Major League Baseball has not ruled on the tampering charges the Rays filed against the Cubs over the hiring Joe Maddon. A resolution was expected two months ago on the matter. According to a report from Marc Topkin, Theo Epstein is expecting the Cubs to be cleared of the charges soon.
Bob Nightengale reported Thursday night that while the Cubs insist they did not tamper with Joe Maddon, the Rays claim to have proof that in fact the Cubs’ job was the reason Maddon left the Rays.
Nick Cafardo indicated in early January that MLB was still investigating the matter and gathering information.
Stu Sternberg and Matt Silverman were upset with the situation in October and filed charges with Major League Baseball a week after Joe Maddon was introduced as the Cubs’ manager. Maddon exercised a change of control clause in his contract that Silverman negotiated with Maddon’s agent, Alan Nero. Maddon wanted to stay in Tampa and tried to agree to terms on a contract with the Rays before he engaged with other teams, including the Cubs.
Theo Epstein has maintained the Cubs did not tamper with Maddon and emphatically denied the charges at the time they were filed and again at last month’s convention.
Epstein told Tom Verducci the Cubs “expect it to be resolved before Spring Training starts with the finding that no tampering occurred whatsoever.”
- Full Report from the Tampa Times
- Jan. 11 Report – MLB Still Investigating Tampering Charges Rays Filed against the Cubs
The Score talked to Keith Law about the Cubs middle infield prospects and was asked how he would handle Javier Baez. First of all, Law said he would move Arismendy Alcantara to center because he’s the one player that could handle the move.
Law is concerned about Javier Baez and said the strikeouts are “worrisome” plus his “history of making contact is pretty poor.” Law said he would make Baez his everyday second baseman and reevaluate where he is with adjustments in May, June or July. At that point if he’s still struggling, Starlin Castro and Addison Russell could handle second and short with Castro moving to second because Law feels Russell will be better defensively at shortstop.
Pedro Strop and The Arbitration Seven
The Cubs and Pedro Strop agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.525 million contract for the upcoming season and avoided a possible arbitration hearing. Strop settled just over the midpoint of the $3 million figure he submitted and the $2 million the Cubs filed. Strop was in line for between $1.9-2.5 million for the 2015 season after being paid $1.325 million last year.
All seven of the Cubs arbitration eligible players for the upcoming season are under contract: 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), OF Dexter Fowler ($9.5 million) and RHP Pedro Strop ($2.525 million).
SABR on SiriusXM Radio
SiriusXM Radio and SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) announced Thursday a new show will be launched on MLB Network Radio (XM Channel 89, Sirius 209 and the SiriusXM App). Beginning on Sunday, Feb. 15 a weekly show will air from 6-7:00pm CST/CDT throughout the season.
“Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM” will be hosted by SABR’s President, Vince Gennaro.
And speaking of baseball on the radio, WBBM-780 has been looking to hire a third person to join Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer in the booth. The new home of Cubs Radio is trying to find the right person to host pre- and post-game shows and provide updates throughout the games, the same duties Judd Sirott had for the Cubs on WGN Radio. Sirott is staying with WGN and will continue his role with the Blackhawks’ broadcasts.
According to the report from Ed Sherman, a decision is expected soon from a field of over 400 resumes submitted for the job. Ron Gleason, WBBM’s director of news and programming, said of all the resumes he received about 200 had the right experience and around 40 met the criteria for Cubs baseball.
The finalists for the job are believed to include Andy Masur, Wayne Randazzo, Connor McKnight, Mark Grote and Jordan Bernfield.
News, Notes and Rumors
‘Let’s Go’ T-Shirts … Spoke with a team source about the t-shirt Tom Ricketts wore when he kicked off the convention. The Cubs are working on the details that would allow the team to sell the shirts. Progress is being made but they are not sure when the process will be completed.
Rick Sutcliffe will be a guest instructor for the Cubs during Spring Training.
According to Peter Gammons, the Dodgers are interested in Yoan Moncada and Hector Olivera and not James Shields.
From Ace of MLB Stats: Henry Aaron had 1,060 RBI excluding all of his 755 home runs … Hack Wilson had 1,063 career RBI, Ryne Sandberg 1,061, Ryan Howard 1,058 and Rod Carew collected 1,015 RBI in his career.
Major League Baseball named Anomaly its new multimedia creative marketing agency.
MLB.TV is available for purchase for the 2015 season.
Barry Bloom took a look at the renovated facilities in the Cactus League … and the Cubs’ former home, HoHoKam Park received a facelift for the Oakland A’s.
Kyle Schwarber believes he has what it takes to stay behind the plate. But the topic of conversation with all of the prospect rankings being released is that the Cubs top pick in last June’s draft will not be a catcher in the big leagues. Schwarber impressed the Cubs’ brass during fall instructs and will have a chance to learn how to receive from Miguel Montero and David Ross in Spring Training. Schwarber also impressed Mark Johnson during their brief stint together at Kane County. The Cubs plan for Schwarber to be a full-time catcher during the upcoming season and with Johnson moving to High-A Myrtle Beach, it would likely benefit Schwarber to spend a little more time with Johnson before he gets bumped up to Double-A Tennessee.
With all of the player movement throughout the game, Baseball America posted a revised top 10 index for its prospect rankings.
And last, but not least, a reminder to vote in the CCO’s poll →
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs selected Adrian Cardenas off waivers from the Athletics
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Dubois
2006 – Cubs signed free agent John Ennis
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Brian Dorsett
1987 – Travis Wood, born
1949 – Richie Zisk, born
1927 – Smoky Burgess, born
1926 – Dale Long, born
1899 – Walt Huntzinger, born