Results tagged ‘ Nationals ’

11/12 Cubs deny Zimmermann report – UPDATED

Cubs officials denied a report they were in contact with the Nationals regarding a potential trade for right-hander Jordan Zimmermann. On Tuesday night, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the two teams had mutual interest in making a deal, with the Cubs sending at least one of their middle infielders to the Nationals for the pitcher. However, a Cubs official told later Tuesday that the report was not true. FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal also reported Cubs officials denying the Sun-Times report.

The Cubs are in the market for starting pitching, but are more likely to be exploring the free agent pitchers on the market, including Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and James Shields. If the price for those players is too high, they could wait for next year’s free agent market that will include Zimmermann, David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. Theo Epstein has said repeatedly that they are looking at players over the next 15 months, not just this offseason.

Zimmermann, who turns 29 in May, is due to make $16.5 million in 2015, the last year of his contract. He was 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 32 starts in 2014.

An update: On Wednesday, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo denied the Cubs and Nats were in talks regarding Zimmermann. Speaking in Phoenix at the GM meetings, Rizzo said the report “was somebody’s conjecture that had no basis to it and no facts. There was no interaction whatsoever on the subject. How do I react to it? What can you do about it, other than talk to the guy who wrote it and say, ‘What are you doing?'”

— Carrie Muskat

2/6 June 28 day-night twinbill

Mark your calendars: The June 29 Cubs game against the Nationals now will be part of a day-night doubleheader on June 28. It will be a separate admission, day-night doubleheader. The change was made at the request of Ald. Tom Tunney and in consideration of neighborhood traffic and congestion in connection with the annual Pride Parade in Chicago on June 29.

The first game of the doubleheader will be played at 12:05 p.m. CT, and the second game was scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m. CT. There will be no game Sunday, June 29.

The last time the Cubs had a day-night doubleheader on their schedule was July 4, 1983, against the Expos.

— Carrie Muskat

12/10 Trade rumors

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, talks are over between the Cubs and Nationals regarding a possible trade in which Chicago would get either reliever Tyler Clippard or Drew Storen. The Cubs are looking for bullpen help and a possible closer. Storen, 26, had that role. Kilgore reports that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo would need to have his “socks knocked off” to move either reliever.

12/9 Bullpen help

The Cubs are looking for bullpen help and one name they are believed to be interested in is Nationals’ right-hander Drew Storen. In four seasons with the Nats, the right-hander has a 3.40 ERA in 232 games. Last season, he appeared in 68 games, finished 20, and averaged 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Storen, 26, was a first-round pick in 2009, and is arbitration eligible for the first time. His best season was 2011 when he totaled 43 saves and posted a 2.75 ERA over 75 1/3 innings. The Nationals are interested in finding some help for the bench and looking for a young, versatile player in return.

The Cubs are looking for a closer. So far this season, they’ve added lefty Wesley Wright to the bullpen, although that deal has not been officially announced. Wright still needed to take a physical to complete the deal.

— Carrie Muskat

11/24 Samardzija rumors

Jeff Samardzija struck out 200 over 200 innings in his first full season as a starter, and has drawn interest from teams looking for a young pitcher, especially one who would be under team control for two more years. The Diamondbacks, Nationals and Blue Jays have reportedly inquired about Samardzija and on Sunday, there was a report that Toronto was putting together a package of young players for the Cubs right-hander.

During an interview on MLB Radio on Sunday, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos was asked if there was any truth to the rumor about the Blue Jays pursuing Samardzija.

“You know what, I just saw that [rumor], too,” Anthropoulos told MLB Radio. “I’m in the office [Sunday] just going through some things. I’m going to try to be a little more candid than I may have been in the past. I won’t comment on specific rumors and things like that but I will say that we’re definitely exploring starters with teams. But also, just like a lot of stuff that’s out there that is false, we have not made an offer to anybody with respect to a starter. So if there is something out there that [says] we’ve actually made an offer to someone for a starter, that is not accurate. It doesn’t mean we’re not inquiring.”

MLB Radio host Jim Duquette asked if anything was imminent regarding either adding a free agent or making a trade.

“You know what, we’re talking to one club about a smaller trade and maybe it’ll move the next few days, or maybe it won’t happen,” Anthropoulos said. “But, no, I don’t think, not right now there isn’t anything imminent. We’re not necessarily waiting on someone to get back to us but, again, at any time that can change and I hope it does. I think, and you guys both went through it, before the Thanksgiving holiday sometimes there’s that last little push [when] teams want to get some things off their plate. So maybe things happen here in the next two or three days. If not, we’ll take it to the [Winter Meetings], I guess, at that point.”

The Cubs have approached Samardzija, 28, about a possible contract extension. The pitcher, who was the Opening Day starter this year, has not been in a hurry to something done.

“I have two more years of arbitration so there is a lot of time to get something done,” Samardzija said in early November.

As for all the rumors, GM Jed Hoyer said Samardzija had the right attitude because he doesn’t pay any attention to the reports.

Teams shopping for starting pitching may be comparing the cost of acquiring Samardzija with another 28-year-old, David Price, who also is under team control for two more years. However, Price has more innings and experience as a starter, and won the AL Cy Young in 2012 when he went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA for the Rays. Price did miss time this season because of a left triceps strain. Samardzija, who ranked fifth in the National League in strikeouts per nine innings, has been healthy. Price was paid $10 million in 2013; Samardzija $2.6 million.

The Cubs don’t have that much depth pitching-wise, with Travis Wood, Edwin Jackson, Jake Arrieta set for the rotation in 2014.

— Carrie Muskat

2/12 Jackson: “I was a peacemaker”

Edwin Jackson is now a member of the Cubs, not fighting them as he did last Sept. 6. On that day, benches cleared in the game between the Cubs and Nationals after Chicago’s Lendy Castillo threw inside to Bryce Harper. Where was Jackson during the fight?

“I wasn’t a negotiator,” Jackson said Tuesday, “but I was kind of right there.”

Video replays show Jackson charging out of the dugout along with his teammates and needing to be restrained by Washington bench coach Randy Knorr.

“I was a peacemaker, but I was right there,” Jackson said. “Somehow I end up in the middle regardless of whether I’m doing anything or not. I can just be standing around, just watching everyone and observing and oh, like, ‘Oh man, I’m in the middle.'”

The television cameras caught Jackson yelling from the sidelines and the Nationals broadcasters said the pitcher was “still hot” after the players had been separated. Jackson said he didn’t recall specifics.

“I was just standing around, watching what was going on,” he said.

Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was fined and suspended one game after the incident. On Wednesday, Clevenger caught Jackson’s bullpen session without incident.

“We’ve talked,” Clevenger said. “He’s a good guy.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/6 Cubs vs. Nationals

The Cubs will be happy to leave Washington D.C. after Thursday’s series finale against the Nationals. This has not been fun. The Cubs have been out-hit, 61-40, out-scored 34-16, out-homered, 16-2, and outplayed in the six games so far. On Wednesday, the Nats hit six home runs for the second straight night, and, according to Elias Sports Bureau, became the third team in Major League history to do so.

“That’s just men playing against boys right now,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Sveum didn’t get to watch the end of Wednesday’s game from the dugout. With one out and a 1-0 count to Michael Morse in the Nationals’ fifth, Sveum was ejected by home plate umpire Larry Vanover.

“I just didn’t appreciate him eyeballing our dugout for absolutely no reason at all,” Sveum said. “I just don’t think that’s right when you’re looking in our dugout for no apparent reason at all.”

Welington Castillo had complained about a called third strike in the Cubs fifth, which may have prompted Vanover to keep an eye on the dugout.

The Cubs are batting .207 against the Nationals so far, and Justin Germano takes the mound Thursday. It’s been tough for the young players.

“Hopefully, they have the thick skin to handle what they are going through,” Sveum said. “It’s not that fun to be at this level and struggle that badly. So you tell them don’t worry about your numbers — I want to see improvements and adjustments and see what can happen then.”

The Cubs need to go 12-14 to avoid a 100-loss season.

— Carrie Muskat


12/29 Garza hot topic

Could the Cubs deal Matt Garza? They are apparently still listening to teams interested in the right-hander. The Cubs are most likely looking for a package similar to what the Padres received from the Reds for Mat Latos and what the Athletics received from the Nationals for Gio Gonzalez, which means a lot of talented prospects. According to reports, the Blue Jays and Yankees may be the front-runners. What makes Garza attractive to the Jays and Yankees is his 23-15 record, 3.34 ERA in 56 career games vs. the AL East. Plus, he’s 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 19 games against the Red Sox.

Chicago helped its system by dealing Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood and two other players. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said Garza is “exactly the type of pitcher we want to build around” but is willing to listen as the team re-tools. They’d have to be overwhelmed to move Garza, who is under team control through 2013. Gonzalez, 26, and Latos, 24, will be under team control for at least four years.

— Carrie Muskat

11/1 Listach expected to be bench coach

The Cubs were expected to name Pat Listach as Mike Quade’s bench coach, according to’s Bill Ladson, who cited two baseball sources. Listach, 43, has been the third base coach for the Nationals the last two years and indicated an interest in the Cubs’ managerial position after Lou Piniella retired. Listach managed in the Cubs’ system for four seasons, posting a 258-217 record. In 2008, he led Triple-A Iowa to an 83-59 record and was named the Pacific Coast League’s manager of the year. Listach played six big league seasons from 1992-97, winning the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1992 with the Brewers.

A Cubs official would neither confirm nor deny Listach’s hiring. Major League Baseball asks teams to hold off on making announcements during the World Series, and out of respect for that, the Cubs will not make any announcement regarding the coaching staff until the Series is completed. Even if the Giants win Monday night to end the Series, the Cubs were expected to wait until Wednesday, an official said.

The Cubs had an opening after Alan Trammell left to join Kirk Gibson on the Diamondbacks’ staff.

— Carrie Muskat

12/22 Matt Capps

According to’s Bill Ladson, free agent Matt Capps has narrowed his list of teams to the Nationals and the Cubs, and will make a decision by Wednesday night. Capps was not offered arbitration by the Pirates after saving 27 games. If he signs with the Nationals, Capps will be their closer. If he signs with the Cubs, he’d be a set-up pitcher for Carlos Marmol. He’d also give the Cubs some insurance in case Marmol has problems with walks.

— Carrie Muskat