David Ross is returning next season and it may be his final summer as a player in the majors.
Ross told Nick Cafardo last month that he would honor the contract he signed with the Cubs and return next season. Ross inked a two-year, $5 million contract last winter and will be paid $2.25 million in 2016.
During an interview Monday on Inside Pitch (MLB Network Radio) with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden, Ross said next season would probably be his last in the big leagues.
“I think this is probably going to be it for me,” Ross said. “It’s time to be a dad. It’s time to play with my family. We had another baby girl in August. We have three kids now. My skills are starting to show that they are not as good as they used to be. I am going to give it one more run and try to get in a ring in Chicago and then probably call it quits.”
David Ross said he had a great time and a lot of fun playing with the Cubs and for Joe Maddon this past season, especially with the young players that did not play like rookies. Even with winning 97 games, Ross feels there is room for improvement. As a team, the Cubs need to get better with the fundamentals of the game. Make more contact, put the ball in play, run the bases better, hit behind runners and not beat themselves as much defensively as they did last year.
Ross has played for 11 different managers including Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona, Bobby Cox and Joe Maddon. And Maddon reminds Ross of Bobby Cox in more ways than anyone would imagine.
“I compare him to a lot, and this is going to sound really crazy, Bobby Cox and him [Joe Maddon] are so similar in the way they approach the game and the way they approach the human being aspect of it,” Ross said to Stern and Bowden. “They treat you like men. They expect you to be men. They are not going to hold your hand. They expect you to go up there and give it your all for the team, to buy into the team concept about playing for one another.”
“We’re going to go up there and do the best we can on a daily basis and then tomorrow we are going to come out and do the same thing. I’m not going to judge you. I’m not going to put any extra work or stipulations on you that don’t matter. Really old school baseball.”
“Even though Joe, he gets credit for a lot of the different things, the way he approaches things, the quirky things, the dress-up and all the stuff that makes the news but to the baseball core he is really old school and really fundamental which is nice to see when you are around it on a daily basis.”
If David Ross wants a career beyond being a player in the majors, he would seem to have the makeup that it takes to be a big league manager. And based on the way he helped change the culture in the Cubs’ clubhouse and developed relationships with his teammates he could be a very good skipper one day.
Kris Bryant was the unanimous choice by the baseball writers for the NL Rookie of the Year. Bryant is the first Cubs’ player to win the award unanimously and the sixth in team history to be voted the best first-year player. Bryant is one of three players (Craig Kimbrel, 2011 and Albert Pujols, 2001) in the National League to receive all of the first place votes since 2001. The Astros’ Carlos Correa won the award in the American League, edging out the Indians’ Francisco Lindor.
Bryce Harper, who has a chance at winning the NL MVP unanimously, tweeted his congratulations to ‘Silk’ on Monday night. And Bryant received congratulations on Twitter from several of his teammates including David Ross, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler and Kyle Schwarber.
- Report – Kris Bryant Unanimously Named the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year
- Report from Comcast SportsNet
- Report from the Sun-Times
- Report from ESPN Chicago
- Report from ESPN – David Schoenfield
News, Notes and Rumors
• Jerry Dipoto made another trade Monday and may have center field figured out for the Mariners in 2016. Five days after re-signing Franklin Gutierrez, Dipoto pulled off a deal with the Rangers for OF Leonys Martin. The Mariners dealt RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, OF James Jones and a PTBNL to the Rangers for Martin and RHP Anthony Bass. Seattle was thought to be a possible destination for Denard Span or Dexter Fowler but reports Monday night suggested the Mariners could be done adding to their outfield.
• Former Cubs’ outfielder Reed Johnson re-signed with the Nationals on a minor league deal. The Nats announced Monday signing Johnson and lefty reliever Sean Burnett to minor league contracts.
• Baseball America looked at standouts in the Arizona Fall League with a week to go in the season … spoiler alert, the report does not include any Cubs’ prospects.
• According to Jerry Crasnick, the Giants are still interested in re-signing RHP Mike Leake and OF Marlon Byrd. The Cardinals and Tigers are also interested in signing Leake.
• David Schoenfield posted a few tidbits from The Bill James Handbook. And one of the facts from the book about the pitchout being dead around baseball, Joe Maddon called for only three pitchouts all season.
• LHP Rich Hill is expected to sign with a team this week according to a report from Rob Bradford. The Red Sox are not reportedly in the running for Hill. And Bradford did not provide a list of teams that could be in the mix to sign the one-time top Cubs’ prospect.
And last, but not least, here are more Wrigley restoration photos from Any Masur.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Kris Bryant was named MVP of the Arizona Fall League
2011 – Dale Sveum was named the 52nd manager in franchise history. Sveum replaced Mike Quade in the dugout.
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Scott Rice
2010 – Cubs released Micah Hoffpauir
2000 – Cubs released Ben Ford
1992 – Cubs traded Alex Arias and Gary Scott to the Marlins for Greg Hibbard
1992 – Rockies selected Joe Girardi from the Cubs in the 1992 expansion draft
1992 – Rockies selected Ryan Hawblitzel from the Cubs in the 1992 expansion draft
1983 – Scott Moore, born
1978 – Darnell McDonald, born
1969 – Cubs traded Oscar Gamble and Dick Selma to the Phillies for a PTBNL and Johnny Callison. The Phillies sent Larry Colton to the Cubs in January 1970 to complete the trade.
1964 – Mitch Williams, born
1949 – Cubs selected Johnny Klippstein from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft
1947 – Cubs selected Dewey Adkins from Atlanta (Southern Association) in the minor league draft
1942 – Cubs purchased Bennie Warren from the Phillies
1940 – Jimmie Wilson is named manager of the Cubs