Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals, the 2015 World Series Champions
The Royals took advantage of the extra opportunities they were given and beat the Mets to win the Fall Classic. Dayton Moore put together the roster. Ned Yost, Dale Sveum, Dave Eiland and the coaching staff pushed the right buttons and for the first time in 30 years the Royals fan base has a World Championship to celebrate.
It’s roughly 109 days until pitchers and catchers report and 153 days before the Cubs kickoff the 2016 season in Los Angeles against the Angels. The front office has work to do and can officially get started today with their off-season plans.
Cubs Roster, Free Agents
With the conclusion of the World Series, the Cubs had seven players become free agents and one player retire.
RHP Dan Haren was officially removed from the roster. Haren announced his retirement after the Cubs were eliminated from the post-season. The roster move was just a formality.
RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Tommy Hunter, RHP Jason Motte, RHP Fernando Rodney, OF Dexter Fowler, OF Chris Denorfia and OF Austin Jackson became free agents.
The Cubs have a five-day exclusive window to negotiate and re-sign any of their free agents. Players can sign with a contract with a new team on the sixth day after the conclusion of the World Series.
The Cubs are interested in re-signing Dexter Fowler and will make him a qualifying offer. Fowler is expected to decline the offer and test free agency. Austin Jackson could be a short-term option for center field. And the Cubs could re-sign Trevor Cahill. The Cubs are not expected to re-sign Hunter, Motte or Rodney.
Possible Player Options
The front office has areas of the team to address this off-season. And the Cubs have been linked to several players, either free agents or trade possibilities, over the last 10 days by the mainstream media. The rumor mill will kick into high gear this week, but for now, here are the players the Cubs are believed to be interested in.
• Free agent pitchers: LHP David Price, RHP Jordan Zimmermann, RHP Zack Greinke, RHP John Lackey, RHP Jeff Samardzija, LHP Wei-Yin Chen and LHP J.A. Happ
• Pitchers – Trade Options: RHP Carlos Carrasco (Indians), RHP Danny Salazar (Indians), RHP Tyson Ross (Padres), RHP Andrew Cashner (Padres), RHP Julio Teheran (Braves)
• Free agent position players: OF Alex Gordon, OF Jason Heyward, OF Denard Span, OF Dexter Fowler, OF Austin Jackson
• Position Players – Trade Options: OF/3B Lonnie Chisenhall (Indians)
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to the Dallas Morning News, Austin Jackson is one of the free agents the Rangers could be interested in this off-season.
• Bill Chuck examined how much batting averages drop after each strike. The Cubs were the best hitting team with no strikes and the worst hitting team with two strikes during the regular season.
• Dave Martinez would be a logical fit to be the next manager of the Dodgers according to Jon Heyman.
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Cubs selected Zach Putnam off waivers from the Rockies
2011 – Cubs fired manager Mike Quade, one of the first moves by the Theo Epstein-led front office.
2011 – Cubs granted free agency to Justin Berg, Angel Guzman, Scott Moore, Chris Robinson, Jeff Stevens and Robert Coello.
2005 – Greg Maddux and Derrek Lee won National League Gold Gloves
2004 – After a groundskeeper found a grenade in the Wrigley Field turf, police bomb and arson investigators were called in to evaluate the situation. The rusty, hollowed-out shell turned out to be harmless.
2001 – Cubs acquired Mark Bellhorn from Oakland for Adam Morrissey
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Mick Mahoney
2000 – Wrigley Field was granted preliminary landmark status by the Landmarks Commission. Any plans to refurbish or tear down Wrigley Field would have to be reviewed by the commission moving forward.
1966 – Orlando Merced, born
1941 – Bill Connors, born
1914 – Johnny Vander Meer, born