With ushering in the New Year, the countdown started for pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training. For the Cubs there are 47 days left before camp officially begins on Feb. 19.
The Cubs Convention is 12 days away and reports over the last three days indicated the front office is still talking to teams and free agents.
FanGraphs posted its ZiPS Projections for the 2016 Cubs. And both the front office and Joe Maddon is focused on not allowing outside pressure and expectations to derail the team from reaching its goal for the upcoming season.
The Cubs will be one of the biggest stories in baseball, and possibly all of sports throughout the spring and into the season. Nick Cafardo already labeled them ‘America’s Team’ as the hype started well before the ball dropped in New York.
Here are the headlines from the Holiday weekend filled with news, notes, rumors and updates on Christian Villanueva, Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez …
Cubs Prospect Christian Villanueva Stayed Hot This Winter
Christian Villanueva put together an excellent regular season in Winter Ball. Villanueva hit the cover off the ball for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League. Villanueva is one of the often overlooked prospects in the system. A good spring for Villanueva could help the Cubs either on the field or in a trade.
Villanueva is one of the many young players the Cubs will have in Spring Training that is out of options and will be trying to win a job on the Opening Day roster.
ZiPS Projections for the 2016 Chicago Cubs
Click here to read how the well-respected projection system thinks Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber will hit. How newcomers Ben Zobrist, John Lackey and Jason Heyward will perform during their first year with the Cubs. And the impact players like Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara could have on the 2016 team.
The Daily CCO: Cubs News and Notes as the Calendar Gets Ready to Flip to a New Year
As the New Year quickly approached, Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara were in the news due to their performances in Winter Ball.
Scott Kazmir signed with the Dodgers, a three-year deal with an opt-out after the 2016 season.
Report includes This Day in Cubs History and all of the news, notes and links for the final day of 2015.
Cubs Reportedly Still Talking Trades with Multiple Teams
The Cubs are not believed to be done with the roster. Jim Bowden reported on New Year’s Eve that the front office is still talking to the Indians and Rays about relievers and starters those two teams might be willing to part with in the right deal.
The Daily CCO: Cubs to Embrace Expectations in 2016
The expectations on the 2016 Cubs will be enormous. The pressure will start mounting in a couple of weeks at the annual Convention. Joe Maddon did an excellent job during his first season as the Cubs’ skipper. And now he faces the biggest challenge of his managerial career.
Joe Maddon will talk to his team about focusing on the day at hand and not on winning 2016.
The Daily Reports includes a quick look back at the year that was before turning the page on the New Year. A tribute video is included.
The Dodgers agreed to terms with Kenta Maeda on what is being reported as a rather cheap contract. The details and actual money should be in the performance bonuses attached to his deal.
This Day in Cubs History is included in the report, along with the news, notes and rumors on the first day of 2016.
Joe Maddon Finishes Second in the Voting for ESPN’s MLB Person of the Year
Joe Maddon received one less first place vote than NL MVP Bryce Harper for ESPN’s MLB Person of the Year. Maddon and Jake Arrieta finished two, three when all the votes were counted.
Joe Maddon put his stamp on the Cubs in Two Thousand Fifteen. And for all the accolades he received for how he led the Cubs last season, his most challenging year as a big league manager is upon him.
Notes from Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer Radio Interviews
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer spent a lot of time on the airwaves in December. Click on the link for the must read notes and quotes from several of those interviews.
The Daily CCO: Jason Heyward, One of the Most Interesting People in Baseball and Other Cubs News
Jason Heyward is one of the most interesting people in baseball according to Jerry Crasnick. And he’s pretty high on Crasnick’s list.
MLB.TV is expected to make changes to its service for the upcoming season. Jayson Stark’s Strange But True Facts for last year included a bunch of Cubs’ stuff.
News, notes, links and rumors are included in the Daily Report, along with This Day in Cubs History
Recapping the Cubs Options for Center Field
The Cubs have been connected to several players and teams to fill the need in center field if the front office makes a deal for a starting pitcher.
Click on the link for a recap of the players the Cubs have been linked to over the last month or so.
The Daily CCO: Arismendy Alcantara Homers in Winter Ball and Other Cubs News and Rumors
Arismendy Alcantara went deep for the first time this winter on Saturday night. And he’s played rather well over his last 12 games.
Report includes updates on Dexter Fowler, Andrew Miller, Gerardo Parra and all of the news, links and rumors, plus This Day in Cubs History.
Cubs Have Reportedly Talked about Re-Signing RHP Fernando Rodney
The front office would reportedly like to add a reliever or two to the mix in the bullpen before Spring Training gets underway. The Cubs were believed to be interested in re-signing Fernando Rodney early last month. And the front office has talked to him about a new contract according to Nick Cafardo.