11/5 Money matters

MLB Trade Rumors has developed a model to project arbitration salaries. Here are the projections for the Cubs arbitration eligible players (remember, these are projections):

John Baker: $1.1 million
Wesley Wright: $2 million
Chris Coghlan: $1.4 million
Luis Valbuena: $3.1 million
Justin Ruggiano: $2.5 million
Travis Wood: $5.5 million
Pedro Strop: $2.4 million
Jake Arrieta: $4.1 million
Felix Doubront: $1.3 million
Welington Castillo: $2.1 million

Heading into the offseason, the Cubs have $35.5 million committed for 2015 to eight players (Edwin Jackson, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Tsuyoshi Wada, Jorge Soler, Ryan Sweeney, Jacob Turner, Gerardo Concepcion).

11/5 AFL and Winter ball updates

Dan Vogelbach hit a three-run single and added a double to spark the Mesa Solar Sox to a 3-1 victory Tuesday night over Salt River in Arizona Fall League play. On Wednesday, the Solar Sox play host to Glendale at 12:35 p.m. MT at Cubs Park. Right-hander C.J. Edwards is scheduled to start for Mesa.

Winter league update:

Junior Lake is batting .271 in 13 games with Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League. Lake has one home run and one double, and has struck out 11 times in 48 at-bats. Jonathan Mota was 4-for-11 in three games in Puerto Rico. Also, Manny Ramirez is playing for Aguilas in the Dominican Republic, and batting .243 in 10 games with one home run, two doubles and eight RBIs.

11/5 Alfonso Soriano retires

Alfonso Soriano announced his retirement from the Major Leagues. The 38-year-old outfielder was a seven-time All-Star, and ranks 50th on the all-time home run list with 412.

“I’ve lost the love and passion to play the game,” Soriano said in a radio interview Tuesday in the Dominican Republic. “Right now, my family is the most important thing. … Although I consider myself in great shape, my mind is not focused on baseball.”

Soriano spent seven seasons with the Cubs before he was traded to the Yankees in 2013.

– Carrie Muskat

11/4 The Cubs and Russell Martin

One day after signing free agent manager Joe Maddon, the Cubs are checking the list of free agent players and are reportedly looking at Russell Martin. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman said the Cubs are going to target Martin, considered the top catcher available this offseason. Sources also told Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Patrick Mooney that the Cubs have Martin on their radar.

The Pirates extended the $15.3 million qualifying offer to Martin, but he was expected to turn that down. The Pirates want to bring Martin back, and are one of several teams interested in the catcher. The list also is believed to include the Blue Jays and Red Sox. Martin will most likely be looking for a five-year deal, especially after catchers Brian McCann, Yadier Molina and Miguel Montero each signed contracts of that length. McCann received $85 million, Molina $75 million and Montero $60 million.

Other players who received the one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer on Monday include Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez, Melky Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Liriano, Michael Cuddyer and Ervin Santana. The players have until Nov. 10 to make a decision.

The Cubs would not have to give up a first-round Draft pick to sign Martin because of the team’s finish in the bottom 10 among Major League teams but instead it would cost a second-round pick. They also would have the amount slotted for that pick subtracted from the total amount of their Draft signing bonus pool, which governs how much a team can spend to sign picks in the top 10 rounds.

Martin’s slash line last season with the Pirates was .290/.402/.430, and he hit 11 home runs and drove in 67. He did miss time early in the season because of a left hamstring injury.

The Cubs had hoped Welington Castillo could pick up where he left off in the second half of 2013 when he hit .288 but instead batted .237 in 110 games. Castillo did set career-highs in home runs (13) and RBIs (46), but also was sidelined with a rib cage injury.

– Carrie Muskat

11/4 Roster moves

The Cubs officially activated outfielders Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney from the 60-day disabled list, which puts the 40-man roster at 37. Ruggiano was placed on the DL on Aug. 27 with a left ankle injury, and did not return. On the same day, Sweeney was placed on the 15-day DL with a left hamstring strain.

11/4 In case you were wondering …

Why does Joe Maddon want to wear No. 70? He preferred No. 20, but lost that number when Don Sutton came to the Angels. Maddon was randomly assigned 70 at that time, and decided he wouldn’t change so his number would never be taken from him again.

11/4 Here’s Jed, Joe and Theo

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GM Jed Hoyer, new manager Joe Maddon and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein at Monday’s news conference at the Cubby Bear.

11/4 AFL update

Dan Vogelbach and Jacob Hannemann were a combined 0-for-5 in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 1-0 loss to Salt River in Arizona Fall League play Monday. Gerardo Concepcion took the loss, giving up one run on two hits in one inning. On Tuesday, the Solar Sox face the Rafters in Scottsdale. The game will be streamed on MLB.com, starting at 6:35 p.m. MT.

11/4 Coaching staff

The Cubs may make some changes to the coaching staff now that Joe Maddon is the new manager. In early October, the team announced the staff but that was before Rick Renteria was dismissed and Maddon was hired.

“I would not expect significant turnover,” Theo Epstein said. “Joe has the right to bring people in if he wants to.”

Currently, the staff includes new hitting coach John Mallee, outfield/first base coach Doug Dascenzo, pitching coach Chris Bosio, bench coach Brandon Hyde, third base/infield coach Gary Jones, bullpen coach Lester Strode, catching coach Mike Borzello, assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske, and staff assistant Franklin Font.

– Carrie Muskat

11/4 Maddon mania

On Monday, Joe Maddon became the 54th manager in Cubs history, signing a five-year, $25 million contract with the team. The two-time American League manager of the year held an entertaining introductory news conference at the Cubby Bear bar, a location made necessary because of the renovation work at Wrigley Field. Maddon was clearly excited about the opportunity and didn’t hide it.

“For me, I’m going to be talking playoffs next year,” Maddon said. “I’m going to tell you that right now. Because I can’t go to Spring Training and say any other thing. I’m just incapable of doing that. Why would you even report? It’s all about setting your standards and your goals high because if you don’t set them high enough you might actually hit your mark. We’re going to set our mark high and I’m going to talk playoffs and World Series this year and I’m going to believe it.”

Theo Epstein had interviewed Maddon for the Red Sox job in 2003, but did that at the Biltmore in Phoenix. Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer interviewed Maddon at an RV park in Pensacola, Fla., sitting in lawn chairs next to a lake.

“Comparing Joe now to when I interviewed him over a decade ago, he was always confident but it’s now reached a new level because he’s done it and it’s worked,” Epstein said. “Joe is a combination of just about everything we look for in a manager. Everyone associates him with new-school because they’ve used analytics in Tampa and he’s so open-minded and so progressive. But this is an old-school baseball guy with a wealth of knowledge. … It’s hard to find that. It’s hard to find old-school and new-school in the same package.”

Some highlights from Monday:

* He believes pre-game work is overrated, he likes the National League because of the “intellectual component,” and isn’t worried about curses. He is an avid bike rider, likes wine, and is about to open a restaurant in Tampa.

* He was impressed by the Cubs young talent during the Rays three-game Interleague series in August, which was an incentive to take the job.

* He was not aware of the opt-out clause in his contract until told, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to be a free agent.

* He’s been called crazy. That’s OK. Can his unique style play in a big market like Chicago?

“We’re going to find out,” Maddon said. “Why would I ever want to change? Why would I ever want to do something that’s counter to my nature or personality? Why would I want to do that? It shouldn’t matter where you’re located. What matters is the consistency with which you approach the day and how you deal with people and how you build relationships. That’s important.”

* And, in a first for a Cubs manager, Maddon offered to buy everyone at the Cubby Bear a drink.

– Carrie Muskat


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