The Cubs took a short break Saturday from the victory tour as rumors continue to surface about how the front office can fill voids in the roster for next season.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer continue to explore ways to add pitching and address the team’s needs in the outfield.
There has been a lot of activity throughout the game with free agent signings and trades. And it could get very busy around baseball before the end of the month with the deadline for the new CBA just over two weeks away.
Monday is the deadline for players that received qualifying offers to accept or decline the $17.2 million contract for next season. Baseball’s second season is in full swing …
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires on Dec 1. And the talks between the two sides remain slow.
Commissioner Rob Manfred hoped to have a new CBA in place by the end of The World Series. Even with the Fall Classic going seven games, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was not in place and it’s quickly approaching the middle of November. Thanksgiving is just around the corner.
Commissioner Manfred said during the GM Meetings he is optimistic they will have a new CBA in place by the end of the month. Or, as Joel Sherman put it just in time for the Dec. 1 deadline.
There are rumors one or two major issues are holding up the process.
Bruce Levine reported the International Draft and Luxury Tax penalties are the “contentious elements of the new CBA.”
According to Levine, the uncertainty over the new CBA and possible work stoppage are the main reasons for players signing earlier this off-season than usual. Levine expects more deals and trades to be completed over the next two-plus weeks leading up to the Dec. 1 deadline.
Ryan Kalish elected for free agency according to Baseball America. Kalish did not play for Triple-A Iowa after accepting the assignment in May. Kalish had an appendectomy and landed on the disabled list.
Kalish told the Des Moines Register in July that his career may be over after undergoing a major knee operation. At the least, Kalish would miss the rest of the 2016 season and could also miss all of next season. Kalish has another knee operation scheduled before the end of the year.
Kalish is not giving up on playing baseball and said he would work hard to get back on the field.
Ryan Kalish played in seven games for the Cubs this past season. Kalish was 2-for-7 with a walk and two RBI. Kalish helped the Cubs sweep the Nationals at Wrigley in early May and should receive a World Series ring.
According to a report from Chris Cotillo, David Freitas has signed a minor league contract with the Braves.
The Cubs selected Freitas in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft last December. Freitas spent the season in the system, splitting time with Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
Freitas batted .295/.349/.437 with 27 doubles, a triple and six home runs for a .786 OPS in 91 games.
Paul Blackburn was traded again Saturday and is now in the Oakland A’s system. The Mariners dealt Blackburn to the A’s for INF/OF Danny Valencia.
The Mariners acquired Blackburn in the Mike Montgomery trade in July. The Cubs sent Dan Vogelbach and Blackburn to Seattle for Montgomery and Jordan Pries on July 20.
Blackburn was 3-1 in eight games, seven starts, for Double-A Jackson with a 3.54 ERA and 1.25 WHIP after the trade. Blackburn finished the season a combined 9-5 in 26 games, 25 starts, with a 3.27 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.
Blackburn turns 23 next month (Dec. 4) and put up slightly better numbers after the trade than Dan Vogelbach. The slugger saw his production slip at the plate in Triple-A (.240/.404/.422/.826, seven doubles, seven home runs) before he was called up and made his Major League debut. Vogelbach was 1-for-12 in eight games with a walk (.083/.154/.083/.237).
News, Notes and Rumors
• Will Carroll detailed the secrets behind Kyle Schwarber’s quick return from an ACL injury.
• Friday was Travis Wood Day in Arkansas. Travis Wood rode a fire truck with his wife Brittany during a parade through his home town of Bryant, Arkansas. And the city of Bryant now has a ‘Travis Wood Way’ according to the report from Carrie Muskat.
• The Cubs are strong contenders for three major awards … MVP, Cy Young and manager according to the Tribune.
• Steve Goodman’s family believes the success of ‘Go Cubs Go’ is a fitting memorial to the lifelong Cubs fan according to the Sun-Times.
• Eloy Jimenez is batting .271/.352/.521 with three doubles and three home runs for a .873 OPS in the Arizona Fall League. And he has two of the three hardest hit balls in the AFL this season.
• Former Cubs’ second baseman, Mark Grudzielanek was named manager of the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate.
• The Blue Jays are still talking to Edwin Encarnacion despite reported deal with Kendrys Morales according to the Score.
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, Brandon Phillips might actually be willing to waive his no-trade clause this off-season and accept a trade from the Reds. Morosi reported that with only one-year left on his contract he “is more willing to consider waiving” his no-trade rights.
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, Major League Baseball is “considering formal change to the strike zone this off-season, in part because technology creates stricter adherence to the rulebook.”
And for those that may have missed the Cubs rally at Grant Park …
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Scott Baker
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Alberto Gonzalez
2009 – Cubs granted free agency to Chad Fox
2008 – Cubs acquired Kevin Gregg from the Marlins for Jose Ceda
2007 – Cubs sent Craig Monroe to the Twins as part of conditional deal
2006 – Cubs signed free agent John Webb
2002 – Cubs acquired Damian Miller from Arizona for Gary Johnson and Dave Noyce
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Trace Coquillette
1998 – Cubs signed free agents Steve Gojkowski, Scott Stahoviak and Andrew Lorraine
1990 – Arodys Vizcaino, born
1989 – Cubs granted free agency to Scott Sanderson
1989 – Lane Adams, born
1986 – Juan Perez, born
1985 – Cubs released Dave Beard
1984 – Ryne Sandberg was named National League Most Valuable Player. Sandberg became the first Cub to win the MVP award since Ernie Banks in 1959.
1981 – Cubs granted free agency to Tim Blackwell, Dick Tidrow and Hector Cruz
1956 – Cubs acquired Ray Jablonski and Elmer Singleton from the Reds for Warren Hacker, Don Hoak and Pete Whisenant