Major awards week came to an end Thursday with the announcement of the Most Valuable Players. Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson took home the MVP awards and three Cubs were in the final voting.
The BBWAA recognized the excellent regular season the Cubs had by naming Jake Arrieta the NL Cy Young Award winner, Kris Bryant the NL Rookie of the Year, Joe Maddon the NL Manager of the Year and having three players finish in the top 11 in NL MVP voting.
According to a report from Bruce Levine, Chris Bosio recently signed a contract extension. Levine did not provide any financial information or details on the length of the extension. The front office values the Cubs pitching infrastructure and from all indications it will remain intact for the 2016 season.
The Cubs have not announced the coaching staff will return. Theo Epstein said during his end of season press conference that the entire coaching staff had been invited back. Joe Maddon was extremely complementary of his coaching staff while accepting the Manager of the Year Award and during interviews this week.
It’s not likely at this point there will be any changes to the coaching staff for the 2016 season. Joe Maddon’s staff next year should be Dave Martinez (bench coach), Chris Bosio (pitching coach), John Mallee (hitting coach), Eric Hinske (assistant hitting coach), Brandon Hyde (first base coach), Gary Jones (third base coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Mike Borzello (catching coach) and Henry Blanco (quality assurance coach).
Jake Arrieta completed 229 innings in the regular season and another 19 2/3 innings in the post-season. And Wednesday after he won the NL Cy Young Award he admitted that fatigue led to his subpar performances in the NLDS and NLCS.
Prior to this season, the most innings Arrieta had thrown was a combined 176 2/3 innings between the minors and majors in 2014. Arrieta began the 2014 season on the DL and spent the first month on a minor league rehab. Arrieta made five starts for High-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee and completed 20 innings in those five games. With the Cubs in 2014, Arrieta pitched 156 2/3 innings.
Arrieta dealt with what he described as a dead arm in the playoffts, similar to the issue Jon Lester had in Spring Training. Arrieta explained on a conference call that his body felt great physically.
Jake Arrieta thinks the extra workload and pitching deeper into a season than he ever has before will help him prepare mentally and physically for next year.
Andury Acevedo and Jack Leathersich
The Cubs announced two additions to the 40-man roster Thursday, which officially stands at 32 players.
RHP Andury Acevedo signed a one-year Major League contract. And the Cubs claimed LHP Jack Leathersich off waivers from the Mets. Leathersich had Tommy John surgery at the end of July and should not be counted on to contribute until at least next September.
Acevedo is a power arm that could be a factor in the bullpen if Chris Bosio can get him to throw more strikes. The Yankees shifted him from the field to the mound when he was signed in 2012.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have talked about adding pitching depth, starters and relievers, this winter. The Cubs acquired two options for the bullpen that could provide value down the road.
- From the Wire: Cubs Sign RHP Andury Acevedo
- From the Wire: Cubs Claim LHP Jack Leathersich Off Waivers from the Mets
Cubs’ former farm director, Oneri Fleita has taken a position in the Tigers organization.
The Tigers have been pursuing Fleita for at least four years. Tom Ricketts signed Fleita to a contract extension in September 2011 after he fired Jim Hendry and before Theo Epstein was hired a month later. It was believed at the time that Fleita received the contract extension to keep him from leaving the organization to take a job with the Tigers. Fleita was promoted by Crane Kenney to VP of Player Personnel in December 2007 after the Orioles asked for permission to talk to him about running their minor league system.
Theo Epstein dismissed Oneri Fleita in August 2012 with three years and around $900,000 left on his contract. Brandon Hyde, the Cubs’ current first base coach, was eventually hired and named the team’s farm director.
News, Notes and Rumors
• RHP Darren O’Day is expected to be the first free agent reliever to sign this winter. The Cubs were once linked to O’Day but no longer appear to be in the mix. Jerry Crasnick reported the Dodgers are “pursuing O’Day big time.” And Ken Rosenthal confirmed the Dodgers interest in O’Day while reporting other teams are in the picture for the reliever. The Braves are one of those teams in on O’Day. Rosenthal reported Atlanta is looking for two relievers and are pursuing O’Day and veteran lefty Matt Thornton.
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Indians are talking with MLB’s heavy hitters for outfield help.
• Buster Olney reported the teams interested in signing OF Austin Jackson are not viewing him as a starter but an outfielder “who plays most days but isn’t necessarily assured of 150 starts at a particular spot.” Jackson is being “marketed as a bounce-back candidate” by his agent Scott Boras.
• Comcast SportsNet reported, in award-winning week, three Cubs appear in NL MVP voting.
• Matt Snyder put together a full list of individual MLB award winners for the 2015 season.
• Jordan Zimmermann is set to make history as the first pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery and sign a nine-figure contract according to Jon Paul Morosi.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Casper Wells
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Cory Bailey
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Andres Blanco
2007 – Cubs signed free agent J.D. Closser
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Mike Smith
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Andres Torres
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Alfonso Soriano
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Mike Kinkade
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Joe Borowski
2000 – Cubs acquired Matt Stairs from the A’s for Eric Ireland
1996 – Cubs acquired Miguel Cairo from the Blue Jays for Jason Stevenson
1989 – Cubs traded Mitch Webster to the Indians for Dave Clark
1987 – Don Zimmer was named Cubs manager. Zimmer was hired by Jim Frey and put together a 265-258 record in his three-plus years as the skipper of the Cubs. The Boys of Zimmer were the 1989 National League Eastern Division Champions.
1981 – Sam Fuld, born
1967 – Alex Arias, born
1952 – Hank Sauer was named National League Most Valuable Player
1947 – Cubs selected Jackie Mayo from the Phillies in the Rule 5 Draft
1945 – Rick Monday, born
1945 – Jay Johnstone, born
1869 – Clark Griffith, born