It was a rather busy three days as the countdown to the Cubs Convention and pitchers and catchers continued … just five days left before the unofficial start to Spring Training and 40 days until camp begins in Mesa.
The Cubs released a list of attendees and sessions for the Convention on Friday. And rumors continued throughout the weekend. The Cubs were linked to a free agent starter, Fernando Rodney remains a possibility to return and Rays’ President of Baseball Ops, Matt Silverman, admitted on MLB Network Radio there have been conversations with the Cubs.
Tom Ricketts spent time Saturday morning on The Score and talked about Theo Epstein, Sammy Sosa, Wrigley Field and the new Plaza in what ended up as very informative interview.
FanGraphs Top Cubs Prospects List for 2016
FanGraphs took an in-depth look at the Cubs organization. While several of the top prospects were promoted to the majors last season, the Cubs still have a top 10 farm system.
The Cubs top prospect is SS Gleyber Torres, but after the young shortstop, opinions vary from a catcher to an infielder. FanGraphs list includes familiar names, and the well-respected outlet is higher on Dan Vogelbach and lower on Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelario than most.
Click on the link to see how FanGraphs ranked the best young players in the Cubs system.
The Daily CCO: Fowler’s Market Takes Another Hit and Other Cubs News and Notes
With the Nationals signing Denard Span, a possible suitor for Dexter Fowler came off the board. Fowler’s market has yet to heat up but rumors continue to suggest he will sign for at least three years this winter.
The Daily Report includes info on Kenta Maeda and all of the news, notes and links, plus This Day in Cubs History.
Cuban Prospect Lazaro Armenteros Holds First Showcase Friday
The next big prospect to come out of Cuba, 16-year old outfielder Lazaro Armenteros held his first showcase for teams Friday in the Dominican Republic.
The Cubs are expected to be in on Lazaro Armenteros, who is known has Lazarito, but have not been directly connected to him yet.
Report includes a little scouting information and two videos … well worth the time to watch considering the young man has the tools to be an impact player for a big league team down the road.
2016 Cubs Convention Sessions and Attendees
The Cubs released a list of attendees and sessions on Friday for the Convention. Ryne Sandberg is back with the organization and will attend the annual event, along with legends and Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins.
The Cubs three big free agent signings are expected to attend, along with the NL Manager of the Year, the NL Rookie of the Year and the NL Cy Young Award winner. Anthony Rizzo, Jon Lester, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler are on the list but there are a couple of notable players not scheduled to attend.
Saturday is jam-packed with sessions and it all starts Friday with Opening Ceremony.
Click on the link for the full list of attendees and the sessions that have been released so far.
Cubs Sign 1B Jesus Guzman to Minor League Contract
The Cubs added a right-handed bat to the system. Free agent Jesus Guzman, who has ties with Jed Hoyer, inked a minor league deal with the Cubs.
Dexter Fowler’s Options Continue to Shrink, Nationals Acquire Ben Revere for Drew Storen
One of the teams believed to be interested in signing Dexter Fowler was the Washington Nationals. Mike Rizzo went another direction to give Dusty Baker a leadoff man. And Fowler lost a second possible suitor in a little over 24 hours.
Report includes updated rumors about the outfield market.
The Daily CCO: Rules for Cubs Open-Air Plaza to be Introduced to City Council
The 1060 Project is progressing quite well and Phase Two appears to be on schedule. Rules of operation for the Plaza outside of Wrigley are scheduled to be submitted to the City Council in the coming week.
A lot of information is covered in the report about the Plaza, along with renderings.
Chris Correa, the former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, broke the law when he hacked the Astros’ database. He pleaded guilty to five counts in federal court and he is staring at jail time. What happened under John Mozeliak’s watch is unacceptable. Major League Baseball has no choice but to drop the hammer on the Cardinals, fine the organization and remove multiple first round draft picks.
Minor leaguer P.J. Francescon was suspended for 50 games for a second positive test of a drug of abuse. Javier Baez collected a hit in Winter Ball.
The report includes all of the news, notes and links and This Day in Cubs History.
Cubs Have a Blueprint to Follow for Sustained Success
The Cubs’ front office has talked about for several years how much they admire the Cardinals’ organization. The list of moves and decisions the Cardinals have made over the last 15 years is phenomenal.
Chris broke down the model the Cubs can follow that is within its own division to build and maintain an organization that plays in October year in, and year out … this is a must read.
Report: Cubs Interested in RHP Yovani Gallardo
Nick Cafardo thinks free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo could be the next starter to sign. And Cafardo reported the Cubs are expected to be on of the teams in on the former Brewers starter.
Click of the link for the full report …
The Daily CCO: ESPN Boldly Predicts Wire-to-Wire Division Crown for Cubs and Other News and Rumors
ESPN thinks the Cubs will lead the NL Central Division from day one of the upcoming season, all the way to the end of it in Cincinnati.
The Cubs continue to be linked to Fernando Rodney. And Edwin Jackson signed a one-year deal with the Marlins that includes a full-no trade clause.
Report includes all of the day’s news, notes, links and a look back at This Day in Cubstory
Tom Ricketts Talks Cubs on Inside the Clubhouse
Tom Ricketts spent time Saturday morning on The Score and discussed his team with Bruce Levine and Mike Esposito.
Among the topics Ricketts covered … Theo Epstein, Sammy Sosa, Joe Maddon, Wrigley Field and the new Plaza.
This is a must read for all Cubs’ fans.
Matt Silverman: Rays and Cubs had Targeted Trade Talks, Could Matchup on Deal in Future
The Cubs and Rays have been connected rather heavily this off-season. While he could not elaborate on which teams he’s talked to, Rays’ President of Baseball Operation, Matt Silverman did say those discussion “were more targeted with the Cubs.”
Another must read for all Cubs’ fans.