David Ross was in the news again Thursday after a report from Comcast SportsNet indicated he is “weighing opportunity to join Cubs’ front office.” According to Patrick Mooney, Ross “is an in-demand personality who can pivot in several different directions during his post-playing career.”
Ross is considering a role in the Cubs front-office. According to the report it “sounds like a matter of when, not if” that Ross returns to the organization, in an official capacity, that he just helped win a World Series Championship on the field.
David Ross is expected to be a coach in the big leagues and a manger one day. But right now, it appears Ross will take a Special Assistant role with the Cubs.
Ross said he has “three or four things he needs to sift through” and he has been waiting to discuss his options with his family once his kids are out of school.
“I want to see what the time commitment is. It’s time to stop having my family adjust to my schedule … and for me to start adjusting to theirs a little more. They’ve always had to come see Dad … and fly here or fly there … and get out of school to go here for me.”
Ross said he is going to stay in baseball and feels like he is “connected to the Cubs for life.”
“I’m still going to stay in baseball. I feel like I’m connected to the Cubs for life … or at least I want to be. For me to not take advantage of the knowledge that front office has would be naïve. There’s a lot of Hall of Famers in that front office. And I want to get to know that side of things. So, yeah, I’m sure there’s something that’s going to work out in the future with the Cubs. But I have a lot of other commitments and things I want to do while trying to get a life after baseball where I keep my foot in the door some way.”
The Cubs would love for David Ross to stay with the organization. Jed Hoyer recently said “it would be a shame” if he was not around.
Comcast SportsNet pointed out that Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood and Ted Lilly are Special Assistants to the front office. Former players Kevin Youkilis, John Baker and Manny Ramirez are “also involved in baseball operations.” Mooney thinks Ross could be a catching consultant “while trying to figure out his next big move.”
David Ross’ playing career may be over. It appears his career with the Cubs has really just begun.
The reliever market is heating up and is expected to be very busy throughout the game for the next week. Two relief pitchers found new teams and inked deals with the Rockies and Marlins.
LHP Mike Dunn signed a three-year deal with the Rockies. And RHP Junichi Tazawa agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Marlins.
Brad Ziegler has multiple offers according to Chris Cotillo and is expected to sign for at least two years with an option. Ziegler could end up with a three-year contract. Jeff Passan reported Ziegler is expected to land at least a two-year, $17 million contract. He would like a three-year contract but teams are not showing much interest in going past two with an option for a third year. The Marlins are one of the teams interested in Ziegler and he was linked to the Cubs before they signed Koji Uehara.
According to Ken Rosenthal, teams like the Orioles and Rangers are receiving interest in their available relievers. The Orioles are willing to trade RHP Brad Brach and the Rangers wouldn’t mind dealing RHP Jeremy Jeffress.
The Tigers have made LHP Justin Wilson available. Talks with the Cubs and Tigers about Wilson have stalled and both teams have appeared to move to other options.
It could be a very interesting seven days for the middle relievers and late-inning pitchers around baseball.
LHP Mike Dunn landed a very good contract and signed a three-year deal with the Rockies that guarantees him $19 million and could be worth a total of $25 million.
Dunn signed a three-year, $19 million contract that includes a vesting option for a fourth year. The option is worth $6 million, with a $1 million buyout, and vests if he pitches in 130 combined games in 2018 and 2019 or in 60 games in 2019 according to Bob Nightengale.
Dunn will be paid $4 million (2017), $7 million (2018) and $7 million (2019) over the guaranteed three years. Thomas Harding provided the details on his option and performance bonuses (Click here and here).
Mike Dunn is 31 years old, turns 32 on May 23, and was 6-1 last season for the Marlins with a 3.40 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 3.88 FIP. Over his eight-year big league career with the Yankees, Braves and Marlins, Dunn is 28-25 with four saves, a 3.54 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 3.70 FIP.
RHP Junichi Tazawa signed a two-year contract with the Marlins worth $12 million according to multiple reports. And according to Jon Heyman, Tazawa will be paid $5 million in 2017 and $7 million in 2018.
The 30-year old right-hander was signed by Theo Epstein as a free agent in 2008 and has spent his entire career with the Red Sox.
Tazawa was 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 4.23 FIP last season in 53 relief appearances. Tazawa allowed 23 runs, all earned, on 47 hits with 14 walks and 54 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings.
In seven seasons with the Red Sox, Tazawa was 17-20 with four saves, a 3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 3.31 FIP.
The Twins re-signed INF Tommy Field and INF Leonardo Reginatto and signed RHP Drew Rucinski, C Eddy Rodriguez, C Dan Rohlfing and INF Benji Gonzalez to minor league deals. Each player received non-roster invites to Spring Training.
Rucinski was in Spring Training with the Cubs last year and spent the season with Triple-A Iowa. Rucinski was 7-15 in 28 starts with a 5.92 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. Rucinski allowed 108 runs, 102 earned, on 187 hits with 43 walks and 116 strikeouts in 155 innings.
News, Notes and Rumors
• In this must-read, Tom Verducci explained how Cubs boss Theo Epstein ended a second epic title drought.
• Anthony Rizzo’s charity walk in Florida raises $550,000 according to the Tribune. Anthony Rizzo is determined to help Cubs repeat and is hungry for another World Series title according to a report from Carrie Muskat. Rizzo said the Cubs will miss Dexter Fowler, Travis Wood and David Ross next season. And he does have the ball from the final out of the NLCS.
• Anthony Rizzo will not play in the World Baseball Classic. “After the roller coaster of the playoffs, I’d rather go to Spring Training taking it easy and know that I don’t have to ramp it up early to be ready for the World Baseball Classic and just get ready for the season,” he said to Carrie Muskat.
• Kyle Schwarber would be a powerful option in leadoff spot for the Cubs according to Phil Rogers.
• The Cubs are at the top of FOX Sports’ power rankings after the Winter Meetings … It’s no surprise The World Champs are considered the best team in baseball. The Top Five: 5) Nationals 4) Dodgers 3) Indians 2) Red Sox 1) Cubs
• The Cubs are the best team in baseball and will be for the remainder of the off-season and through Spring Training. ESPN discussed if anyone can take the Cubs in 2017.
• Jeremy Woo ranked the top plays of 2016 … and he dropped the ball. The Cubs winning The World Series was only No. 5 on his list.
• David Schoenfield is not so sure the Nationals got robbed with the package of prospects they sent to the White Sox for Adam Eaton.
• Buster Olney asked why the Rays voted against the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
• According to Jayson Stark, teams that have shown interest in the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon this off-season are doubtful he will be traded. The Rockies will deal him only “if they get an Adam Eaton type deal.” Derrick Goold said the Cardinals thought the Rockies asking price was too high and increased their offer to Dexter Fowler “because trade costs were exorbitant.”
• With rumors mounting the Cardinals could be a landing spot for Edwin Encarnacion, Jon Paul Morosi reported the Rangers have “discussed Edwin Encarnacion’s asking price with his agent.” Morosi said it is “unclear if he has an offer” from the Rangers on the table.
• And speaking of the wonderful Redbirds, Matt Adams is available. The Cardinals “are in listening most” on Adams according to Jerry Crasnick. Adams “is an alternative” to free agents Adam Lind, Brandon Moss, Justin Morneau and Pedro Alvarez.
• The Rangers have talked to the Rockies about their surplus of outfielders. According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Rangers could add an outfielder and move Shin-Soo Choo to DH.
• The Mets signed one-time Cubs reliever RHP Ben Rowen to a minor league contract that includes a non-roster invite to Spring Training.
• The Brewers added RHP Hiram Burgos, LHP Andy Oliver and INF Eric Sogard on minor league deals with non-roster invites to Spring Training.
• LHP Jeff Beliveau signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays that includes a NRI to big league camp.
• Eric Fisher reported that StubHub’s 2016 World Series sales topped last year’s totals by 160 percent thanks to the Cubs.
• The Yankees announced the five-year contract with Aroldis Chapman. And Chapman thanked the Cubs and the fans for “the support and love” he was given. Chapman tweeted he was “very happy and honored” to be part of the World Series Champions.
— Aroldis Chapman (@AChapman_105) December 16, 2016
Since then? He’s just posted the club’s two best K% seasons ever by a qualified lefty. pic.twitter.com/6Al0AkOqLB
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) December 15, 2016
Engaged with Chicago Cubs ???? pic.twitter.com/X0SywLwqFV
— Willson Contreras (@WContreras40) December 15, 2016
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) December 15, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Wesley Wright
2009 – Cubs released Erik Hamren
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Joey Gathright
2004 – Cubs signed free agent Kevin McGlinchy
2002 – Blue Jays selected Jason Dubois from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2002 – Cubs selected Derek Thompson from the Indians in the Rule 5 Draft
1985 – Cubs acquired Jerry Mumphrey from the Astros for Billy Hatcher and a PTBNL. Cubs sent Steve Engel to Houston on July 24, 1986 to complete the trade.
1959 – Paul Noce, born
1941 – Adolfo Phillips, born
1904 – Joe Berry, born
1900 – Tony Kaufmann, born
1876 – Sammy Strang, born