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 29, 2021 at 01:20 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rizzo, cubs

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Chicago Cubs reportedly are optioning second baseman Nico Hoerner to the minors

Nico Hoerner’s stellar spring performance won’t be rewarded with a spot on the Chicago Cubs’ 26-man opening-day roster.

The Cubs reportedly are optioning Hoerner to the alternate site/Triple A to start the season, according to ESPN. Hoerner, 23, had been battling with David Bote and Ildemaro Vargas for the starting job at second base…..

Optioning Hoerner will give him more minor-league reps. Since the Cubs drafted him with the No. 24 pick out of Stanford in 2018, Hoerner has played in only 89 games in the minors with 375 plate appearances, none at Triple A.

Depending on how long Hoerner stays in the minors, the Cubs could gain an extra year of team control, though it’s unclear what the arbitration and free-agency system might look like when the next collective bargaining agreement, which expires after this season, is implemented.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2021 at 09:03 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, nico hoerner

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Here’s how the Cubs almost traded for J.T. Realmuto way back when

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “Realmuto, then 23, had made a brief major-league debut shortly before the trade discussions with the Cubs turned serious, replacing Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was out with a concussion. The Marlins rightly believed Realmuto would develop into a star, and knew, like every club, that catching is forever a position of scarcity.”

The Marlins were on pace for a 71-win season, making a push for Arrieta odd. Yet, they wanted to pair him with the late Jose Fernandez, creating what they thought would be a dynamic 1-2 punch for the long-term in the process. Despite the lure of Arrieta, the Marlins wouldn’t budge on Realmuto, which ultimately ended negotiations.

The Cubs are actually lucky they didn’t make this deal, given the circumstances. Realmuto did turn into a star, but Arrieta still had his part to play in the playoff battles to come, and was a member of Chicago’s 2016 World Series team. The Cubs eventually nurtured Willson Contreras, who himself is one of the best backstops in the game.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2021 at 11:27 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, j.t. realmuto, jake arrieta

Cubs minor leaguer Jesus Camargo-Corrales charged with possession of 21 pounds of methamphetamine

Police in Eagle County, Colorado, say they pulled over a man driving a BMW on Wednesday before finding 21 pounds of suspected methamphetamine and 1.2 pounds of suspected oxycodone in his car.

The suspect is Chicago Cubs minor leaguer Jesus Camargo-Corrales, according to 9 News in Denver.

According to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Camargo-Corrales’ BMW was speeding and swerving between lanes, prompting the traffic stop. When they pulled him over, deputy Evan Jaramillo said he asked Camargo-Corrales if there were any drugs in the car.

Camargo-Corrales told him “no” and that he follows a strict anti-doping policy because he plays in the Cubs system, according to the report. The three men gave deputies permission to search the car, and a K-9 dog named Zane signaled officers to search under the rear seat, according to ECSO.

Deputies found a Cubs duffel bag filled with cleats, baseball gloves and several packages of a white substance believed to be methamphetamine, according to deputies. They also found $1,000 in cash in addition to the suspected oxycodone pills, per the report.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2021 at 12:19 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Friday, February 26, 2021

Kris Bryant Open to New Deal, Knows Time as Cub Could Wind Down

Bryant said he is open to signing a long-term contract to remain with the Cubs before his deal expires at the end of the World Series.

“I’ve always said I’ve been open and willing to hear whatever Jed now has to say and would take it with open arms and consider everything that is thrown my way,” he said. “I think I’ve communicated that well with them. They know where I stand.”

But there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Cubs, particularly when it comes to some of their biggest stars.

Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez have expiring contracts. All three struggled during the pandemic-shortened season. But they all have played huge roles in transforming the long-suffering franchise into a championship organization.

They helped lead the Cubs to a World Series title in 2016, ending a drought that dated to 1908. But the organization is in transition.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2021 at 11:18 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

As Chicago Cubs report to spring training, 2021 looks like the last hurrah for the World Series championship core: ‘That’s just the reality’

And yet, for the myriad questions and, yes, hopefulness surrounding the team ahead of Wednesday’s first workout for pitchers and catchers, there is a harsh truth: 2021 is the last hurrah for this iteration of the Cubs. Most of the key pieces responsible for the franchise’s winningest stretch in the last 80 years won’t be part of the organization after this season.

The uncertain futures of Bryant, Rizzo and Baez in Chicago remain impossible to ignore the closer the calendar moves to free agency. Bryant, 29, and Baez, 28, are earning $19 million and $11.65 million, respectively, in their final arbitration year. A cornerstone player for nearly a decade and the face of the franchise, the 31-year-old Rizzo is completing the second of two club options on his initial seven-year, $41 million extension.

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer acknowledged Tuesday what awaits.

“These guys have been fantastic Cubs that did something historic together, and so, rightfully, Cubs Nation owes that group a debt of gratitude, and they’re always going to be legends for the Cubs,” Hoyer said. “We’ve said all along, pretty clearly, we’d like to keep some of these players. That’d be great. But it’s unrealistic to keep all of the players that were a significant part of 2016. And that’s just the reality.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2021 at 08:45 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Source: Chicago Cubs, Jake Arrieta reach agreement on one-year deal

The Chicago Cubs are bringing back one of their World Series heroes, reaching agreement on a one-year, $6 million deal with starter Jake Arrieta, a source confirmed with ESPN on Friday.

The deal, pending a physical, could include some incentives, according to the source.

Arrieta, 34, starred for the Cubs from 2013 to 2017, winning a Cy Young Award in the 2015 season and helping the team to three playoff appearances and a World Series championship in 2016. In the 2015 and 2016 seasons, he threw two no-hitters and won 40 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2021 at 11:13 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Cubs agree to deal with former Mets outfielder Jake Marisnick

The Cubs are bringing another glove into the mix before the start of Spring Training.

Former Mets outfielder Jake Marisnick reportedly agreed to a deal with the North Siders Thursday.

Marisnick only made 34 plate appearances in New York last season, batting .333 with two homers and 5 RBI. The 29-year-old righty is a career .229 hitter mostly known for his defensive prowess.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2021 at 09:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake marisnick

Monday, February 08, 2021

Cubs to play in front of 25% capacity at Sloan Park in spring training

It has been about 11 months since Cubs fans could watch their team in person from the stands, but they’ll get that chance again soon.

The city of Mesa, Maricopa County and the state of Arizona have given the Cubs the green light to have fans up to 25% capacity at Sloan Park for spring training games. The Cubs are hoping to put 3,500 or more fans in Sloan Park, whose 15,000-person capacity is the biggest of any team in spring training in Arizona or Florida.

COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be in place, with masks being mandatory and seating scattered in pods of two to six people sitting together. Fans will only be allowed to unmask if they’re eating or drinking in their specific seat location.


“We will have different locations and protocols regarding the selling of concessions this season,” Cubs general manager of spring training operations Justin Piper said. “Staying within guidelines for CDC protocol protection and enjoyment of the game will be our goal for our fans this spring. We submitted a plan to the governor, and it was approved with these important guidelines in place.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 08, 2021 at 11:16 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, cubs, spring training

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Report: Cubs agree to 1-yr deal with Trevor Williams

Right-hander Trevor Williams agreed to a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, giving the NL Central champions another option for the back end of their rotation.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract is pending a physical.

The 28-year-old Williams was designated for assignment by Pittsburgh after he went 2-8 with a 6.18 ERA in 11 starts during the pandemic-shortened season.

Williams, a second-round pick by Miami in the 2013 draft, broke into the majors in 2016 and spent his first five seasons with the Pirates. He had his best year in 2018, going 14-10 with a 3.11 ERA in 31 starts.

He has a 31-37 record with a 4.43 ERA in 106 career games, including 94 starts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2021 at 02:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, trevor williams

Friday, January 29, 2021

Joc Pederson, Cubs agree on deal

The Cubs have agreed to a deal with outfielder Joc Pederson, pending a physical, according to a report from MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The club hasn’t confirmed the agreement.

Pederson, 28, spent the past seven seasons with the Dodgers, posting a .230/.336/.470 slash line with a 116 OPS+ and 130 homers in 748 games.

Pederson struggled during the 2020 regular season, slashing .190/.285/.397 (84 OPS+) with seven homers in 43 games. He rebounded to hit .382 with two homers, eight RBIs and a .991 OPS in the playoffs, helping the Dodgers win the World Series.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 29, 2021 at 09:32 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joc pederson

Sunday, January 10, 2021

This small nation is crazy about the Cubs

The Belizean love affair with the Cubs began back in 1981. Television came to the nation in the early 1980s and a local entrepreneurial couple, Arthur and Marie Hoare, formed their own station. The only problem was that they forgot to buy programming.

So, they figured out how to pirate and broadcast WGN, the local Chicago station that airs the Bulls, a few soap operas and, most importantly, Chicago Cubs games. For many years, it was the only channel that was available in homes, bars and restaurants around the country. All 162 North Sider games were there for Belize’s watching.

“As [WGN’s] signal was relayed into Belize City by the Hoares, ‘world and country’ were glued to their television sets to see the mighty Cubs win or lose (mostly lose),” wrote local politician Michael Finnegan back in 2013.

Nobody’s too sure why WGN was chosen. At the time, Chicago residents believed it was because of a sizable Belizean population in the city and the fact that the two regions shared the same time zone. WGN also probably proved one of the easier channels to steal. Either way, the fan base grew, even during losing seasons in the early ‘80s. They had favorite players, they waved flags and they, of course, fell in love with Harry Caray.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2021 at 10:54 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Monday, January 04, 2021

Marquee Sports Network hires Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi as play-by-play announcer

Marquee Sports Network had to get this hire right after Len Kasper, the popular Cubs play-by-play TV voice, left for White Sox radio.

With the announcement of the hire of Jon ‘Boog’ Sciambi of ESPN as the new Cubs PBP announcer Monday, they hit a home run.

During his time at ESPN, Sciambi has contributed to ESPN Radio’s MLB World Series coverage as an on-site studio host, while providing post-game, on-field interviews for ESPN’s SportsCenter. He also has held play-by-play duties for both the College and Little League World Series. His time at the network dates to 2005, when he began doing play-by-play for select college basketball and MLB games, and he has continued in play-by-play for both sports during his tenure at ESPN.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2021 at 12:04 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon sciambi, marquee network

Monday, December 28, 2020

Padres agree to deal for Darvish

The Padres are doubling down in their search for an ace. San Diego agreed to a seven-player deal with the Cubs on Monday, acquiring right-hander Yu Darvish, according to sources.

Neither club has confirmed a deal, which is likely pending physicals.

Along with Darvish, the Padres will acquire catcher Victor Caratini in exchange for right-hander Zach Davies and shortstop Reginald Preciado (San Diego’s 11th-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline), outfielder Owen Caissie (13th), outfielder Ismael Mena (15th) and shortstop Yeison Santana (16th), a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 10:23 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, padres, yu darvish

Friday, December 04, 2020

Len Kasper is leaving Marquee Sports Network… for White Sox radio

Len’s reasons for switching Chicago jobs had nothing to do with any displeasure with his position with Marquee, writes Sharma:

Kasper, who turns 50 in January, has always been passionate about radio and relished his opportunities to sit in on radio broadcasts with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer during the fifth inning of nationally televised games. Sources indicated that there was no bad blood between Kasper and management at Marquee and the decision came from Kasper’s desire to shift mediums.

It’s also well known that Kasper has always wanted to call a World Series. With games on national television come playoff time, this would be Kasper’s best chance….


Next question: Who will replace him? Sharma’s article has the likely answer:

Multiple sources told The Athletic that Chris Myers is a leading candidate to replace Kasper in the Marquee Sports Network booth alongside analyst Jim Deshaies.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 10:08 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, white sox

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Ricketts family gets a landmark tax break on Wrigley Field just in time to gut the Cubs

But there’s always an endgame, and with Wrigley on the precipice of gaining landmark status, they’re becoming clear. There’s a pretty immense tax credit that comes along with it, namely 20 percent of the costs of the improvements.

It’s a little hard to figure out just how much that will be, but when Fenway gained that status it was worth $40 million in credits to them, and that was eight years ago. The Cubs have claimed that all of their development work cost them $1 billion, but a lot of that was for the neighborhood around Wrigley, which might not apply. But you can be sure they’re going to claim as much as they can of that $1 billion went into the park, though. Even if half of that total was spent on the park itself, and that’s not a stretch, that’s some $100 million in credits going back to the Cubs. You can do the math all the way down from there. Which just so happens to be around the amount the Cubs are claiming they lost in the 2020 season. Even if that’s spread over a few years, it’s certainly a welcome and lovely injection.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 19, 2020 at 01:37 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, tom ricketts

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Theo Epstein to Step Down as Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations

Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein will step down from his role with the team later this week and leave the organization, the club announced Tuesday.

Epstein, who guided the Cubs to the 2016 World Series championship and oversaw a massive overhaul in the team’s baseball operations department, will officially step down on Friday, the team said in a press release.

According to the Cubs, General Manager Jed Hoyer will take over the role as the new president of baseball operations.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:15 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, theo epstein

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Analyzing the Cubs’ rotation going into 2021

“I think going into the year, we were hoping that Adbert could develop into a major-league starter, and now we see one,” team president Theo Epstein said last month. “And he’s somebody I think is prime to slide into the rotation, and that still leaves at least one open spot and the need to add some depth moving forward.”

The Cubs likely will look outside the organization for depth, as well. Free agents Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman both signed their $18.9 million qualifying offers from the Mets and Giants, respectively. While there are still several intriguing names available, such as Corey Kluber, Jake Odorizzi and Anthony DeSclafani, one name stands out from the others.

Right-hander Chris Archer hits the market after the Pirates declined his $11 million option for 2020. Archer, 32, has hit a rough patch over the last few years and has looked like a shell of himself with the Pirates. The right-hander was 9-17 with a 4.70 ERA over the last two seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2020 at 12:28 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Friday, December 11, 2015

IT’S THE CUBS’ WORLD NOW

Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of the Cubs’ signing of Heyward, that this ratchets up the rivalry.

But if anything, I believe it dampens it. Even before Friday, the Cubs were a better team than the Cardinals in just about every way. Now that the Cubs took the Cardinals’ best player, the gap between these teams have widened. If anyone needs to prove this is a rivalry, it’s the fading Cardinals.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein

Clumsy.

Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RLYW: Salvaging a Sunken cost

Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO.  The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.

CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)
...

If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above.

...

Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.

I don’t think they can do that by pitching him…. trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.

Mr Dashwood Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, mets, projections, white sox, yankees

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cubs installing 70-foot digital scoreboard at Wrigley Field

Pitch count of 3,665?  Dusty is back??

From CSNChicago.com’s Jake Flannigan comes the below mockup of a 70-foot LED scoreboard that will be installed in right field at baseball’s second-oldest stadium. Construction will be completed this spring.

Above the new scoreboard you’ll see something called the “Budweiser Patio.” It will contain 150 all-inclusive seats (not bleachers), and is also going in before the start of the season.

The District Attorney Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

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