As the Cubs head into the offseason, the team is expected to look at reviving many of the summer trade deadline talks that never came to fruition, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. As president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said yesterday, Chicago is after pitching. The team could rejoin its pursuit of pitchers such as Tyson Ross of the Padres, Julio Teheran of the Braves, and Carlos Carrasco of the Indians, per Wittenmyer. Interestingly, he adds that the Cubs are rather enamored of Indians converted outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who rather suddenly became an outstanding right fielder last year after moving off of third base. Wittenmyer says it wouldn’t be surprising to see Javier Baez, Starlin Castro, or Jorge Soler (or any two of them) moved for pitching this winter, adding that Atlanta is “especially high on Soler.”
Here are some more notes out of the NL Central:
- The Cardinals could see some turnover this winter, and MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch takes a look at the overall roster situation. She notes that the organization may not be able to strike as quickly as it has in past offseasons if it makes Jason Heyward a priority, as his market may take a bit longer to come into focus. New reserve options at catcher and the middle infield could be pursued, and bullpen additions — possibly including a re-signing of Carlos Villanueva — appear likely.
- Meanwhile, the Cardinals will maintain the same coaching staff for 2016, Langosch reports. The whole group had been invited back, and reached new agreements in short order. Serving under manager Mike Matheny once again will be bench coach David Bell, first base coach Chris Maloney, third base coach Jose Oquendo, pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, hitting coach John Mabry, assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller, and bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley.
- The Reds have announced some coaching staff changes for 2016, with Mark Riggins taking over as the pitching coach and Tony Jaramillo joining the staff as assistant hitting coach. Per the club, Jim Riggleman will remain the bench coach under skipper Bryan Price, while Don Long (hitting), Billy Hatcher (third base), Freddie Benavides (first base), Mack Jenkins (bullpen), and Mike Stefanski (catching) all return.
- In an inter-division switch, the Brewers have hired away Derek Johnson from the Cubs to serve as their pitching coach, David Kaplan of CSN Chicago and ESPN Chicago reports on Twitter. Johnson had served as the minor league pitching coordinator in Chicago after a lengthy stint at Vanderbilt University’s outstanding baseball program.