Rosters for the upcoming Japan Series (Nov. 11-20) were announced Friday and Cubs’ lefty Tsuyoshi Wada was named to the MLB All-Star team that will travel to Japan to play a five-game series against Japanese teams.
John Farrell replaced Ron Washington as the manager of the Major League All-Star team that features Evan Longoria, Robinson Cano, Justin Morneau, Hisashi Iwakuma, Yasiel Puig, Jose Altuve and Ben Zobrist.
Farrell will have a 29-man roster, consisting of 14 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders, three outfielders and two utilitymen.
Former Cubs’ farmhands Jeff Beliveau and Jerry Blevins are on the pitching staff along with Jose Veras, Chris Capuano, Randy Choate, Jeremy Guthrie, Tommy Hunter, Mark Melancon, Franklin Morales, Hector Santiago, Matt Shoemaker and Rob Wooten.
Salvador Perez, Drew Butera and Eric Kratz will handle the pitching staff. Chris Carter, Lucas Duda, Alcides Escobar, Dexter Fowler, Eduardo Nunez and Carlos Santana are the other position players on Farrell’s roster.
The games will air live starting Monday at 3:00am CST on MLB Network.
Joe Maddon’s Coaching Staff
The Cubs could announce Joe Maddon’s staff as soon as next week according to a report from the Tribune. Joe Maddon indicated Thursday he was in the process of reaching out to the coaches the Cubs had in place before he was hired.
The Cubs are not expected to make major changes to the staff. And it appears Chris Bosio is staying put. The Cubs have not received formal requests to interview Bosio or any of the coaches.
Chris Bosio and John Mallee are expected to be on Maddon’s staff when its announced.
Jed Hoyer and Free Agents
The Cubs GM addressed the countless rumors surrounding the team right now with the beat writers Friday afternoon.
“One of the challenges we have right now is that we’re literally linked to every single free agent. Some of that is agent driven to try to connect us to everyone because they realize we have some payroll flexibility. We’ve said all along if the right things line-up, we could have an active offseason. We’re not going to force it. A lot of the reports we read make it seem we’re going to have some kind of a super-charged off-season and I think that’s overstated.”
- Full Report from Carrie Muskat
- Full Report from ESPN Chicago
Wrigley Field Restoration – The 1060 Project
The Caretaker’s Cottage was moved Friday from Wrigley Field to a half block from the old ballyard. The house will be restored and back in its original location by Opening Day 2015. According to the report from Carrie Muskat, when the restoration is completed the Caretaker’s Cottage “will have a front porch with a combination of salvaged and new bricks and placed on a new foundation with a new roof.”
According to a report from Baseball America, Eli Whiteside signed a free agent minor league contract with the Braves. Whiteside spent a majority of last season with Triple-A Iowa and while he didn’t hit much (.214/.291/.364) in 63 games, he helped the young pitching staff and Rafael Lopez.
Eli Whiteside played in eight games for the Cubs at the big league level in 2014 and went 3-for-25 with a double, two RBI and a stolen base.
News, Notes and Rumors
Dave Cameron posted his free agent predictions. And he has the Cubs signing Max Scherzer (seven years, $175 million), Russell Martin (five years, $75 million) and Brett Anderson (one year, $7 million). Click here for all of Dave Cameron’s predictions on FanGraphs.
Patrick Mooney mentioned a conversation he had with a National League scout that “described David Ross as the ideal backup catcher, because he’s a steady clubhouse presence who can handle a pitching staff.” Mooney is not sure if the Cubs would “head in that direction.” Ross said earlier in the week he would not mind being reunited with Jon Lester on whichever team he signs with this winter. Ross thinks Lester would be a good fit with the Cubs.
George Ofman was told the Mets are targeting Starlin Castro. Ofman mentioned Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler as possibilities for Castro. Jed Hoyer said Wednesday that Starlin Castro is going to be the Cubs starting shortstop in 2015.
The Iowa Cubs were the most-watched team on MiLB.TV in 2014.
Around Major League Baseball
MLB’s Award week begins Monday, but the comeback players of the year were announced Friday.
Casey McGehee was named NL Comeback Player of the Year and Chris Young, the pitcher and Derrek Lee’s old pal, received the Comeback Player of the Year Award in the American League.
The Royals’ Alex Gordon and the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina were the 2014 recipients of a Platinum Glove, which is handed out to the best fielder in each league.
This Day In Cubstory
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Mike Parisi
2005 – Cubs signed Neifi Perez to a two-year, $5 million contract.
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Adam Melhuse
1998 – Sammy Sosa was named the National League Most Valuable Player. Sosa hit 66 home runs and led the National League with 158 RBI. Sosa helped lead the Cubs into the playoffs for the first time since 1989.
1989 – Jerome Walton won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, topping Dwight Smith. Walton and Smith were the first NL teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting since the Phillies Jack Sanford and Ed Bouchee in 1957. Walton was the first Cubs’ player to win the Rookie of the Year Award since Billy Williams in 1961.
1987 – Cubs granted free agency to Bobby Dernier
1985 – Darwin Barney, born
1984 – Cubs granted free agency to Dennis Eckersley, Tim Stoddard, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Trout and Rick Reuschel
1967 – Henry Rodriguez, born
1965 – Jeff Blauser, born
1963 – Dwight Smith, born