The Welington Castillo rumors have picked up in the last 24 hours as front offices look to fill holes in their rosters before pitchers and catchers report in a month.
According to the Tribune, the signing of Taylor Teagarden to a minor league contract is even further proof Castillo will be dealt. Mark Gonzales reported that with Miguel Montero, David Ross and Teagarden in the organization, “the Cubs have little choice but to move Castillo” unless Montero “suffers a significant injury.”
The Cubs could begin Spring Training with Castillo on the roster to provide insurance in the event of an injury as Gonzales suggested.
It’s believed Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are not in a rush to trade Castillo. And at the same time, Epstein and Hoyer are not willing to give him away either.
Gonzales stated in his report that “a Diamondbacks source said the asking price is too high for Castillo” which would fall in line with what Stewart told Nick Piecoro.
The Diamondbacks are not willing to part with players teams are asking for in order to acquire a catcher with big league experience.
The Cubs have not posted the list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training, but at least one of the top arms in the system will be in big league camp.
RHP Corey Black tweeted Monday night that he will be in Major League Spring Training and was honored to receive the invitation.
Corey Black has a big arm, one that many thinks projects as a late inning reliever in the big leagues. In fact, Baseball America’s recent top 10 Cubs prospect list forecasted Black being the Cubs’ closer by the 2018 season.
Last season was Black’s first full year in the Cubs’ system and Black spent it in Double-A Tennessee’s rotation. Black was 6-7 in 26 games, 25 starts, with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Black struck out 119 batters with 71 walks while allowing 100 hits in 124 1/3 innings.
The last two days were productive ones for Javier Baez in Winter Ball. Baez collected three hits, reached base five times and delivered the game winner in extra innings on Monday night.
Javier Baez batted second and played shortstop in Santurce’s 10-4 loss on Sunday. Baez went 1-for-3 with two runs scored, two walks, a stolen base and no strikeouts. Baez walked in his first at bat, swiped second and crossed the plate when Neftali Soto grounded out to shortstop.
Baez popped out to second in the second inning. Baez singled to center in the fourth for his only hit of the night. In the sixth Baez fouled out to the catcher.
Baez walked in the ninth, took second on defensive indifference and scored on a double by Jordan Lennerton.
It took 10 innings on Monday night for Santurce to top Caguas by a final of 5-4. Baez hit second and played shortstop and collected two more hits. Baez was 2-for-6 with a run scored, a RBI and a strikeout.
Javier Baez singled in Robert Andino with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Baez singled to left in the first inning, stole second, advanced to third on a Ruben Gotay flyout and scored on a wild pitch with Rene Rivera at the plate. Baez struck out swinging in the third inning.
In the fifth, Baez grounded out to short and in the sixth he popped out to shortstop to end the inning.
Baez fouled out to the catcher in the ninth before delivering the game winner in the 10th.
In eight playoff games, Javier Baez is 9-for-36 with a double, three RBI, two walks and eight strikeouts.
Carrie Muskat talked to Miguel Montero from Arizona. He reported to the Cubs’ facility last week to begin his preparation for Spring Training.
Montero will be at the Cubs Convention and is “eager to reward Cubs fans’ for the warm embrace” he received after the trade in December. Montero is looking forward to playing at Wrigley where he’s had quite a bit of success against Cubs’ pitching over the years.
Montero discussed working with Edwin Jackson when the two were together in Arizona. Montero was behind the plate for Jackson’s no-hitter against Joe Maddon’s Rays on June 25, 2010.
Montero told Muskat that he always had to stay on Jackson and his quote was rather telling.
“When I had [Jackson in Arizona] he was a little bit inconsistent. He’s got a really good arm and really good potential to be a Cy Young. Obviously, the way I worked with him, I was on him all the time. I couldn’t stop talking to him for a second, because he’d kind of space out a little bit. I needed to be tough and that’s what I did. Hopefully, I can help.”
The market for James Shields might be taking shape.
According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Diamondbacks have entered the mix for Shields, which is a “strong indication that his market is not at $100 million.” Arizona is not willing to go that high for Shields.
Rosenthal also indicated the offer Shields has for $110 million is from a team he does not want to pitch for and is exploring other options.
Colby Rasmus could still be an option for the Cubs, but the Rasmus rumors have slowed down in recent days. The Orioles are interested and so are the Rays.
Roch Kubatko provided an update from the Orioles’ perspective Monday.
Baltimore is still interested in Rasmus and their stance on the free agent outfielder has not changed. Kubatko would not put a percentage chance on him signing with the Orioles. The decision could “come down to the team that flashes more money,” then Rasmus would have to determine which team gives him the best chance to succeed.
It doesn’t sound like any of the teams in the mix for Rasmus are offering more than a one-year year contract.
News, Notes and Rumors
Matt Snyder posted the first of his series of franchise bests/worsts … the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs party will be wild, even without the World Series prediction according to Rick Morrissey.
According to Patrick Mooney, years later, Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo become building blocks for the Cubs.
Single game tickets for the South Bend Cubs go on-sale March 11.
According to Jon Heyman, Carlos Marmol is serious about making a comeback this season. Marmol pitched for Licey in the Dominican Republic this winter and recently shifted to Venezuela to continue pitching in Winter Ball. Marmol made 15 appearances for the Marlins in 2014 and really struggled. Marmol allowed 12 runs on 16 hits with 10 walks and 14 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings (8.10 ERA, 1.95 WHIP). Miami released Marmol on May 19 and he signed a minor league contract with the Reds on May 28. Marmol pitched in only three games for Triple-A Louisville and was officially released in November after not finishing the year in the Reds organization.
Buster Olney ranked the top 10 rotations in baseball in mid-January: 1) Nationals 2) Dodgers 3) Cardinals 4) Mariners 5) Mets 6) Tigers 7) Rays 8) White Sox 9) Padres 10) Indians and honorable mentions went to the Pirates, Braves, Orioles and Brewers.
And according to Buster Olney, the Cardinals were willing to pay Jon Lester in the $120 million range, but not any higher.
Jon Paul Morosi stated his case as to why baseball should have one on-field selfie per team, per game.
The Pirates and SS Jung-Ho Kang agreed to terms on a four-year contract for around $16 million contract that includes a club option for a fifth year. Kang has to pass a physical before the deal is announced. The Pirates won the right to negotiate with Kang after placing a $5,002,015 bid for the posting fee.
David Schoenfield posted the all-time all-underrated team. Kenny Lofton is his team’s centerfielder and Rick Reuschel was runner-up for the starting pitcher on the all-underrated team.
And Kevin Costner, sort of sees the Cubs as America’s team.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Kerry Wood to a one-year contract.
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Alfredo Amezaga
2003 – Cubs signed free agents Midre Cummings and Aaron Small
1986 – Cubs traded Rick Rembielak and Larry Whitford to the Brewers for Mike Martin
1983 – Andy Sisco, born
1981 – Cubs selected Billy Hatcher in the sixth round of January’s draft. Hatcher signed with the Cubs on May 22, 1981.
1974 – Cubs released Jack Aker
1971 – Cubs selected Steve Stroughter in the second round of January’s draft. The Cubs were unable to sign Stroughter.
1969 – Kevin Foster, born
1964 – Jose Nunez, born
1950 – Mike Tyson, born
1918 – Emmett O’’Neill, born
1918 – Steven Mesner, born