The front office added the top of the order bat that was missing from the Cubs roster with Monday’s trade with the Astros for Dexter Fowler. While Jed Hoyer said it was up to Joe Maddon as to where in the lineup Fowler will hit, the veteran outfielder grinds out at bats and has gotten on base at a .366 career clip.
Dexter Fowler was on MLB Roundtrip (MLB Network Radio) Tuesday night and talked about being dealt to the Cubs with Jim Memolo.
By his reaction to the trade, Fowler was caught a little off guard at first.
“My immediate reaction was like, Okay? Then I was like Chicago? And then I got a huge smile on my face because I know how good we are going to be.”
“There is a lot of young talent there that has opened a lot of eyes,” Fowler said. “They signed the big dog, [Jon] Lester. So we got guys coming in that are going to do work and with the young and the old, I think we will mesh well.”
Fowler was happy to hear from the Cubs when he briefly spoke to the front office that they’ve been trying to acquire him. And he’s looking forward to playing for Joe Maddon.
“I talked to them briefly. They said they are happy to have me over there. They said I’m the right guy they wanted in the trade and they have been pursuing me for a while,” Fowler said. “I’m excited to be there. Anytime a front office tells you that you want to go out there and provide.”
“Everything I’ve heard just asking former players and everybody who has dealt with him [Joe Maddon] said he’s the best. I’m really excited to play for him and he’s an exciting guy to be around I’ve heard.”
As for playing at Wrigley Field and in front of the Cubs fans, Fowler called the fan base “awesome” and pointed out “the city shows up” to the park.
Fowler said he would be open to a contract extension with the Cubs, something Jed Hoyer said the organization was not in a position to talk about until they get to know the player.
“Yeah, I’m always open. I always keep an open mind and if it’s something that works for both of us that could happen. But I’ve got to keep things in perspective and go out there and just play each and every day and let that stuff take care of itself.”
Dexter Fowler sounded like he was smiling throughout the interview and was genuinely happy about being traded to the Chicago Cubs.
Ricketts Family and the Rooftop Buildings
According to a report from the Tribune, the Ricketts family spent $3 million for the two rooftop buildings previously owned by George Loukas. The price doesn’t include the rooftop club businesses according to the report, just the property. Loukas sold both rooftop clubs to the Ricketts family for an additional cost. And the Tribune was not able to obtain those figures.
George Loukas told the Tribune the Ricketts family paid a fair price for the properties and rooftop clubs. Loukas still owns the property at 3609 N. Sheffield that has a rooftop club and the Sports Corner.
The Tribune indicated the family paid $1.65 million for the property at 1032 W. Waveland Ave. and $1.35 million for the building at 3643 N. Sheffield.
Javier Baez returned to Puerto Rico following the convention and was back in the lineup on Tuesday in Santurce’s 8-2 loss to Mayaguez. Baez hit second, played shortstop and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Baez struck out swinging in the first, third and sixth innings. Baez ended his night by flying out to center in the eighth.
Javier Baez was dropped to seventh in the lineup on Wednesday but still started at shortstop. Baez was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and a walk in Santurce’s 3-2 victory over Mayaguez in 14 innings.
Baez struck out swinging in the second and flied out to right in the fourth. In the seventh, Baez was caught looking. Baez flied out to center leading off the tenth. After going down swinging in the 12th, Baez was intentionally walked in the 14th inning.
MLB and Umpires Union
Major League Baseball owners and the World Umpires Association announced Wednesday a five-year labor agreement that convers 2015-19 seasons.
Labor peace continues throughout baseball.
News, Notes and Rumors
The Astros and Rangers worked out a deal Wednesday for Carlos Corporan. The Astros designated the veteran catcher for assignment Tuesday to make room on the roster for Colby Rasmus. The Rangers sent RHP Akeem Bostick to Houston for Corporan. And in the process the Cubs lost a possible trade partner in Texas for Welington Castillo.
And speaking of trade partners and catchers, Jon Heyman spoke with Dave Stewart and the Diamondbacks still plan to begin the season with Tuffy Gosewisch and Oscar Hernandez as the team’s catchers. Arizona is not willing to play the price to acquire a catcher right now.
According to Peter Gammons, NCAA officials met Monday with Major League Baseball and agreed to move the First Year Player Draft from June to July. Right now the 2015 draft is scheduled for Monday, June 8 but according to Gammons the draft would start on July 1 with a July 15 deadline to sign players. Baseball America’s John Manuel spoke to a source about Gammons’ report and said the talks between MLB and NCAA about moving the draft are in the “preliminary” stage, just the beginning of the process and a decision has not been made to move the draft from June to July.
Moving the draft to July 1 would make for an incredibly busy first week of July throughout the game with a new International signing period beginning on July 2. Is baseball moving closer to an international draft?
Joon Lee asked are the top prospects overvalued in baseball?
Scott Boras told Jim Bowden and Casey Stern in an interview on Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio) the Nationals told him their intent is to keep the projected starting rotation together and try to win it all in 2015. Boras shot down the report indicating Stephen Strasburg thought it would be good for him to be traded. Boras said Strasburg is happy with the Nationals.
LHP Dontrelle Willis signed a minor league contract with the Brewers that includes a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Willis was in camp with the Cubs in 2013 on a non-roster invitation before he was released on March 30, 2013.
According to David O’Brien, the Braves are no longer interested in INF Yoan Moncada.
The Cubs just made the NL Central stronger according to USA Today.
And last, but not least, the Reds signed former Cubs’ starter Jason Marquis to a minor league contract. Marquis received a non-roster invitation to big league camp.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Chang-Yong Lim
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Bobby Scales
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Scott Williamson
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Calvin Murray
1997 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Hansen
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Hector Ortiz
1957 – Brian Dayett, born
1945 – Jophrey Brown, born
1929 – Jack Littrell, born