It was a wild, loud weekend at the 31st Annual Cubs Convention. The three days was chock full of information from the Ricketts family, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Joe Maddon and his coaching staff and minor league updates.
The Cubs avoided arbitration with six players Friday, but were unable to agree to terms with Jake Arrieta. The two sides exchanged salary numbers and will continue to negotiate and work to avoid the hearing.
Two players were signed to minor league deals. And one of the best players in franchise history returned home in an official capacity.
Here are the headlines from a hectic weekend of Cubs baseball …
The CCO Talks Cubs Outfield Prospects on South Bend Cubs Radio
Tom joined Darin Pritchett and Rick Carter on WSBT and talked Cubs prospects last Wednesday.
This is a transcript of the first of five spots Tom has scheduled on South Bend Radio. Lots of good information … Click on the link to read up on the young outfielders in the system.
The Daily CCO: Cubs Outfield Ranked Second in Baseball, Jake Arrieta and Other News
Buster Olney ranked the Cubs outfield the second best group in baseball. While there are questions, evaluators Olney talked to believe a starting three of Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler will be second to Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco in the game.
Jake Arrieta had a chance to talk to the beat writers during a stop on the Cubs Caravan. Arrieta did not think there would be a problem in negotiations over his one-year contract. Arrieta reflected on his Cy Young season and agreed the Cubs should be favorites to win the NL Central Division after adding Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and Jon Lackey to the roster.
Report includes Jason Heyward, This Day in Cubs History and all of the news, notes and links before the Convention.
Fernando Rodney Reportedly Close to Signing with Padres
Jon Heyman reported Friday the Padres were closing in on a one-year deal with veteran Fernando Rodney. The Cubs were one of a handful of teams linked to Rodney this off-season.
Dennis Lin confirmed Heyman’s report … but as of Sunday night, Rodney appeared to still be on the market.
Cubs Avoided Arbitration with Six of Seven Players
The Cubs were very busy Friday and agreed to terms with six of the seven remaining arbitration eligible players on contracts for this season. Counting Rex Brothers and Clayton Richard, the Cubs have only one arbitration eligible player unsigned for the 2016 season … Jake Arrieta.
The Cubs avoided arbitration with eight of nine arbitration eligible players: Travis Wood ($6.17 million), Justin Grimm ($1.275 million), Rex Brothers ($1.42 million), Clayton Richard ($2 million, plus incentives), Hector Rondon ($4.2 million), Adam Warren ($1.7 million), Pedro Strop ($4.4 million) and Chris Coghlan ($4.8 million).
- Cubs Avoid Arbitration with LHP Travis Wood and RHP Justin Grimm with One-Year Deals
- Cubs Avoid Arbitration with RHP Hector Rondon and RHP Adam Warren, Sign to One-Year Contracts
- Cubs Avoid Arbitration with RHP Pedro Strop, Agree to Terms on One-Year Deal
- Cubs Avoid Arbitration with OF Chris Coghlan, Agree to Terms on One-Year Contract
A Grand Opening to the 2016 Cubs Convention
The 2016 Cubs Convention kicked off Friday night at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. The fans were loud and enthusiastic while treating the Cubs like rock stars throughout the entire weekend.
Highlight reels and Tom Ricketts started the annual fan fest. And the enthusiasm, as well as expectations was at an all-time high.
Report includes video.
The Daily CCO: Jake Arrieta and the Cubs Exchange Numbers
The news surfaced just before the Convention got underway that Jake Arrieta and the Cubs did not agree to terms on a contract for next season. The two sides exchanged salary figures for next season. Arrieta is asking for $13 million and the Cubs submitted a $7.5 million figure.
Chances are the Cubs and Arrieta meet in the middle and avoid an arbitration hearing.
Theo Epstein is not concerned about his contract. Epstein answered questions about it again Friday.
Report includes news, notes and This Day in Cubs History.
Cubs Sign C Tim Federowicz and INF/OF Kris Negron to Minor League Contracts
The Cubs added two players to the organization through minor league contracts that the front office is very familiar with from their days in Boston.
Tim Federowicz and Kris Negron inked minor league deals that should include NRIs to Spring Training.
Day Two of 2016 Cubs Convention: The Ricketts Family Forum
Day Two of the Cubs Convention started with the Ricketts family. Tom, Laura and Todd answered an hour’s worth of questions while covering topics from Theo Epstein and the baseball department. Tom Ricketts is really excited Ryne Sandberg is back with the Cubs.
Ownership shared their favorite memories from last season. Free agent signings, Wrigley Field and Wrigleyville were also discussed. And Todd Ricketts called Mets’ fans really, really obnoxious.
This is the first of four must-reads from the Convention.
Day Two of 2016 Cubs Convention: Baseball Management with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer
The Cubs’ front office talked shop with the fans Saturday. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Randy Bush and Shiraz Rehman did not hold back throughout an extremely informative hour.
This report is rather long but packed with information.
Day Two of 2016 Cubs Convention: Joe Maddon and the Coaching Staff
Joe Maddon and his coaching staff have developed a bond like the players, and it was on full display Saturday afternoon at the Convention.
Maddon played to the standing room only crowd while providing insight on how he manages a game and the reasons behind the decisions he makes.
Day Three of 2016 Cubs Convention: Down on the Farm with Jason McLeod, Jaron Madison
The three-day fan fest ended Sunday morning with the Down on the Farm session. Jason McLeod and Jaron Madison talked about the organization and players in the system while Carl Edwards Jr., Eric Jokisch and Dan Vogelbach shared their stories from the minor leagues.