Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

11/17 Mueller to Cardinals

Bill Mueller, who resigned as the Cubs hitting coach after one season, has taken a job as an assistant hitting coach with the Cardinals, St. Louis GM John Mozeliak announced Monday. Mueller left after the Cubs decided not to retain assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley.

– Carrie Muskat

11/17 Jon Lester rumors

WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports the Red Sox will have met with Jon Lester prior to the free agent pitcher’s scheduled to get together with Cubs officials on Tuesday. The Cubs are in the market to add a starting pitcher and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer know Lester well from their days together in Boston.

11/17 Next?

With Russell Martin signing with the Blue Jays, here are the free agent catchers still on the market and their 2014 stats:

John Buck (Mariners/Angels): 32 games, .225
Ryan Doumit (Braves): 100 games, .197
Nick Hundley (Padres/Orioles): 63 games, .247
Gerald Laird (Braves): 53 games, .204
Jeff Mathis (Marlins): 64 games, .200
Wil Nieves (Phillies): 36 games, .254
Ronny Paulino: Did not play in Major Leagues in 2013-14
A.J. Pierzynski (Red Sox/Cardinals): 87 games, .251
David Ross (Red Sox): 50 games, .184
Geovany Soto (Rangers, Athletics): 24 games, .250

* Note: Hundley, Mathis have player options for 2015

11/17 Report: Martin to Blue Jays

Cubs fans can cross Russell Martin off their wish list. According to reports Monday, the 31-year-old free agent catcher signed a five-year, $82 million deal with the Blue Jays. The Cubs were viewed as the front runner for Martin, but most likely were not willing to commit that type of deal.

11/16 Cubs in mix for Martin

Could the Cubs sign free agent catcher Russell Martin? FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal posted on Twitter that executives involved in bidding for Martin feel the Cubs are the “clear front runner.” Rosenthal said they project a deal in the four-year, $64 million range. The Cubs would like to upgrade at catcher after a disappointing offensive season by Welington Castillo. Martin reportedly met with Cubs officials at Wrigley Field earlier this month. Other teams reportedly pursuing Martin include the Dodgers, Blue Jays and Pirates.

The Pirates did extend Martin a qualifying offer, which he declined. The Cubs’ top pick in the June Draft (ninth overall) is protected, and they would have to give up their second-round pick if they did sign Martin.

– Carrie Muskat

11/16 Cubs acquire La Stella

The Cubs acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Braves, as well as Atlanta’s No. 4 international signing bonus slot, for right-handed pitcher Arodys Vizcaino and three international signing bonus slots (slot Nos. 2, 3 and 4).

La Stella, 25, made his Major League debut with the Braves last season and led NL rookies with 36 walks and a .328 on-base percentage. In 93 games, he batted .251 (80-for-319) with 16 doubles, one home run and 31 RBIs, and compiled a .984 fielding percentage in 88 games at second base. He began the year at Triple-A, his first time at that level, and hit .293 (49-for-167) with a .384 on-base percentage in 47 games for Gwinnett prior to his promotion to the Majors.

Vizcaino, 24, pitched in five September games for the Cubs last season and posted a 5.40 ERA in his first Major League action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March of 2012. He was acquired from the Braves with right-handed pitcher Jaye Chapman, on July 30, 2012, for left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson.

With the moves, the Braves added $832,000 in international bonus pool money by trading La Stella plus the No. 4 slot to the Cubs for Vizcaino plus slots 2, 3 and 4.

La Stella did hit one home run in his first big league season, and that came off the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg on Aug. 8.

“We have enough firepower around where we don’t need anything crazy,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said when La Stella was promoted in May. “We don’t need anybody to come in and win the batting title or the home run title. Get on base and give us an opportunity to lengthen our lineup.”

La Stella replaced Dan Uggla at second for the Braves.

“He’s a guy that’s going to split the gaps, get on base,” Gonzalez said of La Stella. “He’s got great plate discipline. It’s good to be able to have that in your lineup. It’s nice to have that change, and hopefully he gives us something.”

– Carrie Muskat

11/16 Rizzo addresses crowd

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Here’s Anthony Rizzo talking to the crowd at his third Walk Off for Cancer in Parkland, Fla.

(Photo courtesy of Chicago Cubs)

11/16 Rizzo Walk Off for Cancer

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Here’s the crowd of participants taking part in Anthony Rizzo’s third Walk Off for Cancer, held Sunday in his hometown of Parkland, Fla. Rizzo has raised more than $100,000 each of the first two years of his walk. You can still donate at http://www.rizzo44.com

(photo courtesy of Chicago Cubs)

11/14 Cubs season opener now April 5

The Cubs are moving up the start of the 2015 season. The Cubs and ESPN announced that the 2015 opener at Wrigley Field will be played Sunday, April 5, to accommodate Major League Baseball’s Opening Night and an exclusive national television broadcast. The game versus the Cardinals now will start at 7:05 p.m. CT and air on ESPN2. This will mark the first Opening Night in Wrigley Field history.

Due to the shift, the Cubs-Cardinals opening series will be as follows:

Sunday, April 5: 7:05 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Monday, April 6: OFF DAY

Tuesday, April 7: 7:05 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Wednesday, April 8: 1:20 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday, April 9: OFF DAY

– Carrie Muskat

11/14 Japan tour update

Cubs pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada gave up two runs on two hits and one walk in 1 2/3 innings pitching for the MLB All-Stars in an 8-4 loss to Samurai Japan on Friday. Wada served up Japan’s first home run of the series, a solo shot in the eighth by Nobuhiro Matsuda. There were 42,277 fans at the Tokyo Dome for Friday’s game. The MLB team has been outscored, 17-12, in the three games.

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