The Sun-Times reported that Crane Kenney “recently secured his second contract extension in two years.” Kenney is believed to have signed a three-year extension that would keep him with the organization through at least 2020.
Based on his previous extension, Kenney’s new contract should run through 2022. Kenney confirmed in May 2014 during an interview on 670 The Score that he signed an extension in the summer of 2013 that ran through 2019.
Crane Kenney and the business side of the team were under a lot of fire at the time for the lack of progress with the Wrigley Field restoration project, the negotiations of the team’s radio and television contracts and the multiple public relations blunders. Kenney confirmed the rumored contract extension as a way to show he had Tom Ricketts full support.
Theo Epstein has one-year left on the five-year contract he signed in October 2011. When Epstein has been asked about his contract, the Cubs President of Baseball Operations has repeatedly said that he is focused on other things and not worried about his own contract.
Tom Ricketts is expected to sign Theo Epstein to a contract extension this winter.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, it’s possible the Cubs could trade Miguel Montero “as a means to free up payroll.” Theo Epstein said a month ago the Cubs had not discussed trading Montero. The Sun-Times explained “it’s now considered a possibility.”
If the Cubs trade Montero that would leave David Ross as the only veteran catcher on the roster. Kyle Schwarber is not ready to be an everyday catcher on a team expected to contend for a division title. And Willson Contreras has not played above the Double-A level.
The Sun-Times stated “front office and player development officials” have made it clear that neither Schwarber nor Contreras “are ready for that role.”
This is not the first report that has pointed to the possibility of Montero being traded this winter.
Buster Olney found it hard to leave Miguel Montero off his list of the top 10 catchers in the game. Olney ranked Buster Posey as the best backstop in baseball followed by Yadier Molina, Russell Martin, Francisco Cervelli, Salvador Perez, Jonathan Lucroy, Yan Gomes, Yasmani Grandal, Brian McCann and Devin Mesoraco.
Javier Baez played his second game Sunday in winter ball. Baez hit fifth in Santurce’s lineup and played second base.
Baez went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in the fourth inning that tied the game at two. Santurce lost in 10 innings 3-2 to Carolina.
In two games, Baez is 2-for-7 with one home run, one walk and one strikeout with two runs scored and five total bases.
The Cubs did make an offer to David Price and were one of the teams that showed him the most interest.
According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs offer to Price was for seven years and $161 million. Levine said the Cubs finished third in the Price Sweepstakes behind the Cardinals. Levine said the Cubs offer “was creative.”
During an interview on MLB Network Radio, Price’s agent Bo McKinnis told Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette, “It was Boston, St. Louis, the Cubs, the Giants and the Dodgers.” Both the Giants and Dodgers were upfront and told McKinnis that they were in on Zack Greinke. The Blue Jays did not extend an offer to Price.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Patrick Mooney asked, can the Cubs land a big-name outfielder at Winter Meetings?
• According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rockies “remain open-minded on trading outfielders” and that includes Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon. The Cubs were believed to be interested in Blackmon last winter before swinging a deal for Dexter Fowler.
• And speaking of Dexter Fowler, he told Joel Sherman that Barry Bonds is a great teacher, the best in the game.
• Ben Zobrist is expected to pick a team and agree to terms before the end of the Winter Meetings. Zobrist is garnering a lot of attention. The Mets are willing to go four years to sign him according to Jon Heyman, but so are other teams. The Giants and Nationals are also very interested in Zobrist and there is a “mystery team in the mix at some level.”
• Ken Rosenthal reported at some point the Orioles will move on from Chris Davis and could focus on Alex Gordon and Justin Upton. The Royals “have not given up on re-signing” Gordon according to Joel Sherman.
• Multiple outlets reported Sunday night that Hisashi Iwakuma agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the Dodgers.
• The Dodgers are reportedly closing in on a deal with the Reds for LHP Aroldis Chapman. The Dodgers feel confident they will be able to acquire Chapman according to Buster Olney. Ken Rosenthal said the Dodgers would send prospects to the Reds for one-year of Chapman. The Reds are expected to trade Chapman during the Winter Meetings.
• Teams are checking with the Red Sox on LHP Wade Miley and RHP Joe Kelly according to Jon Heyman.
• Jonathan Papelbon has filed a grievance against the Nationals “for failing to pay his salary during the team-imposed four-game suspension at the conclusion of the 2015 season” according to Rob Bradford. The Nationals are trying to trade Papelbon.
• It is very good to be a late-inning reliever these days, seemingly every free agent reliever is signing multi-year contracts … Ryan Madson agreed to terms on a three-year, $22 million contract with the Oakland A’s. Madson “can earn $1.25 million per year in incentives based on games finished” according to Jerry Crasnick. Darren O’Day and the Orioles have an agreement in place on a four-year, $31 million deal. O’Day has to pass Baltimore’s physical, which is not an easy task, before his contract is official. RHP Joakim Soria agreed to terms on a three-year, $25 million deal with the Royals that includes a mutual option for a fourth season.
• According to Henry Schulman, the Giants are one of the teams that have talked to the Braves about Shelby Miller. The Braves want Major League players for Miller and the Giants would only be willing to move prospects for him. There is not a match between the Braves and Giants according to Schulman.
• Jon Paul Morosi posted five questions as the Winter Meetings got underway.
• According to Jerry Crasnick, Adam Katz (Wasserman Group) will represent RHP Kenta Maeda.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year contract
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Jensen Lewis
2006 – Cubs selected Jim Henderson from the Nationals in the Rule 5 Draft
2006 – Blue Jays selected Jason Smith from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2006 – Cubs selected Josh Hamilton from the Devil Rays in a pre-arranged cash deal with the Reds in the Rule 5 Draft. Reds purchased Josh Hamilton from the Cubs.
2005 – Cubs signed free agent John Mabry
2005 – Cubs traded Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto to the Marlins for Juan Pierre
2004 – Cubs re-signed free agent Nomar Garciaparra
2004 – Cubs re-signed free agent Todd Walker
2003 – Cubs re-signed free agent Tom Goodwin
2003 – Cubs re-signed free agent Mark Grudzielanek
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Luis Ordaz
1998 – Cubs signed free agent Gary Gaetti
1998 – Cubs signed free agent Glenallen Hill
1996 – Cubs granted free agency to Luis Gonzalez
1989 – Kyle Hendricks, born
1989 – Cubs traded Paul Kilgus to the Blue Jays for Jose Nunez
1988 – Cubs re-signed free agent Scott Sanderson
1987 – Cubs signed free agent Manny Trillo
1984 – Cubs re-signed free agent Steve Trout
1984 – Mike Baxter, born
1983 – Cubs received Scott Sanderson from the Expos as part of a three-team trade. The Padres sent Gary Lucas to the Expos. Montreal sent Al Newman to the Padres. The Cubs sent Fritzie Connally, Craig Lefferts and Carmelo Martinez to San Diego.
1981 – Cubs traded Doug Capilla to the Giants for Allen Ripley
1979 – Ryan Theriot, born
1966 – Cubs acquired Ray Culp and cash from the Phillies for Dick Ellsworth
1955 – Scot Thompson, born
1953 – Braves purchased George Metkovich from the Cubs
1935 – Don Cardwell, born
1930 – Mark Freeman, born
1916 – Jorge Commellas, born
1911 – Don Johnson, born
1847 – Deacon White, born