Player News - Cubs

Date: Team: Pos:

Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters on Wednesday that Javier Baez will have to show a better approach at the plate to earn more playing time.

"[Baez] is at that point now (that) to get those 500 to 600 plate appearances, (he needs to) organize (his) strike zone, accept walks and use the whole field," Maddon said Wednesday. "That would be the next level for him." Baez is still just 25 years old, but his grand total of 64 walks in 1,267 plate appearances speaks to his lack of patience at the plate. He oozes talent, but if he's ever going to reach his ceiling, there has to be a reason for pitchers to throw him more strikes. If he does eventually find that groove, look out.
Feb 21 - 7:45 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Phillies and Jake Arrieta are "having dialogue."

Top free agents Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer, and J.D. Martinez have all found homes in recent days, so the focus now turns to Arrieta. There's a connection with the Phillies, as members of the team's front office know him well from their time in Baltimore. Arrieta would be a great fit in Philadelphia's rotation, but Heyman hears that the Phillies would prefer a shorter-term deal. It's safe to say that multiple teams would be interested if the soon-to-be 32-year-old is seriously willing to consider such a scenario.
Feb 20 - 9:20 AM

Ben Zobrist was held out of Monday's workouts as a precautionary measure due to a back issue.

It's not a long-term concern. Zobrist split his time between second base and the corner outfield spots last season while posting a disappointing .232/.318/.375 batting line with 12 homers. The 36-year-old figures to serve in a similar role this year. He still has two years and $28 million remaining on his contract.
Feb 19 - 3:50 PM

Cubs released RHP Williams Perez.

Perez signed a minor league contract a week ago, but he was recently arrested in his native Venezuela following an accidental shooting. The 26-year-old holds a career 5.18 ERA in the majors.
Feb 18 - 10:07 AM

Cubs placed LHP Drew Smyly on the 60-day disabled list with a torn left ulnar collateral ligament.

The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Shae Simmons. Smyly will be sidelined until after the All-Star break as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Feb 16 - 1:24 PM

Cubs signed RHP Shae Simmons to a one-year, $750,000 contract.

It's a split contract according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, as Simmons will make $750,000 prorated in the majors and $120,000 prorated if he's in the minor leagues. The 27-year-old right-hander went to Seattle along with Mallex Smith in the January 2017 trade that sent Luiz Gohara to the Braves, but he struggled with injuries and registered a 7.04 ERA in 7 2/3 innings when he was healthy enough to pitch. Simmons has shown moments of looking like a quality late-inning arm at times, so if he gets back near 100 percent he does have a chance to become a member of the Cubs' bullpen at some point.
Feb 14 - 4:55 PM

Mike Montgomery told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he would like assurances that his arm will be protected if he's not a part of the rotation.

With the signing of Yu Darvish, Montgomery is all but assuredly bumped from the rotation mix behind Darvish, Jose Quintana, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. Montgomery told Gonzales that last year was taxing on his arm -- a year that saw him begin in the bullpen, move to the rotation and then move back to relief duties. He's also made it clear that he views himself as a starting pitcher. The Cubs see obvious value in Montgomery's ability to pitch as a starter or a reliever, but in this market, it's also possible he could be moved to a team that can slide him immediately into their rotation.
Feb 14 - 4:14 PM

Cubs signed RHP Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million contract.

With Darvish arriving to Cubs' camp on Tuesday, the deal is now official. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the yearly salaries break down as follows: $25 million in 2018, $20 million in 2019, $22 million in 2020, $22 million in 2021, $19 million in 2022, and $18 million in 2023. He has an opt-out after two years and a full no-trade clause for the first four years. It then switches to a limited no-trade clause consisting of 12 teams. Darvish and Tyler Chatwood are the new additions to a strong rotation which also includes Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, and Kyle Hendricks.
Feb 13 - 1:21 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Yu Darvish's no-trade clause in his deal with the Cubs starts out as a full no-trade clause for part of the deal, then switches to a list of 12 teams.

That's the same setup that Jason Heyward has in his deal with the Cubbies. Even with a limited list toward the end of the contract, Darvish will still have plenty of veto power on where he winds up should the Cubs look to move on before the end of the six-year pact.
Feb 11 - 7:08 PM

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports Yu Darvish can opt out after the second year of his agreed-upon, six-year deal with the Cubs.

In his six-year, $126 million deal from the Cubs, Darvish likely got less than he was originally aiming for, so the opt-out will give him an option to test the waters in a few years to see if they're any more friendly. His performance at the end of last season likely contributed to those icy waters, so two years of strong performance would help, too. With Darvish off the market, perhaps we start to see some other free agent starter dominoes fall, too.
Feb 10 - 7:02 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Dodgers were in the bidding on Yu Darvish right until he decided to sign with the Cubs.

That could mean that the Dodgers will still be in the market for pitching help and will turn to one of the lesser names available on the free agent market.
Feb 10 - 3:10 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs and Yu Darvish have come to an agreement on a six-year, $126 million contract.

The deal is pending a physical and could run as high as $150 million with incentives. Finally, into the second week of February, there's a resolution to the top remaining name on the free agent market, which will hopefully allow for the other dominoes to fall into place, Darvish joins a stacked rotation that already boasts Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood.
Feb 10 - 2:57 PM

ESPN's Buster Olney reports that if the slow market forces Jake Arrieta to defer pursuit of long-term deal, there are teams "very interested" in him on a short-term, high-salary contract.

We would be shocked if that weren't the case. Ultimately, it would be a surprise if it comes to that for Arrieta, as he should still be paid handsomely by someone even if it's not nearly what he might've been shooting for at the beginning of the offseason. Arrieta will turn 32 in a month, so taking a short-term deal and trying free agency again next winter would be an awfully risky move on his part.
Feb 9 - 12:42 PM
Jon Jay - OF - Cubs

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Jon Jay "appears to be a consideration for the Marlins."

The fit makes sense, as the Marlins are desperate for outfield help after trading their entire starting outfield this offseason and Jay should come cheap. Jay is also from Miami, went to The U, and the Marlins might offer him more playing time than he'd get anywhere else, so the interest would probably be mutual. Coming off a .296/.374/.375 line with two homers over 433 plate appearances last season with the Cubs, Jay will turn 33 next month.
Feb 8 - 5:34 PM

Justin Grimm lost his arbitration case against the Cubs and will receive a $2.2 million salary for the 2018 season.

Grimm requested $2.475 million when artration figures were exchanged last month. The 29-year-old reliever posted a disappointing 5.53 ERA across 55 1/3 innings in 2017 while earning $1.825 million. He may be a non-tender candidate next winter if his numbers don't improve. Grimm is also not entirely assured of an Opening Day bullpen spot with the Cubs.
Feb 8 - 3:42 PM


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