Sports Illustrated released its ranking of the 10 most memorable players of the 2016 season. And the National League MVP, Kris Bryant topped the list.
SI’s ranking is not of the 10 best players. It is a list of the players that will be remember most from what Sports Illustrated labeled an unforgettable 2016 season.
As Jay Jaffe pointed out, the Cubs were the “most memorable part” of the 2016 season. The Cubs won The World Series and it was Kris Bryant that led the best team in the game.
Kris Bryant put together an excellent regular season and postseason. Bryant batted .292/.385/.554 with 35 doubles, three triples and 39 home runs for a .939 OPS in the regular season while playing six different positions. Bryant hit .308/.400/.523 with five doubles, three home runs and eight RBI in the postseason. He was 7-for-26 in The Series with two home runs in the seven games.
Kris Bryant fielded the groundball in the 10th inning of Game 7 with a smile on his face and threw across the diamond to Anthony Rizzo for the final out to seal the World Series Championship for the Cubs.
Kris Bryant (Cubs), David Ortiz (Red Sox), Jose Fernandez (Marlins), Andrew Miller (Yankees/Indians), Mike Trout (Angels), Max Scherzer (Nationals), Gary Sanchez (Yankees), Mookie Betts (Red Sox), Corey Seager (Dodgers) and Trevor Story (Rockies) composed Sports Illustrated’s Ranking of the Top 10 Most Memorable Players of the 2016 season.
Cubs on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball
The Cubs will be on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball at least five times in the first four months of the 2017 season.
ESPN announced its early season schedule Wednesday. The World Series Champs figures to be on National TV a lot next year as the networks try to capitalize again on the Cubs’ success.
The Cubs open the 2017 season on ESPN against the Cardinals on April 2. The Cubs and Cardinals kick-off the year at Busch Stadium on Sunday Night Baseball.
The Cubs and Red Sox (April 30) from Fenway Park and the Cubs and Yankees at Wrigley Field (May 7) are the next two times Joe Maddon’s team will be on Sunday Night Baseball. The Cubs will likely have to face Chris Sale and David Price during the series with the Sox. Starlin Castro returns to Wrigley and the Cubs will be able to present Aroldis Chapman with his World Series ring when the Yankees play at Wrigley in early May.
The Cubs and Cardinals will be back on ESPN in early June (June 4) and again in July (July 23) from Wrigley Field.
- April 2 – Cubs vs. Cardinals at Busch Stadium
- April 30 – Cubs vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park
- May 7 – Cubs vs. Yankees at Wrigley Field
- June 4 – Cubs vs. Cardinals at Wrigley Field
- July 23 – Cubs vs. Cardinals at Wrigley Field
Koji Uehara will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic this spring.
During an appearance on a TV show in Japan, Uehara broke the news he would not be participating in the WBC. The Cubs told him he could not pitch in the Classic.
Javier Baez is the only player on the Cubs’ big league roster that has committed to play for his country in the upcoming WBC.
Anthony Rizzo said last week he will not participate in the World Baseball Classic. And Willson Contreras is also not expected to play.
The market for RHP Trevor Cahill has picked up according to Jerry Crasnick.
Cahill has received interest from six teams. Crasnick reported three of the clubs are looking at him as a starter, the other three as more of a reliever. There have not been any reports connecting the Cubs to Cahill this off-season.
The Cubs re-signed Cahill last winter to a one-year deal. Cahill turned down an opportunity to earn a spot in the Pirates rotation to return to the Cubs.
Cahill would prefer to start according to Crasnick but is willing to be a reliever again if the fit is right.
The Cubs signed Cahill to a minor league contract in August 2015. Cahill had a good run with the Cubs under Chris Bosio. Cahill was 5-4 in 61 regular season games, one start, with a 2.61 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 4.10 FIP. Last season, Cahill was 4-4 in 50 games, one starts, with a 2.74 ERA, 1.27 WHPI and 4.35 FIP. Cahill also made six starts with the Iowa Cubs while he was on a ‘rehab assignment.’
News, Notes and Rumors
• An excellent read from David Haugh on the phenomenal Wayne Messmer … In World Series moment, Wayne Messmer wore reminder of the night he was shot.
• Comcast SportsNet reported a Giant comeback launched a new generation of Cubs.
• The MLBPA provided a complete free agent tracker … the list from the Players Association includes a team-by-team list of free agent signings and a full list of the remaining free agents (click here).
• The rebuilding Phillies are following the Cubs’ playbook and according to Buster Olney, other teams should as well.
• According to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers and Twins are at a standstill in the trade talks for 2B Brian Dozier. Heyman explained the two teams have agreed on Dodgers top pitching prospect, RHP Jose De Leon, would be in the deal but they are unable to agree on a second or much less a possible third player the Twins would receive for Dozier.
• The Dodgers are also talking to the Tigers about Ian Kinsler and the Rays about Logan Forsythe. Kinsler can block a trade to the Dodgers and is requesting an extension in order to waive his no-trade rights.
• LHP David Rollins has a new, old team for the fifth time this season. The Rangers claimed Rollins off waivers from the Phillies. That is five teams in the last 33 days. Rollins has gone from the Mariners to the Cubs to the Rangers to the Phillies and back to the Rangers. The Phillies designated RHP Tyrell Jenkins for assignment to make room for Rollins on the roster. The Braves received Jenkins and Shelby Miller in the deal with the Cardinals for Jason Heyward in November 2014. Jenkins was dealt to the Rangers in the trade for Luke Jackson earlier this month (Dec. 8).
• With Cardinals’ fans hoping John Mozeliak will make the call and sign him, the market for Edwin Encarnacion appears to be heating up. According to Jim Bowden, the Indians, Rangers, Astros, A’s and Blue Jays have all made multi-year offers to Encarnacion. Bowden reported late Wednesday that “negotiations are continuing at a rapid pace for two of the teams.” Bowden did not say which two teams but he indicated a few of the offers he has received include an opt-out after one season. According to Jon Heyman, two teams are getting aggressive on Encarnacion and the Indians “are pulling out all of the stops.”
• Ken Rosenthal asked which team is going to blow it with Edwin Encarnacion.
• RHP Jered Weaver is another veteran starting pitcher the Padres are interested in according to Jon Heyman. The Padres could be working on a reunion with RHP Jake Peavy and have already re-signed LHP Clayton Richard to a one-year contract.
• The Pirates and Yankees are at least two of the teams talking to the White Sox about LHP Jose Quintana. The Yankees will not give up either SS Gleyber Torres or OF Clint Frazier in a deal for Quintana which is “likely a non-starter” according to Jon Heyman. The Rangers are interested in Quintana according to Jerry Crasnick. It’s unlikely Jon Daniels will pay the White Sox’s price for the left-hander. Crasnick indicated the Rangers might change their mind if the price comes down. Crasnick reported the White Sox wanted Jurickson Profar included in any package for Quintana, “plus a lot more.” And the Rangers thought Rick Hahn was asking too much.
This Day in Cubstory
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Manny Corpas
1999 – Cubs acquired Brandon Pernell from the Padres for Dan Serafini
1993 – Cubs signed free agent Shawn Boskie
1975 – Cubs acquired Mick Kelleher from the Cardinals for Vic Harris
1941 – Cubs purchased Bill Fleming from the Red Sox
1940 – Elrod Hendricks, born