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Jim Furtado
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Cubs Newsbeat

Saturday, June 11, 2022

(1) MLB Network on Twitter: “Harold loves Christopher Morel’s all-around game and the energy he brings to the @Cubs!

jimfurtado Posted: June 11, 2022 at 10:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: christopher morel, cubs

Monday, June 06, 2022

6 trade destinations for Willson Contreras

Catcher trades rarely happen in-season
How rare? Let’s go back to 1969, the beginning of the Divisional Era. Let’s find catchers who had at least 300 plate appearances in a season in which they were traded, and only those who had at least 2.0 WAR in that season. There are only 11 such players in that time – or about one every five years – which shows you just how rare this is.

From here, we’re getting subjective. Butch Wynegar going from the Twins to the Yankees in 1982 qualifies, but does it count? We argue it does not. Are we buying Joe Ferguson going from the Astros back to the Dodgers in 1978? You’re free to; we’re not. After some eyeballing, this is the list of strong catchers traded in-season in the last half-century.

1986 – Ron Hassey – Yankees to White Sox
1998 – Mike Piazza – Dodgers to Marlins to Mets
2000 – Charles Johnson – Orioles to White Sox
2004 – Paul Lo Duca – Dodgers to Marlins
2009 – Víctor Martínez – Cleveland to Red Sox
2016 – Jonathan Lucroy – Brewers to Rangers
2018 – Wilson Ramos – Rays to Phillies
That’s … it. Seven times in more than 50 years – and we’re not even totally convinced that all of these belong to be included, anyway.

Why is it so rare? It’s not hard to understand. Primarily, it’s about the fact that if you have a good catcher, you’re very likely not looking to give him up. But there’s also the simple fact of the demands of the position, about it’s not just “standing in left field wearing a different color hat now,” but about having to learn an entirely new pitching staff.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 06, 2022 at 09:48 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, willson contreras

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Cubs’ top prospect Brennen Davis has back surgery

Outfielder Brennen Davis, the MVP of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game last year and the Cubs’ No. 1 prospect, underwent back surgery on Thursday in Los Angeles, sources told

One month after being shelved due to what was initially described as lower-back tightness, Davis underwent a procedure after persistent discomfort and that led to the discovery of a vascular malformation (a nest of blood vessels) that pushed against a nerve. The positive news was that no structural damage was found in Davis’ back and the highly-touted outfielder is expected to make a full recovery. At this early stage, Davis’ timeline for return is to be determined, making it unclear whether a comeback this season is realistic.

Davis, 22, is ranked as the Cubs’ top prospect per MLB Pipeline and other outlets and entered this season as a possible in-season arrival to the big leagues with the North Siders. The former prep baseball and basketball standout climbed through Double-A and Triple-A last season and launched a pair of home runs in the Futures Game to claim MVP honors and put his name on the national radar. He was selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2018 Draft.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2022 at 12:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brennen davis, cubs

Monday, May 09, 2022

Cubs option struggling Frank Schwindel to Triple-A

The Cubs optioned struggling first baseman Frank Schwindel to Triple-A Iowa before Sunday night’s game against the Dodgers.

In a corresponding move, the team selected pitcher Adrian Sampson to Iowa.

Schwindel was the Cubs’ top hitter in the second half last summer after the team’s trade deadline selloff, but he’s gotten off to a slow start at the plate this season. He holds a .209/.250/.308 slash line with two home runs and nine RBIs in 25 games.

Over his last 16 games, he’s hit .179/.220/.268.

“Somebody that we believe in but need him to get going a little bit,” manager David Ross said of Schwindel. “Get down there, work on some things, take a little bit of the pressure off and let him continue to get back to what we expect him to be, what he expects himself to be.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2022 at 12:16 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, frank schwindel

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Cubs prospect Mark Prior delivered one of the most memorable minor-league debuts 20 years ago

The buzz for Prior’s Triple-A debut was electric.

Fans, reporters and players understood how big of a name Prior was. An announced crowd of 8,243 fans packed into the park on a Tuesday night. It wasn’t a sellout, but was far from a typical Tuesday crowd.

Lantz estimates around 20 media members, some from Chicago, were credentialed. Mahoney says Prior’s teammates knew how big of a deal his debut was. They had heard stories about how dominant he was in college and how good he could be in the pros.

“He was a superstar coming out of college,” Mahoney said….

Iowa was playing the Tucson Sidewinders that night. The actual game didn’t matter. Most fans didn’t care about Tucson or the majority of the Cubs lineup, frankly. All they cared about was Prior and how he looked.

And he looked great.

“Don’t think we’ll get two starts out of him,” Cubs fan Dave Souders told Register sports columnist Sean Keeler that night.

It became apparent why right away. Prior, whose fastball sat in the mid-90s throughout the evening, controlled the game from start to finish. He struck out the side in the first inning and again in the third inning. He got standing ovations both times.

“He had really good carry on his fastball,” said Micah Franklin, who hit fifth for Tucson that night.

The most memorable parts of Prior’s debut actually happened at the plate. He smashed a home run in the fifth inning. Two innings later, he crushed another to dead centerfield. As Prior rounded the bases following the second shot, fans in the stands joked that after touching home, he’d head straight for Chicago.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2022 at 10:49 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mark prior

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Braves, Cubs Swap Sean Newcomb, Jesse Chavez

The Cubs have acquired reliever Sean Newcomb from the Braves for Jesse Chavez and cash, according to announcements from both teams. Atlanta had designated Newcomb for assignment yesterday.

It’s a new landing spot for Newcomb, who has spent the past six seasons in Atlanta. A first-round pick of the Angels in 2014, the left-hander quickly developed into one of the sport’s top pitching prospects. Within a few months, he’d pitched his way onto Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list. After the 2015 season, the Angels flipped him alongside Chris Ellis to Atlanta for five years of Andrelton Simmons.

Newcomb was a starting pitching prospect at the time, with evaluators holding out hope that his high-octane arsenal could make him a top-of-the-rotation caliber hurler. He remained in that role for his first couple major league seasons, starting 49 of his 50 appearances between 2017-18. Newcomb showed some promise, posting a 4.06 ERA with a solid 23.3% strikeout rate. As he had throughout his time in the minor leagues, though, he struggled to throw strikes. After walking 12% of batters faced through his first couple seasons, the Braves transitioned him to the ’pen in 2019.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2022 at 10:37 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, sean newcomb

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Report: ‘Representation Issues’ Sunk Cubs’ 7-Year Deal, $30M+ AAV Offer to Carlos Correa

As it turns out, they may actually have offered exactly the kind of seven-year deal they were reportedly interested in convincing Correa to accept. As MLB Network host Stephen Nelson told Laurence Holmes of 670 The Score, it wasn’t just a matter of rumors tying the Cubs to the former Astro.

“Correa and the Cubs, there was not just a little smoke there,” Nelson said. “There was a huge offer thrown Carlos Correa’s way in Chicago, but because of some representation issues, let’s say, with Correa and his camp, that deal never came to pass.”

Though Nelson didn’t offer additional specifics at the time because he had the audacity to prioritize the supervision of his infant over spilling a little tea, he later tweeted some additional context. Those “representation issues” stemmed from Correa’s move from William Morris Endeavor to Scott Boras in January, the wake of which apparently washed the Cubs’ offer overboard.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 06, 2022 at 05:44 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos correa, cubs

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Chicago Cubs, Drew Smyly reach 1-year contract, source says

The Chicago Cubs are signing left-hander Drew Smyly to a one-year, $5.25 million contract, a source told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers on Saturday.

The source said Smyly could earn another $2.5 million in bonuses.

Smyly, 32, won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves last season, when he went 11-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 29 appearances (23 starts). He pitched twice in the Braves’ World Series victory over the Houston Astros, allowing three runs over four innings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 19, 2022 at 03:21 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, drew smyly

Friday, March 18, 2022

Cubs add closer option in Givens in latest bullpen move

The Cubs and reliever Mychal Givens have agreed to a one-year deal, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported Thursday. It’s worth $5 million with incentives built in to boost the total value.

Givens, 31, is a potential option to close games for manager David Ross. He spent last season with the Rockies and Reds, converting eight of 11 save chances while finishing with a combined 3.35 ERA.

He turned in a 2.73 ERA in 31 appearances with Colorado before being traded to Cincinnati at the deadline.

Rowan Wick is another closing option. Codi Heuer, who appeared to be an option, underwent Tommy John surgery recently that likely will sideline him for the entire season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2022 at 12:29 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mychal givens

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Chicago Cubs, Seiya Suzuki agree to five-year, $70M deal, source confirms

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with star Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

Suzuki met with the Cubs front office and team chairman Tom Ricketts on Monday night before agreeing to the deal, the source said.

The 27-year-old Suzuki joins the Cubs after playing nine seasons for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Nippon Professional Baseball. He hit .319 with 38 homers and 88 RBIs in 2021 and has a .315 career average with 182 homers and 562 RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 16, 2022 at 09:36 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, seiya suzuki

Friday, March 11, 2022

Report: Cubs, SS Andrelton Simmons agree to one-year, $4M deal

The Chicago Cubs have agree to terms with free agent shortstop on a one-year, $4 million deal, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Simmons appeared in 131 games last season for the Minnesota Twins and posted a .223 average with three homers and 31 RBIs.

The 32-year-old is a four-time Gold Glove award winner.

Simmons has also appeared with the Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves over the course of his 10-season MLB career.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2022 at 06:20 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: andrelton simmons, cubs

Chicago Cubs extend manager David Ross through 2024 season

The Chicago Cubs have extended the contract of manager David Ross through the 2024 season, the team announced Friday.

The club holds an option on Ross’ contract for the 2025 season. The Cubs did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Ross signed a three-year deal, with an option year, to replace Joe Maddon before the 2020 season. The Cubs won the NL Central that year but fell short in the playoffs. The team wasn’t as fortunate in 2021 as an 11-game losing streak in June changed the course of the franchise’s season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2022 at 01:58 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, david ross

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Cubs’ Codi Heuer undergoes Tommy John surgery

ubs reliever Codi Heuer underwent Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow, suffering the injury during an independent workout not supervised by the team.C

It appeared he underwent the surgery this week, having posted a photo to his Instagram Tuesday showing him in a hospital bed, apparently post-op, with a brace protecting his right elbow.

A source close to Heuer confirmed that it was Tommy John surgery.

With MLB’s lockout in place, Cubs officials are not allowed to have contact with their major league players or comment on them. The lockout rules also mean players are forced to train independently, which has been a concern of trainers and coaches in the game as the lockout reached the part of the offseason that pitchers traditionally start to throw again.

Players also are not allowed to use team facilities during the lockout.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2022 at 11:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: codi heuer, cubs

Monday, January 03, 2022

Former Cubs outfielder Larry Biittner has passed away

The Cubs announced the passing of outfielder Larry Biittner on their official Twitter account this afternoon. He was 75 years old.

The Cubs acquired Biittner from the Montreal Expos May 17, 1976, along with pitcher Steve Renko, for Andre Thornton. This wasn’t a good deal for the Cubs, as Thornton went on to a fine career, mostly with Cleveland.

But Biittner did have his moments in a Cubs uniform. In 1977, as the more-or-less regular left fielder (and backup to Bill Buckner at first base), he hit .298/.345/.432 (147-for-493) with 12 home runs in 138 games.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2022 at 12:01 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, obituaries

Friday, December 11, 2015


Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of the Cubs’ signing of Heyward, that this ratchets up the rivalry.

But if anything, I believe it dampens it. Even before Friday, the Cubs were a better team than the Cardinals in just about every way. Now that the Cubs took the Cardinals’ best player, the gap between these teams have widened. If anyone needs to prove this is a rivalry, it’s the fading Cardinals.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein


Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RLYW: Salvaging a Sunken cost

Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO.  The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.

CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)

If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above.


Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.

I don’t think they can do that by pitching him…. trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.

Mr Dashwood Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, mets, projections, white sox, yankees

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cubs installing 70-foot digital scoreboard at Wrigley Field

Pitch count of 3,665?  Dusty is back??

From’s Jake Flannigan comes the below mockup of a 70-foot LED scoreboard that will be installed in right field at baseball’s second-oldest stadium. Construction will be completed this spring.

Above the new scoreboard you’ll see something called the “Budweiser Patio.” It will contain 150 all-inclusive seats (not bleachers), and is also going in before the start of the season.

The District Attorney Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cubs Agree To Contract With Kerry Wood

Wood: “I Feel Like Playing”

The Cubs and veteran reliever Kerry Wood have agreed to a one-year contract that also includes an option for 2013.  The contract will pay Wood $3MM next season, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).

The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:53 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MLB: Cubs front office calls on Bloomberg Sports

I knew he’d miss Bill James…

The Cubs are using every potential avenue to improve their club. Chicago announced Thursday that it will partner with Bloomberg Sports—a company already allied with for fantasy baseball—to design a new player evaluation system for the team’s baseball operations department.

The player evaluation system is expected to combine video with an extensive database on all professional players, and it will also include customized technology to assist the evaluation process. The Cubs will be able to access their system via laptop and will have mobile capability, and the two sides will begin development and implementation of the program immediately.

“We are excited to partner with Bloomberg Sports and benefit from their world-renowned expertise in analytics and information management,” said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. “The management and analysis of data—whether it be scouting reports, statistics, medical information or video—is a critical component of our operation.

“We look forward to developing a customized program that utilizes the most advanced and efficient technology available in the marketplace today to facilitate quicker, easier and more accurate access to all the sources of information we use to make baseball decisions.”

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cubs sign Paul Maholm, reports Paul Maholm

It’s otherwise unconfirmed, but it seems like you should only need the one source when it’s actually the guy himself.

Just wanna say thank u to everyone that has cheered for me during my career as a Pirate. I loved my last six plus years in the city.

I hope to get to continue some things when I visit during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:44 AM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pirates

Friday, January 06, 2012

Cubs acquire Rizzo in trade with Padres

Theo: You’re looking good, Riz.
Rizzo: Eat your heart out.
Theo: And sloppy seconds are my style!

The Cubs acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-hander Zach Cates from the Padres on Friday, sending right-hander Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na to San Diego.

The 22-year-old Rizzo batted .331 with a 1.056 OPS, 34 doubles, 26 homers and 101 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Tucson last year… Rated the top first-base prospect in the league by, Rizzo struggled during his brief time in the Majors last season batting .141 with one home run and nine RBIs in 49 games…

Cates, 22… made his professional debut last year, posting a 4-10 record and 4.73 ERA in 118 innings over 25 starts for Class A Fort Wayne. He struck out nearly a batter an inning and allowed only four home runs on the year.

Cashner, 25, went 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA in 60 big league appearances with the Cubs, including one start, over the last two years….he was limited to just seven outings in the Majors last season due to a right shoulder strain.

Na, 20, hit .268 with 10 doubles and 22 RBIs in 83 games between four different teams in the Cubs’ Minor League system last year.

The District Attorney Posted: January 06, 2012 at 03:03 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, padres

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Robothal: Big Z Headed to Miami

What could possibly go wrong?

The Marlins, seeking to make another offseason splash, are close to acquiring Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano, according to major-league sources.
Zambrano is owed $18 million in the final year of his contract. The Cubs likely will pay most of that sum to purge Big Z, whom they placed on the restricted list in 2010 and disqualified list in ’11 due to issues with his temperament.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 06:52 PM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, miami

Monday, January 02, 2012

hardball talk: Dodgers’ Ethier high on Theo’s wish list

The Cubs are looking for another outfielder long-term and a guy like Andre Ethier could be a good fit.

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune says Ethier is high on Theo Epstein’s wish list and the Dodgers may not have enough funds to keep him around when his contract expires after 2012 now that they gave Matt Kemp a huge payday and have a contract extension for Clayton Kershaw looming.

But, the former second round pick is still superb at getting on base, with a career .364 OBP, thanks in part to a .291 career AVG. He won’t turn 30 until the 2012 season’s second week, so there are still several years left of his prime.

If Epstoyer can make a deal for Ethier in 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made that move. But that might be hard to do. What do the Cubs have that the Dodgers want? Not much in the way of young talent to trade.

But if Ethier hits free agency this fall (man, feels weird to say that now that it’s 2012), expect Epstoyer to go hard after him.

The Cubs already have David DeJesus for the next two seasons (with an option for a third year) and Brett Jackson quickly ascending through the system, but if Theo and Jed Hoyer are somehow able to deal Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd, Ethier could be a great fit. He could play right and push DeJesus to left.

A starting outfield of DeJesus, Jackson and Ethier in 2013 would be mighty nice.

Tripon Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, rumors

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