Phase Two of the 1060 Project is well underway at the old ballyard. The biggest deliverable for the team this off-season is the new state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot clubhouse.
Official updates from Tom Ricketts and Crane Kenney in the last month have indicated Phase Two of the project to restore, renovate and expand Wrigley Field is on schedule. And that includes the Cubs’ brand new clubhouse, which will be ready for Opening Day at Wrigley on April 11.
During an interview last week on ESPN 1000, Jed Hoyer said there have not been any delays with the clubhouse. Hoyer doesn’t think the new facilities at Wrigley factored in John Lackey, Ben Zobrist, Trevor Cahill and Jason Heyward deciding to sign with the Cubs, but after decades of subpar facilities it is past time the Cubs had the best facilities in baseball at Wrigley Field.
The front office is just excited about the new clubhouse as the players. And some of the players were able to give their input on it before the season ended.
“We had a meeting and we showed to some of our veteran guys the plans and we let them throw some ideas out. We let them design the game room and the players’ space and stuff like that,” Hoyer said. “The players had an impact on it which I think they absolutely should.”
“We may, if we get far enough along during Convention, we might be able to bring players over to take a look at it.”
“They have spared no expense on the finishing touches of it. It will be great to have a First Class facility here,” Hoyer said. “We have that in Arizona. We have that in the Dominican. Among the other things the Ricketts family has done is they’ve really committed to our facilities. Once we open this clubhouse I think we will have the best facilities in baseball.”
The Cubs announced three roster moves Wednesday.
LHP Edgar Olmos was claimed off waivers from the Orioles. Olmos was added back to the 40-man roster after the front office picked him off waivers for the second time in three weeks. The Orioles claimed Olmos from the Cubs back on Dec. 10.
INF Brendan Ryan was released and cleared a spot on the roster for Olmos. Ryan was the PTBNL in the Starlin Castro–Adam Warren trade. Ryan didn’t last a week before the Cubs cut ties. Ryan is owed $1 million for the 2016 season that the Cubs have to pay.
The Cubs announced RHP Yoervis Medina was claimed by the Pirates. Medina was designated for assignment on Dec. 17 when the Cubs received Ryan from the Yankees.
The Cubs 40-man roster officially stands at 40 players.
After two years in the Cubs’ organization, RHP Carlos Pimentel has moved on.
According to Baseball America, Carlos Pimentel inked a minor league contract with the Padres. Pimentel was named the PCL Pitcher of the Year last season after posting a 12-6 record in 27 games, 26 starts, with a 2.95 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Pimentel gave up 59 runs, 47 earned, on 121 hits with 68 walks and 118 strikeouts in 143 1/3 innings.
Carlos Pimentel turned 26 at the beginning of the month (Dec. 1) and has not pitched above the Triple-A level.
Baseball America reported Wednesday that RHP Fernando Cruz re-signed with the Cubs on a minor league deal. Cruz spent his first season with the Cubs at three levels in the system last year. Cruz saw time at High-A Myrtle Beach, Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
In 32 games, five starts, Cruz was 3-4 with three saves, a 5.64 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. Cruz allowed 50 runs, 43 earned, on 72 hits with 34 walks and 58 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings.
Austin Jackson – Alex Gordon
According to Jon Heyman, Alex Gordon told the Royals “as things currently stand” they have no chance to re-sign him. There is a “wide gap in talks.” Gordon is looking for around $20 million a year and the Royals reportedly offered $12 to $13 million” per year.
The Cardinals, Orioles, Angels, White Sox and Giants are among the teams interested in signing Gordon.
Jon Heyman indicated the Royals “are now looking around at other outfield possibilities” and that list is believed to include Austin Jackson, Denard Span, Gerardo Parra and Alex Rios. The four free agent veteran outfielders are not attached to draft pick compensation.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Adam Wainwright called Jason Heyward a great teammate. And his former teammates are not mad at Heyward, they love him. Wainwright said Heyward’s decision came down to a “personality trait.” Wainwright explained, “The person that we want to give that kind of money to, that big money to, he needs to be a person that wants to be the guy that carries the torch.” Wainwright said the Cardinals are “looking for that guy who wants to be the man.” Click here to read entire report.
• Jon Paul Morosi reported Wednesday morning the Cardinals were engaged in trade talks with the Rockies for one of their outfielders … Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon or Corey Dickerson. Morosi did not provide an update on the discussions between the two teams.
• OF Nate Schierholtz played in Japan last year and hit .250/.298/.435 with 11 doubles, one triple and 10 home runs in 65 games for Hiroshima. Schierholtz has returned to the States and inked a minor league contract with the Tigers. Schierholtz received an NRI to Spring Training.
• After not being able to get Brandon Phillips to waive his no-trade clause, the Nationals have moved on with their search for a second baseman. According to Bill Ladson, the Nationals have talked to free agents Howie Kendrick and Daniel Murphy.
• Click here for complete list of minor league drug suspensions in 2015.
• The Angels requested release waivers on former Cubs’ catching prospect Rafael Lopez. The Cubs traded Lopez to Anaheim last July 3 for minor leaguer Manuel Rondon and the Angels International slot No. 4. Lopez spent the end of the season on the disabled list and was transferred to the 60-day DL when the Angels needed a roster spot for Mat Latos. Lopez did not play a single game in the Angels system.
• Jim Duquette posted three trades that he thinks should happen right now: 1) Rays trade RHP Jake Odorizzi and RHP Brad Boxberger to the Dodgers for a package of players that could include LHP Julio Urias, RHP Jose DeLeon, 2B Micah Johnson and “some other mid-level prospects 2) Reds trade OF Jay Bruce to the Royals for two of RHP Ashe Russell, RHP Miguel Almonte and OF Bubba Starling plus a third prospect 3) Brewers trade Jonathan Lucroy to the Angels for RHP Victor Alcantara, C Taylor Ward and another mid-level prospect
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo agreed to ‘Bryzzo’ as their joint BFF name.
This Day In Cubstory
1994 – Cubs signed free agent Joe Kmak
1949 – Grover Cleveland Alexander was found unconscious in an alley in Hollywood. Alexander was suffering from alcoholism, epilepsy and was missing one of his ears. The Hall of Famer passed away on Nov. 4, 1950 from liver disease.
1948 – Dallas (Texas League) traded Leon Brinkopf to the Cubs for Roy Easterwood