The Cubs claimed left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser off waivers from the Orioles on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos was designated for assignment.
Riefenhauser, 26, has spent parts of the last two seasons at the big league level with the Rays, going 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA in 24 relief appearances. He was acquired by the Mariners as part of a six-player trade last Nov. 5 and acquired by the Orioles as part of a three-player deal on Dec. 2. He was designated for assignment on Feb. 4.
With Triple-A Durham last season, Riefenhauser went 4-2 with one save and a 2.86 ERA (11 ER/34 2/3 IP) in 29 relief appearances. He struck out 34 while walking only seven batters in 34.2 innings pitched, turning in a 0.92 WHIP.
The Cubs announced their 2016 regular season television schedule, and fans will be able to watch games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, WGN-TV and WLS-TV/ABC 7.
WLS-TV/ABC 7 will televise Opening Night from Anaheim on April 4 at 9:05 p.m. CT, the station’s first of 25 games this season. Comcast SportsNet Chicago has its first of as many as 86 games on April 5 at 9:05 p.m. CT from Anaheim (this game is scheduled for CSN+). WGN-TV’s first of 45 broadcasts will take place on April 8 at 8:40 p.m. CT from Arizona. WGN-TV will also televise the Cubs’ home opener on April 11 vs. the Reds at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Cubs games have been televised by WGN since 1948 (a handful of the 45 WGN-TV produced games will be televised by WPWR My50 Chicago). This will be Comcast SportsNet’s 12th season televising the Cubs and the second for WLS-TV/ABC 7.
Len Kasper returns for his 12th season in the Cubs’ television booth and will be joined by Jim Deshaies for their fourth season together broadcasting Cubs baseball.
The Cubs and NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta have reportedly reached an agreement on a one-year, $10.7 million contract, avoiding arbitration. Arrieta’s deal is a record one-year contract for a second-time arbitration eligible pitcher, topping the $10.1 million David Price received in 2013.
Arrieta and the Cubs were scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Tuesday. The right-hander had filed for $13 million, while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The difference was the largest of any arbitration case this year. The right-hander made $3.63 million in 2015.
The Associated Press first reported the settlement. As of early Saturday, the Cubs had not confirmed.
The Cubs have updated the course for the 11th annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run, to be held April 23. This year, the run, presented by ATI Physical Therapy, will allow participants to race through Wrigley Field.
Registration is open now through April 22 at 2 p.m. CT at http://www.racetowrigley.com. Registration fee is $40 and the chip-timed 5K fee is $45.
The 5K race beings at 8 a.m. CT, and the route will direct participants through the Lakeview neighborhood surrounding Wrigley and then onto the concourse through the Budweiser Bleacher Gate on Sheffield Avenue. The finish line will be near the Wrigley Field marquee.
Proceeds from the race will benefit Cubs Charities, which provides increased access to sports opportunities and targets improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Cubs Charities will donate proceeds from all personal fundraising to support Advocate Children’s Hospital.
The top fundraising team and top overall fundraiser will receive tickets to the April 27 Cubs game against the Brewers, as well as be recognized during a pregame ceremony on the field. The first 100 fundraisers to raise a minimum of $500 will receive a Kyle Schwarber autographed baseball.
National League Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and the Cubs are reportedly scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Tuesday.
Arrieta, 29, submitted a request for $13 million, while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The difference is the largest of any arbitration case this year. The right-hander made $3.63 million in 2015. The Cubs would not comment regarding the hearing date.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has never taken an arbitration eligible player to a hearing. During the Cubs Convention last month, Epstein said the filing numbers “don’t always represent the offers.”
“I would be extremely hopeful we’ll get something to done to avoid a hearing,” Epstein said. “Jake deserves a really big raise. Nothing but the best things to say about him. His performance last year and as a Cub speaks for itself and he’ll be deservedly rewarded by the system and we look forward to making it happen, preferably as a settlement.”
The Cubs have talked about a possible long term deal for Arrieta, who is coming off a stellar year in which he went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA. He will be a free agent after the 2017 season.
— Carrie Muskat
In case you missed the roster moves, the Cubs have invited 18 non-roster players to Spring Training, which begins Feb. 19 in Mesa, Ariz., when pitchers and catchers report. Position players report Feb. 23, and the first full squad workout is Feb. 24.
The following 10 pitchers have been invited: right-handers Stephen Fife, Brandon Gomes, Jean Machi, Felix Pena, Jonathan Pettibone, Armando Rivero, Drew Rucinski and Duane Underwood, as well as left-handers Luis Cruz and Jack Leathersich.
Three infielders have been invited: Jesus Guzman, Munenori Kawasaki and Kristopher Negron. The three outfielders invited include Albert Almora, John Andreoli and Juan Perez. Two catchers also have been invited: Taylor Davis and Tim Federowicz.
Cubs legendary broadcaster Harry Caray will be the featured subject in “Holy Cow! The Story of Harry Caray,” the latest edition of MLB Network Presents, to premier Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. CT. Narrated by award-winning actor and die-hard Cubs fan William Petersen, the one-hour program on MLB Network documents Caray’s rise to becoming one of baseball’s most iconic voices and how his legacy still resonates throughout the game.
The episode covers a rare look into Caray’s childhood and relationship with his family, including interviews with Atlanta Braves broadcaster and Harry’s grandson, Chip Caray, and Harry’s widow, Dutchie.
Broadcasters Joe Buck, Bob Costas, Pat Hughes, Tim McCarver, Steve Stone and Rick Sutcliffe describe Caray’s unique style that endeared him to generations of fans. Former Cubs president John McDonough and Chicago columnist Rick Kogan detail Caray’s special bond with Chicago, where Caray called White Sox games for 11 seasons and Cubs games for 16 seasons. Longtime comedians and Chicago natives Tom Dreesen and Jeff Garlin highlight Caray’s colorful personality.
*On Friday on MLB Network, fans can watch Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta receive their BBWAA awards, which were presented in New York last Saturday. Check your local listings for the time.
Cubs fans will be able to watch or listen to nearly every Spring Training game this year via television, radio or internet radio broadcast.
The Cubs announced Wednesday that a Cubs game will be available every game day of the spring schedule via one or more broadcast mediums, and 30 of the 32 games are scheduled to be available overall. The only games not available are road split squad games, March 7 against the Rockies and March 12 against the Dodgers.
The schedule features nine games to be televised by Cubs broadcast partners, including six by Comcast SportsNet Chicago and three by WGN-TV. Nine games will be broadcast on 670 The Score Cubs Radio Network, and 21 will be available via internet radio broadcast on http://www.Cubs.com. Fans can access the Cubs webcasts on Cubs.com and MLB.com for free by registering for a log-in account with the website.
Two games will be broadcast on ESPN: March 17 against the Diamondbacks from Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., and March 24 against the Giants from Scottsdale.
670 The Score, the team’s new radio rightsholder, will broadcast its first game on March 5 when the Cubs play host to the Reds. Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer return as the radio voices of the Cubs.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s first game will be March 16 when the Cubs play in Surprise, Ariz., against the defending World Champion Royals. WGN-TV’s first game will be March 20 when the Cubs play host to the Royals in Mesa. Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies return to call all Cubs TV games.
Kasper will join Mick Gillispie, radio broadcaster for the Cubs’ Double-A Tennessee affiliate, for most of the Cubs.com internet radio broadcasts. They will kick off the Cactus League season on March 3 when the Cubs travel to Maryvale, Ariz., to face the Brewers.
Thanks to the generosity of fans, Kerry Wood’s Winter Warm Up raised more than $125,000 at its Jan. 15 fundraiser at Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch Restaurant in Chicago. More than 750 guests attended the event, which celebrated its fifth year.
“This is one of our favorite events to host each year,” Wood said. “The current and past Cubs players create a lot of excitement when they are in the room, not to mention our celebrity guests who are bartending throughout the night … It’s an all out really fun time.”
Among the Cubs players who attended were Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Justin Grimm, Miguel Montero, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Chad Noble, Dan Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson, David Ross, John Lackey, Ryne Sandberg, Scott Sanderson, Steve Trout, Joe Maddon, Mike Borzello, Eric Hinske, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Crane Kenney. Other celebrity guests included the Bears’ Israel Idonije and the Blackhawks’ Brent Sopel.
“We appreciate everyone that came out to support the foundation and our Pitch In program,” said Wood’s wife Sarah. “This event allows us to provide more resources for our students and mentors so that our mentoring program continues to grow.”
The Wood Family Foundation (WFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in June 2011. It’s goal is to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago. Proceeds from the event go to the WFF’s “Pitch In” group mentoring program serving fourth through eighth graders in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.
If you missed the event and want to make a donation, go to http://www.woodfamilyfoundation.org.
The Cubs’ Javier Baez went 1-for-4 in Santurce’s 3-1 loss to Caguas on Wednesday night in the Puerto Rican league round robin playoffs. Baez, who has played second or shortstop during the playoffs, was batting .222. Santurce faces Caguas Thursday night.