Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals for winning the 2011 World Series and now that a very good Fall Classic is over, it is time for Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and company to get to work.
Beginning Sunday at 12:01am ET free agents can begin talking to other teams and can begin receiving offers at 12:01am ET on Thursday. All options, whether controlled by the player or the team must be filed by Monday night at 11:59pm ET … Ryan Dempster is expected to pick up his player option for 2012 and the Cubs are expected to exercise their part of Aramis Ramirez’s option for next season. Ramirez is expected to decline his part of the option and become a free agent. If Ramirez chooses to decline his option, the Cubs will save $2 million dollars (buyout on Ramirez’s option if they were to decline) and will receive a compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere.
Here’s a quick update from the last two days …
- According to multiple reports, the Cubs are expected to push their annual organization meetings from November to February.
- Andrew Cashner is expected to return to the mound this weekend. Cashner tweaked his oblique and has been sidelined since October 14. Cashner called the injury “minor” and said his rotator cuff is fine. Mark Riggins has been supervising Cashner’s bullpen sessions.
- Carlos Zambrano will soon pitch in winter ball … and Theo Epstein said he would like to speak with him before deciding Zambrano’s future with the Cubs.
- Tim Wilken told the Sun-Times is happy about the changes in the Cubs’ front office. Wilken said the hiring of Jason McLeod “brought a smile to his face.” Wilken and McLeod met about eight years ago and Wilken is looking “forward to getting together with him and putting together plans to make us World Champions.” Wilken is under contract with the Cubs through the 2012 season.
- It is beginning to look like Bud Selig will have to get involved in the compensation talks between the Cubs and Red Sox.
- Jonathan Mota (SS) and James Adduci (OF) have re-signed with the Chicago Cubs on minor league deals. Adduci was in big league camp the past two springs under the previous regime.
- Bryan LaHair is hoping he fits into the Cubs’ plans for next season.
The CCO will run a full off-season calendar in the coming days but for now, here are a few of the important ones for the Chicago Cubs:
- October 30 – MLB Free Agency Period Begins at 12:01am ET (11:01pm CT on Oct. 29)
- October 31 – Team, player or mutual options must be filed 11:59pm ET (10:59pm CT)
- November 1 – The deadline for the Cubs and Red Sox to work out a compensation package for Theo Epstein.
- November 3 – Free Agent Signing Period Begins at 12:01am ET (11:01pm CT on Nov. 2)
- November 18 – Last Day for Teams to File Reserve Lists – Major and Minor League Levels
- November 23 – Last Day for Clubs to Offer Salary Arbitration to Free Agents in order to receive draft pick compensation
- December 5 – 8 – Winter Meetings – Dallas, TX
- December 7 – Last Day for Players to Accept Salary Arbitration
- December 8 - Rule 5 Draft
- December 12 – Deadline to Tender Contracts to Players with Less than Six Years of MLB Service time (3-6)
Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.
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