Results tagged ‘ Randy Wells ’

1/17 Arbitration numbers – UPDATED

Matt Garza and the Cubs exchanged figures on Tuesday. The right-hander is seeking $12.5 million while the Cubs countered at $7.95 million. Usually, the team and player reach agreement on a halfway point, which, in this case, would be $10.225 million. Garza was 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in 31 starts in his first season with the Cubs. He will be a free agent after the 2013 season.

The Cubs avoided arbitration with six other players. That list includes Geovany Soto, who signed for $4.3 million. Tuesday was the day when teams and players exchanged arbitration figures. The players on the list have between three to six years of big league service time.

RHP Matt Garza: Asked for $12.5 million; Cubs offered $7.95 million

Here are the new deals:

IF Jeff Baker: $1.375 million

IF Blake DeWitt: $1.1 million

C Geovany Soto: $4.3 million

3B Ian Stewart: $2.237 million

RHP Chris Volstad: $2.655 million

RHP Randy Wells: $2.705 million

If the Cubs and Garza do not reach an agreement, they will present their cases at hearings scheduled for Feb. 1-21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Cubs last went to arbitration with infielder Ryan Theriot in February 2010, which was the team’s first hearing since 1993. Theriot was seeking $3.4 million and the Cubs offered $2.6 million. Theriot lost the case but still received a raise from his $500,000 salary in 2009. Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry had settled 36 straight arbitration cases before Theriot’s hearing.

— Carrie Muskat

1/16 Woody’s Winter Warm-up huge success

Kerry Wood raised more than $85,000 at the Wood Family Foundation’s first “Woody’s Winter Warm-Up” on Friday, which included Theo Epstein playing guitar. The event was held at Harry Caray’s tavern on Navy Pier and was perfectly timed as Wood re-signed with the team earlier in the day at the Cubs Convention. Wood recruited guest bartenders throughout  the evening, and they suited up in a t-shirt and bar apron and  competed for tips while serving drinks and food to guests.

Participants included Ryan Dempster, Tony Campana, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Ian Stewart, Matt Garza, Randy Wells,  Marlon Byrd, Rick Sutcliffe, Jon Lieber, Gary Matthews and new manager Dale Sveum.  Even Bears players Otis Wilson, Richard Dent and Israel Idonije did some mixing behind the bar. Others in attendance included Cubs owners, Todd and Tom Ricketts, Epstein, and Jeff Samardzija, Darwin Barney, James Russell, Josh Vitters, and David DeJesus.

Guests were not only entertained by the special acoustic performance by the event’s headline band, Plain White T’s, but unexpectedly by Cubs pitcher Randy Wells, who took to the stage to perform “Free Fallin” alongside the Plain White T’s.  Epstein was next up and played “Rockin’ In A Free World” on guitar with the band.

The bidding became interesting when Dempster asked Wood to include a 30-minute pitching session with himself. When Wood agreed, the auction shot up and sold at $7,000. Another bidder shouted their interest in buying the exact same package for $7,000 if offered, and it was.

Wood and his wife, Sarah, thanked everyone for coming and spoke about the Wood Family Foundation and its mission.  Wood said he was excited about the upcoming season, saying “there is no place like Chicago — it’s home.”

 — Carrie Muskat

1/11 Cubs eager to get started on 2012

Randy Wells expects another competitive spring because of the new pitchers the Cubs added this offseason.

“It was competitive last year in Spring Training — not quite to this extent,” Wells said Wednesday during a Cubs caravan stop. “At the same time, it was fun to go in there and earn your keep. … I think I pitched good enough in the second half to at least put my name in the mix for competition.”

Although he’d prefer to start, Wells will do whatever the Cubs ask. He has one goal.

“I want to win here,” Wells said. “I want to be a part of it. You think about the scenario. Think about how hard it is to drive down Waveland and Clark streets on a regular day when we win. I can’t imagine how it would be when we win it. I want to be a part of that.”

* Darwin Barney also is eager to get started after talking to new manager Dale Sveum.

“I’m excited to be here and I think we’re excited about the staff we have,” Barney said. “I’ve had an opportunity to talk to these guys. It gets you excited when you talk about their philosophies and the things they have to say.”

Sveum talked about moving forward and how the Cubs will get better. Barney isn’t taking anything for granted.

“You’re always competing,” the second baseman said. “Going into Spring Training is no different than it was last year for me. You’ve got new management, new coaches. You never know what they’re thinking. For me, I’m going to focus on being ready and try to win a job.”

* Tony Campana has added 10 pounds after an offseason at “Camp Bussy,” which was renamed in honor of strength coordinator Tim Buss. It was formerly “Camp Colvin” for Tyler Colvin. Campana has worked primarily on improving his upper body strength. Maybe he’ll hit a home run over the fence? He has one in the big leagues, an inside the park homer against the Reds.

“I’ve worked on my speed, too, so maybe I can hit a couple over the fence and a couple inside the park ones, too,” he said.

* New pitching coach Chris Bosio has started looking at video of the Cubs pitchers and talked to many of them. He has a feel for the pitchers because of his past job as an advance scout. Bosio has yet to talk to closer Carlos Marmol, who needs to get back on track.

“I think with Marmol, you just want him to be himself,” Bosio said. “We’ll address the mechanical stuff when we get a chance to see him. You’ve got a unique guy. Cal McLish, an old pitching coach told me, ‘Always let these guys go a little bit before you start changing anybody,’ and that’s my plan. I’ve got to see them first in person. Video can tell you so much, sitting 10 rows deep [in the stands as a scout] can tell you some things, too. You’ve got to let these guys be who they are and then try to help them and not so much maybe with mechanics but where we’re going with the pitch.”

Theo Epstein & Co. sought Bosio’s input on the pitchers they added this offseason.

“There were some questions and I gave my two cents,” Bosio said. “I felt like we were pretty much on the same page a lot, which was refreshing. We’ve got some very intelligent guys who we’re working with. They know the lingo, they know the terminology, they know what they like. They’re not shy about using their own phrases, which is again, refreshing for me, being on the same page not only on what we see on these guys but the terminology. It’s a nice combination.”

— Carrie Muskat

12/12 Hill now free agent

The Cubs have non-tendered catcher Koyie Hill but did tender contracts to the other arbitration eligible players, Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, and Randy Wells. The deadline for tendering contracts to any arbitration eligible players was 11 p.m. CT Monday. Because Hill was non-tendered, he is now a free agent. The 32-year-old catcher batted .194 in 46 games, including 38 starts. The Cubs were 22-16 in games in which he started. The team could look internally for a backup with both Welington Castillo and up and coming Steve Clevenger as options.

— Carrie Muskat

12/12 Arbitration deadline

The deadline for tendering contracts to any arbitration eligible players is 11 p.m. CT Monday. For the Cubs, this will mean decisions on seven players: Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, Matt Garza, Koyie Hill, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart and Randy Wells. If a team decides to non-tender a player, he would become a free agent.

* Baker, 30, batted .269 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 81 games (42 starts), including a .314 average against left-handed pitchers. He was 4-for-30 as a pinch-hitter. He made $1.175 million in 2011.

* DeWitt, 26, hit .265 in 121 games with five homers and 26 RBIs in 121 games in his first full season with the Cubs. Acquired from the Dodgers on July 31, 2010, in the Ted Lilly deal, DeWitt batted .406 against lefties. He made $460,000 this year.

* Garza, 28, went 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in 31 starts in his first season with the Cubs. Acquired on Jan. 8 from the Rays in an eight-player deal, he was the hard-luck pitcher. He left a game with the lead but did not factor in the decision seven times. Garza made $5.95 million in 2011.

* Hill, 32, batted .194 in 46 games, including 38 starts. The Cubs were 22-16 in games in which he started. Hill made $850,000 this year. He may be the only one non-tendered, and the Cubs could look at Welington Castillo as a backup catcher.

* In his fourth full season, Soto, who turns 29 on Jan. 20, batted .228 with 17 homers, 26 doubles and 54 RBIs in 125 games. If Soto stays on the same pace, he should have a stellar season in 2012. In ’08, he won National League Rookie of the Year, batting .285, and followed that with a disappointing .218 season in ’09. In 2010, he hit .280, and his average dropped this past season. He received $3 million in 2011.

* Wells, 29, missed nearly two months with a strained right forearm, which he felt after his first start April 4. The right-hander did not return until May 28, and went 7-6 with a 4.99 ERA in 23 starts, giving up a career-high 23 home runs. His best month was August when Wells was 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA in six starts. He received $475,000 in 2011.

* Stewart, 26, is the newest Cub. Acquired on Thursday from the Rockies for Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu, the third baseman made $2,228,750 this season.

— Carrie Muskat

10/17 Join Wells for “Boot Bash” on Friday

Cubs pitcher Randy Wells will host the “Boot Bash” on Friday at Joe’s Bar in Chicago to benefit the Boot Campaign. Stoney LaRue and Midnight River Choir will perform. There will be live and silent auction items. General admission tickets are $15, or you can buy Pitchin’ in Package tickets for $40, and get an autographed ball and photo, meet and greet opportunity, and two beer tickets. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. CT. The Boot Campaign provides a way for Americans to show appreciation for troops, past and present, plus raise awareness of the challenges they face upon return, and donate fnds to charities supporting their transition home.

Go to for more info, watch a cool video with Wells, and to buy tickets.

— Carrie Muskat 


9/25 Cardinals, Cubs salute Pujols

Albert Pujols is usually the one in Cardinals’ red launching balls out of the ballpark, but he went 0-for-4 in what could be his last home game for the team. The crowd of 41,469 saluted the free agent to be in each at-bat with a standing ovation. Cubs starter Randy Wells stepped off the mound in the first to let the fans acknowledge Pujols, then got him to line out to second base, igniting a double play.

“I respect Albert, I think everybody respects Albert,” Wells said. “It’s a nice moment for him. To be honest, I thought he was getting his regular cheers [in the first]. When I saw he was tipping his hat, I’m not going to say, ‘Let’s go.’ This is his town and he definitely deserves it.”

“It’s a tribute to a great player,” Mike Quade said. “No matter what city you’re in, people appreciate quality. I’m just glad he didn’t do damage today. Wells handled him well.”

Carlos Pena said he got goosebumps when the crowd rose to salute Pujols.

“That was a special moment for baseball,” Pena said. “You’re talking about arguably the best hitter who has ever existed. Not only has he done that on the field but he has also been an unbelievable citizen here in the city of St. Louis. He’s been a great guy in the community. You can’t ask anything more from him.”

Pena drew two walks and had a chance to chat with Pujols at first. Did he ask the Cardinals slugger what’s next?

“No,” Pena said. “That’s the question of the ages. I wish him the best. He deserves the best. The fans don’t want him to leave. It is truly a pleasure to watch him play, hit and try to beat him. Every chance you get, you try to neutralize him. What a fierce competitor, but most importantly a well-respected professional and hands down, one of the best guys in baseball.”

The multi-million dollar question now is whether Pujols will stay in St. Louis or leave. There have been rumors circulating about him possibly switching sides and going to the Cubs.

Said Pena: “I see him in a St. Louis uniform.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/20 Cubs lineup vs. Brewers

Bryan LaHair is starting in right field Tuesday in Game 2 of the Cubs’ series against the Brewers. LaHair has hit safely in 11 of his first 12 games played with a plate appearance. Starlin Castro enters the game with 196 hits, four shy of 200. Randy Wells is 5-0 with a 3.57 ERA in nine starts since the beginning of August. Here’s the lineup:

Castro SS

Barney 2B

Ramirez 3B

Pena 1B

LaHair RF

Soriano LF

Byrd CF

Soto C

Wells P

— Carrie Muskat

9/12 Boot Campaign fundraiser Oct. 21

Cubs pitcher Randy Wells and musician Stoney LaRue will host the “Boot Bash 2011” on Oct. 21 at Joe’s Bar, 940 Weed Street, Chicago. The event will benefit the Boot Campaign, an initiative aimed at showing appreciation of the active military and raising awareness of the needs of miliary personnel. Admission is $15 per person, and there are VIP tickets for $125 per person. Doors open at 7 p.m. CT.

“This one hits home,” Wells said of the Boot Campaign. “You think of what we get to do for a living and that’s not possible without the sacrifice of so many people. We acknowledge service members and veterans here at the games but you forget about the stuff they have to go through when they return home. It definitely changes their life.”

Both LaRue and the Midnight River Choir will perform. There will be a silent auction of music and sports memorabilia. For more info, visit

— Carrie Muskat

9/7 New York, New York

Here are the pitching matchups for the Cubs’ three-game series against the Mets, which opens Friday at Citi Field in New York:

Friday: Casey Coleman (2-7, 6.61) vs. Mike Pelfrey (7-11, 4.68)

Saturday: Randy Wells (7-4, 4.86) vs. Chris Capuano (10-12, 4.63)

Sunday: Matt Garza (8-10, 3.52) vs. Miguel Batista (4-2, 3.92)

— Carrie Muskat