The news hit the wire Monday afternoon that grievances had been filed by Kris Bryant and the Phillies’ Maikel Franco over service time. A Major League season is counted as 172 days. Bryant had 171 days and Franco finished the season with 170 days, just short of a full year of service time.
The Cubs followed the rules and received an extra year of control by Bryant starting the season at Triple-A Iowa. Instead of Bryant being eligible for free agency after the 2020 season, he is under club control through the 2021 season.
The grievances filed against the Cubs and Phillies allege “they were kept in the minor leagues unnecessarily and had their service time manipulated.” Jeff Passan explained in his report that “potential service-time manipulation looms as a significant issues with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association ramping up discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement.”
Neither case has reached an arbitration panel.
Bryant filed in April, the Cubs knew about it in May and to the best of Jed Hoyer’s knowledge, the grievance is still sitting where it was seven months ago.
Jed Hoyer said the Cubs “have a great relationship with Kris.” Hoyer does not think the team did anything wrong. The rules were followed and it “will be handled through due process.”
Starlin Castro is spending the off-season in Tampa, not in the Dominican Republic, and might buy a home in the area according to the Tribune. Mark Gonzales spoke with Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, who said his client is “working out five days a week” and he’s “going to be in the best shape of his career.” Castro is preparing for a season of playing second base for the Cubs.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have talked about the Cubs adding depth to the pitching staff this off-season. The front office does not want injuries to derail the season. Cahill gives the Cubs another option for the rotation that can slide to the bullpen, which is expected, and help the team win games.
The Cubs wanted to re-sign Cahill and he was interested in returning. Cahill enjoyed his time with the Cubs and working with Chris Bosio.
Jed Hoyer said the front office likes the versatility that Cahill, Clayton Richard and Travis Wood provide. All three pitchers will be stretched out in the spring. Cahill, Richard and Wood are expected to begin the season in the bullpen unless there is an injury or a trade.
According to the New York Post, the Mets feel confident they will land Zobrist with a four-year deal. The Mets plan to increase their final offer to four years on Tuesday.
As of Monday morning, the Cubs were reportedly still in on Zobrist. By Monday night, Ben Zobrist appeared to be on his way to the Big Apple and play a major of this games in the National League for the first time.
John Shea confirmed Monday night that Dexter Fowler is among the outfielders the Giants have shown interest in. Shea said the Giants “are looking at several options for the outfield, including top-end guys.” Shea indicated Gerardo Parra is also on the Giants’ radar.
The Giants, Mets and Marlins are believed to be three of the teams interested in Fowler.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Click here to view some of the exclusive items up for auction to benefit Stand Up to Cancer, Do It For Durrett and Juan C. Rodriguez.
• A game-worn Ernie Banks jersey from 1969 sold for $161,484 over the weekend according to Danny Ecker.
• John Lackey will take his physical this week according to Carrie Muskat. Lackey has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Cubs. It will not be official until he passes his physical.
• According to Joel Sherman, Brett Gardner remains one of the Cubs’ backup plans. The Yankees could have interest in Javier Baez, but as Sherman reported if the Cubs trade Baez it would be for pitching.
• Jim Salisbury reported there is a lot of trade interest in Phillies’ closer Ken Giles.
• RHP Donn Roach signed a minor league contract with the Mariners that includes a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Roach is expected to start the year in Triple-A.
• Day One of the Winter Meetings ended the way it basically started with a report about Aroldis Chapman. Ken Rosenthal reported early Monday that Chapman had been dealt to the Dodgers for a pair of prospects. Details of the trade did not surface throughout the day. Following speculation the deal was being held up due to other teams likely being involved in the trade, Yahoo Sports reported Chapman was involved in a domestic incident at his home in which he choked his girlfriend and shots were fired. The Reds thought they had a deal in place with the Dodgers, but news of the incident held up the trade that is not expected to be completed. According to Ken Rosenthal “at least one team that spoke with the Reds believes that Chapman might have injured his hand” during the incident. Major League Baseball is investigating the case.
This Day In Cubstory
2011 – Cubs selected Lendy Castillo from the Phillies in the Rule 5 Draft
2011 – Orioles selected Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2011 – Cubs traded Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu to the Rockies for Casey Weathers and Ian Stewart
2011 – Red Sox selected Marwin Gonzalez from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft. Gonzalez was traded from the Red Sox to the Astros for Marco Duarte.
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Carlos Pena
2005 – Cardinals selected Juan Mateo from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Henry Blanco
2004 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Welington Castillo
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Jeff Fassero
1998 – Cubs released Matt Mieske and Pedro Valdes
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Jaime Navarro
1992 – Cubs signed free agent Dan Plesac
1988 – Cubs acquired Lloyd McClendon from the Reds for Rolando Roomes
1987 – Cubs traded Lee Smith to the Red Sox for Al Nipper and Calvin Schiraldi
1985 – Josh Donaldson, born
1981 – Cubs signed free agent Ferguson Jenkins
1981 – Cubs signed free agent Bill Campbell
1981 – Cubs traded Mike Krukow and cash to the Phillies for Dan Larson, Dickie Noles and Keith Moreland
1980 – Cubs selected Jody Davis from the Cardinals in the Rule 5 Draft
1977 – Cubs traded Jerry Morales, Steve Swisher and cash to the Cardinals for Hector Cruz and Dave Radar
1976 – Cubs received Jim Dwyer from the Mets as part of a three-team trade. The Cubs sent Pete LaCock to the Royals. Kansas City sent a PTBNL to the Mets. New York received Sheldon Mallory on Dec. 13 to complete the trade.
1976 – Reed Johnson, born
1961 – Mets purchased Richie Ashburn from the Cubs
1948 – Cubs acquired Cliff Chambers and Clyde McCullough from the Pirates for Frankie Gustine and Cal McLish
1938 – Cubs purchased Ray Harrell from the Cardinals