The Cubs are apparently not limiting the search to center field, but are looking for an everyday outfielder.
Ken Rosenthal reported Wednesday that he received an update from a Cubs’ source that indicated the “team is not looking for another bench player.” Instead, the front office would prefer a “regular in left field or center field.”
Based on Theo Epstein’s comments, the Cubs were believed to be looking for a centerfielder that hit from the left side and at the top of the lineup. If Rosenthal’s source is accurate, the Cubs have expanded the search in order to give Joe Maddon more options.
When the Cubs inked Chris Denorfia to a one-year deal, it was reported that Denorfia and Chris Coghlan would platoon in left. Those plans do not appear to be set in stone.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are exploring options to improve the roster and will surely field a question or five on the subject this weekend.
Ken Rosenthal did not link the Cubs to any players or teams.
All seven of the Cubs arbitration eligible players filed Tuesday. 175 players across baseball filed for salary arbitration and will exchange salary figures with their teams by Friday’s deadline.
The Cubs have not been to an arbitration hearing with a player since Ryan Theriot in 2010 and should be able to avoid the not-so-pleasant process with each of the seven players.
RHP Jake Arrieta, C Welington Castillo, OF Chris Coghlan, LHP Felix Doubront, RHP Pedro Strop, INF Luis Valbuena and LHP Travis Wood are the players on the Cubs roster arbitration eligible for the 2015 season.
Here’s a list of the seven Cubs arbitration eligible with last year’s salary and a range for each player’s salary for the upcoming season:
- Jake Arrieta – $544,500; $3.9-4.2 million
- Welington Castillo – $530,000; $2-2.3 million
- Chris Coghlan – $503,000; $1.2-1.5 million
- Felix Doubront – $586,000; $1.1-1.5 million
- Pedro Strop – $1.325 million; $1.9-2.5 million
- Luis Valbuena – $1.71 million; $2.8-3.3 million
- Travis Wood – $3.9 million; $5.2-5.7 million
Javier Baez was back in the starting lineup Wednesday and Santurce beat Caguas by a final of 4-1. Baez batted second, played shortstop and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Baez flied out to left field in the first inning and struck out swinging for the second out in the third inning. In the fifth, Baez fouled out to the third baseman. And his night ended with a swinging strikeout in the seventh inning.
In nine playoff games, Javier Baez is 9-for-40 with a double, three RBI, two walks and 10 strikeouts.
According to the Tribune, John Mallee visited Baez in Puerto Rico last month. The Tribune did not provide any details of what Mallee and Baez talked about except Baez now knows who Mallee is now and what he needs to work on.
Iowa Cubs Games on the 8s
The Iowa Cubs announced Wednesday that KCCI-TV, Ch. 8 is sponsoring the team’s start times for all home games during the 2015 season.
According to the release, “All Iowa Cubs home games will start on the 8s – at 12:08, 1:08, 6:38 and 7:08 – in a partnership between the Triple-A team and KCCI Channel 8.
The partnership with KCCI-TV also “includes cross-promotion opportunities at Principal Park and the various media platforms of both the Iowa Cubs and KCCI.”
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory at the Cubs Convention
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory hits the road this weekend to bring their mobile museum to Chicago. The interactive baseball experience will be a part of Cubs Convention January 16th—18th at the Sheraton Chicago.
The exhibit, located on the fourth floor outside of the ballrooms, is highlighted by authentic, game-used bats and replica bats from Chicago Cubs players past and present, all of which fans can hold. A bat used by Hall of Famer Joe Tinker will be on display for fans to view.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory invites fans to watch live bat-making demonstrations, where the museum will use a hand-turning lathe to showcase the “old-fashioned” way of making a baseball bat by hand.
Fans can spin the prize wheel for some great Louisville Slugger gear, and sign up for free museum passes. Louisville is just five hours from Chicago, making it a great weekend trip.
Fans can “Hold a Piece of History”
This rare opportunity will allow fans to hold game-used bats from Ramon Martinez and Sammy Sosa. The museum will also have replica bat models from Ernie Banks, Starlin Castro, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo and Hack Wilson for fans to hold.
Joe Tinker Bat
A bat used late in the career of Cubs great and Hall of Famer Joe Tinker will be on display for fans to view. The ash bat comes in at 36” and 36oz. Tinker was the shortstop in the Chicago Cubs famous infield combination “Tinker to Evers to Chance” that won a record 116 games in 1906, followed by back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and 1908. In 1908, Tinker hit the first home run in the modern, annual World Series.
Free Museum Passes
Cubs fans who sign up for our e-mail list will receive a voucher good for two free passes to Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. The passes include any special exhibits currently featured at the museum, interactive exhibits, a short feature film, historic memorabilia, the World’s Biggest Baseball Bat and an award-winning factory tour. As an added bonus, all guests receive a free souvenir mini-bat at the end of their factory tour. Tours are given seven days a week and guests are guaranteed to view bat production on each tour.
News, Notes and Rumors
Cubs finally see action after talking such a good game according to Patrick Mooney.
Billy Beane struck again Wednesday night and traded INF Yunel Escobar to the Nationals for RHP Tyler Clippard.
The Braves and Astros finalized a trade Wednesday night. OF/C Evan Gattis and RHP James Hoyt was sent to Houston for three prospects: 3B Rio Ruiz, RHP Mike Foltynewicz and RHP Andrew Thurman.
Buster Olney ranked the 10 best bullpens in the game in the second week of January: 1) Royals 2) Yankees 3) Mariners 4) Giants 5) Orioles 6) Athletics 7) Padres 8) Pirates 9) Nationals 10) Indians Receiving honorable mentions: Angels, Mets and Braves.
And Buster Olney ranked the top 10 lineups in baseball in the second week of January: 1) Red Sox 2) Angels 3) Blue Jays 4) Rockies 5) Tigers 6) Nationals 7) Rangers 8) Pirates 9) Indians 10) Yankees with honorable mentions to the Twins, Athletics, Cardinals, Orioles and Reds.
According to Jayson Stark, Major League Baseball is trying to pick of pace of play and changes are coming for the upcoming season, but pitch clocks probably won’t be among the changes.
And last, but not least … the Cubs won the World Series on NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
This Day In Cubstory
2009 – Cubs signed free agent So Taguchi
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Luis Figueroa
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Eddie Oropesa
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Felix Martinez
1998 – Cubs signed free agent Rod Beck
1986 – Cubs signed free agent Steve Christmas
1974 – Ray King, born
1969 – Delino DeShields, born
1969 – Cubs acquired Manny Jimenez from the Pirates for Ron Campbell and Chuck Hartenstein
1966 – Angels purchased Ed Bailey from the Cubs
1965 – Cubs traded Billy Cowan to the Mets for George Altman
1963 – William Brennan, born
1944 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Roy Smalley