Player News - Cubs

Date: Team: Pos:

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Anthony Iapoce is leaving the Rangers to become the new hitting coach for the Cubs.

He'll replace Chili Davis, who was let go by the Cubs last week after just one season on the job. It's a logical fit, as Iapoce worked as special assistant to the general manager with the Cubs for three seasons before leaving to take the job with the Rangers prior to the 2016 season. The Rangers already fired manager Jeff Banister, so their staff is headed for quite the shakeup.
Oct 15 - 3:46 PM

Bruce Levine of MLB.com reports that the Cubs have fired hitting coach Chili Davis.

Davis spent just one year with the Cubs, and to be blunt, it didn't go well. Several hitters regressed -- although it'd be fair to point out that several hitters like Javier Baez and Jason Heyward rebounded/had career years -- but the overall numbers tell the story. Considering the young talent Chicago has, it wouldn't be a surprise if this is a job that several hitting instructors covet.
Oct 11 - 7:27 PM

Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic heard from a source that reports of the Cubs offering Kris Bryant a $200-plus million contract extension in the last several months are "simply not true."

Sharma writes that "while the Cubs have approached Bryant in previous offseasons about an extension, there has been no new activity on that front." The 26-year-old third baseman is under team control through 2021, so there's no real rush to get something done at the moment -- on either side. Bryant posted a career-low .834 OPS with just 13 home runs and 52 RBI over 102 regular-season games in 2018 while battling a lingering left shoulder injury throughout the second half. He's a good bet for a bounceback in 2019 if his health cooperates and he'll make good coin via arbitration until his free agency becomes a more pressing issue.
Source: The Athletic
Oct 11 - 10:23 AM

A source told NBCSChicago's David Kaplan that the Cubs offered Kris Bryant a deal in excess of $200 million that was turned down by the player.

There isn't much urgency here, since Bryant still has three years to go before free agency. It will be interesting to see if Bryant wants to stay with the Cubs long term after getting ripped off by the club in 2015, when he was sent back to the minors to delay his free agency for the year. It's a great situation for him otherwise, and he seems happy in Chicago. Still, he might want to keep his options open.
Oct 10 - 12:03 PM

Cubs president Theo Epstein told reporters Wednesday that Kris Bryant is not expected to require offseason shoulder surgery.

Bryant initially injured his left shoulder on a slide in late June and was bothered by lingering discomfort throughout the second half. He batted just .242/.333/.374 with two home runs over his final 30 regular-season games and went 1-for-6 with three strikeouts in Tuesday night's NL Wild Card Game loss to the Rockies. The 26-year-old third baseman will look to bounce back in 2019 after a full offseason of rest.
Oct 3 - 5:48 PM

Cubs president Theo Epstein said Wednesday that he "absolutely" wants to bring Cole Hamels back for the 2019 season.

"He’s absolutely someone we want to be part of the mix going forward," Epstein told reporters in his season-wrapping press conference. "Cole was such a breath of fresh air for us. He made an unbelievable impression." The 34-year-old left-hander holds a pricey $20 million club option for next season, but he did post an excellent 2.36 ERA over his final 12 regular-season starts after Chicago acquired him from the Rangers in late July. Perhaps the two parties can work out some kind of multi-year deal with a lower per-season guarantee.
Oct 3 - 5:39 PM

Major League Baseball has suspended Addison Russell for 40 games without pay, retroactive to September 21, under its domestic violence policy.

Russell has agreed not to appeal the decision. The shortstop was placed on administrative leave two weeks ago after his ex-wife published a blog post describing years of physical and emotional abuse by Russell. This suspension will extend through the first month of the 2019 regular season, and it could very well mean the end of Russell's tenure with the Cubs. The 24-year-old is arbitration-eligible this winter and is looking like a non-tender candidate because of his poor play in 2018 and his reprehensible actions off the field.
Oct 3 - 4:20 PM

Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago reports that Addison Russell will be suspended "in the neighborhood of 25-40 games" under MLB's domestic violence policy.

Rogers hears that there will be an official announcement "momentarily." Russell was placed on administrative leave on September 21 after his ex-wife Melisa Reidy claimed the 24-year-old shortstop abused her both physically and mentally during their marriage. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported a few days later that MLB investigators had gathered "credible information" backing up those claims via interviews with Reidy and other witnesses. This suspension would presumably extend into the 2019 regular season.
Oct 3 - 4:10 PM

Terrance Gore scored the Cubs' only run in Tuesday night's NL Wild Card Game loss to the Rockies.

Gore entered as a pinch-runner following Anthony Rizzo's two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning and promptly stole second base before scoring on a Javier Baez RBI double. But the Cubs were forced to keep Gore in the game from that point on and he struck out in two important at-bats as Chicago fell to Colorado in 13 innings. Gore has just one hit in 72 career games (21 plate appearances) between regular-season and postseason play.
Oct 3 - 1:38 AM

Javier Baez hit an RBI double in the Cubs' NL Wild Card Game loss to the Rockies on Tuesday.

His game-tying liner to left-center field in the bottom of the eighth inning gave Chicago its only run of the 13-inning affair. This is obviously a disappointing end to the 2018 campaign for Baez and the Cubs, but the 25-year-old infielder put up a career-best .881 OPS with 34 home runs, 40 doubles, 111 RBI, 21 stolen bases, and 101 runs scored in 160 regular-season games and figures to finish top-three in the NL MVP balloting.
Oct 3 - 1:28 AM

Jon Lester allowed one run over six innings Tuesday in the Cubs' NL Wild Card Game loss to the Rockies.

Lester was shaky in the top of the first, issuing a walk to leadoff man Charlie Blackmon and surrendering a ground-rule double to DJ LeMahieu before giving up a run-scoring sacrifice fly to Nolan Arenado. The veteran left-hander settled in from there, ultimately yielding just four total hits while striking out nine, but the Cubs' offense struggled to get anything going and Chicago eventually fell 2-1 in 13 innings. Lester, 34, finished the regular season with a sharp 3.32 ERA in 32 starts. He's under contract for $27.5 million in 2019.
Oct 3 - 1:22 AM

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday there should be a resolution "shortly" on the Addison Russell domestic violence investigation.

Russell has been on administrative leave since his ex-wife Melisa Reidy published a blog post two weeks ago alleging that the Cubs' shortstop abused her physically during their marriage. "Right now we’re kind of going day by day," Manfred told reporters before the National League Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field. "I think we will have a final decision shortly. That’s the best I can [say]." Whatever comes out, it seems doubtful that Russell will return to the field during the 2018 postseason. If there is a suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy, it will likely extend into the 2019 regular season.
Oct 2 - 8:28 PM

Carl Edwards Jr. (forearm) said he expects to be added to the roster if the Cubs advance to the NLDS.

Edwards has been left out of the mix for Tuesday night's National League Wild Card Game against the Rockies due to discomfort in his right forearm, but it's apparently not anything too serious. The 26-year-old setup man posted a strong 2.60 ERA over 58 regular-season appearances, but his command was off down the stretch and he also showed a concerning dip in fastball velocity.
Oct 2 - 6:27 PM

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday that the team has been given no update on the investigation into domestic abuse allegations against Addison Russell.

"I don't know anything," Maddon told reporters before the National League Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field. "It's out of our hands." Russell's administrative leave was extended through the end of the regular season on September 27, and it seems doubtful that he will be allowed to return to the field at any point in the postseason, with a suspension likely coming under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last month that MLB investigators have gathered "credible information" in regard to Russell's alleged physical and mental abuse of his ex-wife.
Oct 2 - 5:39 PM

Ben Zobrist is starting in right field and batting leadoff for the Cubs in Tuesday night's NL Wild Card Game against the Rockies.

Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber are on the bench with the Rockies starting left-hander Kyle Freeland. Here is the full lineup for the host Cubs: Ben Zobrist RF, Kris Bryant LF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Javier Baez SS, Albert Almora CF, Daniel Murphy 2B, Willson Contreras C, David Bote 3B, Jon Lester SP.
Oct 2 - 4:10 PM


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