Player News - Cubs

Date: Team: Pos:

FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals will sign Dexter Fowler to a five-year deal worth at least $80 million, pending a physical.

Fowler has been confirmed to be in St. Louis to take a pre-signing physical. The center fielder turned down a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Cubs and was believed to be seeking a four-year deal for about $18 million per year. It appears the Cardinals trumped the field by offering a fifth year and at least $16 million annually. One year after the Cubs poached Jason Heyward and John Lackey from the Cardinals, they get a measure of revenge by prying Fowler away from the World Series champs. Fowler gives the Cardinals a badly-needed upgrade in center field and should find a home near the top of the lineup. He owns a .366 career on-base percentage. Randal Grichuk will move from center to left field with Matt Holliday out of the picture.
Dec 8 - 9:59 PM

According to beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals made an "over-the-top offer" to be sure they landed free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler.

Multiple reports state Fowler is on his way to St. Louis for a pre-signing physical. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirms that the deal is done and that it's expected to be big, perhaps in the $80-90 million range. It's safe to say he got the $18 million AAV (average annual value) he was seeking. Fowler is tied to draft pick compensation after rejecting a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Cubs. He registered a solid .276/.393/.447 slash-line with 13 homers, 48 RBI, and 13 steals over 125 games this past season.
Dec 8 - 8:55 PM

According to Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports, free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler is scheduled to take a physical in St. Louis on Friday.

Cusumano says that he confirmed the information with the team. This would seem to indicate that the Cardinals have reached an agreement with Fowler and that the physical would be the formality to making things official. No word yet on the terms involved, but Fowler's reps were said to be looking for $18 million annually in a multi-year pact. The 30-year-old is coming off a strong season for the World Series champion Cubs where he batted .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI, and 13 steals over 125 games. While the defense isn't great in center field, it would fit into the team's goals of adding some speed and athleticism this winter.
Dec 8 - 7:14 PM

Jake Arrieta's agent Scott Boras said he plans to discuss a contract extension with the Cubs in January.

The two sides will meet at that point to sort out Arrieta's salary for 2017, his final year of arbitration. It's possible (though probably not likely) that they go ahead and work out something long term instead. Arrieta, 30, posted a 3.10 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 regular-season innings this summer for the Cubs before helping the franchise to its first World Series title since 1908. He's due a big raise from the $10.7 million he made in 2016.
Dec 8 - 1:11 PM

Brewers selected LHP Caleb Smith from the Yankees with the No. 7 pick in the Rule 5 draft and traded him to the Cubs for cash.

Smith, a 2013 14th-round pick out of Sam Houston State, put up quality numbers as a starter in the Yankees system, but without featuring the kind of stuff that made the team take him seriously as a prospect. He spent much of last year in the pen and had a 3.96 ERA and a 70/20 K/BB ratio in 63 2/3 innings for Double-A Trenton. He's more of a middle-relief type than a lefty specialist, and the Cubs will probably be able to do better in their pen.
Dec 8 - 10:15 AM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees have agreed to terms with Aroldis Chapman on a five-year, $86 million contract.

Mark Melancon set a new record for a reliever contract earlier this week with his $62 million deal, but Chapman's contract obviously blows it out of the water. Rosenthal says the deal includes an opt-out after the first three years, a full no-trade clause for the first three years and a limited no-trade for the final two years. ESPN's Marly Rivera said the limited no-trade portion stipulates that Chapman can't be dealt to a team in California. Chapman will return to being the Yankees' closer, with Dellin Betances moving back to a setup role.
Dec 7 - 11:41 PM

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said that the team remains in contact with Travis Wood.

If the Cubs are to re-sign Wood, they might have a bit of elbowing to do. At least if you are to believe the pitcher's agent. Darek Braunecker said on Wednesday that a whopping 10 teams are in on Wood. This past season, the 29-year-old southpaw pitched to a sharp 2.95 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 61 innings with the World Series champs. Depending on which team signs him, Wood could work as either a reliever or a starter. The Marlins are said to be looking at him in a starting capacity.
Dec 7 - 9:22 PM

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that the team will not sign both Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.

No huge surprise there, as both players could potentially draw contracts north of $90 million. ESPN's Jayson Stark has reported that the Marlins and Yankees have both floated five-year contracts to the pair of relievers, but Chapman would be the Bombers' preference here. The Dodgers also remain an interested party, and the Nationals are expected to make a big push.
Dec 7 - 8:18 PM

Travis Wood's agent Darek Braunecker said his client is receiving interest from 10 teams.

That might sound like typical agent-speak, but Wood figures to do very well for himself in this market after posting a 2.95 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over 61 innings of relief for the Cubs in 2016. He has experience as a starter and some teams might be viewing him as a rotation option for 2017, but a bullpen role is probably best.
Source: ESPN.com
Dec 7 - 7:59 PM

Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that both the Yankees and Marlins have offered Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen five-year contracts.

Stark relays that the Dodgers are also keenly interested in both of these free agent closers, though the length of their potential offers aren't known at this juncture. The Yankees' interest in Chapman is well-documented, but Stark shines a light on the Marlins, writing that sources with knowledge of the team's thinking "describe them as being significantly more interested than previously believed." The Nationals are also in the mix for Chapman, with USA Today's Bob Nightengale passing along word earlier on Wednesday that the team is "firmly in the hunt."
Source: ESPN.com
Dec 7 - 7:26 PM

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Nationals are "firmly in the hunt" for Aroldis Chapman.

Washington has money to spend after acquiring center fielder Adam Eaton and his team-friendly contract from the White Sox, and it sounds like the focal point now is a dominant closer. Kenley Jansen could be another option for Washington if the pursuit of Chapman falls through. Chapman obviously has very close ties to Nationals manager Dusty Baker, but cash is king in these types of situations. Jansen and Chapman are both said to be seeking $100 million contracts.
Dec 7 - 6:56 PM

Cubs acquired RHP Wade Davis from the Royals for OF Jorge Soler.

Medicals weren’t a sure thing after Davis’ forearm issues from last season, but the Cubs were apparently satisfied with what they saw. If healthy, Davis is a tremendous pickup for the back-end of this bullpen. The 31-year-old wasn’t as dominant by his usual insanely lofty standards in 2016, but he owns an incredible 1.18 ERA in 185 appearances over the last three seasons. He’s going into his final year of team control.
Dec 7 - 1:57 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Yankees, Marlins, and Dodgers are awaiting word from Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported early Wednesday that "there's an increasing sense" that Jansen and Chapman could be close to making decisions on where to sign. Heyman notes that Chapman is the Yankees' top choice while the Dodgers would prefer a reunion with Jansen. The Marlins are the wild card here and are open to signing either. Both closers should land deals north of $80 million.
Dec 7 - 12:33 PM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal confirms that if a deal is completed between the Cubs and Royals, it will be a one-for-one swap with Wade Davis and Jorge Soler.

There had been some chatter about other prospects potentially going to the Royals, but it will be a straight-up swap. Davis carries some health questions and the Cubs are apparently going over his medicals before the deal is finalized, but given the recent price of top-tier relievers, this has a chance to be a great move if he can stay healthy in his walk year. Soler still possesses considerable upside, but he's an expendable piece in Chicago.
Dec 7 - 10:45 AM

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports hears that "there's an increasing sense" among teams in the elite-closer market that Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman could be close to making decisions on where to sign.

It's crunch time in negotiations. We've already heard that Chapman reportedly has a $92 million offer on the table from someone. Jansen's deal should fall in a similar range. The Marlins, Yankees, Dodgers, and Nationals are all linked here in some form or fashion.


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