The Phillies have been listening to offers for Cole Hamels since at least last summer when the Cubs claimed him off waivers. But teams are not stepping up to pay the high price for Hamels and Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday he doesn’t foresee trading his southpaw.
According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, Ruben Amaro Jr. would not rule out trading Hamels but said “he thinks Hamels will open the season pitching against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park.”
Amaro Jr. added the Phillies are “literally keeping our minds and eyes and ears open on every player, with that said, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. And so, if we are going to move him, we’re going to have to get some of the best prospects in baseball back.”
Teams have been aggressive on Hamels, but not aggressive enough. And Phillies’ ownership would rather Hamels stay with the team according to Amaro Jr.
The Cubs front office is giving RHP Daniel Bard a chance to resurrect his career. As previously reported, the Cubs signed Bard to a minor league contract that includes a non-roster invitation to big league camp. If Bard makes the team, the deal has a $1 million base salary for the 2015 season with an incentives package based on games finished.
Jason McLeod talked to Patrick Mooney and Mark Gonzales about the signing following his Sunday morning ‘Down on the Farm’ session at the Cubs Convention.
McLeod pointed to the relationship the front office has with Bard as the reason for signing him. And said he’s “supposed to be ready to throw” and the Cubs will “see where he’s at” in the spring.
Mike Cather, Iowa’s new pitching coach, has a history with Bard from their time together in the Red Sox organization. McLeod told Comcast SportsNet that Bard and Cather “have a really good relationship.” Cather was able to get him on track after McLeod drafted him. Bard really struggled during his first year in pro ball, Cather helped with the conversion to the pen and McLeod said “it just clicked.”
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have indicated the Cubs are not in on another big name free agent starting pitcher this off-season. So it’s highly unlikely the Cubs are one of the teams, but according to a report from Jayson Stark, clubs are jumping back in with James Shields.
Stark reported the Cubs have “shown pretty much no interest” in Shields since inking Jon Lester.
Shields, who at one point of the off-season was looking for a five-year, $125 million contract and reportedly rejected a five-year, $110 million contract, could be ‘reduced’ to four years and around $80 million.
News, Notes and Rumors
Alec Dopp asked if Travis Wood can return to his 2013 form.
The Cubs are holding a strength and conditioning minicamp in Mesa for some of their minor league players according to the Tribune.
Buster Olney thinks the Cubs lineup by May 1 could be: Fowler CF, Coghlan LF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Montero C, Bryant 3B, Soler RF, La Stella 2B.
Tony Andracki spoke with Kris Bryant about what he learned in his first year of pro ball.
The Astros scooped up OF Colby Rasmus a day after dealing Dexter Fowler to the Cubs. Houston signed Rasmus to a one-year, $8 million contract. Rasmus was drafted by current Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow when he ran the Cardinals system. Rasmus reportedly turned down a one-year offer from the Orioles for $7 million. And Baltimore wasn’t comfortable paying Rasmus more than what he made last year according to Buster Olney.
The Astros designated C Carlos Corporan for assignment to make room on the 40-man for Colby Rasmus. And that move could have an effect on the Cubs. The Diamondbacks and Rangers were interested in trading for Corporan before he was DFA’d. Both teams are also believed to be interested in Welington Castillo. The cost for Corporan just went down while the Cubs have not backed down on their asking price for Castillo. Chris Cotillo exchanged texts with D-Backs’ GM Dave Stewart, and he indicated the D-Backs remain out of the catching market.
According to Mark Bowman, the Braves remain interested in free agent OF Jonny Gomes.
This Day In Cubstory
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Ryan Dempster
1991 – Cubs signed free agent Scott May
1972 – Alan Benes, born
1953 – Dizzy Dean was elected to the Hall of Fame. Dean pitched for the Cubs for four seasons during his Hall of Fame career (1938-1941). Dean was 16-8 in 43 games, 33 starts, with a 3.35 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 3.52 FIP.
1952 – Mike Krukow, born
1946 – Phillies purchased Roy Hughes from the Cubs