The Eugene Emeralds, the Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, had a good year. The Emeralds won the Northwest League Championship, one of three titles in the Cubs system during the 2016 season.
The Emeralds had the best record in the Northwest League (54-22, .711) and took home the first outright championship for the franchise in 41 years. On the way to the being the best team in the league, the Emeralds set the Northwest League record for consecutive wins in a single-season.
The Emeralds featured several of the top prospects in the Cubs’ system this past year. RHP Dylan Cease, LHP Bryan Hudson, LHP Manuel Rondon, LHP Jose Paulino, LHP Wyatt Short, OF D.J. Wilson and 3B Wladimir Galindo all contributed to the Emeralds’ Championship Season.
Manager Jesus Feliciano will return to Eugene next season.
The Cardinals are one of the teams talking to the Twins about 2B Brian Dozier.
According to Darren Wolfson, the Cardinals can be added to the list of teams that have had conversations with the Twins about Dozier. The Dodgers and Cardinals are “very much in it” and both the Nationals and Giants are in the mix.
Reports have indicated the Dodgers and Twins had a framework of a deal with RHP Jose De Leon being agreed upon. But the Dodgers and Twins could not agree on the other players that would be sent to Minneapolis for the second baseman.
Dozier is coming off a breakout season at the plate and could be the big bat in the middle of Mike Matheny’s lineup that the Cardinals need in order to close the gap with the Cubs. Dozier batted .268/.340/.546 with 35 doubles, five triples and 42 home runs for a .886 OPS. Dozier is under contract through the 2018 season and is scheduled to make $6 million and $9 million the next two years.
Jon Heyman confirmed Wolfson’s report that the Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Nationals are the teams that are known to be in on Dozier.
The Twins are reportedly looking for a high-end pitching prospect as part of a package for Dozier.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Jesse Rogers talked to Wade Davis and asked Joe Maddon’s new closer a few questions about being traded to the Cubs.
• According to Buster Olney, the Chris Sale trade upped the ante for every contender hunting for rotation help this winter. The White Sox received “so much in return in prospects” that Rick Hahn “reset market expectations” for what a team can expect back for a starting pitcher.
• Joel Sherman reported on David Wright, Jacoby Ellsbury and the deals MLB teams like the Nationals, Dodgers, Rangers and Tigers would undo.
• The Rockies agreed to terms on a one-year contract with INF Alexi Amarista according to Jon Heyman. Amarista’s Major League deal includes an option for the 2018 season. Heyman did not say how much the Rockies committed to Amarista. Last season with the Padres, Amarista hit .257/.295/.271 with two doubles and a .567 OPS in 65 games.
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Starlin Castro was questioned by police in the Dominican Republic following a shooting at a local night club. Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer addressed the situation with the media clarifying he was near but not involved in the shooting.
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Jose Veras
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Hisanori Takahashi
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Mark DiFelice
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Bill Selby
1981 – David Aardsma, born
1939 – Cubs purchased Bobby Sturgeon from the Cardinals
1939 – Cubs traded Gene Lillard, Steve Mesner and cash to the Cardinals for Ken Raffensberger
1913 – Joe Tinker jumped from the Reds to the Chicago Federals