The next seven days will be anything but boring for the Chicago Cubs.
The Owners Meeting is in Phoenix this week (Jan. 14-15) and the 30th Annual Cubs Convention kicks off Friday (Jan. 16-18) and runs through the weekend. Anthony Rizzo’s Laugh-Off for Cancer (Jan. 15) is Thursday.
The team has not released any information about the Rookie Development Program. The last two years, the team has brought in prospects from the system the week leading up to the convention.
And Friday (Jan. 16) is the deadline to exchange salary figures with arbitration eligible players.
The Cubs have seven players arbitration eligible for next season and contracts to avoid the process are typically announced on the deadline. Jake Arrieta, Welington Castillo, Chris Coghlan, Felix Doubront, Pedro Strop, Luis Valbuena and Travis Wood are in line for raises for the upcoming season through the process.
A day after Jim Bowden reported talks between free agent OF Colby Rasmus and the Orioles were gaining steam, the Baltimore Sun indicated Saturday there is a 50-50 chance that Baltimore signs Colby Rasmus.
Buck Showalter met with Rasmus last weekend and multiple reports have pointed to the Orioles pushing to sign Rasmus. Baltimore thinks Rasmus will thrive under Showalter, get his career back on track at Camden Yards and help the Orioles win games in the process.
Colby Rasmus would play a corner outfield spot with Adam Jones in center. And it could take a one-year contract for between $6-8 million for Rasmus to sign on the dotted line.
Last Sunday it appeared to be down to the Cubs and Orioles for Rasmus, but the Rays also have interest and with Ben Zobrist no longer in Tampa, Matt Silverman has room on the roster and a need in the outfield.
John Shea mentioned Rasmus could be an option for the Giants. The World Series Champions have had a rough off-season and are looking for an outfield bat. Shea also reported the Dodgers and Giants could talk about Andre Ethier. If the two long-time rivals make a deal this winter, it would be only the fourth trade between the two teams since 1958.
For those that missed the news, the Rays traded Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to the Oakland A’s for C John Jaso, $1.5 million and two prospects, SS Daniel Robertson and OF Boog Powell.
Daniel Robertson took over the top spot on the Rays’ prospect list according to MLB Pipeline and Boog Powell was ranked as the 12th best prospect in Tampa’s system.
According to Susan Slusser, Billy Beane said within five minutes of completing the deal with the Rays for Zobrist, teams called to see if Beane would trade Zobrist to them.
If the Cubs were interested in trading for Ben Zobrist as reports suggested, its back to the drawing board for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer as the front office tries to add depth to the roster.
News, Notes and Rumors
Baseball America’s Ben Badler would rather have Addison Russell than Yoan Moncada.
The Dodgers signed former Cubs farmhands 1B Lars Anderson and LHP Ryan Buchter to minor league contracts.
With Zobrist off the board, for now, the Nationals are still sorting out second base according to Bill Ladson.
The Dodgers, Marlins and Brewers are three times primed to climb in the National League according to Tracy Ringolsby.
The Marlins have explored the limited market for Dan Haren, the Giants and Padres are possibilities, but Joe Frisario is hearing the Marlins haven’t “given up hope” he will report to camp with the rest of Miami’s pitchers and catchers on Feb. 20. If the Marlins deal Haren, James Shields could end up with the Fish, just not at his asking price (five years, $110 million).
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Clark the Cub made his debut, the official mascot of the Chicago Cubs.
2012 – Brewers selected Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Cubs
2010 – Jim Hendry promoted manager Ryne Sandberg to Triple-A Iowa. Sandberg called the shots for the Iowa Cubs during the 2010 season.
2010 – Greg Maddux returned to the Cubs as a Special Assistant to GM Jim Hendry
2009 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Robinson Chirinos
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Bill White
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Chad Fox
1999 – Cubs signed free agent Bry Nelson
1995 – Cubs traded Greg Hillman to the Reds for Keith Kessinger
1994 – Cubs signed free agents William Brennan, Terry Bross, Chuck Crim and Eric Yielding
1983 – Cubs selected Dave Martinez in the third round of January’s amateur draft. Martinez signed with the Cubs on Jan. 13, 1983
1980 – Cubs selected Tom Henke in the first round of January’s amateur draft. Henke did not sign.
1980 – Cubs selected Jim Eppard in the 11th round of January’s amateur draft. Eppard did not sign.
1977 – Cubs traded Rick Monday and Mike Garman to the Dodgers for Jeff Albert, Ivan DeJesus and Bill Buckner
1977 – Cubs selected Jim Tracy in the fourth round of the amateur draft
1971 – Rey Ordonez, born
1960 – Cubs traded John Buzhardt, Alvin Dark and Jim Woods to the Phillies for Richie Ashburn
1959 – Lloyd McClendon, born
1937 – Jack Curtis, born
1911 – Roy Hughes, born
1909 – The National Commission approved Charles Murphy’s payment of a $10,000 bonus to the players for the Cubs winning the 1908 World Series.
1895 – Paddy Driscoll, born
1879 – Harry McIntire, born