Player News - Cubs

Date: Team: Pos:

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times mentioned free agents Tommy Hunter, Burke Badenhop and Ryan Webb as "legit possibilities" for the Rays.

Tampa Bay is looking to beef up its bullpen after trading Jake McGee to Colorado last week. The Rays have also been linked to Tyler Clippard though he might be out of their price range. Hunter is coming off a disappointing season (4.18 ERA in 58 appearances) but has been a solid late-inning and middle relief option throughout his career. The hard-throwing right-hander is reportedly holding out for a two-year deal.
Feb 6 - 11:23 PM

Cubs and RHP Jake Arrieta avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $10.7 million contract.

The agreed-upon sum is $450,000 above the midpoint that the two sides filed at. It marks the largest one-year deal in history for a pitcher with four years of service time. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner is fresh off an unbelievable 2015 season where he registered a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236/48 K/BB ratio over 229 innings. He'll be arbitration-eligible again after next season, though there have been rumblings that the Cubs and Arrieta have been in discussions on a multi-year contract extension.
Feb 5 - 11:55 PM

Jake Arrieta is scheduled to have an arbitration hearing with the Cubs on February 9 in Arizona.

Arrieta requested a $13 million salary and was offered $7.5 million from the Cubs' front office when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That's a huge gap -- $5.5 million to be exact -- so this will be a very interesting result. Arrieta won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award after posting a 22-6 record, 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings. He had a brilliant 0.75 ERA over his final 15 regular-season starts.
Feb 4 - 2:50 PM

Cubs signed OF Matt Murton to a minor league contract.

Murton hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2009, when he hit .250/.304/.404 in 56 plate appearances with the Rockies. The veteran outfielder spent the last six seasons in Japan, playing for the Central League's Hanshin Tigers. He will be nothing more than organizational depth for the Cubs.
Feb 4 - 9:40 AM

Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com hears that it's "highly unlikely" the Cubs re-sign Dexter Fowler.

Bruce Levine of Chicago's 670 The Score reported last week that the two sides have remained in contact, but it doesn't sound like a reunion is in the cards unless Fowler's price tag really drops. That's certainly possible, as the loss of a draft pick being attached to him appears to have really depressed his market. However, another issue for the Cubs is that they'd likely have to trade Jorge Soler in order to make room for Fowler. There had been buzz that they could do just that earlier in the offseason, but it has since cooled.
Source: CSN Chicago
Feb 1 - 8:33 PM

Cubs signed RHP Jonathan Pettibone to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

The 25-year-old right-hander missed the entire 2015 season as he was working his way back from multiple shoulder surgeries. He makes for a nice low-risk gamble for the Cubs.
Jan 30 - 8:43 AM

Cubs signed LHP Nick Greenwood to a minor league contract.

Greenwood--a 14th round selection by the Padres in the 2009 amateur draft--most recently spent time in the Cardinals' minor league system. In 32 games (129 innings, 22 starts) for Triple-A Memphis in 2015, he held a tough 5.79 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 60/25 K/BB ratio. While the 28-year-old southpaw was used mostly as a starter in the Cards' system, he's expected to work as a reliever with the Cubs and could provide a spot of depth if the club needs to call up an extra arm at some point.
Jan 27 - 10:42 PM

Bruce Levine of Chicago's 670 The Score reports that the Cubs and White Sox both have continued interest in free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler.

While the White Sox are monitoring Fowler, a baseball executive told Levine on Wednesday that "the Cubs are still the most likely landing spot." The soon-to-be 30-year-old spent the 2015 campaign with the Northsiders, hitting .250/.346/.411 with 17 homers, 46 RBI, 20 steals, and eight triples across 596 at-bats. Fowler returning to the Cubs would likely put Jorge Soler squarely on the trading block. He'd bump Avisail Garcia and Melky Cabrera into a platoon on the south side.
Source: CBS Chicago
Jan 27 - 8:08 PM

Rich Dubroff of CSNmidatlantic.com reports that free agent reliever Tommy Hunter is holding out for a two-year contract.

Dubroff hears that Hunter has "intrigued teams," but this explains why he's still on the market. The 29-year-old posted a mediocre 4.18 ERA over 58 appearances last season between the Orioles and Cubs, but he still showed very good control and he had a 2.88 ERA over 128 appearances between 2013-2014. He could be a useful piece somewhere.
Jan 26 - 11:24 AM

The Brewers, Angels and Rangers have "kicked the tires" on free agent Austin Jackson, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

Crasnick also suggests a reunion with the Cubs could happen for the right price. Jackson hasn't generated a ton of buzz this winter, but with most of the big-ticket free agents off the board his market could start to pick up. It's not as though Jackson was terrible in 2015, batting .267/.311/.385 with nine homers and 17 steals. He could be a nice under-the-radar pickup for some team.
Jan 21 - 4:09 PM

Cubs signed INF Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league contract.

Kawasaki was a big fan favorite during his time in Toronto, but the 34-year-old owns a rough .234/.314/.284 batting line in 712 major league plate appearances. He will function as organizational infield depth for a Cubs team that is loaded with much better talent.
Jan 21 - 12:21 AM

Cubs re-signed INF Logan Watkins to a minor league contract.

Watkins missed all of last season with a torn Achilles but is healthy now. The 26-year-old had cups of coffee with the Cubs in 2013 and 2014 and isn't a bad guy to have around for depth given his versatility.
Jan 17 - 12:40 PM

Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said Saturday that Trevor Cahill turned down a two-year contract offer from the Pirates to remain with the Cubs.

The right-hander would've slotted into the Pirates rotation had he gone that route, instead he opted to remain a part of the Cubs' bullpen where he excelled down the stretch in 2015. He would have been much more interesting in fantasy leagues had he taken the Pirates offer.
Jan 16 - 1:38 PM

Jake Arrieta requested $13 million and was offered $7.5 million by the Cubs when arbitration figures were exchanged on Friday.

There's obviously a massive difference of opinion here, so significant ground will need to be made up if the two sides want to avoid an arbitration hearing. MLBTradeRumors.com projected Arrieta to make $10.4 million, which is near the midpoint of the two figures.
Jan 15 - 5:28 PM

Cubs and 2B/OF Chris Coghlan avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.8 million contract.

He sees his salary nearly double in his final year of arbitration. Coghlan had an underrated season in 2015, hitting .250/.341/.443 with 16 homers and 11 steals.
Jan 15 - 4:53 PM


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