The front office checked off one of the boxes from the off-season to-do list when the Cubs landed John Lackey on Friday. The Cubs and Lackey agreed to terms on a two-year, $32 million contract.
The Cubs acquired a reliever via a waiver claim and announced its 2016 Spring Training Schedule.
With the Winter Meetings getting underway, rumors and speculation dominated the headlines for three days. The Cubs thought they had a foundation of a deal in place for a starting pitcher. A long-time Cubs infielder appears to be staying put. And two free agent outfielders continued to be linked to the Cubs.
Here are all the headlines from the last three days packed with news and rumors …
Free Agent Profile: OF Jason Heyward
Chris continued his free agent profile series with a look at arguably the best right fielder in the game. Heyward is about to sign an incredibly large contract. And the media keeps linking him to the Cubs.
Jason Heyward had an excellent season, and is only 26 years old … that is why many think he’s looking at a minimum of seven years and $160 million and could possibly fly past the $220 million mark.
The Daily CCO: Schwarber Ranked Tenth Best Left Fielder and Other Cubs News and Rumors
News surfaced that Kenta Maeda would be posted. The Cubs continued to talk to Samardzija and Leake before coming to terms with John Lackey.
Report includes all of the news, notes, links and rumors, plus This Day in Cubs History.
Jason Heyward Reportedly an Option for the Cubs
The media has been incredibly consistent in reporting the Cubs are interested in Jason Heyward. The Cubs would have to clear a spot for him to play right field, which would likely mean Jorge Soler is traded for a young, controllable arm.
Jason Heyward would be a fit in the field for any team in the game, including the Cubs.
From the Wire: Cubs Claim LHP Edgar Olmos Off Waivers from Mariners
The Cubs claimed a lefty reliever off waivers from Seattle. LHP Edgar Olmos was added to the 40-man roster on Friday as the front office continues to look for ways to provide bullpen depth to Joe Maddon and Chris Bosio.
Cubs Announce 2016 Spring Training Schedule
The Cubs open play in the Cactus League on Thursday, March 3 on the road against the Brewers. The Cubs host the Angels the next day for the spring home opener at Sloan Park.
The Cubs have 31 games on the exhibition schedule for the spring, and that includes the annual trip to Las Vegas to play a couple of games at Cashman Field.
Click on the link to see the full spring schedule, that is subject to change.
Report: Cubs Agree to Terms on a Two-Year Contract with John Lackey
The Cubs have not announced the deal but from all indications John Lackey agreed to terms on a two-year, $32 million contract. Lackey would slide in the rotation behind Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester with the way the roster is currently constructed.
Zack Greinke Reportedly Agrees to Terms on a Six-Year Deal with Diamondbacks
Zack Greinke shocked the baseball world, set a new record and got paid again. Greinke left the Dodgers, but not for the Giants. Greinke will now lead the rotation of a Diamondbacks’ team with an extremely good offense.
Greinke agreed to terms on a six-year, $206.5 million contract. Set the record for the highest AAV ever … and as expected, he followed the money.
The Diamondbacks will be a very dangerous team in 2016.
Javier Baez to Play Center Field in Winter Ball
The Cubs talked about it toward the end of the regular season. And Javier Baez likes playing center field. Theo Epstein said that Doug Dascenzo would be spending time with Baez in Puerto Rico working with him on how to play the position before he got into a game. Baez has not played center field since high school.
The Cubs see the value in him playing as many positions as possible. Baez is athletic enough that he should not have a problem learning the right way to play the position.
Free Agent Profile: RHP Mike Leake
Mike Leake was one of the free agent starting pitchers the Cubs were linked to before agreeing to terms with John Lackey. Leake is drawing a lot of interest around the league. And Chris took a look at what he could add to the Cubs.
The Daily CCO: Cubs Land John Lackey, Trading for a Starting Pitcher Still Part of Off-Season Plan
The Cubs added John Lackey but are not believed to be done. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are expected to go the trade route to add another starting pitcher to the roster.
The same names keep popping up as there appears to be real interest from the Cubs in each of the young, controllable starters.
Dexter Fowler’s market is increasing while Theo Epstein did not close the door on him returning to the Cubs.
Report includes updates on Ben Zobrist and all of the news, notes, rumors and This Day in Cubs History.
Report: Cubs One of Three Teams Showing Most Interest in Fernando Rodney
The Cubs picked up Fernando Rodney before the waiver deadline and he pitched well in a short-time as a setup man out of Joe Maddon’s bullpen.
Rodney reportedly wants to close, so there may not be a fit with the Cubs.
Jeff Samardzija Agrees to Terms on a Five-Year Contract with Giants
There will not be a reunion with the Cubs. Jeff Samardzija will pitch in the Bay area again and is slotted into the Giants rotation as the No. 2 starter behind Madison Bumgarner. Samardzija agreed to terms on a five-year, $90 million contract with the Giants.
Cubs Reportedly Had Foundation of Deal with Braves for Shelby Miller
The Cubs were inching closer to a deal with the Braves for Shelby Miller before he was taken off the table. Miller appears to be available but John Coppolella wants a lot back for the young right-hander. The Cubs matchup with the Braves on a Miller deal that is if Coppolella is willing to make a realistic trade.
Alex Gordon Remains Strong Possibility for Cubs
The Cubs have been connected to Alex Gordon since the World Series. The front office would like to improve the team’s outfield defense and for the the offense to make more contact. Gordon would help with both of those areas.
Peter Gammons said Gordon and John Lackey were high on the Cubs’ off-season list. Lackey is in the fold and Gordon is still available. If Gordon is signed, he would play right field so Kyle Schwarber can still play left.
Free Agent Profile: OF Denard Span
Chris’ free agent profile series continued with a player that is believed to be a realistic option for center field and hitting at the top of the lineup. Denard Span is coming off an injured plagued season and could use a short-term deal to rebuild his value.
The CCO Daily: Cubs Exploring a Trade for a Top Closer? And Other News, Notes and Rumors
Hector Rondon did a very good job closing games for the 97-win Chicago Cubs last season. According to Jerry Crasnick, the Cubs are exploring a trade for one of the top closers. There are a lot to choose from if the Cubs are looking.
Report includes updates on Dexter Fowler and his market, Wei-Yin Chen, Jeff Samardzija and This Day in Cubs History … plus, all of the news, notes, links and rumors.
Hiroshima Carp Set to Post RHP Kenta Maeda
The top starting pitcher in Japan is expected to be posted this week. It’s unknown if the Cubs are interested in Kenta Maeda, but they have been in the past.
Report includes video and scouting information on Maeda.
Starlin Castro Part of Cubs Plans for 2016, Reportedly Informed Would Not Be Traded
The Sun-Times reported Sunday night that a conversation between the front office and Starlin Castro took place at the end of the season in which Castro was told he would not be traded this winter.
Castro is in the Cubs’ plans for 2016 according to the Sun-Times.
Cubs, Rays Conversations Possibly Include LHP Jake McGee
The Cubs are looking for relievers, and are possibly in the market to make a deal for a top closer. Multiple reports have indicated Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger are available. The Cubs and Rays are talking and those conversations may include McGee.