David Ross has a book coming out in May, “Teammate: My Life in Baseball” that is being co-written with Don Yaeger. The book is scheduled to be available on May 9.
David Ross had a storybook ending to his terrific Major League career. Ross was a leader in the Cubs clubhouse and is given a lot of credit for the team’s turnaround that resulted in 200 wins over two years. Ross was pivotal in the Cubs historic 103-win season, NL Pennant and World Series Championship.
Ross is one of the most respected players in the game. Ross spent 15 summers in the big leagues and had his best season in a decade in what was his last as a player.
David Ross caught his first, and only, no-hitter on April 21 in Cincinnati when he was behind the plate for Jake Arrieta. Ross reached and surpassed 100 career home runs and had one of the best defensive seasons of any catcher in baseball.
Ross homered in the final game at Wrigley for his last longball in a regular season game. And Ross took Andrew Miller deep in what turned out to be his last Major League at-bat, Game 7 of The World Series off Andrew Miller.
The Cubs made it official Wednesday and announced the signing of RHP Koji Uehara to a one-year contract. Uehara will be paid $6 million, not the $4.5 million as previously reported. Uehara’s contract includes eight round-trip business class tickets to/from Japan.
With Uehara ‘s contract now official, the Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at 37 players.
- CCO – Cubs Sign Koji Uehara to a One-Year Contract
- Comcast SportsNet – With Koji Uehara, Cubs keep building bullpen for next October
- The Sun-Times – Cubs sign veteran reliever Koji Uehara
Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
Major League Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement is now official. The owners and players voted to ratify the CBA.
The MLBPA executive council unanimously approved the CBA (all 38 votes) and all but one of the owners, the Rays’ Stuart Sternberg, approved the new agreement. As Jon Heyman pointed out, the final vote was 67-1.
MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in effect until its expiration on Dec. 1, 2021.
- Release from the MLBPA
- Release from MLB
- MLB, MLBPA Announce Details of New Collective Bargaining Agreement
Welington Castillo has a new team. Castillo agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Orioles that includes a player option for the 2018 season. The deal is pending the results of a physical, which is not a given when it comes to the Orioles. As long as Castillo has nothing wrong with him, he will be expected to catch a majority of the Orioles games next season … and possibly for the next two years.
According to Jon Heyman, Castillo will make $6 million next season. The 2018 option is worth $7 million which could mean $13 million over the next two years for Wely.
With Castillo agreeing to terms, Matt Wieters time with the Orioles is likely over.
Castillo hit .264/.322/.423 last season with the D-Backs. Castillo had 24 doubles, 14 home runs and a .745 OPS. Wieters batted .243/.302/.409 in 124 games with the Orioles. Wieters had 17 doubles, a triples and 17 home runs for a .711 OPS.
Castillo should provide the O’s with more offense. Defensively, Wieters is considered a better catcher and receiver than Castillo.
Castillo’s deal with the Orioles is further proof of how much framing and receiving means across baseball. Castillo was non-tendered and signed a one-year contract that includes a player option for a season year. If Castillo stays for two seasons in Baltimore, he will be paid $13 million. The Twins signed free agent Jason Castro to a three-year, $24 million contract. Castro will not come close to putting up the offensive numbers that Castillo likely will in Baltimore. Castro is an excellent receiver that pitchers really like throwing to.
- FanGraphs – Welington Castillo Isn’t the Orioles’ Best Catcher
The White Sox signed LHP Derek Holland to a one-year deal as Rick Hahn continues to follow the Cubs’ manual on how to build a winning organization.
Holland received a one-year, $6 million deal that includes $2 million in incentives. Let’s make it clear, Holland was signed to hopefully flip before the deadline. And Holland has a chance of being the Sox’s version of Scott Feldman circa 2013.
Holland appeared in 22 games, making 20 starts, for the Rangers this past season. Holland was 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 4.75 FIP. Holland allowed 62 runs, 59 earned, on 116 hits with 35 walks and 67 strikeouts.
In eight years with the Rangers, Holland was 62-50 with a 4.35 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 4.25 FIP.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Comcast SportsNet asked if the Cubs’ off-season moves have made the 2017 roster better than the one that just won The World Series. There are many reasons, at least on paper, that point to the roster being better going into Spring Training than the one that reported to Mesa a year ago.
• Sonny Gray has “generated little interest” this off-season according to Ken Rosenthal. In his first notes column from Wednesday, Rosenthal explained the market for Edwin Encarnacion, what Greg Holland could be asking for this off-season and why it could be a wild non-waiver trade deadline.
• FanRag Sports took a look at who is the better trade target, Jose Quintana or Chris Archer.
• Ken Rosenthal examined the next moves the White Sox could make in his second update on Wednesday. Rosenthal also took a look at why Edwin Encarnacion is unlikely for the Cardinals.
• Hardball Talk reported on the last three AL pennant winners and the St. Louis Cardinals receiving competitive balance picks. For the record, Craig Calcaterra agrees with Theo Epstein.
• Peter Gammons – For those with trader’s remorse
• According to Keith Law, the Dodgers hold serve by retaining Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner.
• Joel Sherman posted seven reasons why sluggers are losing out in free agency.
• Jon Heyman provided the breakdown on the five-year, $70 million contract Ian Desmond signed with the Rockies. Desmond will be paid $8 million (2017), $22 million (2018), $15 million (2019), $15 million (2020) and $8 million (2021). The club option for 2022 is worth $15 million and has a $2 million buyout. Desmond did not receive a no-trade clause. If he is traded, Desmond receives a $1 million assignment bonus and a full no-trade clause for the remaining years on the contract.
• The Phillies signed Andres Blanco to a one-year, $3 million contract.
• The Brewers signed LHP Tommy Milone to a one-year contract. Milone will compete for a spot in Milwaukee’s rotation in the spring.
• LHP David Rollins is on the move again. The Phillies designated Rollins for assignment Wednesday. Rollins started the off-season with the Mariners, was selected off waivers by the Cubs, then by the Rangers and his last team was the Phillies. Rollins could be with his fifth team since Nov. 18 in the very near future.
• The Dodgers and Twins continue to discuss possible deals that would land 2B Brian Dozier in Los Angeles.
And last, but not least, just a reminder that it pays to read the fine print … the knock on author Sara Gilbert that made its way around the Internet (and the word ‘knock’ is being very kind) for using a photo of Starlin Castro on the cover of her book ‘World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs’ was way off base. As the Tribune reported, her book was published in 2013 and is one of a series “targeted to six- to eight-year old children and profiling teams that have won a World Series at some point in their history.” Gilbert’s publishing company said “plans are in the works for a revised edition” that includes this year’s World Series Championship.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Heyward
2015 – Cubs signed free agent Jack Leathersich
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Jon Lester
2014 – Cubs sent INF Marco Hernandez to the Red Sox to complete the trade for LHP Felix Doubront
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Chang-Yong Lim
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Daryle Ward
2005 – Cubs signed free agents David Lee and Brian Reith
2003 – Cubs selected John Foster from the Brewers in the Rule 5 Draft
2003 – Royals selected Jason Szuminski from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2003 – Cubs traded Damian Miller to Oakland for Michael Barrett
1999 – Cubs signed free agent Joe Girardi
1997 – Cubs selected Roosevelt Brown from the Marlins in the Rule 5 Draft
1997 – Cubs selected Danny Young from the Pirates in the Minor League Draft
1997 – Oakland selected Javier Martinez from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
1984 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dave Pavlas
1981 – Luis Montanez, born
1978 – Michael Wuertz, born
1976 – Aaron Miles, born
1963 – Cubs acquired Fred Norman from the Athletics for Nelson Mathews
1912 – Cubs traded Joe Tinker, Grover Lowdermilk and Harry Chapman to the Reds for Bert Humphries, Pete Knisely, Red Corriden, Art Phelan and Mike Mitchell.
1905 – Cubs traded Button Briggs, Doc Casey, Billy Maloney, Jack McCarthy and $2,000 to the Brooklyn Superbas for Jimmy Sheckard