Starlin Castro addressed the two incidents in the Dominican Republic with the beat writers Friday and admitted he “was in the wrong situation at the wrong time.”
Starlin Castro is living in Arizona now, preparing for Spring Training, but he could make a permanent move to Arizona and out of the Dominican Republic. Castro is “planning to start looking for a new home in the Phoenix area for his family” according to the Sun-Times.
Castro indicated to the Cubs he is moving to Arizona. Theo Epstein told the Sun-Times the Cubs “didn’t mandate that he move” or “that he make changes,” just provided perspective on the situation.
Theo Epstein said he is “proud of the way he responded to a difficult situation” and he thinks Castro is taking responsibility for putting himself in the bad situations. Epstein feels the two incidents have served as wake-up calls to Castro.
Starlin Castro wants to stay with the Cubs, and doesn’t want to “leave without a ring.” And while the rumors persist that he could be traded, as ESPN Chicago pointed out the Cubs’ front office has maintained he is part of the team’s plan moving forward.
A leaner Javier Baez showed up at the Cubs Convention. Baez said he lost 15 pounds and has been working on mechanical issues with his swing. John Mallee spent time with Baez and he was late getting to fastballs due to the issues, mainly with his hands according to Sahadev Sharma.
Baez admitted to the beat writers that he was confused last year when he was called up. Baez explained, “I had a lot of people talking and trying to fix my swing. I can’t just hear what everyone has to say. I was waiting for the season to be over to work on it.”
Baez’s timing was off and he “was late to everything.” Mallee said he has too much movement “pre-swing” and he either needs to tone it down or time it up. Mallee also pointed out Baez “understands what it takes now to shorten up his swing.”
Theo Epstein said with Baez it is going to be a process. But the organization was happy with him “taking his conditioning seriously this winter.” Epstein added the improvements Baez made started showing up in the playoffs in winter ball.
Edwin Jackson stood up once again Friday night. Instead of answering the beat writers’ questions, he heard it from the fans packed into the ballroom for Opening Ceremonies of the Cubs Convention. Jackson was the only player that was not greeted with at least a warm reception.
Jackson spoke with Comcast SportsNet’s Tony Andracki and admitted he’s not thinking about being traded.
Jackson would like to stay with the Cubs and wants to be on the team that wins it all.
The Cubs told Jackson at the end of last season he would have to earn a spot on the team, either in the rotation or the bullpen. Roster spots are limited and Jackson will have to put together a good spring. Even with owing Jackson two years and $22 million, the Cubs have not guaranteed him anything moving forward.
Edwin Jackson is ready to put the last two years behind him and is ready to “talk less and show more.”
The Cubs agreed to terms with six of the seven arbitration eligible players for next season prior to Friday’s deadline to exchange salary figures.
The Cubs reportedly signed RHP Jake Arrieta ($3.63 million), LHP Felix Doubront ($1.925 million), OF Chris Coghlan ($2.505 million), LHP Travis Wood ($5.685 million), C Welington Castillo ($2.1 million) and INF Luis Valbuena ($4.2 million) to one-year deals.
The Cubs and RHP Pedro Strop exchanged salary arbitration figures. The numbers have not been leaked as to what the Cubs and Strop submitted.
Multiple reports indicated neither side anticipates a hearing and should settle soon.
The Cubs have not gone to arbitration with a player under the current administration. The last time the Cubs had an arbitration hearing with a player was 2010, Ryan Theriot.
News, Notes and Rumors
Joe Maddon said Friday he is contemplating batting the pitcher eighth. A possibility that was reported here on Dec. 3.
RHP Daniel Bard, who is expected to sign a minor league contract with a team in the very near future, could return to the Cubs according to Chris Cotillo.
According to Danny Ecker, a Javier Baez game-used jersey sold for $1275.00 during the Cubs Authentics live auction at the convention.
OF Ben Revere and the Phillies avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $4.1 million contract.
David Price set a salary arbitration record. Price and the Tigers agreed to terms on a one-year, $19.75 million contract for 2015. Price is eligible for free agency after the season.
And speaking of David Price, his good friend James Shields was linked to the Tigers, rather heavily, Friday.
Justin Ruggiano and the Mariners avoid arbitration with a one-year, $2.505 million contract.
Norichika Aoki inked a one-year contract with the Giants that includes a club option for 2016. Aoki will make $4.7 million in 2015 and $5.5 million if his option is picked up. The deal includes $1.5 million incentives bonuses for each year with a $700,000 buyout on the option. The total value of the deal could pay Aoki $12.5 million over two years.
This Day In Cubstory
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Val Pascucci
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Rob Stanifer
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Mike Campbell
1987 – Jeff Beliveau, born
1986 – Cubs signed free agent Richie Hebner
1986 – Cubs traded John Cox and Gary Jones to the A’s for Bob Bathe and Phil Stephenson
1984 – Cubs selected Damon Berryhill in the first round, fourth overall pick, of January’s amateur draft. Berryhill signed June 2, 1984.
1977 – Cubs released Geoff Zahn
1971 – Tyler Houston, born
1970 – Cubs selected Pete LaCock in the first round, 20th overall pick, in January’s amateur draft. LaCock signed on Feb. 17, 1970.
1970 – Cubs selected Chuck Seelbach in the fifth round of January’s amateur draft. Seelbach did not sign.
1952 – Pete LaCock, born
1931 – Don Zimmer, born
1911 – Hank Leiber, born