With the big name free agents still available it could be an unusually busy week throughout the game. Typically the time between Christmas and New Year is rather slow in baseball but with players such as Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Scott Kazmir and Wei-Yin Chen still unsigned it could be a rather interesting four days.
For the Cubs, the rumblings continue the front office would like to acquire a starting pitcher and possibly a late-inning reliever. The same names and teams are still being connected to the Cubs.
Carlos Carrasco (Indians), Danny Salazar (Indians), Tyson Ross (Padres), Matt Moore (Rays) and Jake Odorizzi (Rays) are the starting pitchers and the Rays’ Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger are the two relievers often linked to the Cubs.
The Cubs say they are happy with the way the roster is currently constructed and Theo Epstein made it sound like the front office would have to be blown away to move a player like Jorge Soler. But there are those in the game that think the Cubs would rather have Jason Heyward in right field when the season starts which would mean Soler was moved for a controllable starting pitcher.
At the very least, the Cubs are expected to add depth to the outfield and in the bullpen.
Peter Gammons tweeted Sunday, “GMs who win the winter should remember the words of John McPhee: ‘If everything is coming your way, you’re probably in the wrong lane.”
The front office has already made a lot of changes to the roster this winter and raised expectations for next season. Theo Epstein has the right perspective entering the New Year.
“It can be uncomfortable to get all of this kind of attention this time of year because typically teams that get the praise in December have time on their hands in October.”
News, Notes and Rumors
• The Phillies and Nationals issued statements Sunday in support of Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman in the wake of the Al Jazeera report. According to the Washington Post, the NFL and MLB will investigate players named in the report.
• Big League Stew asked if the Cardinals have been rattled by the fast-rising Cubs.
• The Yankees think they will have a very good double play combo in Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius next season.
• According to Buster Olney those in the game that will face the greatest pressure in 2016 are: David Price, Andrew Friedman (Dodgers), Mike Rizzo (Nationals), Stephen Strasburg, Brett Anderson, Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins (Blue Jays), Mike Trout, Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals), Zack Greinke and Jose Fernandez.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Taylor Teagarden
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Angel Echevarria
1981 – Cubs acquired Paul Mirabella from the Blue Jays for a PTNBL. The Cubs sent Dave Geisel to Toronto on March 25, 1982 to complete the trade.
1975 – B.J. Ryan, born
1970 – Cubs released Tommy Davis
1925 – Cubs traded a PTBNL and additional compensation to Louisville (American Association) for Red Shannon. The Cubs sent Pinky Pittenger to Louisville later in the day to complete the trade.