Cubs acquire closer Davis from Royals for Soler

Cubs acquire closer Davis from Royals for Soler

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Cubs' goal this offseason was to restock the bullpen and on Wednesday, they acquired a new closer in Wade Davis by trading Jorge Soler to the Royals.

"This was a big move for us this offseason, in an offseason where we don't feel we have to make a ton of big moves," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

'Joy in Wrigleyville' to air on Network tonight

Documentary highlights Cubs' World Series win from fans' perspective

'Joy in Wrigleyville' to air on Network tonight

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Fans are, unwaveringly, a loyal, constant presence during a team's march toward a World Series, regardless of the size of the city or the age of the franchise.

But in 2016 it seemed as if the fans rooting for the Cubs had a starring role during the team's championship run, becoming as much of the story as the players whose responsibility it was to play near-perfect baseball in an effort to shed more than 100 years of city-wide angst.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winter Meetings interview with Dayton Moore, Jed Hoyer

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, we completed a trade this afternoon with the Chicago Cubs, sending Wade Davis to the Cubs in exchange for Jorge Soler. We have Dayton Moore and Jed Hoyer at the table here to take your questions.

Q. Dayton, can you just tell us where you expect to use Soler, is it right field, DH, maybe a little bit of both and walk us through how this deal came about?
DAYTON MOORE: Yeah, a combination both. We obviously love his upside, love his power. Like the fact that we have some control for the next four years, potential right fielder as you know, we have several players that are perhaps, you know, entering free agency after the 2017 season.

So this was an important deal for us, a tough deal, trading an All-Star closer in Wade Davis, somebody who has been just so instrumental to our success. We certainly wouldn't have been able to win and win a World Series without Wade. But the fact that we have the DH, we can utilize him in both spots.

Q. How does he rate defensively in your mind? I know he's got a plus arm. Does he need some improvement perhaps in his outfield skills?
DAYTON MOORE: Well, we see him as an average right fielder with a chance to get better. We put great faith in Rusty Kuntz, who works with our outfielders and baserunners. We feel there's upside there, as well.

Q. Was there any impetus from this with the new CBA rules, knowing you'd only get after the first round, if he signed for 50 million or more and left as a free agent in a year, or do you think this would have happened anyway?
DAYTON MOORE: I think it would have happened anyway. That didn't really factor in with this particular deal, no.

Q. Does it change your thinking for the guys you have?
DAYTON MOORE: Well, every situation's different. You have to evaluate it one at a time. But not necessarily. I mean, we're not going to feel any pressure to move forward with any of our players based on the new CBA. We think it's a tremendous deal for baseball and we don't see it affecting the Royals in a negative way.

Q. Jed, does this automatically make Davis your closer or are there other moves you're planning that might change that?
JED HOYER: No, that's certainly the thought. We did this deal, putting Wade Davis in the ninth inning, obviously he's been an All-Star closer and he's closed out world championships and we're excited to get him.

That doesn't say that we don't have a lot of confidence in the other guys in our bullpen. Hector did a great job as a closer. Pedro Strop has had a really good run with us in the eighth inning, Edwards, Justin Grimm.

But one thing we learned this year, and I know Dayton learned it in '14 and '15, is when you play that extra month, it's really hard on your bullpen. It's really hard on your whole pitching staff. The more good relievers we can add that, the more we can add that length and have versatile weapons, the better.

And so Wade is going to pitch the ninth, but we really like the other guys we have, and hopefully this can take a little bit of the burden off all of them, hoping to play that seventh month.

Q. With so many free agents like you referred to there, it was important to get a big league piece back in there. How do you balance still wanting to win this year with the reality of what you face next year?
DAYTON MOORE: That's the challenge, obviously, but we think it's important to try to accomplish both. We certainly expect to win in 2017; put a competitive team on the field that can compete to win our division.

It's going to be a challenge. But we're excited that Jorge can be a part of that, and as I said before, it gives us control for the future, and because we don't want to -- we want to continue to win. We want to win consistently in Kansas City and Jorge certainly gives us a better opportunity to do that.

Q. Curious what your understanding is about Davis's flexor tendon. He missed some time a couple times over the summer, where that is now, and how comfortable -- obviously you're very comfortable with it, but what makes you comfortable with that?
JED HOYER: Yeah, we felt really good about it. Obviously we took a look at the file, looked at the MRIs he took in July and they looked really good.

And then Dayton actually offered, he said, I want you to feel good about this as a deal. Dayton is a dream to work with.

So we had our trainer put his hands on him today, give him a physical and he checked out great. He looks fantastic and ready to go. So I think any time you're trading a guy like Jorge Soler, you want to make sure you feel really terrific about what you're getting in return. Both of the medical file process and through put being our hands on Wade this morning, we felt really good about it.

Q. If both you guys could address it, because you have some experience with it, Dayton, the last couple years you've had to manage success coming off very successful seasons and going into the next one with different expectations. Jed, you went through it in Boston, and you're going to face having won everything there is to win and trying to replicate that. What are the difficulties? What have you learned about that, essentially managing success?
JED HOYER: Yeah, I think that it's definitely a different set of challenges. I think Joe will do a masterful job of dealing with that, the motivation factor; and also dealing with the fact that you do have to do things a little bit different coming into spring training and maybe the early part of next season. We played into mid October in 2015 and then obviously into November in 2016.

So I do think we have to think about how that affects all of our players, not just the pitchers, but all the players, and try to be creative in how we give them rest, try to be creative in when they start their work outs and stuff like that.

There's no question, and this deal obviously shows that. We expect to play for a long time again this year, and we want to plan accordingly, and so we've got a tough road ahead, like everyone does, but we do have to plan for playing that seventh month, and it does require some lengthy discussions and some creativity on the front end.

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Epstein still basking in post-Series euphoria

Epstein still basking in post-Series euphoria

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, turned down invitations to late-night talk shows after the team's historic World Series championship, and he hasn't been asked to be a grand marshal for any parades, the way Ben Zobrist and David Ross have done.

Epstein is enjoying the euphoric feeling in Chicago following the Cubs' dramatic seven-game Series, which ended the longest championship drought in professional sports.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs to consider pitching for Rule 5 Draft

Cubs to consider pitching for Rule 5 Draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Cubs may select a player in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, especially if they can find a pitcher who can give them more depth.

The Draft will take place on the final day of baseball's Winter Meetings, and start at 8 a.m. CT at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The Cubs have the final pick of the first round.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amid busy winter, Maddon plots course for '17

Amid busy winter, Maddon plots course for '17

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Since winning the World Series, Cubs manager Joe Maddon has been riding his bike in Tampa Bay. He treated himself to a Challenger Hellcat that has 707 horsepower because he loves driving cars. He hung out with his college buddies at a football game at Lafayette and spoke at an event at Yogi Berra's museum.

One thing Maddon hasn't done is second guess any of his moves in Game 7 of the World Series.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs' postseason shares announced

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- It will be a happy holiday season for the Cubs players and staff. Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that a full postseason share for the 2016 World Series-champion Cubs was worth $368,871.59.

The 2016 players' pool was a record total of $76,627,827.09, eclipsing last year's $69,882,149.26. A full share for the American League-champion Indians totaled $261,804.65, MLB announced.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schwarber to skip winter ball, continue rehab

Schwarber to skip winter ball, continue rehab

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Kyle Schwarber, who made a miraculous recovery from a severe knee injury suffered in the third game of the regular season to play in the World Series, will continue to rehab but not play in winter ball, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday.

Schwarber tore two ligaments in his left knee in early April, and was able to be the designated hitter for the Cubs in the World Series, going 7-for-17 (.412) with two RBIs against the Indians.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baez commits to World Baseball Classic

Baez commits to World Baseball Classic

With the World Baseball Classic just a few months away, the rosters are beginning to take shape. More names surfaced Monday as the World Baseball Classic released an initial list of 30 players who are confirmed to be participating in the 2017 tournament.

Spanning 16 countries, the players include 24 Major League All-Stars, but the upcoming WBC, which will take place in March, provides a global stage for veterans and rising stars alike.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs announce ticket price increase for 2017

Cubs announce ticket price increase for 2017

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Coming off their first World Series championship since 1908, the Cubs announced Monday they will increase ticket prices for 2017.

Season-ticket holders will receive an email on Monday with the details. The team said the average ticket price increase will be 19.5 percent, with a range by section from six to 31 percent, and the highest-priced tickets will be for the best seats.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Play Ball' charity auction features Cubs items

Fans can bid to meet broadcasters, play catch on the field and watch BP on the field

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Want to meet Cubs broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies plus attend a game? How about play catch in the outfield at Wrigley?

You can do that and support a good cause. Major League Baseball and all 30 teams have organized a Play Ball charity auction benefiting youth baseball and softball in Little Ferry, N.J., the hometown for Shannon Forde, a director of media relations for the Mets who lost her battle against breast cancer. The money raised from the auction will help renovate a field in Forde's name.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lindsay Berra

Maddon: 'Now we have the experience'

At Yogi Berra Museum, Cubs skipper discusses whirlwind season, World Series win, what's next

Maddon: 'Now we have the experience'

LITTLE FALLS, NJ -- There's never a dull moment with Cubs manager Joe Maddon, and Friday night's program at my grandfather's museum -- the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J. -- was certainly no exception.

The event began with a cocktail hour, during which 100 lucky guests got to chat and mingle with Maddon and his wife Jaye. A lively and revealing Q&A with the World Series champ followed, moderated by Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and Fox Sports. The interview was Maddon's first since winning the World Series on Nov. 2.

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Lindsay Berra is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arrieta among 4 Cubs headed to arbitration

Rosscup and 3 others are non-tendered, now free agents

Arrieta among 4 Cubs headed to arbitration

As expected, the Cubs on Friday tendered contracts to all four of their arbitration-eligible players, including Jake Arrieta. But they non-tendered four pre-arbitration players to make room on the 40-man roster ahead of next week's Winter Meetings.

Beginning Monday, MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.

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Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs sign lefty Duensing to 1-year contract

Cubs sign lefty Duensing to 1-year contract

The Cubs signed lefty reliever Brian Duensing to a one-year deal, the club announced on Friday.

The team did not announce terms of the free-agent deal, but MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported it was worth $2 million.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LeBron James wore a full Cubs uniform to Chicago

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LeBron James wore a full Cubs uniform to Chicago

LeBron James is a man of his word. 

Before the World Series, he and his old pal Dwyane Wade planned to place a friendly wager on the outcome, since it pitted their two cities (Cleveland and Chicago) against each other.

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Jay excited to mentor Almora, join Cubs

Jay excited to mentor Almora, join Cubs

After striking an agreement with the Cubs on a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday, outfielder Jon Jay fit in his daily workout, then spent some time car shopping. He traded in his sports car for what he called a "dad car," because his wife, Nikki, was pregnant with twins.

Jay just left the dealership when he got the call that Nikki was having contractions. Before noon on Wednesday, they were parents of two baby girls.

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Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoyer: Cubs not closing door on Fowler return

GM says don't rule out free-agent center fielder, even after 1-year deal with Jay

Hoyer: Cubs not closing door on Fowler return

Even after sealing a one-year deal with free-agent center fielder Jon Jay, the Cubs are not quite ready to mark the end of the Dexter Fowler era in Chicago.

"Dexter has been such a wonderful member of the Cubs for the last two seasons, and he's always welcome here," Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said on Wednesday, a day after signing Jay for $8 million. "Obviously, last offseason we didn't anticipate him returning, and he did. So we would never close the door on a reunion with Dexter.

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Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lester tweets his CBA wish: No throws to first base

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Lester tweets his CBA wish: No throws to first base

MLB's players and owners reached a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on Wednesday night, but one individual's top priority went unaddressed: Jon Lester. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Epstein's 'simple' Draft strategy continues to pay off

Epstein's 'simple' Draft strategy continues to pay off

Avert your eyes, Alex Jackson. Nobody is saying you won't still develop into a Major League player. The trade that sent you from the Mariners to the Braves could jump-start your career.

But it's not too soon to see what the top of the 2014 Draft -- when Seattle made the conventional choice with the sixth overall pick and selected Jackson, a widely praised high school catcher with the ability to hit -- says about how the game is changing. It also reveals a little bit about how Theo Epstein put together his World Series champions.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schwarber returning to IU to be honorary captain

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Schwarber returning to IU to be honorary captain

Before he made his presence felt on the Cubs by mashing homer after ridiculous homer and being a postseason hero despite nearly missing an entire season's worth of games, Kyle Schwarber was a Hoosier. 

And now, after the Cubs' cathartic World Series victory over the Indians last month (and subsequent media tour), he's headed back to school -- specifically to be honorary captain of the men's basketball team (ranked No. 13 nationally) for its anticipated showdown with North Carolina (No. 3) on Wednesday night. 

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Todd Ricketts nominated for deputy commerce secretary

Todd Ricketts nominated for deputy commerce secretary

CHICAGO -- President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Todd Ricketts -- brother of Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and a member of the team's board of directors -- as deputy commerce secretary.

"The incredible job he and the Ricketts family did in the purchase and turnaround of the Chicago Cubs -- one perfect step after another, leading to the World Championship, is what I want representing our people,'' Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. "I am very proud to have him on our team."

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Fowler re-sign with Cubs?

Beat writer Carrie Muskat answers questions from Chicago fans

Inbox: Will Fowler re-sign with Cubs?

What are the chances Dexter Fowler re-signs with the Cubs? He was such a key member in 2016, it would be sad to see him go.
-- Max C., Anthem, Ariz.

The Cubs are staying in touch with Fowler's agent about possibly returning, but this is a great time to be a free-agent center fielder. The Cardinals, Rangers, Nationals, Giants and Yankees are all reportedly in the market for an outfielder. Fowler is an attractive option coming off a season in which he compiled a slash line of .276/.393/.447, while also being named to the All-Star team for the first time. With the Cubs' signing of Jon Jay, and with Jason Heyward, Jorge Soler, Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber already around, Fowler most likely won't surprise Cubs players and show up in Mesa, Ariz., for Spring Training in February. But general manger Jed Hoyer wouldn't rule it out.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs sign outfielder Jay to 1-year contract

Cubs sign outfielder Jay to 1-year contract

With incumbent center fielder Dexter Fowler weighing his options in free agency, the Cubs on Tuesday plucked another player off the open market, agreeing with veteran Jon Jay on a one-year contract worth $8 million.

Jay, 32 in March and coming off a season with the Padres shortened by a broken right arm, gives the Cubs yet another versatile defender in a deep outfield corps.

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Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

One year made big difference for Montgomery

After being traded by Mariners, lefty helps Cubs win WS title

One year made big difference for Montgomery

SEATTLE -- A lot can happen in the course of a baseball season.

Just ask Mike Montgomery, who came to Spring Training with the Mariners in 2016 out of Minor League options and a long shot to land a spot on the 25-man roster ... yet he found himself on the mound recording the final out and picking up his first career save in the Cubs' dramatic 8-7 victory over the Indians in Game 7 of the World Series.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

The Next Big Leaguers: Cubs' Jimenez

Five experts weigh in on who will be baseball's next sensation

The Next Big Leaguers: Cubs' Jimenez

For a quarter-century, the Arizona Fall League has helped the top Minor League talent in the game get ready for the big leagues. It's done so with remarkable consistency, sending more than 60 percent of its alumni to the highest level.

The AFL has produced 247 players who have earned roster spots in the All-Star Game, including 33 in last year's Midsummer Classic. There have been 16 MVPs (Mike Trout is a two-time winner), seven Cy Young Award winners and 27 Rookies of the Year to come through the league since it started in 1992.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Here's Wrigley Field as a 400-pound gingerbread house

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Here's Wrigley Field as a 400-pound gingerbread house

Cubs fans love Wrigley Field a lot. Really a lot. And, after the team's long-awaited championship run, those feelings have been, let's say, taken up a notch.

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