The Cubs will be picked to win the Central by many of the experts and to play deep into October. Rogers sees the Cubs leading the National League Central Division from Opening Day against the Angels to Game 162 in Cincinnati. Rogers is not predicting more wins for the Cubs in 2016 than the 97 victories from a year ago. He said it’s unlikely the Cardinals and Pirates will reach their win totals from last season.
Rogers pointed out the Cubs goal is to win the Central and avoid the one-game Wild Card, and “they’ll achieve it, by leading from start to finish.”
Fernando Rodney has been in the updates a lot over the last seven days. Last Sunday, Nick Cafardo reported the Cubs have talked about re-signing Rodney and both the Padres and Blue Jays have kicked the tires on signing him. Wednesday, Chris Cotillo indicated Rodney was in “active talks” with several teams. And the Cubs were included on the list with the Blue Jays, Padres and Diamondbacks.
Rodney would reportedly like to close again. The Padres would likely be able to offer him the best chance to pitch the ninth inning.
Dennis Lin confirmed “multiple teams have been pursuing” Rodney, but his source said the Padres “currently aren’t the favorites” to sign him.
• Cubs Connected to Fernando Rodney [Jan. 7]
The Cubs owe Jackson $11 million on the final year of the four-year, $52 million contract he signed in January 2013. Jackson landing in Miami on a Major League contract for the minimum saves the Cubs $507,500.
Edwin Jackson received a full no-trade clause according to Heyman.
Before he was DFA’d on July 20, Jackson was 2-1 in 23 games with a 3.19 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Jackson allowed 14 runs, 11 earned, on 30 hits with 12 walks and 23 strikeouts in 31 innings. Jackson was 2-2 in 24 appearances for the Braves with a 2.92 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.
Last year was Jackson’s first full season pitching out of a bullpen. He was a combined 4-3 in 47 games for the Cubs and Braves with a 3.07 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Jackson allowed 25 runs, 19 earned, on 44 hits with 21 walks and 40 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Drew Storen knew Mike Rizzo wasn’t calling to wish him Happy New Year when his phone rang Friday night. The Nationals shipped Storen to Toronto for outfielder Ben Revere. Storen could use a fresh start after the last several seasons with the Nationals. Rizzo would not commit to Jonathan Papelbon closing games when he spoke with the team’s beat writers on Saturday morning. But it doesn’t sound like Papelbon will be traded. With adding Revere, the Nationals are set in the outfield going into Spring Training.
• And speaking of Drew Storen, Phil Rogers reported the Cubs explored trading for Storen “but didn’t have the left-handed hitting center fielder to offer.” Rogers thinks Chris Coghlan was in the discussions with the Nationals.
• Nick Cafardo reported “up to 10 teams have inquired and/or have serious interest” in OF Marcell Ozuna. Don Mattingly and Barry Bonds have urged the Marlins’ front office not to trade him. Mattingly and Bonds think they can turn Ozuna in a 30-30 player. The Marlins “are now considering keeping him.”
• LHP Ryan Buchter signed a minor league contract with the Padres earlier in the off-season. Butcher finished last season pitching out of the Iowa Cubs bullpen. According to Dennis Lin, the Padres selected Butcher’s contract from Triple-A El Paso and added the southpaw to their 40-man roster on Saturday.
• According to Ken Rosenthal, the Marlins are among the teams pursuing Cuban RHP Yaisel Sierra. MLB has declared Sierra a free agent and he can sign with teams. Rosenthal reported Sierra is expected to sign for more than the seven-year, $27 million that Reds’ RHP Raisel Iglesias received.
• A National League team has talked to the Blue Jays about knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. The team’s scout spoke with Sportnet’s Jeff Blair and told him the team wants to add Dickey to their rotation. The former NL Cy Young award winner is owed $12 million for next season.
• Tom Haudricourt reported the Brewers would not hesitate to trade Ryan Braun. Of course the Brewers would like to trade him and rid the team of a rather large contract (five years, $105 million) and a player that does not have the best reputation that was suspended for PEDs.
This Day in Cubstory
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Darnell McDonald
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Brent Lillibridge
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Paul Maholm
2011 – Cubs selected Max Ramirez off waivers from the Red Sox
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Jacque Jones
2006 – Bruce Sutter was elected to the Hall of Fame. Sutter became the fourth reliever ever elected to Cooperstown. The Cubs signed Sutter as an amateur free agent in 1971 and he pitched for his original organization from 1976-80. Sutter won the NL Cy Young Award in 1979 after posting a 6-6 record with a 2.22 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 1.89 FIP. Sutter completed 101 1/3 innings in 62 appearances with 37 saves when closers were called Firemen and pitched more than one inning. Sutter was dealt to the Cardinals on Dec. 9, 1980 for Leon Durham, Ken Reitz and Ty Waller. Sutter ended up being part of one of the most memorable games in Cubs history. On June 23, 1984, Ryne Sandberg took Sutter deep twice on a Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field in what is known as The Sandberg Game.
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Ron Coomer
1988 – Rafael Dolis, born
1973 – Cubs selected Donnie Moore in the first round of the amateur draft. Moore signed with the Cubs on June 3, 1973.
1963 – Owner P.K. Wrigley hired retired Air Force Colonel Robert V. Whitlow as the first athletic director of a Major League team. The experiment ended with Whitlow’s departure on Jan. 7, 1965.
1956 – Dan Rohn, born
1936 – Cubs released Freddie Lindstrom
1934 – William Walker was named president of the Cubs, replacing Bill Veeck Sr. who died of Leukemia during the World Series.
1898 – Ed Stauffer, born
1888 – George Pierce, born