Dexter Fowler had a very good season with the Cubs, both at the plate and in the field. Fowler batted .250/.346/.411 with 29 doubles, eight triples and 17 home runs for a .757 OPS. And after the break, Fowler hit .272/.389/.463 with a .852 OPS.
Fowler rejected the Cubs’ qualifying offer and is testing the market. Fowler is believed to be looking for a four-year deal. Once Fowler signs with another team, the Cubs will receive a compensatory draft pick.
According to Buster Olney, the Mets “continue to look” at Fowler. The Mets are focused on Ben Zobrist right now. Zobrist is believed to be the Mets top target.
Ken Rosenthal reported the Cubs “are busy looking for a centerfielder.” There are limited options right now. Rosenthal indicated Fowler “remains a possibility,” but he’s exploring the open market. Reports have suggested Fowler is looking for a longer term deal than the Cubs would like to commit to him.
Rosenthal pointed to Jason Heyward being an option “to play center or right, but only if they traded Jorge Soler and addressed their rotation in a cost-efficient manner.”
The Cubs could explore trading for a centerfielder and because the “offense is good enough for the team to acquire a defense-first type,” a player that might be an option is the Astros’ Jake Marisnick.
The 24-year old Marisnick would be a defensive upgrade in center. Offensively, Marisnick has struggled in the majors. In 133 games (373 at bats) last season, Marisnick batted .236/.281/.383 with 15 doubles, four triples and nine home runs for a .665 OPS. The Astros are believed to be looking to move Marisnick in the right deal.
The Cubs do not have a player on the roster that is considered an everyday centerfielder at the Major League level. There are players Joe Maddon could use in center, which is not the same as having a true centerfielder, especially for a team that is expecting to play in October.
Jerry Crasnick provided a series of updates on Zobrist via the Twitter machine Wednesday.
According to Crasnick, Zobrist plans to visit with teams on both coasts. Zobrist was on the East Coast on Wednesday and will make his way west later in the week. Crasnick said there is a “good bet he’ll sign during the Winter Meetings.”
The Mets, Nationals, Dodgers and Giants “are all in the mix.” Zobrist has ties to Andrew Freidman from their Tampa days. The Cubs and Cardinals “also like Zobrist, but they don’t have as many at bats available as those other clubs” according to Crasnick. The Royals “appear priced out on Zobrist.” The Braves checked in with Zobrist, but no longer appear in the running, same with the Angels.
The Cubs are interested in bringing Trevor Cahill back. Cahill is a free agent and the Pirates have shown interest in him. The Cubs tried to acquire Cahill for several years and finally did last August. The Cubs helped get Cahill’s career back on track, but it’s believed that Cahill pitched his way out of the Cubs price range in which to re-sign him.
Cahill would like a chance at starting again. He realizes he will have to earn a spot and if he cannot, he could still help a team win game by pitching out of a bullpen.
According to Buster Olney, Cahill is “apparently not close to making a decision” on a team. Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year deal with the thought he could “rebuild his value” as a starting pitcher.
The Cubs have reportedly been talking to the Indians off and on since the summer about RHP Carlos Carrasco. The Cubs would like to acquire a young, controllable starter. And the Indians are looking for a power-hitting outfielder. Reports have suggested the Indians really like Jorge Soler.
According to Buster Olney, the Giants talked to the Indians about Carrasco and Cleveland asked about a return of Brandon Belt and Joe Panik. Not one or the other, but both players. Those talks went nowhere according to Olney.
The Indians see the value in Carrasco and are asking “a ton” for him.
The White Sox decided not to offer RHP Jacob Turner a contract for next season. Turner was non-tendered by the Sox and is a free agent.
The Sox claimed Turner off waivers from the Cubs at the end of October.
It will be interesting to see if the Cubs try to sign him to a minor league contract. The front office and Chris Bosio were high on Turner when the Cubs worked out a deal with the Marlins for him in August 2014.
Jacob Turner spent this past season on the disabled list and had surgery on his elbow in July. Turner has not pitched to expectations but on the right deal in the right environment, he has the stuff to be successful. Reports were encouraging last spring before he was shut down after one appearance in the Cactus League.
Update 11:27am CST – According to Jeff Passan, Jacob Turner re-signed with the White Sox, a one-year contract for $1.5 million.
Cubs Show a lot of Tenderness
The Cubs tendered contracts to eight of the team’s nine arbitration eligible players and 21 of the 22 automatic renewal players (0-3 men) prior to Wednesday’s deadline. The Cubs avoided arbitration with LHP Rex Brothers ($1.42 million) and LHP Clayton Richard ($2 million, plus incentives package).
The Cubs offered contracts to six arbitration eligible players: RHP Jake Arrieta, OF Chris Coghlan, RHP Justin Grimm, RHP Hector Rondon, RHP Pedro Strop and LHP Travis Wood.
The arbitration filing deadline is Jan. 12 and the deadline to exchange salary figures is Jan. 15.
The Cubs non-tendered RHP Ryan Cook and LHP Jack Leathersich and should try to at least sign the lefty to a minor league contract as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery last July.
Wednesday was the deadline for teams to tender contracts to players for the 2016 season. The Cubs tendered contracts to eight of the nine arbitration eligible players and 21 of the 22 automatic renewal (0-3 men) players.
Forty-three players around the league were non-tendered Wednesday. And several notable names are now free agents. Teams can re-sign players that were not offered contracts for next year.
Here’s the complete list of players that were non-tendered Wednesday.
- Mike Minor (Braves)
- Aaron Crow (Marlins)
- Eury Perez (Braves)
- Domingo German (Yankees)
- Josh Thole (Blue Jays)
- Tyler Flowers (White Sox)
- Chris Carter (Astros)
- Henderson Alvarez (Marlins)
- Pedro Alvarez (Pirates)
- Pedro Ciriaco (Braves)
- Paul Janish (Orioles)
- David Lough (Orioles)
- Steve Johnson (Orioles)
- Ryan Cook (Cubs)
- Jack Leathersich (Cubs)
- Ryan LaMarre (Reds)
- Ryan Mattheus (Reds)
- Pedro Villarreal (Reds)
- Nick Hagadone (Indians)
- Rosell Herrera (Rockies)
- Yohan Flande (Rockies)
- Jason Gurka (Rockies)
- Jacob Turner (White Sox)
- Al Alburquerque (Tigers)
- Neftali Feliz (Tiger)
- Orlando Calixte (Royals)
- Greg Holland (Royals)
- Cesar Ramos (Angels)
- Lisalverto Bonilla (Dodgers)
- Juan Nicasio (Dodgers)
- Elian Herrera (Brewers)
- Ike Davis (Athletics)
- Jaff Decker (Pirates)
- Rocky Gale (Padres)
- Will Middlebrooks (Padres)
- Frank Garces (Padres)
- Hector Sanchez (Giants)
- Yusmeiro Petit (Giants)
- Cody Stanley (Cardinals)
- Steve Cishek (Cardinals)
- James Jones (Rangers)
- Nick Tepesch (Rangers)
- Craig Stammen (Nationals)
Note: Multiple outlets were used to compile the list of non-tendered players. Will be edited with corrections if necessary
News, Notes and Rumors
• Patrick Mooney explained why John Lackey would make a lot of sense for the Cubs.
• The White Sox cut ties Wednesday with catcher Tyler Flowers. The Sox decided to non-tender Flowers after signing Alex Avila and lining up another backstop. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Sox are in agreement with Dioner Navarro on a one-year contract.
• According to Peter Gammons, David Price signed with the Red Sox for $37 million more than the Cardinals highest offer.
• Henry Schulman reported the Giants “still have not engaged in talks with Mike Leake, belief is Zack Greinke needs to be settled first.”
• Zack Greinke could be getting close to a mammoth deal. Greinke “wants six years at an AAV north of David Price but is open to a five-year contract with a much higher AAV” according to Jayson Stark. Greinke could be looking at a six-year, $210 million contract from the Dodgers, a $35 million AAV, according to Mark Feinsand.
• Jeff Pico is the new pitching coach for the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
• The Braves signed free agent infielder Gordon Beckham to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.
• The Cardinals lost two players Wednesday that were a thorn in the Cubs’ side last season. With Brayan Pena signing a two-year contract, the Redbirds no longer required the services of Tony Cruz and shipped him to Kansas City for minor league infielder Jose Martinez. And the Phillies claimed OF Peter Bourjos off waivers from the Cardinals.
• The A’s acquired Marc Rzepczynski and Yonder Alonso from the Padres for Drew Pomeranz, Jose Torres and a PTBNL on Wednesday … four years after picking Yonder Alonso over Anthony Rizzo, the Padres cut bait according to a report from Baseball America.
• According to Dennis Lin, A.J. Preller said Wednesday the Padres “are looking to address shortstop, left field and pitching.”
• The Tribune reported the Cubs tender off to ace Jake Arrieta and still look to shore up rotation.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Jonathan Herrera to a minor league contract
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Bobby Scales
2009 – Cubs traded Jake Fox and Aaron Miles to the A’s for Ronny Morla, Matt Spencer and Jeff Gray
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Chad Fox
2003 – Cubs signed free agent LaTroy Hawkins
2002 – Cubs released Chris Stynes
1993 – Cubs signed free agent Randy Veres
1991 – Cubs signed free agent Mike Morgan
1990 – Cubs selected Russ McGinnis from the Athletics in the minor league draft
1990 – Cubs released Kevin Coffman
1982 – Manny Corpas, born
1979 – White Sox selected Bruce Kimm from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
1973 – Cubs selected Herb Hutson from the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft
1971 – Cubs acquired Jose Cardenal from the Brewers for Jim Colborn, Brock Davis and Earl Stephenson
1963 – Damon Berryhill, born
1958 – Mike Martin, born
1956 – Cubs selected Cal Neeman from the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft
1952 – Cubs traded Dick Manville and $25,000 to the Pirates for Clyde McCullough
1951 – Cubs selected Chris Kitsos from the Dodgers in the Minor League Draft
1951 – Browns selected Vern Morgan from the Cubs in the Minor League Draft
1951 – Cubs selected El Tappe from the Yankees in the Minor League Draft
1951 – Cubs selected Bob Zick from the Athletics in the Minor League Draft
1951 – Cubs acquired Toby Atwell from the Dodgers for Carmen Mauro
1941 – Cubs acquired Bob Bowman from the Giants for Hank Leiber
1937 – Cubs purchased Johnny Moore from the Phillies