With the holidays and the end of the year quickly approaching, the Cubs continue to be linked to pitchers as the front office explores ways to add depth to the roster. The Cubs are expected to add more relief pitching, especially lefties, and would like acquire starting pitchers from outside of the organization that has minor league options.
The Cubs are also looking for a third catcher that would be the backup, likely at Triple-A Iowa, to Willson Contreras and Miguel Montero.
The World Series Champions have a lot to do over the next 12 days leading up to Christmas.
Kris Bryant, the NL MVP, provided one of the top 10 performances of the past season that occurred for the first time on record. Bryant went 5-for-5 with two doubles, three home runs, four runs scored and six RBI on June 27 against the Reds. It was the first time in the history of the game a player hit two doubles and three longballs in five at-bats in a single game.
Bryant set a Cubs record with 16 totals bases in an 11-8 Cubs’ win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Against Reds pitching in 19 games this past season, Bryant was 28-for-77 for a .364/.443/.831 slash line with six doubles, 10 home runs and a 1.274 OPS.
Cubs Ring Ceremony
According to the release from the team announcing the eight-game and 14-game flex packs, the Cubs ring ceremony game will take place Wednesday, April 12 versus the Dodgers. The Cubs will be presented their World Series rings before the game.
MLB Anti-Hazing and Anti-Bullying Policy
As part of the new CBA, Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed to implement an Anti-Hazing and Anti-Bullying Policy. The Associated Press reported Monday that as part of the new policy, “baseball hazing ritual of dressing up rookies” as women has been banned.
According to the AP, “The policy prohibits requiring, coercing or encouraging players from dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic.”
The new CBA is scheduled to be ratified by the owners and the union on Tuesday.
Jansen turned down more money from the Nationals reportedly because of the deferred money that would have been included in the contract and due to the fact he wanted to stay with the Dodgers. Jansen apparently does not like change.
Kenley Jansen received the second largest contract ever signed by a reliever. Aroldis Chapman set the record last week with the five-year, $86 million he received to return to the Yankees.
The Dodgers filled their need at third base on Monday by agreeing to a four-year, $64 million contract with Justin Turner.
The Cardinals and Giants were reported as possible destinations for Turner. But the Dodgers wanted him back and will pay him a guaranteed $64 million over the next four seasons. With Turner in place, the Dodgers obviously have no reason to trade for either Todd Frazier (White Sox) or Evan Longoria (Rays).
The Dodgers wanted to re-sign LHP Rich Hill, RHP Kenley Jansen and 3B Justin Turner at the beginning of the off-season. Andrew Friedman accomplished all three of his goals.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Kyle Schwarber and his 10-year old friend, Campbell Faulkner, got to ride in the Batmobile.
• Mark Gonzales provided in-depth answers to very good questions for the Tribune … a must-read for all Cubs’ fans.
• Comcast SportsNet reported first Aroldis Chapman, now Wade Davis, but the Cubs still see Hector Rondon as a big part of their plans.
• The Cubs have not made the signing of RHP Koji Uehara official yet. Once they do, the Cubs will have the active leader in WHIP by a reliever with a minimum of 300 innings. Uehara tops the list with a 0.87 WHIP, followed by Kenley Jansen (0.89).
• Tommy Stokke reported the Dodgers paying Kenley Jansen is right, even if it feels wrong. According to Bob Nightengale as the Dodgers get the band back together, it’s clear money is still no object. And according to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers had no choice but to pay Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. The Dodgers committed $144 million to two players on Monday.
• Jeff Sullivan examined how Aroldis Chapman’s future could look on FanGraphs.
• The Score listed the 10 biggest reliever contracts in baseball history … from 10-1: Kimbrel, Wagner, Rivera, Cordero, Robertson, Ryan, Papelbon, Melancon, Jansen, Chapman
• According to Bruce Levine, David Robertson is an attractive trade match for Nationals prospects. The Nationals tried to acquire Robertson in the Adam Eaton deal last week. But Mike Rizzo gave away too much for just Eaton instead of landing both players in the same trade. Ken Rosenthal reported that before trading for Adam Eaton, the Nationals discussed Jurickson Profar with the Rangers. The Nats would have played Profar at short and left Trea Turner in center field. Jon Daniels wanted RHP Joe Ross in return for Profar.
• With Kenley Jansen off the market teams looking for a closer are scrambling. The Rays are “getting serious inquiries” on Alex Colome according to Ken Rosenthal. The Rays have set a high price on their closer.
• And speaking of the Rays, the Mariners have talked to the Rays and Reds recently, according to Jon Paul Morosi, “in an effort to acquire a starting pitcher.”
• After missing out on Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, the Marlins will shift to other options for the bullpen like Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa and Joe Blanton according to Joel Sherman.
• Greg Holland might still be in play for the Dodgers even after Kenley Jansen re-signed for five years. The Dodgers were one of the teams talking to Holland about a one-year contract. Scott Boras is looking for two years and $16 million for Holland. Ken Rosenthal reported the Dodgers “will not go beyond one-year” for another reliever which “could take them out of the Holland market” if he’s actually looking for a multi-year contract.
• As it turns out, Dexter Fowler received a $10 million signing bonus according to Jon Heyman. Fowler inked the five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Cardinals last week. Fowler’s deal was believed to be for $16.5 million per year. And it actually is. Fowler will make $14.5 million per season and will receive the $10 million signing bonus over the length of the contract ($2 million per year).
• Ken Rosenthal posted nine stories to watch for the rest of the MLB season.
• Dave Cameron compared the Dexter Fowler and Adam Eaton decisions.
• Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates are sticking together for now according to Buster Olney.
• The Yankees signed INF Ruben Tejada to a minor league deal that includes a non-roster invite to big league camp.
• The Cardinals signed LHP/OF Jordan Schafer and catchers Eric Fryer and Gabriel Lino to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to Major League Spring Training.
• The Orioles appeared to be close to a multi-year contract with Welington Castillo over the weekend. According to reports, talks between Castillo and the Orioles have not progressed. Castillo is reportedly looking for a three-year contract now and the O’s are only willing to sign him for two years.
• ESPN explained how the CBA will shape the Harper-Machado free agent superclass.
• Addison Russell is back at work and is going through his off-season program.
— EXOS Baseball (@EXOSbaseball) December 12, 2016
• Reminder … Those looking to purchase one of John Hanley’s excellent Cubs’ prints, this is the last week to order them to have in time for Christmas (johnhanleyartist.com).
— John Hanley (@JohnHanley5) December 13, 2016
And last, but not least, Comcast SportsNet will replay every one of the Cubs 11 wins from the 2016 postseason along with the parade and rally. This Was The Year begins Thursday, Dec. 22 at 6:30pm CST. The five-day replay of the Cubs run to The World Series Championship is from Dec. 22 through Dec. 26 … click here for all the details and schedule.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs signed free agent Brandon Gomes
2013 – Cubs claimed Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Twins
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Cory Wade
2004 – Royals selected Andy Sisco from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Robert Machado
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Scarborough Green
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Wainhouse
1999 – Athletics selected Bo Porter from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
1999 – Cubs acquired Augie Ojeda from the Orioles for Richard Negrette
1996 – Gleyber Torres, born
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Mark Dalesandro
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Kevin Tapani
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Rob Dibble
1993 – Cubs selected Alan Newman from the Reds in the Minor League Draft
1989 – Cubs released Pat Perry
1984 – Cubs signed free agent Lary Sorensen
1982 – Ricky Nolasco, born
1974 – Cubs released Carmen Fanzone
1964 – Steve Wilson, born
1963 – Cubs acquired Dick Scott from the Dodgers for Cuno Barragan and Jim Brewer
1942 – Ferguson Jenkins, born
1936 – J.C. Martin, born
1923 – Braves purchased John Kelleher from the Cubs
1905 – Cubs acquired Pat Moran from the Beaneaters for Jack O’Neil and Big Jeff Pfeffer
1873 – Jack Taylor, born