The Cubs’ celebration of their World Series win took them to the Saturday Night Live stage, as Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler and David Ross made two cameo appearances on last night’s show. The players first appeared in a sketch as (of all things) dancers at a bachelorette party, and the trio returned later in the show to sing “Go Cubs Go” alongside SNL legend and Cubs superfan Bill Murray. Since Fowler officially elected to become a free agent last evening (slightly before SNL went on the air), this may mark the last time we see the outfielder in a Cubs uniform. Here’s the latest from Wrigleyville and elsewhere around the NL Central…
- In a recent interview on ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy Show (hat tip to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune), Miguel Montero admitted that he frustrated by his diminished playing time during the season and wished he had received more input from Joe Maddon about his role on the team. Montero appeared in 86 games and hit .216/.327/.357 over 284 plate appearances, with Ross and Willson Contreras getting an increasingly large share of the catching workload throughout the year and in the postseason. Though Montero is owed $14MM next season, he’ll likely still be limited to backup duties behind Contreras and possibly Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs still consider the slugger an option behind the plate. As Gonzalez notes, Montero’s large salary will make him a tough sell on the trade market unless the Cubs are willing to eat some of the money.
- Exercising Jaime Garcia’s club option gives the Cardinals rotation depth and some possible breathing room to make a trade, GM John Mozeliak tells Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “As we look to the trade market as we get to the GM meetings, we want to be able to not have our hands tied. For example, if we had not picked up the option, and all of a sudden we feel there’s a trade that might make sense for us that’s going to have to include a starter, then we’re left with having to backfill,” Mozeliak said. “Given what Jaime was able to accomplish last year, clearly it didn’t end the way he would’ve liked it to, but he still ate a lot of valuable innings for us. When I think about what’s out there on the free-agent market, I still think it’s an asset to have….And what if we have to move someone else? It would be nice to still have the depth in our rotation.” Hochman figures the Cards will be more active on the trade market than in free agency this winter, and he thinks the team will look at upgrading the defense in the wake of club-wide defensive metrics ranging from middling to below-average.
- Brewers GM David Stearns doesn’t expect as busy an offseason as last winter’s roster overhaul, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes. “I think the amount of transactional volume that we had over the past 12 months was probably unprecedented. It would be tough for me to imagine that we would see a similar-type volume,” Stearns said. The GM also spoke of the importance of keeping a flexible 40-man roster, so the club has the opportunity to make additions if they unexpectedly arise.