David Ross’ pursuit of another World Series ring in his final season was one of the many great subplots of the Cubs’ championship run, and now the veteran catcher is adjusting to retirement, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat writes. “There hasn’t been a big lull for me. I ended it the best way I could,” Ross said. “It’s a storybook and a dream. I was saying to my wife, ’This offseason’ — and she said, ’It’s no more the offseason; this is life.’” The widely-respected Ross has often been cited as a future manager or coach, and while he’ll be meeting with Theo Epstein after Thanksgiving to discuss a possible future role with the team, Ross is looking forward to more well-deserved time with his family. Here’s some more from around the majors as we start a new week…
- The Diamondbacks won’t face any payroll limitations in Mike Hazen’s first offseason as the team’s general manager, club president/CEO Derrick Hall tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. “It’ll become a challenge in the future,” Hall said. “We can’t have too many high-priced players on the roster at the same time in this market. You just can’t. At some point we’re going to have difficult decisions to make. But this year it’s not critical. That’s a good spot to be in as a new GM. (Hazen is) not looking at what he has committed and looking at having to move pieces to bring in others. It gives him time to breathe and look and make his own assessments.” While Hazen may not be required to make big payroll cuts, however, he may not have much spending room available if the D’Backs aren’t raising payroll.
- New Rockies manager Bud Black is certain that he can avoid the clash of personalities that soured the relationship between GM Jeff Bridich and former manager Walt Weiss, Jeff Saunders of the Denver Post writes. Black’s ability to communicate and learn throughout every stage of his playing and post-playing career is illustrated in this piece from MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, who explores some of the many relationships Black has made throughout his many decades in baseball.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated that competitive balance and transparency are the league’s priorities in pushing for an international talent draft, though Baseball America’s Ben Badler feels neither of these issues will be helped (and in fact could be worsened) by further limiting contracts for international players within a draft framework. The league’s real priority, Badler argues, is limiting the amount of bonus money given to international players.
- How can the Cubs best position themselves for a repeat in 2017? MLB.com’s Phil Rogers has a few suggestions, including re-signing Dexter Fowler, acquiring Sean Doolittle (if healthy) from the A’s, and packaging some of the club’s top prospects together to trade for a front-of-the-rotation starter.