Buster Olney ranked the starting rotations in baseball. Olney based his list on information he gathered from evaluators around the game. To no surprise, the Mets ended up at the top of Olney’s list. And Chris Bosio’s guys checked in as the second best rotation in the NL Central and No. 4 in all of baseball.
The Cubs projected starting staff of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel form a strong rotation. Olney pointed out that Arrieta was the best pitcher in baseball for “the last three months, before he seemed to finally tire in the post-season.” Lester wasn’t able to solve his throwing issues but he and David Ross found a “way to mitigate the effect of that problem.” Olney does not think Lackey will regress based on a rather consistent fastball velocity over the past eight seasons.
Buster Olney’s top 10 rotations: Mets, Indians, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Pirates, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Rays. Olney has the Red Sox starting five just outside of the top 10 followed by the Astros, Mariners and Rangers.
Major League Baseball released the dates of first workouts in Spring Training for all 30 teams. And for the Cubs, pitchers and catchers report to Mesa on Feb. 19.
The first scheduled workout for Cubs pitchers and catchers is Saturday, Feb. 20.
Position players must be in camp on Feb. 23 and the first full squad workout of the spring is Wednesday, Feb. 24.
38 days until Cubs’ pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training … and the first full squad workout is in 43 days.
Free agent outfielder Gerardo Parra could be nearing a deal with a team according to multiple reports. The Cubs reportedly were one of the teams in on Parra earlier in the off-season. The Cubs level of interest in Parra at this point is unknown.
Updated 12:03pm CST – According to Jon Paul Morosi, Gerardo Parra agreed to terms on a three-year, $26 million contract with the Rockies.
Updated 12:25pm CST – Jon Heyman reported Parra’s deal with the Rockies is three years and $27.5 million.
Buster Olney reported Sunday that an executive he spoke with said teams are not looking to make small trades, they “only want to talk about big trades.” And based on information he’s gathered, there could be a lot of activity involving big names this summer.
Olney thinks the Rays will listen on their young pitchers, like Chris Archer, and the Indians will do the same on Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, but the acquisition cost will be extremely high. Olney is expecting pitchers such as Archer, Sonny Gray, Carrasco, Salazar, Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner to be among the players that could be involved in trade discussions during the season.
News, Notes and Rumors
• ESPN Chicago reported a loaded Cubs team is set for fan convention and 2016 season.
• In his look ahead to the weekend, Bruce Miles asked if this year’s Convention will open with a Theo Epstein extension.
• The Cardinals introduced their newest reliever Monday, RHP Seung-Hwan Oh. Trevor Rosenthal is still the Cardinals closer. The Cardinals inked Oh to a one-year contract that includes a team option for 2017. The total value of the contract could end up $11 million ($5 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017).
• And Cardinals GM John Mozeliak addressed the hacking scandal publicly for the first time.
• Major League Baseball granted free agency to Cuban SS/OF Randy Arozarena according to Ben Badler.
• Former Cubs’ right-hander Michael Wuertz is the new pitching coach for High-A Inland in the Angels system.
• The Score reported the Reds have come to the realization is unlikely they will be able to trade Brandon Phillips. The Reds second baseman has refused to waive his no-trade clause, and blocked a deal to the Nationals unless he received a “significant benefit.”
• Former Cubs’ lefties Scott Rice and Wesley Wright signed minor league contracts with the Diamondbacks and will be in big league camp with Arizona this spring.
• And former Cubs’ farmhand C Rafael Lopez signed a minor league deal with the Tigers according to Baseball America.
• A lawsuit with big baseball-on-tv implications goes on trial next week according to Hardball Talk.
• Rob Bradford reported Daniel Bard is hoping the Pirates can fix what ails him.
• According to Jesse Sanchez, the Reds signed 21-year old Cuban shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez to a $6 million deal. Sanchez said the Reds have not confirmed the deal is in place with Rodriguez.
Received a link to this classic Ryne Sandberg video from @ThatGuy3002 … just enjoy
This Day in Cubstory
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Reed Johnson
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Luis Montanez
2004 – Cubs signed free agents Scott Chiasson and Gabe Molina
1994 – Cubs signed free agent Mark Lee
1982 – Dontrelle Willis, born
1982 – Cubs selected Alex Madrid in the second round of January’s amateur draft. Madrid did not sign.
1961 – Charlie Grimm and Verlon Walker were named to the Cubs’ College of Coaches.
1961 – Cubs signed free agent Billy Cowen
1947 – Paul Reuschel, born
1915 – Roy Easterwood, born
1876 – George Browne, born