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David Brown

Evening Shade: Cubs sale finally, maybe, not really, is completed

Big League Stew

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Most weekday evenings, Big League Stew looks at five approaching games worth monitoring. As they occur, feel free to discuss the night's happenings with other Stewies in the comment section below.

Braves at Cubs, underway The sale of the Cubs appears to be closer to done, though this story from one of the horse's mouths — the Tribune Co. — reports that details still linger and negotiations will continue in order to dot the Ts and cross the eyes. A "term sheet" has been sent to MLB headquarters for inspection and the other owners must approve the deal, too. They next meet in August. Heck, we could have two or three more recessions by then. The Cubs still don't have Ricketts.

With the team still almost kind of free from its probational bonds, general manager Jim Hendry traded Ryan Freel to the Royals. Freel might have had the least effective Cubs career since Bob Tewksbury.

Meanwhile, Aramis Ramirez is returning from his shoulder injury, along with outfielder Reed Johnson(notes) and right-hander Angel Guzman(notes). Kevin Hart and Sam Fuld were sent back to Triple-A and David Patton was DL'd with a right groin strain in the roster-farian musical chairs.

Fuld had a 1.007 OPS in 13 plate appearances and was instrumental in a couple of recent victories, but the acquisition of Jeff Baker(notes) makes him expendable, so says management.

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Reds at Phillies, underway Johnny Cueto(notes), along with Yovani Gallardo(notes), should just go and have a separate All-Star Game and not invite anybody else to play or even watch. And don't tell anyone who won. We don't deserve to know.

UPDATE: Cueto has been destroyed.

Athletics at Red Sox, underway John Smoltz(notes) tries even harder, and for a third time, to pick up his first AL victory.

Rangers at Angels, 10:05 ET When we look back on this season, and someone will, the AL West might come down to this series.

Marlins at Giants, 10:15 ET Matt Cain(notes) continues pitching with balls of fire in his bid to start for the NL in the All-Star Game.

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