Buster Olney is among those that think Russell Martin would be a great fit in Chicago and reports have suggested the Cubs are targeting the veteran catcher. The Cubs appear to view Martin as an important piece to take the big league team to the next level. And according to Bruce Levine, the Cubs have a meeting set-up next week with Russell Martin and his agent.
Russell Martin is seeking a long-term contract for four to five years for around $13-15 million per season. Buster Olney said he would be surprised if Martin is not signed before the Winter Meetings (Dec. 8-11) in San Diego because negotiations for him should accelerate after he rejects the Pirates’ qualifying offer by Monday’s deadline.
If the Cubs signed Russell Martin, the front office could keep Welington Castillo and use him in a back-up role or trade him to a team like the Dodgers, Phillies or Yankees. Levine reported Castillo should be able to “bring back a solid pitcher or starting outfielder.”
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs “aren’t exactly sure what they have in Welington Castillo.”
Even with the risk of handing out a long-term contract to a veteran catcher, the Cubs appear to be exploring ways to upgrade the catching position with Russell Martin at the top of the list.
Jake Arrieta joined Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000 on Tuesday to talk about his new manager and admitted he’s been talking to free agents.
The top starter on the Cubs staff, for now, is familiar with Joe Maddon from his time in the AL East taking on the Rays and admitted, “When a guy like that becomes available, with his track record, with the things he’s done in Tampa, it’s hard to say no to that. It’s hard not to approach him with an opportunity to manage this ball club.”
Arrieta complemented Rick Renteria for the job he did last year and said he planned to call him.
Jake Arrieta said that he’s “talked to some guys” about playing with the Cubs. “I know there are quite a few guys that like Chicago and want to give it a look. There’s a lot of interest out there, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit.”
Arrieta would not give the names of the players he talked to about the Cubs.
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
The Cubs interest in Cole Hamels popped up again in the mainstream media Wednesday.
The Phillies’ southpaw has been on the front office’s list of possibilities to upgrade the starting staff for quite some time. But according to Jon Heyman, the Cubs are looking at Hamels again and “are expecting to talk to the Phillies about him.”
The Phillies scouted the Cubs big league team and minor league system at the end of the season. And the Cubs appear interested in acquiring Hamels. But Ruben Amaro Jr. is not going to give him away and it’s believed Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are not looking to move top talent from the system to acquire Hamels at this time.
The Cubs have not announced Joe Maddon’s coaching staff, but from all indications Chris Bosio will stay and the front office will keep the team’s pitching infrastructure in place. Paul Molitor is reportedly interested in Bosio for the pitching coach job in Minnesota.
Mike Berardino posted a list of 13 possibilities to be the Twins next pitching coach and Chris Bosio was not on his list. But according to Berardino, there is “a lot of buzz” about the Twins and Bosio in Arizona.
Chris Bosio is under contract for two more seasons according to Berardino, not one more year as the Sun-Times reported. The Cubs inked Bosio to a three-year contract in the fall of 2013. Several teams, including the Phillies, asked for permission to talk to Bosio after Dale Sveum was fired. Bosio received a multi-year contract that made him one of the highest paid pitching coaches in the game … that was either for two or three years.
The Cubs have not mentioned a timeframe on when Joe Maddon’s staff will be announced.
Media Blitz Thursday
The Cubs will be all over the airwaves Thursday … here’s a rough schedule for Media Blitz Thursday
- 8:30am CST – Tom Ricketts – 670 The Score (Chicago)
- 11:40am CST – Joe Maddon – 670 The Score (Chicago)
- 12:15pm CST – Joe Maddon – ESPN 1000 (Chicago)
Jed Hoyer will join Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on Power Alley (MLB Network Radio) between 9:00am and 12:00pm CST. And Joe Maddon is scheduled to join Casey Stern and Jim Bowden during Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio) between 1:00pm and 5:00pm CST.
News, Notes and More Rumors
Peter Gammons reported the Dodgers and Cubs headline front office dream teams on the rise.
Starlin Castro turns it all around according to FanGraphs.
According to Ken Rosenthal, Billy Beane is willing to listen to offers for Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir but the A’s will not shop either pitcher. Beane is not sure if it would be best to trade either of the two pitchers this winter, by July’s trade deadline or hold on to both through the season and make qualifying offers next winter.
Tony Andracki asked ‘What’s the actual value of a manager like Joe Maddon?’
The Rays have yet to announce a list of managerial candidates to replace Joe Maddon. Rumblings are that if Tampa was going to turn the reigns over to Dave Martinez, Matt Silverman would have done it by now. Martinez is expected to receive an interview. Martinez, like all of Maddon’s coaching staff, is under contract and Tampa’s front office has zero plans of letting them out to pursue other opportunities, but there is speculation if Martinez is not named the Rays’ skipper then he will leave the organization. And if he does, there could be a spot on Maddon’s staff for him.
The Twins are interested in a reunion with Torii Hunter, and so are several teams, according to Mike Berardino. And he was told the Twins view a two-year, $10 million contract “steep” for Hunter. Berardino also reported Hunter hasn’t decided if he will continue playing or retire.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Aaron Cunningham
2010 – Cubs granted free agency to Mitch Atkins, Jason Dubois, Jeff Gray, Mark Johnson, Bryan LaHair, Scott McClain and Russ Canzler
1998 – Kerry Wood was named National League Rookie of the Year. Wood held batters to a .196 average and recorded 233 strikeouts in 166 2/3 innings. Wood’s 20K game is considered one of the most dominant starts in Major League history.
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Nate Bland