Arbitration, A Doubleheader and Other Cubs News and Notes

In exactly one week Rick Renteria will hold the Cubs’ first official on field work out of the spring. Pitchers and catchers report to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa on Feb. 13 and the position players must be in Mesa by Feb. 18. Several of the players are already at the Cubs’ new spring home preparing for the start of Spring Training.

According to reports from Arizona and Florida, it is already sounding like baseball season as players throughout the league have reported early to their respective facilities in order to get a jump start on the spring. The Diamondbacks reported Thursday and the Dodgers report Saturday in order to have enough time to prepare for their series in Australia on March 22.

The Cubs’ front office took care of a little business Thursday. The Cubs and Darwin Barney agreed to a one-year contract that will pay the Gold Glove second baseman $2.3 million during the upcoming season. The Cubs have avoided arbitration with nine of the ten players that were arbitration eligible for the 2014 season. But the one player that remains without a contract is a big one.

Jeff Samardzija and the front office have not found a common ground yet on a contract for next season. Samardzija submitted a $6.2 million figure while the Cubs filed at $4.4 million. The two sides have a hearing scheduled for Monday (Feb. 10) in St. Petersburg, Fla. if they are unable to reach an agreement before then.

The Cubs have not gone to arbitration with a player since Ryan Theriot in 2010 and before that it was Mark Grace in 1993. Samardzija said last week he talks with the front office on a regular basis and was optimistic a deal could be reached before the arbitration hearing.

Cubs and Nationals to Play a Day-Night Doubleheader

The Cubs announced Thursday a change to the 2014 regular season schedule. At the request of Ald. Tom Tunney, the Cubs moved the Sunday, June 29 game against the Nationals to Saturday, June 28. The Cubs and Nationals will play a day-night doubleheader with first pitch for game one scheduled for 12:05pm CDT and the nightcap slated for a 6:15pm CDT start time.

Ald. Tunney made the request in consideration of neighborhood traffic and congestion around Wrigley Field in connection with annual Pride Parade on June 29.

The Cubs will be able to add a pitcher to the roster for the Saturday games as part of the new rules that teams can carry a 26-man roster for scheduled doubleheaders.

The last time the Cubs scheduled a day-night doubleheader at Wrigley Field was on July 4, 1983 against the Montreal Expos. So close to 31 years later, the Cubs will play a day-night doubleheader against the same organization.

Former Cubs in New Places

Several players that wore a Cubs’ uniform over the last few years have signed on with new organizations this week. Here is a rundown of where those former Cubs will be playing during the upcoming season …

Carlos Marmol inked a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins that will pay him $1.25 million. Marmol’s deal is a Major League contract and includes an incentives package.

Koyie Hill signed a minor league contract with the Nationals earlier this week.

Jerome Williams signed a one-year Major League contract with the Astros.

Jeff Stevens, who was acquired in the Mark DeRosa deal from the Indians, is now a scout in the Orioles’ organization. Stevens will cover Northern California and Nevada for Baltimore according to Roch Kubatko.

The Indians signed Bryan LaHair to a minor league contract that includes a non-roster invite to big league camp.

The Minnesota Twins signed 1B/OF Brad Nelson to a minor league contract. Nelson spent last season with the Iowa Cubs.

And last, but not least, Adam Greenberg announced his retirement from baseball.

News, Notes and Rumors

The Cubs interest in RHP Suk-Min Yoon has quieted since Wednesday’s report from the Tribune. But the Orioles are very much involved in negotiations with Yoon according to Dan Connolly. But Baltimore is not the only team bidding on Yoon’s services.

Ryan Sweeney is excited for his second season with the Cubs.

The Cubs possible interest in Bronson Arroyo is unknown at this point, but according to a report from Joel Sherman, the former Red Sox and Reds hurler has dropped his asking price and is thought to be seeking a two-year contract in the $22 million range. Arroyo had been looking for a three-year deal all winter. Reports have suggested the Diamondbacks are the favorites to sign Arroyo with the Dodgers and Orioles also in the mix for the crafty-righty. Dan Connolly reported the Orioles are in active negotiations with Arroyo, along with other teams.

Major League Baseball gave the Washington Nationals money in order to keep the Nationals from suing the Baltimore Orioles over the MASN deal. The Orioles benefit greatly from its partnership with MASN, more so than the Nationals, and Baltimore is “reaping huge profits that are not subject to revenue sharing while the Nationals get a relative pittance” according to a report from Hardball Talk. The Nationals have threatened to sue “to get a bigger piece of the pie.” But in order to keep the peace, MLB has sent the Nationals “an undisclosed sum every year to help bridge the gap” financially between the Nationals and Orioles.

Pat Hughes is lending his support to Riverside Foundation Hearts of Gold Gala.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Tony_Hall

    I have been wanting to do this every season, but this is the year.

    A CCO based, fantasy baseball league. If you are interested in playing reply on here and send Neil an email to forward to me. DO NOT leave your email on here.

    It will be a free league, I am thinking on ESPN, as they seem to be very flexible on format and without having to pay a fee. The format will be H2H and use mostly a standard scoring system, but once the league member are set, we can decide on the details and whether we want to use keepers, draft format, etc.

    • Tony_Hall

      Ray – This is your chance to give fantasy baseball a try. A spot is held just for you!

    • Sanibelchuck

      Good idea. If there is a CCO fantasy league count me in. Neil, knows how to contact me. Am in Fort Myers, am heading out to Twins spring training site and Red Sox to see who is here early.

    • cubtex

      You beat me to it! I have been wanting to do this every season as well 😉 Have fun!

      • Tony_Hall

        C’mon man, give it a try.

    • Vivid_Reality

      Very interested.

      • Tony_Hall

        I have a spot held for you.

      • Tony_Hall

        Not sure if you sent Neil a message yet, as I have a few that I didn’t match up the screen names yet. But if you haven’t send Neil an email through this link.


        • Vivid_Reality

          I emailed him when I replied to you originally. If you don’t have anything from me or don’t know which email is mine, let me know. It is a hotmail address that starts with c.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I would love to do this. Please include me!

      • Tony_Hall

        I have you down for a spot.

    • Denver Mike

      If there is any interest in doing it on Yahoo I would certainly be in.

      I already have a couple keeper/dynasty leagues on there, and whenever I’ve done ESPN leagues in the past I just haven’t paid as much attention to them as I should.

      If not, hope all have a blast!

      • Tony_Hall

        I have used Yahoo for football and baseball for many years and will have one baseball league on it this year. It is a thought, but from what I have seen, ESPN is a lot more flexible in the settings.

        Love to have you!

        • Eugene Debs

          Totally interested.

    • Tony_Hall

      If you are interested, please send Neil an e-mail for him to forward to me. You don’t need to be a regular poster on here or even have a Disqus log-in.

    • Bredstik

      Tony, you can count me in.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      ok…been a few years for me, and I find it helps you get to know players around the league better. I got my father hooked on it (retired accountant) and he really got into them…so maybe he would want in as well, I will check.

    • JasonOfTheBurbs

      Now you got me diving into the “way back” machine and I remembered I wrote some early Fantasy columns for Neil, before I switched to my Opinion columns I did for about a year. Here was the last Fantasy blurb I did, which has almost nothing to actually do with fantasy baseball. Wait until the very end, when you see my predicted win totals for our pitchers in 2006…it will likely produce a good laugh (or cry). :)

    • Ripsnorter1

      Count me in, Tony.

    • STLCubsFan

      I would love to do this as well!

    • Sanibelchuck

      Did you hold down a spot for me?

  • Henry

    Neil, where is the quote of the day? I hope you are not running out of them. Well if you do I still love CCO.

    • Neil

      No, not at all. It will return soon.

      • paulcatanese

        Little one from the Movie Humoresque,
        John Garfield to Joan Crawford on attending Concerts, “When there’ good, I’m jealous, and when they are bad, I’m bored”. Apply where one thinks it belongs:)

      • Henry

        Thanks!!! I use some them when I try to put my son on the right path!

        • Neil

          I am working on a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ stuff. I will have the section back up in the near future. I am glad you like them. Have a great night Henry.

  • John G

    Neil, was that a trick to see who’s really paying attention? How could the Cubs have scheduled a day-night double header on Jul 4, 1983?

    • Henry

      I just checked it out according to Cubs Historian Ed Hartig, Neil is correct. The Cubs have played day-night doubleheader since but none were intentionally scheduled. They were all part of a rainout/makeup game

      • John G

        Back in the day, (50’s 60’s) doubleheaders were common on Sundays and Holidays. They were played back to back during the day. But how could the Cub’s schedule a day-night double header in 1983? No lights until 8/8/88.

        • Eugene Debs

          The ’50s and 60’s are before “back in the day.” That’s more like “back in the century.”

          • paulcatanese

            Bah, Boo:)

        • paulcatanese

          They sure were, that’s when baseball was a game, and fans counted. Top it off, they were also televised.

        • Henry

          I have checked a number of articles on the day night Double header issue. Some articles keep reffring to Ed Hartig. Other articles only state that this is the first scheduled Double header since 1983. Good catch on your part. Based on what I am seeing the 83 double header was probably the last scheduled double header of any kind.

      • Henry

        I thought I would state my source. It was I would post a link but I do not know how to do that

  • Tom U

    A notification from the Cubs’ minor league outfield coordinator Lee Tinsley says that he is now an assistant hitting coach for the Reds.

  • Tony_Hall

    For everyone interested in the fantasy baseball league, Neil has been forwarding me your e-mails. I will reply to each of you in e-mail tomorrow. Depending on how many are interested, we may create 2 leagues in which the winners of each play each other in a World Series match-up.

    • Steven Petty

      Count me in for the fantasy league. I have a new email. Don’t know how to get that to you?

    • Sanibelchuck

      Have not heard from you on fantasy baseball league

      • Tony_Hall

        Sorry, I will be replying to everyone tomorrow. We have around 16 to play.