The Cubs had a very good week in San Diego but are far from finished with the roster. Jed Hoyer told the beat writers the Cubs are in the fourth or fifth inning of the off-season.
Hoyer said, “We still have a lot of work to do. This is a busy week. We leave here with some irons in the fire, both trade-wise and free-agent wise. We’re in the fourth or fifth inning of the off-season now but hopefully we don’t have any relievers in the game. We have a lot more holes to fill. If you stay active and stay involved, sometimes things happen in the off-season that you might not even expect, whether it’s a free agent that fell through the cracks or a trade that happens because another free agent was signed.”
The Tribune reported the Cubs “could make a series of moves” to improve the roster.
Mark Gonzales also confirmed the report from the Sun-Times that Phillies OF Ben Revere could be of interest to the Cubs. The Phillies have checked in with the Cubs about Travis Wood. David Ross remains a possibility if the Cubs trade Welington Castillo and Jonny Gomes is a “strong candidate to fortify the bench.”
The Cubs would still like to add a starting pitcher and a veteran or two to the bullpen.
Javier Baez made his winter ball debut on Thursday night for Cangrejeros de Santurce. Baez lined up at second base and hit third in the lineup.
Baez went 0-for-3 on the night with a sac fly RBI and three strikeouts. Baez struck out swinging in the first, third and fifth innings.
Javier Baez hit a sac fly in the eighth inning that plated Delino DeShields Jr.
- Click Here for Complete Box Score
John Mallee is expected to spend some time with Baez over the next month. Theo Epstein indicated Baez will play four to five times a week and see time at second base and shortstop.
Cubs Opening Day Rotation
It’s only Dec. 12 and a lot can change between now and Opening Night against the Cardinals. The front office would still like to add another low-risk/high-reward option to the starting rotation, even with Justin Masterson no longer an option. (Brett Anderson?)
But as the roster is currently constructed, the Hot Stove Panel on Comcast SportsNet ventured a guess.
Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta should be one-two when Joe Maddon lines up his rotation out of Spring Training. Jason Hammel likely anchors the middle followed by Kyle Hendricks … those four starters, according to Phil Rogers, posted 2.76 ERA last year. And Travis Wood figures to slot in as the Cubs’ fifth starter.
The Cubs strength and conditioning coach is making his rounds. Tim Buss spent time last month in Mesa with Starlin Castro and is scheduled to work with Castro this winter in the Dominican Republic, the same as he did a year ago.
Buss has already visited Jake Arrieta and Justin Ruggiano in Texas according to the Tribune and has trips scheduled to check in with Anthony Rizzo and Jorge Soler.
News, Notes and Rumors
Jon Lester responded to every tweet he received Wednesday night according to the Sun-Times.
Joel Sherman wonders if the Red Sox are secretly happy Jon Lester passed on a reunion.
According to the Sun-Times, signing Jon Lester isn’t a sign that the Cubs are on a spending spree.
Joe Posnanski delivers again, a game changer for the Cubs.
The Winter Meetings ushered in new era for the Cubs according to Carrie Muskat.
The Cubs went big-game hunting with Jon Lester and won the Winter Meetings according to Comcast SportsNet.
The Cubs had a potentially memorable Winter Meetings according to ESPN Chicago.
The Red Sox signed Justin Masterson to a one-year, $9.5 million contract. The Cubs were very interested in Masterson and were in it until the end. The Cubs reportedly valued Masterson on a one-year deal around the $6-7 million range. Masterson’s deal with Boston includes a $2.5 million incentives package. Masterson can earn an additional $500,000 for completing 185, 190, 195, 200 and 205 innings.
The Cubs will not finalize the trades with the Red Sox and A’s until next week. The front office has until Dec. 15 to wrap those deals up from last summer. The Cubs owe the Red Sox a player from the Felix Doubront trade and the A’s still have to send a player to the Cubs from the Jeff Samardzija–Jason Hammel deal.
Max Scherzer is looking for at least an eight-year, $200 million contract. But it won’t be coming from the Tigers. Dave Dombrowski announced at the end of the Winter Meetings that the Tigers are “no longer pursuing” Scherzer.
The Phillies selected Obubel Herrera from the Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft and according to Jayson Stark, Philly plans on playing him in centerfield and he could end up as Ryne Sandberg’s starter at the position.
The Nationals are trying to extend Jordan Zimmermann’s contract. If Mike Rizzo can’t sign him to a long-term deal he would consider trading him, but not to create a spot for Max Scherzer. The Nats ownership will not approve taking on that kind of financial commitment according to Joel Sherman.
According to Ken Davidoff, SS Jung-Ho Kang could be of interest to the Mets. Kang is expected to be posted next week. The Cubs have scouted him and Davidoff thinks he could sign a four-year, $24 million contract, plus the posting fee.
While it is highly unlikely the Cubs would pursue a trade for Justin Upton, it is rather interesting that his perception of the team might have changed with the recent additions to the roster. The Cubs are one of four teams on Upton’s no-trade list. Buster Olney spoke with a source that said “in light of recent developments anything is possible.”
And last, but certainly not least, just a reminder about Pat Hughes’ Baseball Voices series.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs acquired Justin Ruggiano from the Marlins for Brian Bogusevic
2013 – Marlins selected Justin Bour from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft (minor league phase)
2013 – Diamondbacks selected Marco Mateo from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Ian Stewart
2012 – Cubs selected Sandy Rosario off waivers from the Red Sox
2011 – Cubs granted free agency to Koyie Hill
2010 – Cubs released David Patton
2008 – Cubs granted free agency to Neal Cotts
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Kosuke Fukudome
2007 – Cubs granted free agency to Mark Prior
1999 – Cubs traded Manny Alexander to the Red Sox for Damon Buford
1999 – Cubs acquired Eric Young and Ismael Valdez from the Dodgers for Terry Adams, Chad Ricketts and a PTBNL. Cubs sent Brian Stephens to the Dodgers on Dec. 16 to complete the trade.
1997 – Cubs acquired Henry Rodriguez from the Expos for Miguel Batista
1994 – Cubs signed free agent Larry Casian
1980 – Cubs traded Jerry Martin, Jesus Figueroa and a PTBNL to the Giants for Phil Nastu and Joe Strain. Cubs sent Mike Turgeon to the Giants on Aug. 11, 1981 to complete the trade.
1980 – Cubs acquired Hector Cruz from the Reds for Mike Vail
1927 – Cubs purchased Johnny Butler from the Robins
1913 – Cubs released second baseman-manager Johnny Evers
1903 – Cubs acquired Mordecai Brown and Jack O’Neill from the Cardinals for Jack Taylor and Al McLean
A tip of the cap to all of our readers for a record-breaking week at the CCO. I truly appreciate everyone that reads Chicago Cubs Online on a daily basis. Thank you.