The Cubs are not believed to be done making changes to the roster. Unless the front office is blown away by an offer from another team, the additions could be depth in the outfield and minor league signings over the next seven weeks.
If the Cubs were to trade for a starting pitcher that could create other opening the front office would need to address, namely a centerfielder if Jorge Soler is one of the players included in a deal.
During an interview last week on ESPN 1000, Jed Hoyer was asked if the Cubs were done making moves this off-season.
“I don’t know and that’s an honest answer,” Hoyer said. “I think that teams will definitely approach us with some ideas and if those make sense we could make a move. If they don’t make sense we are really happy with what we have right now.”
“I think we feel comfortable going into the season with our current team and feel like the attrition of the season, the length of the season, we will be happy we have a lot of depth.”
“I thought last year one of the great advantages we had the last sort of 45 days of the season or so and definitely in the playoffs, we were so deep from a position-player standpoint that it felt like we could give guys the days off at the right time,” Hoyer said. “It felt like we matched up against pitchers really well. And late in games we were bringing in really good players off the bench. There is a lot to be said for that.”
“If we go into the season with what appears to be too many position players, somehow it will work itself out. It won’t be too many. If we can give guys more days off and we can get into the later part of the season more well rested, I think that’s a really big advantage for us. It worked for us last year and we may well do the same thing this year.”
The front office is trying to prevent injuries from derailing the team. Making the additions the Cubs have with only dealing Starlin Castro to this point has really put the front office in a position of strength to adjust the roster as necessary in-season.
According to Buster Olney, Dexter Fowler could make sense for the Washington Nationals. Fowler could play center field and “allow the Nationals to cope with any depth problems created by Jayson Werth’s ongoing battle with injuries.”
Fowler would also give Dusty Baker a leadoff man where he would not have to depend on Michael Taylor.
Dexter Fowler is still viewed as an option for the Cubs if the front office trades Jorge Soler.
The Mets were connected to Fowler before they inked Alejandro De Aza. With De Aza in the fold, he is expected to platoon with Juan Lagares. The Giants, Marlins and Padres are other teams believed to have some level of interest in Fowler.
According to a report from Hardball Talk citing Bill Plunkett as its source, RHP Kenta Maeda was at Dodger Stadium on Christmas Eve (Thursday).
The Dodgers appear to be the frontrunners to sign Maeda because they are the only team that has been linked to the right-hander.
Maeda’s market has not developed as expected. Maeda reportedly would like to pitch for a team on the West Coast. The Giants and Padres are reportedly not in on Maeda and the Angels have not been mentioned as a possible destination.
There are concerns around the league about him not being able to hold up to the rigors of pitching every five days. Recent reports have compared Maeda to Mike Leake. And the numbers Hardball Talk posted look more like a fourth or fifth starter in the majors and not a top of the rotation pitcher.
News, Notes and Rumors
• A bogus title transfer clouds ownership of PETCO Park according to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune. This is a bizarre, must read report.
• According to Cash Kruth, interest in Cuban prospect Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, known as Lazarito, is intensifying ahead of a Jan. 8 showcase in the Dominican Republic.
• The Tribune posted its bold predictions for 2016 … for the Cubs, “The Wrigley Field honeymoon continues as Ryne Sandberg returns to the Cubs organization, and Theo Epstein receives his extension. But the Cubs fall just short of a World Series title.”
• The Cubs are included in the best quotes of 2015 from the Tribune.
• The St. Louis media loved the signing of Mike Leake, a move the Cardinals made to keep up in the NL arms race.
• FanGraphs talked to managers during the Winter Meetings and received their opinions on leaving a starting pitcher in a game to face a lineup for a third time. This is a good read, especially knowing “pitchers are less effective the third time through the order.” Click here for the full report.
• Richard Justice unwrapped Christmas gifts for all 30 clubs. Santa left something for every team under the tree.
This Day In Cubstory
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Andy Sonnanstine
1985 – Chris Carpenter, born
1981 – Omar Infante, born
1979 – J.C. Boscan, born
1961 – Storm Davis, born
1948 – Dave Radar, born
1917 – Cubs acquired Dode Paskert from the Phillies for Cy Williams
1907 – Harry Taylor, born