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Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Long-time Cubs’ radio voice Pat Hughes receives Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award

Following his 40th season as a MLB announcer, long-time Chicago Cubs‘ radio voice Pat Hughes has received one of the highest levels of recognition in the profession. That would be the Baseball Hall of Fame‘s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. The Hall announced that decision Wednesday:

This pick came after the Hall of Fame announced the 10 finalists in October. The other finalists were Dave Campbell, Joe Castiglione, Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Tom Hamilton, Jerry Howarth, Ernie Johnson, Duane Kuiper, and Steve Stone.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2022 at 03:11 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ford c. frick award, pat hughes

Sources: Cubs, Jameson Taillon agree to 4-year, $68M deal

The Chicago Cubs bolstered their starting rotation Tuesday night, reaching an agreement with free agent pitcher Jameson Taillon on a four-year, $68 million deal, sources told ESPN.

Taillon, 31, was among the top pitchers remaining in free agency and is the latest big acquisition for the Cubs, who earlier Tuesday reached a one-year, $17.5 million agreement with slugger Cody Bellinger, sources told Passan.

Taillon is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, going 14-5 with a 3.91 ERA and striking out 151 in 171⅓ innings for the New York Yankees.

A hard-throwing right-hander, he has bounced back since arriving in the Bronx in a January 2021 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, returning to form after making just seven starts in 2019 and missing all of 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2022 at 08:51 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jameson taillon

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Former MVP Bellinger agrees to deal with Cubs

Former NL MVP Award winner Cody Bellinger has agreed to a one-year, $17.5 million deal with the Cubs, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Tuesday night. The club has not confirmed the move.

Bellinger put together a remarkable 2019 season for the Dodgers en route to being named the National League MVP—but he’s struggled in the three seasons since. After hitting .305 with a 1.035 OPS and 47 home runs in his MVP-winning campaign, Bellinger has hit just .203 with a .648 OPS and 41 homers in the past three years combined.

The 27-year-old Bellinger showed some flashes of his past success in 2022, racking up 19 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He also recorded seven Outs Above Average as the everyday center fielder for a Dodgers team that won an MLB-high 111 games. Bellinger’s seven OAA were tied for the third most by any NL center fielder.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 06:35 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, cubs

Cubs need to go big at Winter Meetings or go home

Bad enough the Rickettses’ iconic, mega-revenue team has undergone a multiyear, tanking rebuild for the second time in a decade — jettisoning All-Star, World-Series-winning, fan favorites Anthony Rizzo, Javy Báez, Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras in the last 18 months alone.

But they’ve squandered so much credibility in the process they have a sales pitch on their hands just trying to convince free agent targets they plan to win.

Whether that means they might have to “overpay” to land the kinds of players they need, there’s already strong enough demand in the market this winter to suggest the top free agents might get more than some people projected at the outset.

Jacob deGrom, for instance, got an additional two years of guaranteed commitment from the Rangers than others reportedly offered to land the best pitcher in the game — when healthy — for five and $185 million. Despite a combined 38 starts (224.1 innings) the last three years combined. And then came Turner’s deal.

The time is now, this week, for the Cubs. To get one of the big shortstops left. And a significant starting pitcher. And more.

Because if the Cubs don’t use that slashed payroll money they’ve banked since the 2020 pandemic season now that they’ve stripped the roster down to Marcus Stroman and a half-dozen other proven big-leaguers, then what was the point? Or, more aptly, how do they justify it? Because we know what the point wa$.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2022 at 01:43 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Thursday, November 17, 2022

LONDON SERIES 2023: Ticket News Announcement – Bat Flips and Nerds

The games are June 24th and 25th. Cards vs. Cubs. Now I just need to get my wife to sign off on a trip to London.

Drum roll… we have ticket sales dates for the 2023 games.

Pre-registered sales: 10:00 am, Wednesday 30th November
General sales: 10:00 am, Tuesday 6th December
Time is running out to register with MLB to get pre-sales access. Click on the link below. Don’t miss out.

jimfurtado Posted: November 17, 2022 at 10:41 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs

Monday, November 14, 2022

Cubs Release Jason Heyward

The Cubs announced Monday that outfielder Jason Heyward has officially been granted his unconditional release. President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer announced in August that the team would release Heyward in the offseason. Heyward is still owed $22MM next year under the terms of his eight-year, $184MM contract, which covered the 2016-23 seasons.

After a lengthy rebuild where the Cubs finished last in the NL Central for five straight years from 2010 to 2014, they finally turned the corner in 2015. Their 97 victories only resulted in a third place finish in the NL Central and a Wild Card berth, though they were able to defeat the two teams that finished ahead of them in the postseason, getting by the Pirates in the WC game and then the Cardinals in the NLDS. They were then swept by the Mets in the NLCS but it was clear that the rebuild was over and it was time to contend.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 14, 2022 at 07:40 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Josh Bell, Cody Belliger and other Cubs buzz from GM Meetings - NBC Sports Chicago

Centerfield
Hoyer said this week he expects most of next year’s center field innings to be handled by somebody he’ll add to the roster this winter.

“Certainly with [Alexander] Canario’s injury and Brennen [Davis’] setback, it made that just that much more obvious,” Hoyer said of Canario’s long-term ankle and shoulder injuries suffered two weeks ago in winter ball and Davis’ stress reaction in his surgically repaired back experienced during Arizona Fall League. They are the Cubs’ top two Triple-A outfield prospects.

Problem with the external solution: There aren’t many available outfielders who fit the bill. And when it comes to bills, you can forget the top two guys out there: megastar, soon-to-be-megabucks recipient Aaron Judge and the Mets’ Brandon Nimmo, who looks like a candidate to get overpaid based on his recent numbers, league-wide need and scarcity.

But three-time Gold Glove centerfielder Kevin Kiermeier, who had his 2023 option declined by the Rays, and Bellinger are both on the Cubs’ radar, according to sources.

Kiermeier, who turns 33 in April, didn’t play the second half in 2022 because of a hip injury, and likely will be available on a modest, short-term commitment.

Bellinger, the lefty hitter who has made most of his career starts in center (and second-most at first), has been a significantly below-average offensive performer the last two years after shoulder surgery, which could make him — at age 27 — a candidate for one of agent Scott Boras’ one-year, “pillow” contracts to prove his value for next year’s free agency.

“He can play Gold Glove first base and center field,” Boras said. “It’s really about getting his strength back so he can repeat his skill level.”

jimfurtado Posted: November 12, 2022 at 08:04 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Why Cubs might be early favorite for Japanese star Koudai Senga - NBC Sports Chicago

Wolfe, who also represents Yu Darvish, the former Japanese star and Cubs Cy Young runner-up, sees the Cubs as a natural fit for his latest client, who — unlike Suzuki a year ago — is not tied to posting fee because the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks held onto him until their club control expired.

And NBC Sports Chicago’s Dave Kaplan has reported the Cubs are “very interested” in Senga.

jimfurtado Posted: November 08, 2022 at 10:20 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, koudai senga

Monday, October 10, 2022

Cubs president Jed Hoyer planning more ‘intelligent spending’

Speaking for the first time since Chicago completed its second straight losing season, Hoyer talked Monday about building on the team’s 40-31 finish. But the Cubs’ president of baseball operations also returned to the ambiguous concept of “intelligent spending”—which could price the big-market club out of the massive contracts at the top end of the free agent market.

“We want to build something lasting and we want to build something that we’re proud of for a long time,” Hoyer said, “and I think that you can get caught up in our game in transactions that feel really good in the short term and don’t make long-term sense. So those are the ones we’ll avoid.

“But we do want to be aggressive to capture that momentum, to fill the holes on the team that we know we have.”

While Hoyer left himself miles of wiggle room when it comes to the team’s offseason plans, he did confirm the club would make a qualifying offer to Willson Contreras. The All-Star catcher, who helped the Cubs win the World Series in 2016, is eligible for free agency.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2022 at 04:45 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Cardenal, Hughes, O’Neil inducted into Cubs Hall of Fame

Former Cubs outfielder José Cardenal and broadcaster Pat Hughes were joined by a throng of former Cubs greats Saturday that included Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson for a pregame induction ceremony for the Cubs Hall of Fame…

Cardenal and Hughes joined a third member of the class, pioneering Negro Leagues player and manager Buck O’Neil, who was a scout and coach for the Cubs in the earliest days of MLB integration — and who was honored posthumously this summer with a long-overdue induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hughes, who’s in his 22nd year in the Cubs booth (40th as an MLB broadcaster overall)  is the third Cubs broadcaster in the team’s Hall of Fame, alongside Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray.

“To be bracketed with Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse in the long and legendary history of the Cubs, I must have been doing something right,” Hughes said. “It’s very special.

“It’s an unbelievable honor, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 10:12 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buck o'neil, cubs

Thursday, August 11, 2022

2022 MLB Field of Dreams Game: Four things to know with Cubs, Reds set to meet in Iowa

How to watch the Field of Dreams Game
Where: Dyersville, Iowa | When: 7:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 11
TV channel: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: TBD

Now for a few things to know about the 2022 edition….

2. Joey Votto and Ian Happ will be mic’d up
MLB has leaned into having mic’d-up conversations with players in the dugout and even on the field while the game is ongoing, and not surprisingly that’s going to be the case on Thursday night. The lucky/afflicted players for this game will be Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. They’ll be rocking the two-way mic at some point during the game. Given Votto’s engaging presence and sense of humor, he could be an ideal fit for this sort of thing.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2022 at 10:13 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, field of dreams, reds

As they take the Field of Dreams, where do the Chicago Cubs stand in their latest rebuild?

“The goal has been to add as much pitching as we possibly can,” Hoyer said. “I look back on when we built up the first time, we had position players lined up, but we never got to the point of having pitchers lined up at every level.”

ESPN prospect guru Kiley McDaniel has the Cubs 18th in his latest rankings of MLB farm systems, while Ricketts pointed out FanGraphs has them at No. 4. The team has young players in the low minors with upside, but they still lack a top-25 prospect to raise them any farther up the ranks (part of the reason behind the disparity between the two outlets).

Hoyer also knows that the lack of star power at the top is a problem.

“In 2014, we may have had three to four guys in the top 10,” Hoyer said when asked how this season compares to that of 2014, when the Cubs were starting to get competitive. “We had a whole team of prospects on the field at the beginning of 2015. This is less so [now]. But that is what we’re building toward. My vision is the same. We’re not quite as far along as we were at the end of 2014.”

In fact, this Cubs team may be closer to the team that lost 96 games in 2013. It’s exactly what they’re on pace for this season. But expectations are higher for Cubs fans these days. Winning a World Series in 2016 for the first time in 108 years has raised the bar in Chicago.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2022 at 10:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Jason Heyward, despite another year left on contract, won’t be back with Chicago Cubs in 2023, Jed Hoyer says

He’ll forever be known in Chicago for “the speech,” but Jason Heyward’s time as a Cub is winding down, despite having one more year left on his contract.

Heyward, 32, won’t be back with the Cubs for an eighth season in 2023, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said Monday.

“We want to give him a full offseason to be able to go out and find an opportunity,” Hoyer said. “We’ll go our separate directions at the end of the year.”

Heyward has been on the injured list since late June with a knee ailment and might not return this season, meaning it’s likely he has played his last game as a Cub.

The team signed him to an eight-year, $184 million deal prior to the 2016 season. The Cubs would go on to win the World Series that season, their first in 108 years, and Heyward was credited by many in the organization with sparking the team to its 10-inning victory in Game 7 with a speech he delivered during a rain delay in Cleveland.

Despite those heroics, Heyward struggled at the plate for much of his Cubs career. He slashed just .245/.323/.377 during his seven years with Chicago.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 09, 2022 at 10:32 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason hewyward

Friday, August 05, 2022

St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs to play 2-game series in June of 2023 in London

Major League Baseball plans to return to London next year for the first time since 2019.

The league announced Thursday that the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will play a two-game series on June 24-25, 2023, at London Stadium. The NL Central rivals were supposed to play in London in 2020, but the games were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Cardinals are excited and honored to be a part of the London Series next year,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a release. “The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry is one of the best in sports, and it will be exciting to bring it to Europe for a new audience to experience.”

MLB last played in London in 2019, when the New York Yankees swept a two-game set against the Boston Red Sox in June at London Stadium. Those were also MLB’s first regular-season games played in Europe.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2022 at 05:26 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, international games, london

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Cubs get RHP prospect from Phils for Robertson

The Cubs have acquired pitching prospect Ben Brown from the Phillies in exchange for veteran closer David Robertson, sources told MLB.com ahead of Tuesday’s 5 p.m. CT Trade Deadline.

A day after adding prospect Hayden Wesneski from the Yankees in a deal for reliever Scott Effross, Chicago landed a second starting pitching prospect in the 22-year-old Brown. The hard-throwing righty was ranked No. 26 on MLB Pipeline’s Top Phillies prospect list, but that was low given his showing this season and knowing the updated Pipeline rankings are coming later this month. Expect him to end up in the teens on the Cubs’ list, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

With High-A Jersey Shore this season, Brown posted a 3.08 ERA with 105 strikeouts against 23 walks in 73 innings (15 starts and one relief outing). The 6-foot-6 righty has a fastball that can touch 95-98 mph, plus a slider and curveball. He was a 33rd-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2022 at 04:29 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, david robertson, phillies

Monday, August 01, 2022

New York Yankees trade for Chicago Cubs rookie reliever Scott Effross

The New York Yankees acquired right-handed reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor league right-hander Hayden Wesneski on Monday.

Effross, 28, is a sidearmer in the midst of a standout rookie season. In 44 innings, he has a 2.66 ERA, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of more than 4-to-1 and 2.19 FIP (fielding independent pitching), the 10th best in baseball among pitchers with more than 40 innings.

Trades for relievers with multiple years of team control has been a focus of teams at this deadline—and in the case of Effross, he will not reach free agency until after the 2027 season. The Yankees are betting on him retaining his effectiveness, something evaluators believe he can do in spite of a fastball that sits around 90 mph.

Effross’ excellent command of his fastball and slider (with a unique changeup) has allowed him to strike out 50 batters and walk just 11. His best attribute might be his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark. Effross has allowed just two home runs this year after giving up two in a 14⅔-inning stint late last season.

A 15th-round pick out of the University of Indiana in the 2015 draft, Effross pitched parts of seven seasons in the Cubs’ system before his debut last year. He was immediately effective last season, too, striking out 18 and walking just one.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2022 at 02:10 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, scott effross, yankees

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Chicago Cubs sued over alleged ADA violations at Wrigley Field

Federal prosecutors in Chicago filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Cubs, alleging the team failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act when it executed a series of renovations at Wrigley Field.

Attorneys for the government on Thursday said that while the ballpark renovations “significantly enhanced the gameday experience for many fans, particularly those able to take advantage of premium clubs and other luxury accommodations, the same can not be said for fans with disabilities.”

The suit states that the Cubs “removed the best wheelchair seating in the stadium, failed to incorporate wheelchair seating into new premium clubs and group seating areas … and failed to remove architectural barriers to access in unaltered portions of Wrigley Field where it was readily achievable to do so.”

Federal prosecutors noted that the alleged violations all occurred even though they “had ample opportunity and a significant ADA obligation to incorporate wheelchair seating and other accessible elements into and throughout the new and improved facility.”

The lawsuit seeks an injunction that would force the Cubs to bring the ballpark into ADA compliance as well as “compensatory damages in an appropriate amount for injuries suffered as a result of defendants noncompliance with the ADA.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 02:03 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: ada, cubs

Orioles beat Cubs 7-1, extend winning streak to 10 games | ESPN

CHICAGO—— Anthony Santander hit a two-run double to spark Baltimore’s three-run first inning, Spenser Watkins and four relievers scattered six hits and the Orioles extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.
....
With the victory, the Orioles (45-44) also went over the .500 mark for the first time since April 8, 2021, when they were 4-3. Baltimore finished off the game to chants of “Let’s Go O’s!” at Wrigley Field, where the Orioles were playing their first series since 2014.

Hombre Brotani Posted: July 14, 2022 at 12:42 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, orioles

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

IT’S THE CUBS’ WORLD NOW

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

Clumsy.

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 CSNChicago.com’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

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