The next seven days will be anything but boring for the Chicago Cubs.
The 31st Annual Cubs Convention kicks off Friday (Jan. 15-17) and runs through the weekend. The Cubs Caravan (Jan.13-14), Anthony Rizzo’s Laugh Off for Cancer (Jan. 14) and Woody’s Winter Warm-Up (Jan. 15) are also this week.
Additional minor league signings should surface and/or be announced this week. The Cubs signed 1B Jesus Guzman to a minor league contract, the only minor deal that’s hit the wire in the New Year.
Deadline for players to file for salary arbitration is Tuesday (Jan. 12). And Friday (Jan. 15) is the deadline to exchange salary figures for arbitration eligible players.
Nine players on the Cubs’ 40-man roster are arbitration eligible for the upcoming season. The Cubs have seven of those players left unsigned after agreeing to one-year deals with LHP Rex Brothers and LHP Clayton Richard last month. Brothers avoided arbitration with a $1.42 million deal and Richard inked a $2 million contract that includes incentives.
RHP Jake Arrieta, OF Chris Coghlan, RHP Justin Grimm, RHP Hector Rondon, RHP Pedro Strop, RHP Adam Warren and LHP Travis Wood are in line for raises for the upcoming season through the arbitration process. And contracts for the upcoming season are typically announced around Friday’s deadline.
Jake Arrieta made $3.63 million last year and due to his historic second half and Cy Young award, he will receive between $10-11 million for the upcoming season. Chris Coghlan was paid $2.505 million in 2015 and he is projected for between $3.3-3.8 million.
Justin Grimm earned Super Two status. After making just above league minimum in 2015 ($532,000), Grimm will see an increase between $800,000-1.2 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Adam Warren is also arbitration eligible for the first time. Warren should see his pay increase to around $1.5 million from $572,600 last year.
Hector Rondon is arbitration eligible for the first time and is projected to have his salary increase to between $3.2-3.9 million for 2016 after earning $544,000 last year. Pedro Strop made $2.525 million and is projected to receive between $4.3-4.5 million for the upcoming season. And Travis Wood, in the last year before he hits free agency, is projected for a salary of between $6.2-6.8 million after being paid $5.68 million in 2015.
And, there are the constant rumors to monitor that say the Cubs are not done making moves this winter.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Andre Dawson will be honored Saturday at the 13th annual In the Spirit of the Game dinner in Beverly Hills by the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation. According to the Tribune, Dawson will receive A Scout’s Dream Award for his outstanding achievements in baseball.
• RHP Daniel Bard is no longer in the Cubs organization. According to Rob Biertempfel, the Pirates signed Bard to a minor league contract. Bard spent last year with the Cubs but did not pitch in affiliated ball as he tried to work through the command and control issues that derailed his career.
• Based on WAR, the Cubs made three of the 10 biggest upgrades in baseball to their roster this off-season.
• Billy Beane was on the Front Office (MLB Network Radio) Sunday and he told Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette that he tried to acquire LHP Rich Hill while he was with the Cubs. Beane said he spoke with Jim Hendry about Hill and is glad to finally have him on his team. Beane and Hendry completed several trades during Hill’s years with the Cubs, most notably Jason Kendall (2007) and Rich Harden (2008). Hendry also had a deal in place with the A’s for Nick Swisher as a fallback for Kosuke Fukudome signing with another team.
• WISH-TV announced Friday the Central Indiana station will carry 45 of the Cubs games during the upcoming season. The schedule will be released this spring.
• According to multiple reports, the Cardinals have agreed to terms with RHP Seung-Hwan Oh. Daniel Kim was first with the news and reported Oh will undergo a physical Monday. Oh’s agreement is pending a physical and terms of his contract have not been released. Oh pitched the last two seasons in Japan for the Hanshin Tigers. The 33-year old closer spent the previous nine seasons in the KBO with the Samsung Lions.
• Dennis Lin explained that Alexei Ramirez would be a cheaper option for the Padres, one that would not cost a draft pick. But Ian Desmond might be a better fit for the Friars. Jim Bowden thinks the Padres will sign Desmond this week, which would take A.J. Preller out of the market for a shortstop.
• The Indians have been talking to Juan Uribe’s representatives according to Paul Hoynes. The Indians would like to add another right-handed bat and are believed to be talking to Juan Uribe about a one-year contract.
• According to a report from The Score citing Ken Rosenthal as its source, Major League Baseball is nearing decisions on Jose Reyes, Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman, the first three players to be investigated by MLB under the new domestic violence policy, and the rulings on suspensions could be handed out before Spring Training begins.
And last, but not least, according to a report from the Providence Journal, MLB teams continue to spend, despite evidence that it does not help them win.
This Day in Cubstory
2013 – Clark the Cub made his debut, the official mascot of the Chicago Cubs.
2012 – Brewers selected Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Cubs
2010 – Jim Hendry promoted manager Ryne Sandberg to Triple-A Iowa. Sandberg called the shots for the Iowa Cubs during the 2010 season.
2010 – Greg Maddux returned to the Cubs as a Special Assistant to GM Jim Hendry
2009 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Robinson Chirinos
2009 – Cubs signed free agent Bill White
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Chad Fox
1999 – Cubs signed free agent Bry Nelson
1995 – Cubs traded Greg Hillman to the Reds for Keith Kessinger
1994 – Cubs signed free agents William Brennan, Terry Bross, Chuck Crim and Eric Yielding
1983 – Cubs selected Dave Martinez in the third round of January’s amateur draft. Martinez signed with the Cubs on Jan. 13, 1983
1980 – Cubs selected Tom Henke in the first round of January’s amateur draft. Henke did not sign.
1980 – Cubs selected Jim Eppard in the 11th round of January’s amateur draft. Eppard did not sign.
1977 – Cubs traded Rick Monday and Mike Garman to the Dodgers for Jeff Albert, Ivan DeJesus and Bill Buckner
1977 – Cubs selected Jim Tracy in the fourth round of the amateur draft
1971 – Rey Ordonez, born
1960 – Cubs traded John Buzhardt, Alvin Dark and Jim Woods to the Phillies for Richie Ashburn
1959 – Lloyd McClendon, born
1937 – Jack Curtis, born
1911 – Roy Hughes, born
1909 – The National Commission approved Charles Murphy’s payment of a $10,000 bonus to the players for the Cubs winning the 1908 World Series.
1895 – Paddy Driscoll, born
1879 – Harry McIntire, born