According to multiple reports it appears Jim Hendry’s first off-season free agent target is former Rangers’ hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Jaramillo is regarded throughout the game as the best in the business and he could become the next hitting coach of the Chicago Cubs within the next two weeks.
Rudy Jaramillo is under contract until October 31 but the Cubs have been given permission to talk to him. Bruce Levine, during his Saturday morning show on ESPN 1000, indicated he “would be shocked if the Cubs do not sign Rudy Jaramillo to a multi-year deal in the next few weeks.”
Here’s the rest on Rudy Jaramillo … and a couple of other news, notes and rumors.
Rudy Jaramillo joined Bill and Cal during Ripken Baseball (XM Radio) last Thursday (10/15). Jaramillo discussed why he decided to leave Texas with the Ripken Brothers. The Rangers offered only a one-year contract and Jaramillo would like a longer deal. He said there are a lot of things going on in Texas with the pending ownership change and everything in the organization could change after 2010.
Jaramillo feels this is the best time for him to make a move due to all of the openings throughout the league. He added that he would not want to take someone else’s job down the road if his time ended in Texas after next season. Jaramillo went on to say he is not tied to a coach or a manager.
Bill Ripken asked about possible destinations. Jaramillo said he was not really sure what was out there and reminded Ripken he is still under contract until the end of the month. He said organizations would have to get permission from the Rangers to talk to him for the next two and a half weeks.
During Talkin’ Baseball Saturday morning, Bruce Levine reported the Cubs are expected to interview Rudy Jaramillo early next week. Levine said Jaramillo made somewhere between $600,000 – $650,000 last season with the Rangers (highest paid hitting coach in the game, for the record Dave Duncan is the highest paid pitching coach) and speculation has been Jaramillo could be paid as much as $750,000 per season on a two-three year deal.
Levine explained it is not a “slam dunk” that Jaramillo will end up with the Cubs … there are other teams interested (Giants, Astros, Mets, Indians). Levine is positive Tom Ricketts and Crane Kenney will be involved in the decision to hire Jaramillo … and with Lou Piniella going into the final year of his contract, Jaramillo would carry over to the next manager like Larry Rothschild has done during his time with the Cubs.
Other moves will likely wait until after Tom Ricketts is officially the new owner of the Chicago Cubs. Levine said hiring Jaramillo could not wait due to the demand for his services.
Bruce Levine added Dave Keller would receive an interview.
Rampant speculation continued throughout the week on where Milton Bradley could end up this winter. Bruce Miles reported the Cubs have received interest from two or three different teams. Bruce Levine thinks Tampa and Toronto would be good fits for Bradley … smaller markets with a designated hitter. Levine believes the Cubs will have to take on a bad veteran contract for a bad veteran contract. For the record, he did not mention Pat Burrell.
During Ryan Theriot’s time with Dave Kaplan on Sports Central last Tuesday (10/13), Kaplan mentioned that Geovany Soto would be working out with Ryan Dempster beginning in January in Chicago. Soto is looking to come into 2010 in shape and ready to go … apparently one of his pitcher’s wants to help.
The 40-man Roster and So Taguchi
The Cubs’ 40-man roster was trimmed to 39 on Friday after So Taguchi was released. The Cubs also activated Chad Fox and Alfonso Soriano from the 15-day DL … normal procedural moves. Teams must finalize their 40-man roster by November 20.
After winning on Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League, the Mesa Solar Sox have lost their last three games … Andrew Cashner took the loss on Friday. Here’s how the Cubs’ prospects have done:
- John Gaub – 1 inning, allowed one run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts
- Andrew Cashner – (0-1) 2 innings, allowed three runs on three hits (one home run surrendered) with a walk and two strikeouts
- Blake Parker – 1 inning, no runs, two hits allowed with no walks and two strikeouts
- James Russell – (0-1), 2 innings in relief, three runs, two earned, on four hits (one home run surrendered) with no walks and two strikeouts
- Welington Castillo – 1-for-4 (one game) with two strikeouts
- Starlin Castro – 7-for-14 (four games) with a double, a walk, two runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base
- Josh Vitters – 5-for-11 (three games) with a double, a walk and no strikeouts … caught stealing two times and one error (throwing) in the field.
An Interesting Blurb … Jon Heyman listed the Cubs as one of the possible destinations for Billy Wagner this off-season on the MLB Network earlier in the week …
Well … that’s the latest and I’m sticking to it!