A big week is on tap throughout the game. Not only are the decision makers getting together at the GM Meetings (Nov. 9-12) in Boca Raton, several awards will be announced as well as the finalists for the BBWAA awards.
The schedule for the first awards week: The Players Choice Awards (Monday , 7:00pm CST on the MLB Network), the finalists for the BBWAA awards (Tuesday, 5:00pm CST on the MLB Network), Rawlings Gold Glove winners (Tuesday, 6:00pm CST on ESPN), Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards (Wednesday, 5:00pm CST) and Louisville Silver Slugger Awards (Thursday, 5:00pm CST on MLB Network).
And Friday (4:00pm CST) is the deadline for players to accept or decline qualifying offers.
Jeff Samardzija stayed in the news throughout the weekend. The White Sox made a qualifying offer to Samardzija prior to Friday’s deadline. Samardzija is expected to reject it and sign with another team.
Multiple reports linked Samardzija to the Cubs and reportedly there is mutual interest in him returning to the Cubs. Samardzija is expected to sign a multi-year contract but after his bad season on the South Side he will not get the deal he would have a year ago.
Even with the down season, Samardzija may still be looking at a contract similar to the extension the Cubs are believed to have offered him, five years and $85 million. The Sun-Times reported if he would take from the Cubs what the front office offered him instead of the $100-million-plus his agent was looking for at the time, talks between Samardzija and the Cubs “could get serious.”
According to George Ofman, Samardzija is “open to a one-year deal.” Samardzija knows next year’s crop of free agent starters will not be as strong as this year. And one year in the right situation would allow him to rebuild his value before testing the market again.
Jeff Samardzija and Chris Bosio have a good relationship. Under Bosio’s tutelage Samardzija went from a middle reliever to a middle of the rotation starter. In the two-plus seasons Samardzija started for the Cubs he was 19-33 with a 3.83 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 3.55 FIP.
Being tied to draft pick compensation is going to hurt Samardzija this winter with the way he pitched this past season. But if Ofman is correct, Samardzija is at least being realistic with his expectations.
According to Jon Heyman, Dexter Fowler could be a fit with the New York Mets. The Metropolitans could use a centerfielder and leadoff man that would allow Terry Collins to move Curtis Granderson down in the order. The Mets will be looking for help in the middle of the order with Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes expected to sign elsewhere.
The Cubs made the $15.8 million qualifying offer to Fowler and he is expected to reject it prior to Friday’s deadline.
The Mariners and Nationals have been mentioned as possibilities for Fowler in recent days.
The Cubs would like to re-sign Fowler but at a shorter term deal, around two years, than it is believed he will receive from another team. Most estimates have Fowler signing a four-year contract with at least a $12 million AAV.
Jon Heyman’s Estimates
Jon Heyman ranked the top 50 free agents and what he thinks they will sign for this winter. Here are Heyman’s projections for the players that have been connected to the Cubs at some point by the mainstream media:
- David Price – seven years, $210 million
- Jason Heyward – nine years, $180 million
- Zack Greinke – five years, $165 million
- Jordan Zimmermann – five years, $115 million
- Jeff Samardzija – five years, $85 million
- Wei-Yin Chen – five years, $80 million
- Ben Zobrist – four years, $60 million
- Dexter Fowler – four years, $48 million
- Howie Kendrick – four years, $44 million
- John Lackey – three years, $42 million
- Denard Span – three years, $36 million
- Austin Jackson – three years, $30 million
- J.A. Happ – two years, $25 million
News, Notes and Rumors
• The Sun-Times reported late Sunday that Rick Renteria appears close to being the White Sox bench coach. The announcement could be made in the next 24-48 hours.
• According to Comcast SportsNet, Cubs will be major players this off-season.
• David Schoenfield does not think the Cubs are the favorites to sign David Price. The Red Sox might have the best shot at landing Price according to the report from ESPN. Schoenfield says the Dodgers and Giants are possibilities with the sleepers for Price being the Nationals and Diamondbacks.
• Rick Hummel reported David Price is the cream of MLB’s free agent crop.
• Joe Strauss asked is it time for the Cardinals to get silly?
• Paul Sullivan posted random tidbits of information Sunday night … For love and money: Top free-agent pitchers could woo Cubs. Please note, read his article and not just the headline.
• Joel Sherman broke down the deepest pool of free agent pitchers ever.
This Day In Cubstory
2009 – Cubs granted free agency to Casey Fossum, John-Ford Griffin, Mark Johnson, Luis Rivas, Bobby Scales, Brad Snyder and Kevin Gregg
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Anderson
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Wade Miller
2004 – Bob Brenly was hired to replace Steve Stone in the Cubs’ TV booth.
2002 – Cubs hired Dusty Baker. Jim Hendry signed Baker to a four-year contract to manage the Cubs.
1992 – Cubs released Hector Villanueva
1987 – Cubs granted free agency to Ed Lynch, Manny Trillo and Dickie Noles
1985 – Cubs signed free agent Ced Landrum
1984 – Cubs signed free agent Chico Walker
1979 – Dave Bush, born
1976 – Oakland released Billy Williams. Sweet Swingin’ Billy Williams finished his Hall of Fame career in 1976 by hitting .211/.320/.339 with 12 doubles and 11 home runs in 120 games for the A’s. During his 18-year career, Williams batted .290/.361/.492 with 2,711 hits 434 doubles, 88 triples, 426 home runs, 1,475 RBI and a .853 OPS. Williams walked (1,045) one less time than he struck out (1,046) in 2,488 career games.
1952 – Jim Riggleman, born
1925 – The Brooklyn Robins selected Rabbit Maranville off waivers from the Cubs.
1912 – The Reds selected Frank Chance off waivers from the Cubs.