Joe Maddon has the ability to command a room and while he may have an idea of what the Cubs Convention will be like, there is no way he can be fully prepared for what lies ahead. The convention is truly a unique experience and it will be interesting to watch Maddon interact with the fan base and media all weekend.
Maddon has been the skipper for a little over two months and he will get his first real taste of what it means to be the Cubs manager this weekend.
According to a report from Carrie Muskat, Maddon is scheduled to have his first face-to-face meeting with the entire coaching staff Thursday. Maddon knows several of his coaches but this will be the first time the entire staff has been in the same room together.
Dave Martinez (bench coach), Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach/assistant pitching coach), Mike Borzello (catching coach), John Mallee (hitting coach), Eric Hinske (assistant hitting coach), Gary Jones (third base coach), Brandon Hyde (first base coach) and Henry Blanco (quality assurance coach) make up Maddon’s staff for the upcoming season.
The session with Joe Maddon and his staff should be standing room only and not only one of the most informative hours of the weekend but one of the most entertaining as well.
If it was not going to be difficult enough for the Cubs to land Yoan Moncada, that is if he was to make it to June 15 without signing with a team, the Dodgers have decided to shift their attention to Moncada.
The Dodgers lost out on Yoan Lopez to the Diamondbacks and are focused on Moncada according to Jesse Sanchez. Moncada will reportedly hold a private workout for the Dodgers in the coming weeks.
The 19-year old infielder is expected to receive at least a $40 million signing bonus now, which would actually end up costing the team that lands him $80 million. Moncada is subject to International signing regulations therefore a team will be penalized 100 percent tax for every dollar spent over its International signing bonus pool. And will not be able to sign a player for more than $300,000 for two signing periods.
Major League Baseball has declared Moncada a free agent but he has not received his unblocking license from OFAC. Kiley McDaniel does not understand why there is a delay with Moncada receiving clearance from the government. Lopez filed his paperwork in October/November and received his license Jan. 9. Moncada filed his paperwork in September according to McDaniel and is still waiting.
The Yankees and Red Sox were considered frontrunners for Moncada until the news surfaced Tuesday the Dodgers are all in on him. As Hardball Talk pointed out, the bidding for Moncada “is going to get wild.”
As for the Cubs landing Yoan Moncada, it is highly doubtful at this point. With the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox in the process, it would be rather surprising if he does not sign with one of them before June 15.
Jesse Sanchez reported Tuesday he has private workouts scheduled with seven undisclosed teams.
News, Notes and Rumors
Javier Baez did not play in Santurce’s 3-2 loss to Carolina on Tuesday night.
Another big deal could accelerate youth movement for the Cubs according to Patrick Mooney. The report from Comcast SportsNet does not go into specifics but mentions Welington Castillo and Travis Wood as players the front office could use to fill areas on the roster the Cubs would like to address.
The Cubs and Cardinals open the 2015 Season on Sunday Night Baseball. Bob Nightengale talked to Phil Orlins about the Sunday night staple 25 years later.
Derrek Lee is being honored by The Jerry Manuel Foundation and William Jessup University on Feb. 27.
Jamie Moyer is being inducted in the Mariners’ Hall of Fame.
LHP Wandy Rodriguez signed a minor league contract with the Braves that could pay him $2 million. Rodriguez failed the Phillies physical so Atlanta jumped in and gave him an opportunity to compete for the fifth spot in their rotation in Spring Training.
Kerry Wood’s Fourth Annual Woody’s Winter Warmup is Friday night (Jan. 16) at Harry Caray’s (Water Tower Place). The Plain White T’s are playing, Theo Epstein is scheduled to attend and tickets are still available.
Jesse Rogers posted a few things that might be heard during the upcoming convention.
And last, but not least … Friday night’s Opening Ceremonies at the Cubs Convention will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com.
This Day In Cubstory
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Mark Johnson. Johnson played only two games for Iowa in 2010 and joined the organization as the manager of the Boise Hawks in 2011. Johnson was the Midwest League and Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year in 2014 after he led the Kane County Cougars to the Midwest League Championship. Johnson will call the shots for High-A Myrtle Beach in 2015.
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Scott McClain
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Chad Fox
2002 – Cubs signed free agent Darren Lewis
2002 – Cubs released Phil Norton
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Jeff Huson
1987 – Billy Williams was elected to the Hall of Fame. Sweet Swingin’ Billy Williams played 16 of his 18 years in the big leagues with the Cubs where he punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame. Williams batted .296/.356/.503 with 402 doubles, 87 triples and 392 home runs for a .867 OPS. Williams walked (911) almost as many times as he struck out (934) while setting a NL record for consecutive games played (1,117).
1986 – Cubs selected Shawn Boskie in the first round, tenth overall pick, in January’s draft. Boskie signed with the Cubs on May 9, 1986.
1986 – Cubs selected Jerome Walton in the second round of January’s draft. Walton signed with the Cubs on May 12, 1986.
1986 – Cubs selected Ray Lankford in the third round of January’s draft. Lankford did not sign with the Cubs.
1986 – Cubs selected Derek Lee in the fifth round of January’s draft. Lee did not sign with the Cubs.
1986 – Cubs selected Ken Ramos in the sixth round of January’s draft. Ramos did not sign with the Cubs.
1983 – Cubs signed free agent Paul Moskau
1911 – Hank Gornicki, born