Saturday came and went with no movement on the Welington Castillo front or an acknowledgement from the team that David Ross had agreed to a two-year contract.
Speculation continued as to where the Cubs could trade Castillo and what he might bring in return.
The Cubs have a full 40-man roster with Ross’ contract pending.
An unknown team submitted a $5,002,015 bid for Jung-Ho Kang, and his Korean team has decided to accept the posting fee. The team that placed the bid for Kang is a mystery at this point, and Kang doesn’t even know.
Through the process of elimination, based on reports late Friday and Saturday, several teams can be scratched off the list of possibilities.
According to reports, here are the teams that either did not place a bid or the highest posting fee: Yankees, Padres, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Braves, Rays, Nationals, Angels, Mets, Twins, A’s, Orioles and Cardinals.
If the reports are accurate, 16 teams remain as a possibility for Jung-Ho Kang. The Cubs interest in Kang is unknown outside of scouting him in the past.
Kang’s agent, Alan Nero, is reportedly looking for at least a two-year contract for his client with a four-year deal in the $20 million range, a three-year contract in the $16 million ranges or a two-year deal for around $12 million.
Kang met with reporters in Korea and said he wants to “shatter stereotypes about Asian position players in the big leagues.” Kang also indicated he would like to stay at short but would rather play third base and not second because he feels more comfortable at third.
Javier Baez started at short and hit third in Santurce’s 8-3 victory over San Juan on Saturday night. Baez contributed again and went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Baez did not strikeout in Saturday’s contest.
Javier Baez is 9-for-22 in six games in Winter Ball with two doubles, two home runs, three walks and eight strikeouts (.409/.462/.773/1.234). And for those focused solely on his strikeouts, three of the eight strikeouts came in his first game action since the Cubs season ended.
- Click Here for Complete Box Score
And speaking of home runs, here’s a highlight video of the Cubs’ 10 longest longballs of the 2014 season.
Jim Duquette took a look at the five teams he thinks has the best shot of trading for Cole Hamels. According to Duquette each of the five teams has the payroll flexibility to afford Hamels, the prospects to pry him away from Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies and a need for the southpaw. The Cubs were not listed as one of Duquette’s five teams.
From the Red Sox, Duquette thinks it would take a package of players built around Mookie Betts and catcher Blake Swihart. Duquette placed the odds of Boston landing Hamels at 3 to 1.
The Dodgers would like to add Hamels to its rotation, but not at the cost of Joc Pederson or lefty Julio Urias. A package from Andrew Friedman that included those two players would be what it would take for Amaro Jr. to send Hamels to the Dodgers. Duquette placed the odds at 10 to 1 that Hamels is traded to Don Mattingly’s team.
According to Duquette, the Padres could be an option. A.J. Preller kept his top prospects while he was a very busy man last week. Two of his top prospects, like Austin Hedges, plus a third mid-level prospect might be enough to entice Amaro Jr. to trade Hamels to his hometown team. Again, 10 to 1 on the odds of the Phillies trading Hamels to San Diego.
The Cardinals have the prospects to make just about any deal John Mozeliak thinks would improve his team. Duquette placed the odds of Cole Hamels trade to St. Louis at 15 to 1. A package starting with Carlos Martinez, Marco Gonzalez or Randal Grichuk could be what Amaro Jr. would take from the Cardinals for Hamels.
And the fifth team that could pull a trade for Cole Hamels according to Jim Duquette is the Angels. Andrew Heaney, Kole Calhoun and Sean Newcomb could be what Amaro Jr. is looking for in return from Jerry Dipoto for Hamels. Duquette put the odds at 20 to 1 of the Phillies and Angels pulling a trade.
The Cubs were connected to Cole Hamels by Nick Cafardo as recently as last weekend. At that point, Cafardo indicated the Cubs, Red Sox, Rangers, Padres and Dodgers were interested in Hamels with a sleeper team being the Astros.
- Cubs Still Interested in Cole Hamels? (Dec. 17)
According to a report from the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the World Umpires Association reached an agreement on a five-year labor contract.
The deal must still be ratified next month but the previous five-year contract was set to expire on Dec. 31.
- Full Report from the Associated Press
News, Notes and Rumors
Ben Badler examined how Major League Baseball could handle the big changes with Cuba.
Jesse Sanchez is keeping track of the impact improved relations between the United States and Cuba could have on baseball.
With Jason Motte and David Ross under contract with the Cubs, Paul Sullivan reported Jonny Gomes could be the beard to be named later.
Tampa Bay Rays announcer, Todd Kalas, was disappointed Joe Maddon left the Rays, but he thinks the Cubs will love Maddon.
Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball according to The Washington Times.
The Rangers are interested in former Braves’ RHP Brandon Beachy according to the Dallas Morning News. And several teams are reviewing his medicals according to Beachy’s agent. Beachy had his second Tommy John surgery last March.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Brad Nelson
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Nate Schierholtz
2012 – Rangers claimed Jeff Beliveau off waivers from the Cubs
2012 – Giants claimed Sandy Rosario off waivers from the Cubs
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Reed Johnson
2003 – Cubs granted free agency to Scott Chiasson and Randall Simon
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Michael Barrett
2002 – Cubs granted free agency to Will Cunnane, Mike Mahoney and Courtney Duncan
2000 – Cubs granted free agency to Jamie Arnold and Steve Rain
1999 – Cubs granted free agency to Scott Sanders
1987 – Cubs released Jay Baller
1985 – Brian Schlitter, born
1972 – LaTroy Hawkins, born
1964 – Cardinals purchased Danny Breeden from the Cubs
1960 – P.K. Wrigley instituted the College of Coaches. The Cubs owner announced the team would no longer have a manager but would instead be run by a college of eight coaches that included Rip Collins, Charlie Grimm, Elvin Tappe, Goldie Holt, Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, Bobby Adams and Rube Walker. Before the College of Coaches experiment was finally called off in October 1965, Bob Kennedy, Buck O’Neil, Lou Klein, Charlie Metro, Al Dark, Freddie Martin, Mel Wright and Mel Harder were at one time part of the faculty of the College of Coaches.
1951 – Cubs released Mickey Owen
1950 – Hollywood of the PCL purchased Don Carlsen from the Cubs
1948 – Dave Kingman, born
1925 – Bob Rush, born
1897 – Pete Scott, born
1887 – Cy Williams, born