Chicago Cubs – MLB Trade Rumors https://www.mlbtraderumors.com Fri, 14 Dec 2018 05:32:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 Cubs Interested In Mark DeRosa For Bench Coach Job https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/quick-hits-maxwell-nats-marwin-twins-herrera-cubs-derosa.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/quick-hits-maxwell-nats-marwin-twins-herrera-cubs-derosa.html#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2018 05:32:24 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140550
  • With bench coach Brandon Hyde seemingly on his way out of the organization, the Cubs have begun seeking a replacement. It doesn’t appear the job will go to beloved ex-Cub David Ross, who’s content working as both a special assistant to their front office and an ESPN analyst, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score suggests. The team has contacted former major league infielder/outfielder and current MLB Network analyst Mark DeRosa to gauge his interest in the job, according to Levine. If there’s not a match between the Cubs and DeRosa – who declined to interview for the Rangers’ managerial post after the season – Dodgers special advisor Raul Ibanez and two of the Cubs’ minor league skippers (Buddy Bailey and Mark Johnson) could be candidates, Levine posits.
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    Cubs Acquire Conor Lillis-White https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/minor-mlb-transactions-121318-2.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/minor-mlb-transactions-121318-2.html#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2018 04:15:49 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140491
  • The Cubs have acquired left-hander Conor Lillis-White from the Angels to complete the teams’ Tommy La Stella trade, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets. Lillis-White, 26, was a a 32nd-round pick of the Angels in 2015 who divided last season between the Double-A and Triple-A levels, combining for a 3.50 ERA with 12.3 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9 in 72 innings.
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    Cubs May Have To Move Payroll To Add Relievers? https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-rumors-cubs-hardy-holt-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-rumors-cubs-hardy-holt-yankees.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:33:53 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140221 The Cubs have been linked to the reliever market, though they may wait until January before making any new acquisitions.  As one source speculates to the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales, the Cubs might first need to clear some payroll space before adding to their bullpen.  Rumors of a lack of a spending capacity have loomed over Chicago’s offseason, and the crunch could be tighter than anticipated if the team will have to move other salaries to afford even mid-tier relief pitching signings.  Gonzales runs through a few of the names on the Cubs roster that could possibly be dealt in salary-clearing moves, though he notes that several of these options don’t look too feasible, as players are either coming off down years (i.e. Brian Duensing, Brandon Kintzler) or they’re coming off good years (i.e. Jose Quintana, Ben Zobrist) and thus still have value to a Cubs team looking to contend in 2019.

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    NL Notes: Reds, Mets, Cubs, Maeda https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-notes-reds-mets-cubs-maeda.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-notes-reds-mets-cubs-maeda.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 09:46:13 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140163 With news that the team is contemplating a rare foray into the big-game portion of the offseason’s free agent market, and today’s reports that the club is interested in acquiring Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig, the Reds have moved to the fore of the offseason’s hot stove.  As The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans details, it’s a unique position for a team that’s spent the last four years in the cellar of the NL Central. The Reds, to no one’s surprise, are said to be pursuing a center fielder, but quotes from President of Baseball Ops Dick Williams suggest the player need not be of the defense-first variety: “That’s one of the factors in not being comfortable in paying Billy (Hamilton) what we were paying him,” he said. “You could argue we can have room for a little more offense, a little less defense out of our center fielder.” One player said to be in the plans is blue-chip prospect Nick Senzel, a third baseman by trade who apparently offers enough athleticism to handle the position, though the options surely remain numerous at this juncture.

    In other news from around the NL . . .

    • Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets continue to ruminate internally about whether or not top prospect Andres Gimenez will be able to make the jump to the parent club in 2019, which would allow the team to dangle current shortstop Amed Rosario in a deal to reel in the trade market’s big fish, Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto. Such a scenario would, in all likelihood, necessitate the signing of a stopgap, defense-first shortstop, though 24-year-old Luis Guillorme, a supposed virtuoso with the leather, would seem to fit the bill as well as any. Gimenez, who spent nearly half of last season in Double-A as a 19-year-old, has a scouting report that reads quite similar to the one originally stamped to Rosario: a plus glove, with questions surrounding the bat.
    • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times cites sources who claim the Cubs would like to acquire two “established” but “not high-end” relievers, though such moves might not happen until next month. The Cubs’ pen delivered strong results last season (an NL best 83 ERA-), though much of the success may be ascribed to a combination of luck and sterling defense — the unit’s .277 BABIP, after all, was tied for the second lowest in the league, and its collective 106 xFIP- ranked in the league’s bottom half. Brandon Morrow, arguably the team’s best reliever in his limited action last year, is already scheduled to miss time next season after undergoing elbow surgery in November.
    • Per Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts (via the LA Times’ Jorge Castillo on Twitter), righty Kenta Maeda will begin next season in the Dodger rotation. Maeda, 30, was yo-yoed between the bullpen and rotation last year despite mostly excellent (10.62 K/9, 3.30 FIP) results as a starter. His contract, which includes a series of incentive bonuses for each additional 10 IP after reaching the 90-inning plateau for a season, plus $1MM each for making his 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, and 32nd starts of the year, may have been a factor, though the club’ll be hard-pressed to again limit the Japanese hurler if he reprises his dominance from a season ago.
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    Orioles Will Reportedly Hire Brandon Hyde As Manager https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/orioles-close-to-hiring-brandon-hyde-as-manager.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/orioles-close-to-hiring-brandon-hyde-as-manager.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 03:15:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140100 9:15pm: The Orioles could announce Hyde as their manager as soon as Wednesday, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

    7:25pm: Elias has shot down reports that the Orioles have even offered anyone the job, let alone hired a new manager, per Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com.

    7:06pm: Hyde will indeed get the job, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

    6:59pm: The Orioles “are closing in on” naming Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde their manager, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets.

    It didn’t take long for Hyde to emerge as the choice for the job in Baltimore, whose search for Buck Showalter’s successor only began in earnest a couple weeks ago. Rookie general manager Mike Elias, whom the Orioles hired less than a month ago, reportedly considered six candidates for the managerial role. Along with Hyde, Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond, Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Royals catching/quality control coach Pedro Grifol, Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell and ex-Indians and Nats manager Manny Acta were in the running for the position.

    Earlier this offseason, the 45-year-old Hyde garnered interest from the Blue Jays, Twins and Angels when they were seeking managers. He comes with plenty of coaching experience, having worked as a minor league manager with the Marlins from 2005-09 before serving as their bench coach from 2010-12. Hyde had been on the Cubs’ coaching staff since 2013, twice functioning as their bench coach (under both Rick Renteria and Joe Maddon) and once as their first base coach. His departure means the Cubs will have to find a new bench coach for the second straight offseason. Hyde only landed the role last year because Dave Martinez left to become the Nationals’ manager.

    A former minor league catcher and first baseman in the White Sox organization, Hyde’s entering an unenviable situation in Baltimore. The Orioles finished with the majors’ worst record in 2018 and are now in the early stages of a full rebuild. The franchise’s hope is that he and Elias will be up to the task of putting together its next contender, but given that they’re both neophytes, it’s likely the duo will be afforded plenty of patience.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Joe Maddon On Contract Status https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/central-notes-reds-twins-tribe-cubs.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/central-notes-reds-twins-tribe-cubs.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 02:25:38 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140115
  • Cubs manager Joe Maddon doesn’t have a contract beyond next season, but he told Patrick Mooney of The Athletic and other reporters on Tuesday that his uncertain future doesn’t faze him. “I’ve been there before. It’s all good. I am not offended. I get it. I’m excited,” said Maddon, who may lose his right-hand man, bench coach Brandon Hyde, to the Orioles. Either way, the soon-to-be 65-year-old Maddon will try to help the Cubs to a fifth straight playoff berth next season.
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    Payroll Notes: Astros, Indians, Cubs https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/payroll-notes-astros-indians-cubs.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/payroll-notes-astros-indians-cubs.html#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:01:21 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139981 The Astros began last season with a team-record $182MM payroll, the fifth-highest mark in the league, but after falling short of their bid to repeat as World Series champs, there’s a possibility that payroll could rise even higher by the start of 2019, according to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. They won’t extend beyond the luxury tax mark, but Owner Jim Crane is giving the green light to inch closer to the $206MM tax line should the right deals come along via trades or free agency. The Astros long-term financial ledger is fairly clear with only Jose Altuve signed beyond 2020, and yet, by this time next winter, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock will be free agents, George Springer and Lance McCullers Jr. will be in their final year of arbitration, and young studs Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman should earn significant pay hikes in their second and first seasons of arb eligibility, respectively. Still, Houston appears staunch in their unwillingness to deal top prospect Forrest Whitley, and the offseason additions made thus far have been measured – infielder Aledmys Diaz is pre-arb and catcher Robinson Chirinos signed for one-year, $5.75MM. Expect GM Jeff Luhnow to continue to spend judiciously, as there does not appear to be a knee-jerk spending spree on the horizon, though the possibility for increased spending is there. Now, some other payroll notes from the 2016 pennant winners…

    • Rumors have not stopped swirling around the Cleveland Indians since the offseason began, but as evidenced by Carlos Carrasco’s journey from the trade block to signing a below-market extension, anything remains possible in Cleveland. In fact, there’s no set number for the team’s 2019 payroll, per Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal, as the team’s focus remains fixed on finding a balance between staying competitive with the American League’s upper echelon and maintaining a sustainable talent base beyond 2020. Cleveland’s payroll has risen to historic (for them) levels during this current competitive stretch, and there remains the mandate to shed payroll for 2019, but the priority, by far, is to add controllable assets for the future. While getting younger is an obvious side effect of increased controllability, youth is in-and-of-itself not the goal for ownership. Where the payroll for 2019 ends up is a flexible line, so long as the goal of adding controllable assets is achieved. This falls in line with current thinking that the Indians are less likely to attach one of their bulkier short-term contracts to Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer, as either pitcher on their own will net a far more controllable collection of assets. With movement on the free agent and trade markets relatively slow league-wide, the Indians have the prerogative of patience at the moment, but as major signings start to trickle in, it will be interested to track the level of urgency in Cleveland regarding these trade talks. That said, pitchers like Kluber and Bauer will never cease to attract interested trade partners, but the window for moving a package like the rumored Edwin Encarnacion/Yandy Diaz deal may have a smaller, or at least, shifting window of availability.
    • The Cubs continue to target late-inning bullpen additions, a backup catcher and potentially a middle infielder, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Any trades involving current players, such as Ben Zobrist, who is in the last year of his deal, or noted trade target Kyle Schwarber would have to improve the Cubs from an on-field standpoint, as despite their fiscal restraints, they do not appear motivated to move someone like Zobrist simply for the salary relief.
    • That said, the Cubs have a fairly specific wish list this winter after the departures of David Ross (after 2016) and Jon Jay (after 2017) led to a perceived leadership void in the Cubs clubhouse, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. One solution may be to have Ross himself, still employed as a special assistant, spend more time around the team this season, but the Cubs front office remains on the lookout for a vocal veteran who can bring some accountability to the Chicago locker room. GM Jed Hoyer dubbed their lack of leadership in 2018 as a “miscalculation,” as they assumed certain issues would resolve themselves because so much of the Chicago core had been together for so long. It’s an interesting area of need for the Cubs considering they have no shortage of veterans who, to the outside eye, might step into that leadership void. Presumably, veterans like Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, Cole Hamels, Jason HeywardPedro Strop and Zobrist provide varying degrees of leadership, and the more youthful Javier Baez and Willson Contreras also seem capable of galvanizing the team at times, but the ability to take someone to task is indeed a rare trait, it seems, and one that Hoyer suggests is more likely to come from a reserve than a marquee player. 
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    The Orioles’ Managerial Search https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/the-orioles-managerial-search.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/the-orioles-managerial-search.html#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 01:32:30 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139078 Two weeks after tabbing Mike Elias as their new GM, the Orioles are finally making reported progress on hiring a manager. Baltimore parted with previous skipper Buck Showalter nearly two months ago, but the slow-moving GM search that eventually led the team to Elias has left it as the majors’ last club without a manager. Appointing Showalter’s successor will be one of the first noteworthy decisions Elias makes atop the Orioles’ front office, but given that the O’s are in the early stages of a full rebuild, win-loss record certainly won’t be the main focus when judging their manager in 2019.

    Here’s a look at where the Orioles’ search stands thus far:

    Latest Updates (Dec.10)

    • Speaking with MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko (Twitter links) and other reporters today, Elias said that he won’t be meeting with any more candidates beyond the six initial names, and there may not be a second round of interviews.  Elias said he hopes to have the new manager in place before the end of the month.
    • Former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta is another candidate for the Orioles’ job, according to Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman (via Twitter).  Acta oversaw rebuilding efforts in his previous two managerial jobs, leading to an unimpressive 372-518 record but doing little to harm Acta’s reputation as an analytically-open manager who works well with young players.  Acta has worked as the Mariners’ third base coach for the last three seasons.
    • Astros bench coach Joe Espada won’t be interviewing for the Orioles’ job, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports.  Espada was a popular candidate for managerial openings this offseason, and his past connection with Elias in Houston made him an interesting fit for the O’s on paper.

    Previous Updates

    • Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond has interviewed for the job, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  Redmond posted a 155-207 record as the Marlins’ skipper from 2013 to May 2015, shepherding the team through one of its many rebuilding periods and then getting fired after a slow start in 2015, as then-owner Jeffrey Loria had playoff aspirations after adding talent that winter.  Redmond has been Colorado’s bench coach for the last two seasons, and he was also mentioned as a candidate for managerial openings with the Tigers and Phillies last offseason.
    • The Orioles will interview at least six candidates in person, including Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde and Royals catching/quality control coach Pedro Grifol, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. The 54-year-old Hale has previous managerial experience, which the O’s are thought to prefer, according to Rosenthal, though he suggests it isn’t a dealbreaker. A former major league infielder, Hale managed the Diamondbacks to a combined 148-176 mark from 2015-16. Hale has since served on the staffs of the A’s and Nats, and he drew managerial interest from the Phillies and Mets a year ago.
    • Hyde, 45, was on the radars of the Blue Jays, Twins and Angels when they were seeking managers earlier in the fall. He comes with plenty of coaching experience, having worked as a minor league manager with the Marlins from 2005-09 before functioning as their bench coach from 2010-12. Hyde has been on the Cubs’ coaching staff since 2013.
    • The 49-year-old Grifol has been in his present position since 2014. The former minor league catcher brings experience as a major league hitting coach (Royals, 2013-14) and a minors manager (with low-level Mariners affiliates from 2003-05 and in 2012).
    • Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell will interview, Peter Gammons reports. He’s the son of former major league manager Buddy Bell and brother of rookie Reds skipper David Bell. Mike Bell, 43, garnered interest from the Rangers during their managerial search after the season. He’s a former professional third baseman who, prior to landing his current gig, coached and managed in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system.
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    Cubs Uninterested In Trading Kyle Schwarber https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-news-rumors-cubs-schwarber-mets-giants-bucs-braves.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/nl-news-rumors-cubs-schwarber-mets-giants-bucs-braves.html#comments Sun, 09 Dec 2018 21:48:37 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139733 The Cubs, who have always been bullish on Kyle Schwarber, continue to spurn inquiries for the slugger, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. Still only 25 years old, Schwarber just turned in a 3.2-fWAR season in which he batted .238/.356/.467 (115 wRC+) with 26 home runs in 510 plate appearances and unexpectedly received positive marks in left field (two DRS, 9.8 UZR). Schwarber will play his first of three potential arbitation seasons in 2019, when he’s projected to earn just $3.1MM.

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    Cubs Announce Coaching Staff https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/cubs-hire-chris-denorfia-coaching-staff.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/cubs-hire-chris-denorfia-coaching-staff.html#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2018 04:53:58 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139554 The Cubs announced their 2019 coaching staff Thursday, including the hiring of three new additions: pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, assistant hitting coach Terrmel Sledge and quality assurance coach Chris Denorfia. Rounding out manager Joe Maddon’s staff are bench coach Brandon Hyde, hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, third base coach Brian Butterfield, first base coach Will Venable, bullpen coach Lester Strode, associate pitching/catching/strategy coach Mike Borzello. The Cubs added that staff assistants Juan Cabreja and Franklin Font will also return, as will bullpen catcher Chad Noble.

    It’s the first MLB coaching assignment for each of Hottovy, Denorfia and Sledge. Hottovy has been in the Cubs organization since 2015, working as a scouting coordinator and assisting in developing gameplans with the coaching staff and strategies with the team’s pitchers. He’s a somewhat outside-the-box promotion, given his lack of coaching experience and the prominent nature of his role, but he’s clearly a known commodity for president of baseball ops Theo Epstein, GM Jed Hoyer and Maddon. Hottovy spent a decade as a pitcher between the Majors and minors, including MLB appearances with the Red Sox and Royals.

    Denorfia not only played for the Cubs but was at one point in his big league career a frequent platoon partner for Venable while the two played for the Padres. He’ll now be teammates with Venable once again in a much different capacity.

    Sledge, who has previously served as the Cubs’ hitting coach with Class-A Eugene, is rejoining the organization. The 41-year-old spent parts of four seasons in the Majors, parts of seven seasons in the Minor Leagues and also enjoyed a productive five-year run in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball to close out his playing career. From 2017-18, he worked as a hitting coach in the Dodgers’ minor league ranks.

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    Latest On Bryce Harper https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/dodgers-meet-bryce-harper-rumors-phillies-white-sox-yankees-cubs-padres.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/dodgers-meet-bryce-harper-rumors-phillies-white-sox-yankees-cubs-padres.html#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2018 19:30:57 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139251 TODAY: Johnson has denied any recent meetings with Harper, leading to a significantly revised Yahoo report. It’s not entirely clear from the current version of the story whether the Dodgers have or will send a contingent to meet with Harper at all.

    YESTERDAY: The Dodgers have held a sit-down with free agent superstar Bryce Harper, according to a report from Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. It’s a must-read update on the still-developing market for one of the winter’s marquee free agents.

    Of particular note, the Los Angeles behemoth has now made a notable foray into the Harper market — a possibility that was never quite clear but always tantalized. Minority owner and NBA legend Magic Johnson led a delegation to Harper’s home town of Las Vegas, suggesting at a minimum that pursuing Harper is a serious consideration for an organization that has not generally chased top free agents under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

    At the outset of the offseason, we did predict that Harper would land with the Dodgers, and score a massive contract in the process. But that was anything but a high-probability prediction, as the outfielder’s market was then and remains difficult to assess in the usual manner. Harper, after all, is a rather unique commodity. Like fellow free agent Manny Machado, he’s an established star who only recently turned 26 years of age. Both players also have their blemishes, to be sure, but the talent ceilings and volume of potentially prime seasons are, in both cases, immense.

    Thus it is that, as the Yahoo duo report, “upward of a dozen” organizations across the league have or likely will follow Magic in a Vegas road trip to chat with Harper. The Yankees are among them, despite a litany of reports suggesting they won’t pursue this particular opportunity, while the Phillies are an unsurprising club in the market as well.

    We’ve heard plenty about the White Sox to date, of course, but the seriousness of their pursuit has been tough to gauge. According to Yahoo, the South Siders have dispatched Jim Thome and others to help woo Harper to a rebuilding situation. Other possibilities abound, with the Cubs, Padres, Astros, and Cardinals all tabbed as teams with at least speculative potential interest. (That’s all in addition to the incumbent Nats, of course.)

    The report cautions that these early visits don’t necessarily signal an all-in commitment to chase the market on Harper. Certainly, it’s worth bearing in mind that the teams are still assessing their respective levels of interest. Still, it seems promising for Harper that he has drawn this much focus from nearly half the teams in baseball — particularly given that they’re all already aware that he reportedly turned down a $300MM offer to stay in DC.

    There was never any doubt, of course, that he’d be heavily pursued. But there are relatively few big-spending teams with clear-cut needs in the corner outfield, making it tough to guess at interest based upon team need and even historical spending patterns. It seems, though, that there are at least quite a few teams that are willing to assign significant resources to assess whether Harper is enough of an asset, on and off the field, to warrant not only an enormous outlay but also some roster maneuvering to fit.

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    Cubs Non-Tender Ronald Torreyes https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-non-tender-ronald-torreyes.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-non-tender-ronald-torreyes.html#comments Sat, 01 Dec 2018 01:15:48 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138946 The Cubs have non-tendered recently acquired infielder Ronald Torreyes, per a club announcement. Also non-tendered were non-arb-eligible players Justin Hancock and Allen Webster.

    It’s not entirely clear why the Cubs decided to pick up Torreyes days ago, only to set him free. It could be, though, that the club wanted the added insurance while deciding what to do with Addison Russell, who was tendered earlier today. And several other teams have done the same with certain players, so it’s hardly a one-off situation. It seems clear the utilityman could end up in the Chicago organization, though perhaps only if he is willing to sign a minors deal.

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    Cubs Tender Addison Russell Arbitration Contract https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-tender-addison-russell-arbitration-contract.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-tender-addison-russell-arbitration-contract.html#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2018 20:22:27 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138858 The Cubs announced today that they have tendered a contract to embattled shortstop Addison Russell. Like any other standard arbitration situation, it’s a non-guaranteed deal.

    Russell’s status with the Chicago organization was (and to some extent still is) in doubt. He is slated to sit out the first month of the 2019 campaign as he finishes serving a 40-game suspension under the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence Policy. That punishment was handed down following allegations from Russell’s ex-wife, Melisa Reidy. (She spoke with ESPNChicago.com’s Jesse Rogers about the situation recently, for those unfamiliar with the details.)

    Many wondered whether the Cubs would trade or non-tender Russell as a result of the troubling allegations, which involved conduct during his time with the organization. Instead, the club will take at least a partial step toward retaining the shortstop, though certainly he could still be cut loose or traded. Russell and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein each issued statements through the team’s Twitter feed. Russell is projected by MLBTR to earn $4.3MM via arbitration; his salary has yet to be determined, so far as is publicly known.

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    Angels Acquire Tommy La Stella, Release Jabari Blash https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-trade-tommy-la-stella-angels.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-trade-tommy-la-stella-angels.html#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2018 21:05:37 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138748 The Angels announced today that they’ve acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. To clear a spot for La Stella on the 40-man roster, the Halos requested unconditional release waivers on outfielder Jabari Blash.

    The trade of La Stella to the Angels comes one day after the Cubs acquired infielder Ronald Torreyes in a trade with the Yankees. The pair of moves seems to indicate that Chicago is content to move forward with Torreyes as their primary backup infielder headed into the 2019 season. The swap will also likely save the Cubs a slight bit of money; La Stella is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $1.2MM next season, while Torreyes was projected at $900K. The latter is more of a true utility option anyhow, given his ability to play shortstop — a position that La Stella has never played in the Major Leagues.

    From the Angels’ perspective, adding La Stella is a sensible move. His composite .274/.360/.396 batting line through 512 plate appearances over the past three seasons fits general manager Billy Eppler’s preferred mold of an OBP-driven offensive profile, and La Stella provides the Angels with a much-needed left-handed bat. La Stella, 30 in January, can give the Angels some cover at both second base and at third base next season, and the Angels have enough right-handed bats to comfortably platoon him if they desire. Then again, while La Stella was always shielded from left-handed pitching in Chicago, he does have a solid .278/.366/.383 batting line against lefties in his career — albeit in a tiny sample of 133 plate appearances.

    Blash, also 29, has displayed light-tower power in the minor leagues but managed just a .186/.306/.307 slash in 324 plate appearances between the Padres and Angels to this point in his MLB career. He’s a lifetime .274/.394/.606 hitter in nearly 1300 Triple-A plate appearances, however, so he could draw interest elsewhere on a minor league contract or, speculatively speaking, from a club overseas.

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    Cubs Sign Kyle Ryan To Major League Deal https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-sign-kyle-ryan-major-league-deal.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/cubs-sign-kyle-ryan-major-league-deal.html#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2018 21:53:24 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138665 3:53pm: The Cubs have announced the signing.

    3:31pm: The Cubs have agreed to a Major League contract with free-agent left-hander Kyle Ryan, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (on Twitter). The 27-year-old southpaw, who is represented by Frontline, spent the 2014-17 seasons with the Tigers and was with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in 2018.

    Ryan amassed 128 innings of Major League experience in his four-year run with the Tigers, working to a 3.87 ERA with 4.9 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.77 HR/9 and a strong 54 percent ground-ball rate. Ryan didn’t excel against either lefties or righties but was similarly effective against both (.725 OPS against righties, .728 for lefties). He’s averaged just 88.9 mph on his fastball in the Majors and managed only a 7.9 percent swinging-strike rate, however.

    This past season with the Cubs’ affiliate in Iowa, Ryan thrived in a bullpen role. Through 66 innings, he put together a 2.86 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 1.23 HR/9 and a whopping 61 percent ground-ball rate. The Chicago organization presently has Mike Montgomery, Brian Duensing and Randy Rosario as lefty relief options, but Ryan will add to that mix in affordable fashion. Though Ryan has seen action in parts of four big league seasons, the up-and-down nature of his time with the Tigers led him to accrue just under two years of MLB service time. As such, he could be controlled for another five seasons, though he’d be arbitration-eligible as a Super Two player next winter if he finishes out the season on the 40-man roster.

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