It is the calm before the proverbial storm throughout baseball. The Winter Meetings begin in one week (December 7 – December 10) in Indianapolis and there are several other important dates on the horizon.
Tuesday (December 1) is the deadline for Major League clubs to offer arbitration to their existing free agents … once those offers are made, teams will know exactly how much it will cost, outside of money, to sign players they have their eyes on. The Cubs have two players ranked as Type-A free agents, Rich Harden and Kevin Gregg, and Jim Hendry is not expected to offer salary arbitration to either pitcher.
The next date is December 7, that is the deadline for free agents to accept salary arbitration … and it could be a high number throughout the league that accepts salary arbitration due to the lack of money available for teams to spend on free agents.
Coming off the holiday week, here is a quick rundown of all of the rumors that you might have missed, off the field Cubs news, Jake Fox in winter ball, an updated off-season calendar and a new installment of the CCO’s Random Cub of the Day …
The CCO ran a three-part series last Monday – Wednesday on early projections for the 2010 season. For those that missed the articles, click on the links to see what type of season Bill James is projecting for the Cubs 40-man roster … and rumored additions.
- Chicago Cubs: Looking Forward to 2010
- Chicago Cubs: Looking Forward to 2010 … The Pitching Staff
- Chicago Cubs: Looking Forward to 2010 … The Reserves and Rumored Additions
Catching Up with the Rumor Mill
It is what most want to know about … what will the Cubs do to improve for 2010 and possibly beyond. Here are links to updates from last Friday, Saturday and Sunday with rumors, rumors and even more rumors.
Any Deals on Black Friday for Jim Hendry? (11/27/09)
Includes: Notes from Bruce Levine’s weekly chat … Could Derrek Lee receive a contract extension? Kevin Goldstein on the Cubs’ top prospects. Jim Hendry has spoken to Ryan Theriot about moving to second base and more on Milton Bradley.
Outfield Bat on the Cubs Shopping List (11/28/09)
Includes: A list of outfielders the Cubs could acquire once Jim Hendry trades Milton Bradley … Coco Crisp, Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel and several names that have been bantered around for the last six weeks.
Includes: More on the never-ending Milton Bradley rumors and a report from Bruce Levine that the Rangers are no longer an option. Notes from Jeff Samardzija’s time during Talkin’ Baseball on Saturday morning.
Cubs Interested in Takashi Saito? (11/29/09)
A report from the Tribune indicated the Cubs are one of eight teams that are pursuing former Dodgers’ closer Takashi Saito.
Jake Fox in Winter Ball
Jake Fox began play down in the Dominican Republic last week. Fox will play in the second half of the winter league season with Licey.
Fox hit his first homer on Saturday and is 5-for-15 in four games with a double and a RBI.
Brad Snyder, who the Cubs must re-sign, is hitting .363 in 39 games with seven home runs, 10 doubles and 35 RBI.
Off the Field News
The Cubs made news that was not player related prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Wally Hayward was hired as the Cubs Executive Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer last week … a new position within the organization. Hayward is a lifelong Cubs’ fan
“I’m looking forward to partnering with Tom and Crane to change the game for the Chicago Cubs on and off the field. By offering innovative ideas, we will create an exceptional experience for Cubs fans and our corporate partners.”
“A veteran of more than 20 years in the sports marketing industry, Hayward joins the Cubs after most recently serving as a senior advisor to Chicago 2016. He helped develop the organization’s corporate sponsorship model and was the strategic advisor and liaison between Chicago 2016 and the United States Olympic Committee’s Sales and Marketing Team.”
The Cubs installed large green boards in the left-field bleachers to potentially block the view of the Horseshoe Casino ad on a Waveland Avenue rooftop. There are currently no ads on the boards, but the Cubs are expected to install sponsor ads on these plywood boards.
Bruce Levine has heard the boards will feature Bud Light ads if the Cubs leave them up and decide to sell the space.
Tom Ricketts will meet with the group in Naples, Florida on Tuesday (December 1). Ricketts and Crane Kenney will discuss the city’s proposal that would move the Cubs from Arizona to Florida.
For those that think the Ricketts family is using Naples as leverage to get what they want in the Phoenix area … stay tuned.
2009 – 2010 Off-Season Calendar
- 1 – Last date for former club to offer salary arbitration to ranked XX(B) free agents in order to be eligible for compensation. Deadline is midnight eastern
- 4 – Last day to request outright waivers to assign player prior to the Rule 5 Draft
- 7 – Last date for players who declared free agency under Art. XX (B) to accept arbitration offer from former club. Deadline is midnight eastern.
- 7 – 10 – Baseball Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana
- 10 – Rule 5 Draft
- 12 – Last day to tender contracts. Deadline is midnight eastern
- 5 – Cubs Spring Training Single-Game Tickets Go on Sale
- 5 – 15 – Salary arbitration filing period
- 6 – BBWAA Hall of Fame voting announced
- 15 – 17 – 25th Annual Cubs Convention
- 19 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures
- 1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
- 15 – End of Waiver Period
- 16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
- 18 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for pitchers, catchers and injured players
- 23 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for other players
- 2 – Mandatory reporting date to Spring Training for all players
- 2 – 11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
- 4 – Cubs Spring Training Opener at HoHoKam Park against the Oakland A’s
- 17 – Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
- 31 – Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2010 salary
- 4 – Active Rosters Reduced to 25 players
- 4 – MLB Opening Night
- 5 – Opening Day for Chicago Cubs in Atlanta
- 12 – Cubs Home Opener against the Milwaukee Brewers
Will Update Off-Season Calendar throughout winter
Random Cub of the Day
The latest edition of the CCO Random Cub of the Day is Lee Arthur Smith. Lee Smith should need no introduction … not to mention he should be in the Hall of Fame.
Lee Smith was the Cubs second round pick in the 1975 draft (28th overall) and made his big league debut on September 1, 1980. The emergence of Lee Smith allowed the Cubs to trade Bruce Sutter to the Cardinals for Ty Waller, Ken Reitz and Leon Durham on December 8, 1980.
When closers were none as fireman and the award for the best closer in the league was sponsored by Rolaids, Smith posted a 2-5 record in 72 games in 1982 with 17 saves … and even started five games with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Smith threw 117 innings in his final year before becoming the Cubs’ permanent closer. Smith posted a 4-10 record in 1983 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP in 66 games. Smith recorded 29 saves and finished 56 games.
The Cubs traded Lee Smith to the Red Sox on December 8, 1987 for Calvin Schiraldi and Al Nipper.
Lee Smith saved 33 games in the magical summer of 1984 and was 4-10 in 62 games with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in his last summer in Chicago.
The CCO Radio will return on Wednesday, December 2 to preview the Winter Meetings and discuss all of the hot stove rumors. Mark December 2nd down on your calendar … as well as Tuesday, December 15. The CCO will take your calls and discuss the latest on the Chicago Cubs for an hour beginning at 7:00pm C.S.T.
If you don’t have an account on the CCO … sign-up for one to share your thoughts and interact with the rest of the Faithful.
Well, that’s the latest … and I’m sticking to it!