Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’
The Cubs have decided to not tender a contract to reliever Daniel Bard. Once a dominant set-up pitcher with the Red Sox, Bard was claimed off waivers in September. At that time, Theo Epstein told the right-hander they were committed to him for the long haul. Bard struggled after the Red Sox tried to convert him to a starter and battled a strained abdominal muscle this season.
When he joined the Cubs, Bard did not get into a game but worked on the side with pitching coach Chris Bosio. They videotaped the sessions, even though Bard was unaware of the cameras as the Cubs hid one in the ivy and another in a door at Wrigley Field.
In November, Bard appeared in three games for Caguas in Puerto Rico, but was able to retire one of the 13 batters he faced. He gave up seven earned runs, walked nine, hit three batters, and threw four wild pitches.
The right-hander is now a free agent. The Cubs could still re-sign Bard, who made $1.8625 million this year.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs signed catcher George Kottaras to a one-year, $1.075 million contract that includes incentives. The catcher, acquired last Tuesday from the Royals in a trade for cash considerations, made $1 million last season. He is projected to back up Welington Castillo behind the plate.
The Cubs have yet to announce whether they will tender contracts to their other arbitration eligible players. The list includes Darwin Barney, Jeff Samardzija and Daniel Bard.
– Carrie Muskat
Looking for a holiday gift for your favorite Cubs fan? Major League Baseball and the Cubs today unveiled “A Century of Wrigley Field: The Official History of the Friendly Confines,” a one-of-a-kind, official retrospective book featuring classic stories and rare archived images to commemorate the ballpark’s first 100 years. The book is available for pre-order beginning today on MLB.com, and 200 advance copies are on sale now at the Cubs Store on the corner of Clark and Addison Streets with additional copies arriving on Dec. 12. The retail price is $50 and all orders must be placed by Dec. 19 to receive shipment by Dec. 24.
Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, wrote the forward for this book that details the life of “The Friendly Confines” and its unique history. The book includes tributes from Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, Chicago native and hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, Chicago football legend Mike Ditka, Cubs play-by-play commentators Pat Hughes and Len Kasper, and others. It also highlights Cubs Hall of Famers, including Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Billy Williams and the late Ron Santo.
Luis Valbuena was 2-for-4 with one RBIs for Lara de Cardenales in Venezuela. Valbuena was batting .270 with two home runs, three doubles and 10 RBIs.
Winter ball statistics:
Junior Lake: .360/.404/.465 in 22 games with three doubles, two home runs, 11 RBIs, six stolen bases.
Arismendy Alcantara: .200/.231/.280 in 17 games with one double, one home run, four RBIs, two stolen bases.
Rubi Silva: .372/.413/.465 in 11 games with four doubles, six RBIs.
Luis Valbuena: .270/.352/.413 in 16 games with three doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs, one stolen base.
Christian Villanueva: .244/320/.411 in 28 games with six doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs, one stolen base.
Marcos Mateo: 3-0, 1.04 ERA, 15 games, seven saves, 17 1/3 innings.
Marcus Hatley: 1-3, 3.94 ERA, 17 games, six saves, 16 innings.
Hector Rondon: 2-0, 2.38 ERA, 12 games, 11 1/3 innings.
* The Cubs are expected to tender contracts to all of their arbitration eligible players before Monday’s 10:59 p.m. CT deadline. Players not tendered before that deadline will become free agents. The Cubs have nine players who are arbitration eligible, including infielders Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy; outfielder Nate Schierholtz; and pitchers Pedro Strop, Travis Wood, Daniel Bard, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija.
The main reason teams might non-tender a player is because he is arbitration eligible and due for a raise higher than the team is willing to pay.
This is the third year Schierholtz is arbitration eligible, the second year for Samardzija, Russell, Valbuena, and Murphy, and the first year for Bard, Barney, Strop and Wood. According to salaries projected by MLBTradeRumors.com, if the Cubs tender contracts to all nine players, they’ll be adding $21.5 million to the payroll. The Cubs have committed $49 million to six players for 2014 and will be paying $14 million to the Yankees to cover the last year of Alfonso Soriano’s contract.
*The Cubs have reportedly re-signed outfielder Darnell McDonald to a Minor League deal. He has a career .285/.353/.453 slash line against left-handed pitchers (12-for-28 this season with Cubs). McDonald played in 25 games with the Cubs this season, and was outrighted to the Minor Leagues on Oct. 8. He became a free agent Oct. 15.
* According to FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays have reached an agreement with catcher Dioner Navarro on a two-year, $8 million deal. Navarro, 29, batted .300 in 89 games last season with the Cubs, hitting a career-high 13 home runs, including three in one game, and driving in 34. Navarro was paid $1.75 million last year. The Cubs have signed George Kottaras to be their backup catcher in 2014.
* Steve Wilson, who was the Pacific Rim and Mexico scouting coordinator for the Cubs, has joined the Yankees as the Pacific Rim scouting coordinator/international crosschecker. Wilson pitched for the Cubs from 1989-91.
– Carrie Muskat
You can give the gift of Cubs baseball for the holidays. Cubs Holiday Ticket Packs are available now, starting at $98 for two seats to four games. You can select from three different four-game packages in both the seating bowl and Budweiser Bleachers. Packages can be customized to include as few as two tickets per game or as many as 10 tickets per game in each package. Fans requesting quantities over 10 tickets per game should contact the Cubs Ticket Office at (773) 404-4242. All other ticket orders may be completed at http://www.cubs.com/holiday. Total package prices will vary based on location and the number of tickets purchased.
Game selections for each Cubs Holiday Ticket Pack follow:
* Holiday Pack A
Tue., Apr. 8, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Pirates
Wed., July 30, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Rockies
Wed., Sept. 17, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Reds
Tue., Sept. 23, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Cardinals
* Holiday Pack B
Sat., Apr. 5, TBD, Cubs vs. Phillies
Tue., Apr. 22, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Diamondbacks
Wed., Aug. 13, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Brewers
Tue., Sept. 16, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Reds
* Holiday Pack C
Wed., Apr. 9, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Pirates
Mon., Apr. 21, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Diamondbacks
Wed., Aug. 20, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Giants
Wed., Sept. 24, 7:05 p.m., Cubs vs. Cardinals
The Holiday Gift Packs must be ordered by Monday, Dec. 9, for U.S. Postal Service delivery or Monday, Dec. 16, for FedEx delivery before Christmas Day. Advanced ordering is recommended, as these mail delivery dates cannot be guaranteed.
Dioner Navarro posted career numbers last season as the Cubs backup catcher, but he is now a free agent and the team decided to go a different direction, and acquired George Kottaras from the Royals for a cash consideration on Tuesday. Kottaras, 30, was the Royals’ backup catcher last season after he was claimed off waivers from the Athletics in January. He started 29 games and hit .180 with four doubles, five home runs and 12 RBIs. Kottaras’ .349 on-base percentage was sixth-highest among American League catchers.
Navarro batted .300 in 89 games with the Cubs, hitting a career-high 13 home runs and driving in 23 runs, as a backup to Welington Castillo, who will be the team’s starter again in 2014.
Kottaras, a left-handed hitter, was designated for assignment by the Royals on Friday. He has batted .214 with 40 doubles, three triples, 29 home runs and 96 RBIs in 295 Major League games with the Red Sox (2008-09), Brewers (2010-12), Athletics (2012) and Royals (2013). In 2012, Kottaras tied his career mark with nine home runs between the Brewers and Athletics, including six in 27 games for the Athletics following a July 29 trade. In his final full season with Milwaukee in 2011, he hit for the cycle, Sept. 3 at Houston, becoming the third catcher to do so in the live ball era.
– Carrie Muskat
Happy Thanksgiving to all. It’s a time to give thanks, and take stock. It’s also a time for many to eat.
Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney’s favorite dish? His mother’s homemade stuffing. He wasn’t sure what the secret ingredient was but said she doesn’t use a stuffing mix and breaks the bread apart by hand.
“My mom makes it from scratch and it’s the only thing I look forward to about Thanksgiving,” Barney said. “They usually give me the easy job of corn or cranberry sauce.”
Barney also clarified that his mother’s stuffing isn’t the only good thing about the holiday. The second baseman, who lives in Beaverton, Ore., in the offseason, also enjoys getting together with family at this time of year. He does love the food.
“Her stuffing is my favorite thing about Thanksgiving,” he said.
Cubs TV analyst Jim Deshaies said they celebrate with a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
“I’m a big fan of turnips while the rest of the clan leans more toward the squash,” he said. “My wife is convinced that there is nothing better than squash and cranberries mixed together. Gravy is my favorite food group, so anything slathered in gravy gets the job done for me.”
Safe travels to all.
– Carrie Muskat
* On Sunday, Luis Valbuena hit a three-run home run in the ninth to secure an 8-3 win for Lara over Magallanes in Venezuela. Valbuena was batting .275, and this was his second home run of the winter league season.
* On Monday, Junior Lake was 2-for-4 with a RBI double in the ninth in Estrellas’ 7-2 loss to Gigantes in the Dominican Republic. Lake was batting .361.
* Rubi Silva was 3-for-4 with a RBI double in the fifth Monday for Leones de Ponce in Puerto Rico. The outfielder, who batted .284 with 30 doubles, nine triples and 15 home runs for Double-A Tennessee last season, was batting .385 this winter.
The Cubs are hoping to find someone willing to buy naming rights for the new Spring Training stadium in Mesa, Ariz. For now, the ballpark will be called Cubs Park. Justin Piper, the GM for business operations in Mesa, said the name could change. The Cubs will play their first game at the new stadium Feb. 27 against the Diamondbacks. On Jan. 25, the city of Mesa will hold a public grand opening for the stadium and the surrounding park. In 2010, Mesa voters approved a $99 million outlay of public money for the stadium complex, located at what was Riverview Golf Course in west Mesa.