Five days until pitchers and catchers report to Fitch Park …
The Cubs first workout of the spring is scheduled for one week from today (Feb. 12) but many of the players are already at Fitch Park working out and preparing for the start of Spring Training. Position players do not have to report until February 16 and the first full squad workout is scheduled for February 17.
Teams are still working on their rosters as Spring Training approaches. The Cubs have not announced the signing of Scott Hairston or the corresponding roster move … and the announcement that Lendy Castillo has cleared waivers should be made on Tuesday.
Ian Stewart hopes to show Cubs fans what he can do this season according to a report from Cubs.com. Stewart started hitting in November after doctors cleared him for baseball activities. Stewart worked with Rod Carew on his hitting in California during the off-season.
Stewart is appreciative of the Cubs sticking with him through his lingering wrist injury and re-signing him to a $2 million non-guaranteed contract which includes $500,000 in incentives.
Oneri Fleita, the Cubs former Vice President of Player Personnel, has signed on as a consultant for the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs fired Fleita last August, as part of a host of changes made in the front office, less than a year after Tom Ricketts gave him a four-year contract extension. At the time of his dismissal David Kaplan reported that the Cubs owed him around $900,000 ($300,000 per year) over the remainder of his contract that runs through 2015.
According to a report from Patrick Mooney, Fleita will spend some time this spring at the Reds’ complex in Arizona and he will take on scouting assignments, both at the major and minor league levels, during the season.
Reports last August indicated the Cubs considered keeping Fleita in the organization in a reduced role but the Cubs could not find a fit in the organization that would work.
Boys of Spring
Matt Garza played long toss and threw off a mound at Fitch Park. Tim said that Garza looked very strong. And Javier Baez apparently put on a show last week at Fitch Park. Tim watched him take batting practice and said Baez is totally healed and nearly broke truck windows hitting bombs in BP.
News and Notes
For those on roster watch, Tony Campana left for Arizona on Sunday.
The 2013 draft order or bonus pool will not be set until the last two compensation free agents (Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse) are signed but according to Jim Callis, the Cubs’ bonus pool for June’s draft could be around $10,474,230 million. Callis has been told by multiple sources that they expect the pick values to rise by six-eight percent. Using last year’s bonus pool and increasing it by seven percent, the Cubs would have $10,474,230 to spend on their first 10 picks.
The Courier-News provided a little more info from Friday night’s “Meet the Cubs” event with the Kane County Cougars.
Ken Rosenthal reported last week that Jim Hendry proved that $15,000 could go a long way … even though he was told by his boss, Gary Hughes, that he could only spend $10,000.
Another one from the Topps’ series of Cubs cards for the upcoming season …