Friday was an excellent day of baseball while rumors and speculation surrounding the Cubs picked-up. Three of the four playoff games were decided by one run and it took 11 innings to for the Royals to take a 2-0 lead in the best of five over the Angels. And two of the games featured big comebacks while one was expected against the Tigers pen, everyone thought the Dodgers had game one in the bag Clayton Kershaw on the hill.
The Cubs interest in Cole Hamels picked up a little momentum with a report out of Philadelphia but the industry buzz continues to be the Cubs will sign free agent Jon Lester and hang on to the young talent it would cost to acquire Hamels from the Phillies.
And speculation began on which veteran outfielder the Cubs could pursue this winter.
Max Scherzer, Jon Lester and James Shields
The New York Daily News broke down all of the reasons the Yankees should not sign Max Scherzer this off-season as well as all of the reasons Brian Cashman should ink the free-agent right hander. The Daily News thinks if the Yankees spend big on a free agent starting pitcher this winter it will be on Max Scherzer.
Andy Martino reported “rival executives have long expected Boston to launch an aggressive pursuit” of James Shields. And the Daily News is not the first outlet to report the Red Sox are expected to put on a full court press to sign Shields.
And according to the report, Jon Lester is considered a possibility for the Yankees but “the industry expectation has Lester as a stronger possibility for Theo Epstein’s Cubs.”
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the Cubs could be interested in free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes. Jesse Rogers reported league sources indicated the Cubs could look at signing the former Rays, A’s, Reds and Red Sox outfielder.
The report states Gomes “checks the boxes for the leadership and playoff experience” and is “exactly the type of player the Cubs’ front office is undoubtedly looking for.”
Gomes hit .234/.327/.330 in 112 games between the Red Sox and A’s with eight doubles and six home runs. Against lefties over the course of his career, Gomes has hit .277/.376/.485 with a .861 OPS.
Jesse Rogers speculated Emilio Bonifacio and Torii Hunter might be options for the Cubs as well.
Updated 10:03am CDT – As previously reported, Torii Hunter has stated in the past that he would not sign with the Cubs because of the brick walls at Wrigley Field. Hunter could have changed his stance, but if he has he has not stated it publicly.
Kerry Wood to the FSL Hall of Fame
Kerry Wood, Richie Zisk and Lee Elia have been selected for induction into the Florida State League Hall of Fame. Sean Kernan reported the two former Daytona Cubs will go into the Hall in November.
Kerry Wood pitched for the D-Cubs in 1996 and for three rehab games during the 2000 season. The 19-year old Kerry Wood took the Florida State League by storm in his first full year of pro ball. Wood struck out 136 batters in 114 1/3 innings while giving up 72 hits with 70 walks. Wood hit 14 batters and finished with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Kerry Wood made his big league debut in 1998, struck out 20 batters in arguably the most dominating pitching performance in Major League history and was named National League Rookie of the Year.
Richie Zisk led the 2000 Daytona Cubs to the Florida State League Championship and had his number 22 retired by the D-Cubs in 2007.
Lee Elia is among the other inductees into the Florida State League Hall of Fame. The one-time Cubs manager called the shots for the Clearwater Phillies for two seasons.
News, Notes and Rumors
Reminder: Vote for Anthony Rizzo for the 2014 Roberto Clemente Award
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs are trying to build an offense for October.
Joel Sherman reported Max Scherzer gambled flawlessly and it may cost him this winter.
The Cubs are safe at first base with Anthony Rizzo according to a report from the Tribune.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs granted Blake DeWitt free agency
2012 – Cubs granted Alex Hinshaw free agency
2012 – Cubs granted Randy Wells free agency
2008 – The Cubs dropped the third and final game of the NLDS to the Dodgers 3-1.
1989 – Cubs lost game one of the NLCS to the Giants 11-3 behind a huge game from Will Clark.
1977 – Bobby Scales, born
1960 – Billy Hatcher, born
1951 – Cubs traded Bob Borkowski and Smoky Burgess to the Reds for Johnny Pramesa and Bob Usher
1948 – Cubs traded Bill Nicholson to the Phillies for Harry Walker
1944 – Tony LaRussa, born (Tony LaRussa played in one game for the Cubs in 1973. LaRussa pinch ran for Ron Santo on April 6 in a 3-2 victory over the Expos on Opening Day)
1939 – Bill Nicholson hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth in front of a packed house at Comiskey Park (42,267) and tied the first game of the City Series 9-9. The Cubs won the game in 10 innings after Augie Galan drove in Stan Hack.
1925 – For the first time in the 50 year history of the franchise, the Cubs finished the season in last place. The Cubs went 68-86 and ended up 27 1/2 games behind the Pirates in the National League.
1908 – Cubs beat the Pirates 5-2 in front of 30,247 at West Side Grounds behind Mordecai Brown and clinched a tie for the National League Pennant.
1906 – Jack Pfiester shutout the Pirates 4-0 in Pittsburgh for his 20th victory of the season and the Cubs record setting 116th win of the year. Pitcher Carl Lundgren played the entire game at second base. The Cubs finished the season with a .763 winning percentage.