Chicago Cubs News
7-28-15: On Monday, Kris Bryant had his first career walk-off home run in the Cubs’ 9-8 win. In a very high-scoring game with the Colorado Rockies, Chicago scored six runs in the fourth inning, but then gave up four runs to Colorado in the top of the ninth. Then, with two outs in the bottom half of the ninth, Bryant homered on a 1-0 count off John Axford to end the Cubs’ three-game losing streak.
7-24-15: The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of a dog fight with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central Division race. The race and the two wild card playoff spots in the National League could come down to who adds the most or does the most to improve their teams at the July 31st trading deadline. All three teams have stacked farm systems but it has been the Cubs who have been linked to the big ticket and big money trade targets this season including Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels. The Reds would presumably prefer to not trade Cueto within their own division although the Phillies could be willing to dip into the Cubs deep pool of young players to begin their rebuilding phase. Chicago will not be without competition for Hamels though as many teams including the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Texas Rangers, the Boston Red Sox and many others are said to be interested in acquiring Hamels this July. The good news for Chicago is that with or without Hamels the team’s bullpen should get a jolt in the arm before the calendar turns to August as the team prepares to promote closer Rafael Soriano from the minor leagues to anchor their young and inexperienced bullpen.
7-22-15: Futures Game MVP Kyle Schwarber, who was recalled on Friday, continued his success at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday. With Chicago trailing, 4-2, in the ninth inning, the rookie homered to tie the contest. Then, in the 13th inning, he hit a go-ahead solo home run that eventually won the game against the Cincinnati Reds.
7-17-15: The Chicago Cubs and their fans held their collective breathes this week when Jason Hammel was announced as hurt but the club got some good news this week regarding their RHP. Hammel’s MRI results were promising and should make his first start after the All-Star break looking to improve on his 2.86 ERA, 9.1 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 ratios. While the Cubs dodged a bullet with this scare with Hammel it cemented the idea of many inside the Cubs organization that the team needs at least one starting pitcher at this year’s July 31st trading deadline for depth and insurance as the team looks to make a playoff run. One player that may not be able to help that postseason run on the pitching side of things is Javier Baez but he can definitely improve the offense and also received a bit of good news this week when he learned that he was cleared to finally swing a bat. Baez was doing well in his rookie season before a broken finger derailed his season.
7-13-15: As usual, Joe Maddon batted his pitcher in the eighth spot in the Cubs’ lineup, and on Sunday, Jake Arrieta rewarded his manager. The right-hander launched the only home run of the game, which gave his team a 3-0 lead on Sunday at Wrigley Field. He also threw a complete game two-hitter and allowed just one run in the 3-1 win.
7-8-15: The Cubs brought their record to nine games above .500 for 2015 after sweeping Tuesday’s doubleheader against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. In the afternoon game, Jake Arrieta continued his success against the Cardinals, as he threw 6.2 innings of two-run ball. With those two wins, Chicago has won seven of its last nine contests.
6-30-15: The Cubs could not get one win in St. Louis over the weekend. On Sunday, they fell to 39-35 on the season, as they lost their fifth consecutive game. Jason Hammel had seven strikeouts in the final game of Chicago’s series with the Cardinals, but St. Louis scored four runs against him, as he fell to 5-3 for the season.
6-17-15: The Cubs could not get a run on the board on Tuesday at Wrigley Field. They tallied just
four hits in their 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians, but Chicago remained six games
above .500. Earlier that day, the Cubs selected the contract of Kyle Schwarber from
Double-A Tennessee. After striking out in his Major League Baseball debut on Tuesday,
he is expected to be the designated hitter for Chicago’s next five interleague games.
6-9-15: In Sunday’s 6-3 victory over the Washington Nationals, Kris Bryant went 3-for-4 with
two runs scored and had his second triple of the season. The Cubs, who placed Jorge
Soler on the 15-day disabled list last week with an ankle injury, went 3-1 against the Nationals in Washington, D.C. in their four-game series.
6-5-15: The Chicago Cubs are compiling their shopping list for this year’s July 31st trading deadline and that list is topped by the Athletics super utility player Ben Zobrist. Zobrist lacks a true position currently on the Cubs team but a reunion with former manager Joe Maddon is at least intriguing for both sides. Madden managed Zobrist while they were both a member of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East division for the Rays had a fire sale this winter and lost both parties in separate deals. If Zobrist was acquired he would presumably get the bulk of his at bats while playing left field for Maddon while also filling in for the team’s infielders a few times a week. The list also could include free agent closer Rafael Soriano after he switched his agent from Scott Boras and ends with the Arizona Diamondbacks lefty relief pitcher Oliver Perez. Perez would essentially replace the struggling and recently released Phil Coke while Soriano could end a veteran arm with closers experience to the back end of the Chicago bullpen for a potential playoff chase.
6-1-15: The Cubs are back to five games above .500 after Monday’s 5-1 victory over the Miami Marlins. Jason Hammel struck out a career-high 11 batters in his 6.2 innings of one-run ball. Chicago’s bullpen threw 2.1 shutout innings and allowed just one hit and one walk. In addition, Starlin Castro slugged his fourth home run of the season.
5-30-15: The Chicago Cubs have a unique problem to have where the team has too much young talent and not enough positions to play them all in. Javier Baez is currently sitting in Triple-A and has been posting a .944 OPS while splitting time between second base and shortstop for the club. The Cubs are currently content with Addison Russell at second base and Starlin Castro at shortstop for the immediate future and may have to move some players around the field or trade a player or two to accommodate their glut of talent coming from their minor league system right now. The team has at least considered moving Baez to third base and current third baseman Kris Bryant to left field to get all their top notch talent into their major league lineup. The same that has been said for Baez can be said for recently drafted catching prospect Kyle Schwarber who may have to switch positions before reaching the major leagues. Schwarber has been given every chance to be a catcher this season and has been praised for his work behind the dish this season but he may be too large of a frame to keep there long term.
5-26-15: The Cubs and the visiting Washington Nationals each scored a run in the first inning of Monday’s afternoon contest at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, it was Chicago’s only run of
the game, as the team lost, 2-1, and fell to 24-20 on the season. On the bright side, the run
came on a solo home run from Kris Bryant, who is hoping this is the beginning of a new hitting streak.
5-18-15: Jake Arrieta threw seven innings of one-run ball on Sunday, but his offense could not help him out, as the Cubs lost to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-0. On the bright side,
rookie phenom Kris Bryant, who had three home runs during the homestand, extended his career-long hitting streak to seven games on Sunday.
5-12-15: The Wrigley Field bleachers opened on Monday night, and the Cubs did not disappoint.
Kris Bryant launched his first home run at home into the new bleachers. It was a two-run
home run in the first inning. Jon Lester earned the win with six innings of three-run ball.
The Chicago bullpen, which had been struggling in May, threw three one-hit innings to
close out the 4-3 win.
5-5-15: The only times in 2015 that the Cubs owned a record below .500 was after the first and third games of the season. However, on Monday, Chicago lost its third consecutive game, moving to 13-11 on the season. On the bright side, Anthony Rizzo homered against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, which extended his on-base streak to 13 games.
4-29-15: Travis Wood threw seven innings of two-run ball with nine strikeouts on Tuesday, as the Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2, and moved to 12-7 on the season. Dexter Fowler and Starlin Castro each had three hits and a stolen base in the victory. They also combined to drive in three of the team’s runs.
4-21-15: Jake Arrieta looked strong on Monday, as he threw seven innings of one-run ball and had seven strikeouts in the Cubs’ 5-2 victory over the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The contest was Kris Bryant’s fourth career game, and he went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs. Although Jon Lester made headlines by throwing his glove with a ball lodged in it to first base for an out on Sunday, he continued to struggle, as he gave up three runs in 5.1 innings in the Cubs’ rubber-game loss against the San Diego Padres.
4-14-15: The Cubs extended their winning streak to three games on Monday evening, as they defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 7-6, in 10 innings. Arismendy Alcantara delivered his first hit of the season in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 10th inning. Jorge Soler’s two home runs and Chris Coghlan’s solo home run also helped bail out Jon Lester.
4-7-15: At Wrigley Field on Sunday evening, the Cubs hosted the St. Louis Cardinals to kick off the 2015 Major League Baseball season. Unfortunately, Jon Lester made it through only 4.1 innings, as he gave up three runs and eight hits. Although he had six strikeouts, Chicago lost the contest, 3-0.
4-2-15: On Monday, the Cubs reassigned third baseman Kris Bryant and shortstop Addison Russell to minor league camp and optioned shortstop Javier Baez to Triple-A Iowa. Theo
Epstein elected to delay Bryant’s service time, so the star prospect will be back in a
Major League Baseball uniform in mid-April. Meanwhile, Chicago purchased the contract of left-handed relief pitcher Phil Coke from Iowa.
3-25-15: Although there continues to be discussion about Kris Bryant starting the season in the minors in order to delay his service time in the major leagues, the third baseman keeps hitting balls out of the park. His two-home run day on Saturday pushed to his total to eight in the Cactus League this spring training.
3-3-15: As 22-year-old Cuban slugger Jorge Soler prepares in Mesa, Arizona for his first full Major League Baseball season, the Cubs are not taking any chances. The team is not allowing its starting right fielder to be on his feet for too long at a time as to avoid any leg injuries this spring.
2-17-15: Last Friday, the Cubs sent right-handed relief pitcher Gonzalez Germen to Triple-A Iowa
after he cleared waivers. Chicago invited the 27-year-old to spring training after seeing
him have better than a two-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio in both 2013 and 2014 with the
New York Mets. All 54 of his big league appearances came in those two years.
10-1-14: The Cubs landed in last place in the NL Central, but still surpassed its preseason expectations by posting a 73-89 record. In the second half, young players like Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Jorge Soler saw a lot of action. While Soler impressed, Baez and Alcantara were both overmatched, leading to questions about how soon either player will be ready to contribute on a consistent basis. The Cubs are still a few years away from contending in the NL.
9-30-14: The Chicago Cubs enjoyed the emergence of closer Hector Rondon this season and the team seems likely to plug him into the same role for the 2015 season. Rondon is only 26 years old and is fresh off a season in which he posted a 2.49 ERA with 27 saves as he enters his first season of arbitration eligibility in 2015. With Rondon joining Pedro Strop and Neil Ramirez in the Cubs bullpen Chicago may have the back end of the bullpen for the future currently on the roster. If Chicago wants to stay on schedule in their rebuilding plan the team may have to bite the bullet and find a suitor for struggling starting pitcher Edwin Jackson this winter. Jackson is still owed million for the 2015 and 2016 seasons combined and the Cubs may have to swap him for another bad contract or eat most or the entire remaining contract to get any deal done. Chicago finished the 2014 season with a 73-89record and will not be in the 2014 postseason.
9-25-14: The Cubs actually have a shot at finishing fourth in the NL Central if they can finish the year strong. Jake Arrieta made another run at a no-hitter last week against Cincinnati losing the no-no with one out in the eighth inning. He managed to finish the game with a one-hit shutout, one walk and 13 strikeouts. The future for the Cubs is bright and they will be a contender in the year’s to come.
9-23-14: The Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo realizes that the 2015 season may be his last chance to impress the Cubs brass. Castillo is 27 years old and was once thought of as a top prospect in the Cubs system but is no longer mentioned along with cornerstones Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Starlin Castro to name a few players. With the impending free agency of current Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin and an obvious interest from the club Castillo may be running out of opportunities to break through as a major league player. Another veteran that Theo Epstein and company may bring in next season is outfielder Jonny Gomes. The Cubs need help out in left field and Gomes would be a good platoon option for the club if he were to come to Chicago via free agency this weekend. Chicago is also thinking about their future with starting pitcher Jake Arrieta although the club announced this week that they had not had any discussions with the young pitcher regarding a potential contract extension. Neither side seems to be in a rush to get an extension done as Arrieta is still arbitration eligible and under team control for the 2015 season.
9-18-14: The Cubs had a tough road trip last week that saw them swept by the Blue Jays and drop two out of three to the Pirates. Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, and Justin Grimm have led a vastly improved Cub bullpen that has largely been overlooked. Their young hitters are good and I would expect this team to be contenders in the next 2-3 years down the road.
9-16-14: The Chicago Cubs are at the point in their rebuilding phase that they can start trading off some of their younger pieces that do no figure into the future. Chicago has a decision to make as it looks like there won’t be room for both Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood in the starting rotation. The Cubs are likely stuck with Jackson because of his struggles and his contract but are on the fence with Wood. Wood has two more years of arbitration eligibility but has struggled in 2014 posting a 5.15 ERA in 162.2 IP. Two more additions that are being talked about inside the Cubs organization is catcher Russell Martin and fellow free agent Jon Lester. Martin could help catcher of the future Welington Castillo while Lester could give the Cubs a top of the rotation starter that they have been lacking since Theo Epstein took over the club. Chicago is slowly improving while injecting the roster with youth and home grown talent and currently sits at 65-84 17.5 games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals.
9-12-14: After sweeping the reeling Brewers to open last week, the Cubs suffered a sweep of their own against the Pirates this past weekend. The Cubs have dropped two straight to Toronto this week.
Chicago’s decision to claim Jacob Turner off waivers from the Marlins is already looking like a solid choice. He's allowed four earned runs in 10 innings in his first two starts with the Cubs. The future for the Cubs and their fans is so extremely bright.
9-9-14: The Chicago Cubs have decided not to call up top prospect Kris Bryant even though the team has a need at third base this season. The Cubs are likely to give Bryant an extended look in spring training in 2015 not only at the hot corner but also in the outfield as club president Theo Epstein announced in an interview this week. The Cubs may be forced to move Bryant to the outfield simply because they have too much infield depth and talent and not enough positions to play them all in. Javier Baez looks to be the team’s future second baseman, Anthony Rizzo looks to have the first base position locked down, Addison Russell and Arismendy Alcantara can compete for the third base job, while Starlin Castro can be the shortstop of the future. Speaking of Castro the club announced that his season is over after suffering a high ankle sprain.
9-4-14: Chicago’s top prospects Javier Baez and Jorge Soler both arrived on the scene and did plenty
to earn their way into the headlines. The Cubs also went 16-14 for the month. Baez has some
growing to do, evidenced by his .188 average and 49 strikeouts in 116 at-bats. However, it's hard
not to like the direction this team is going. Soler became the first player ever with an extra-base
hit and an RBI in each of his first four games in the majors.
9-2-14: The Chicago Cubs finally promoted one of their top prospects in Jorge Soler this week and Soler responded by hitting a home run in his first at bat in the majors. Soler was signed back in 2012 to a nine year deal worth $30 million. With the additions of players like Soler, fellow top prospect and recently called up Javier Baez, and other members of the Cubs young core Theo Epstein and crew can add significant payroll in the next couple of seasons on the free agent market. Chicago is improving in the NL Central division and their 61-76 record is creeping up on the fourth place Cincinnati Reds after going 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Reds have only gone 5-5.
8-27-14: With a sweep of the powerhouse Baltimore Orioles at home over this past weekend, the Chicago Cubs improved to 14-10 for the month. And on a larger scale, they are now at .500 at 39-39 since the beginning of June. That is quite impressive for a team that was left to die at the beginning of the year. 33-year-old rookie pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning his last time out, has been impressive. He’s 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in eight starts.
8-26-14: The Chicago Cubs seem to be one of the early favorites to sign free agent Jon Lester this winter. Lester, a former Red Sox, worked a ton with current Cubs President and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Lester is expected to command a six or seven year commanding $20 million a season or more annually. Lester may join a rotation that includes Tsuyoshi Wada who has made major strides this season in the Chicago starting rotation. The Cubs have been stockpiling young talent and power arms but the 33 year old may be the veteran mentor that Chicago needs going forward to teach all the young arms they have coming up through the farm system. The Cubs are currently 58-72 and have the worst record in the NL Central division and are definitely working on their rebuilding project for next season and beyond.
8-20-14: The Cubs, like Houston, are on pace to lose over 95 games this season. With that being said, they have taken steps forward this year. Top prospect Javier Baez has been the talk of Wrigleyville for the past few weeks, but prospect Kyle Hendricks deserves more attention. The righty is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts. Hendricks gives Chicago another rotation piece alongside Jake Arrieta.
8-19-14: The Chicago Cubs and starting pitcher Jake Arrieta have expressed a mutual agreement in getting an extension worked out to keep Arrieta in Wrigley Field for a long time. Arrieta will be arbitration eligible for the first time in his career next season and has Scott Boras representing him as his agent. Boras tends to advise his clients to test the free agent market before signing long term deals with clubs but Arrieta does not expect Boras to get in the way of any potential extension talks between the two sides. Chicago may keep Arrieta long term but the Nate Schierholtz era in Wrigley is over as the club placed the outfielder on release waivers and will make him a free agent once he clears waivers this week.
8-13-14: The Javier Baez era has officially begun for the Chicago Cubs and their fans. For the first time in a while, there is some excitement surrounding the team. Baez gave fans something to cheer about after hitting a game-winning home run in his debut last week and he added a two-homer game later that week. The 21-year-old has the bat speed everyone has talked about, and his power is scary. The Cubs defeated the NL Central leading Brewers Tuesday 3-0.
8-12-14: The Chicago Cubs held a private workout for the latest Cuban defecting star Rusney Castillo at Wrigley Field this week as teams begin to bid for his services. The Cubs also added a once top prospect in the Miami Marlins system in Jacob Turner after his former team designated him for assignment. Chicago gave up Tyler Bremer and Jose Arias in the deal. The Cubs also got Kyuji Fujikawa off the 60 day DL and designated outfielder Nate Schierholtz for assignment to make room on the roster. Schierholtz has struggled this season and only slashed a .192/.240/.300 for the Cubbies this season. In the last of the Cubs roster moves this week the team called up top prospect Javier Baez to play second base in place of Darwin Barney. Baez responded immediately by hitting a game winning home run in his first game with the big league club.
8-6-14: Highly touted rook Javier Baez made his major league debut a memorable one for himself and his family Tuesday night in Denver. Baez led off the 12th inning with a home run and the Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 6-5. Baez struck out in three of his first five at-bats before hitting Boone Logan's first pitch an estimated 414 feet into the bullpen. The Cubs won’t be making the postseason anytime soon, but Baez’s performance Tuesday should give Cubs’ fans hope for the future.
8-5-14: The Chicago Cubs made the big splash with the Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel trade and remained relatively quiet for the remainder of the trading deadline. Chicago made a few lesser moves acquiring left handed pitcher Felix Doubront from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later to solidify the future of the starting rotation. Then Chicago traded infielder Emilio Bonifacio and relief pitcher James Russell for a minor league catcher from the Atlanta Braves organization. Chicago ultimately tried to unload the contract of Edwin Jackson and couldn’t find many suitors for the right hander. The Cubs ended the week by promoting Javier Baez to the major leagues to begin the Baez era at second base in Chicago.
7-30-14: The Chicago Cubs have designated for assignment their home grown defensive wizard at second base in Darwin Barney to clear a spot for one of their top prospects in Arismendy Alcantara. Barney was claimed and traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers while Alcantara will play every day splitting time between second base and centerfield according to team reports this week. The Cubs were approached by the New York Yankees who were trying to acquire starting pitcher Jake Arrieta and quickly shot down New York stating that they would have to be blown away in any deal for their right hander. Arrieta has pitched well this season and is controlled through the 2017 season so it is not that farfetched to think that Arrieta may be considered untouchable by Theo Epstein and the Cubs.
7-28-14: On Friday, Luis Valbuena hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that ultimately decided the Cubs’ game against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. Although the Cubs won that game, they have still dropped five of their seven games since the All-Star break and will most likely finish in last place in the National League Central for the second consecutive season.
7-24-14: Anthony Rizzo hit two home runs and 24-year-old Kyle Hendricks pitched seven strong innings for his first major league victory, leading the Cubs to a 6-0 victory over the San Diego Padres, which snapped their five-game losing streak. Rizzo became the first National League player to reach 25 homers this season, which is his career high. He finished with 23 homers in 160 games last season. The future for the Cubs is bright indeed.
7-21-14: The Chicago Cubs already made the biggest splash in the trading deadline season and may not be done. The Cubs have received many interested phone calls regarding shortstop Starlin Castro but seem unlikely to trade him away this month. One man they are likely to trade away is starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. Jackson is owed roughly $26 million through the 2016 season and a couple teams including the New York Yankees have shown interest in the right hander. The Cubs are likely to make a move to clear a path for top prospects Javier Baez, Addison Rusell, and Arismendy Alcantara. It is likely that Baez will be the second baseman of the future in Chicago and Alcantara may be moved to third base leaving Russell possibly as the odd man out.
7-19-14: The Cubs dropped their third consecutive game on Friday to drop to 15 games below .500 on the season, but Anthony Rizzo continues to crush the baseball. He hit his 21st and 22nd home runs of 2014 to tie Giancarlo Stanton for the National League lead in that category. The large amount of young talent on the Cubs puts them in the position to be successful within the next few years.
7-17-14: It was an up-and-down first half for the Cubs. They closed out the first half with three straight series losses. However, there's a lot to like about the direction in which Chicago is heading. Core pieces Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo have both bounced back in a big way, and the team finally traded Jeff Samardzija, adding top prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney to what was already an excellent minor league system.
7-15-14: The Chicago Cubs have called up prospect Arismendy Alcantara to replace Darwin Barney as he was placed on the paternity list. Alcantara stayed with the team through the All Star break as the team got an extended look at one of their surplus shortstop prospects they may trade this July or offseason. Alcantara responded by getting four hits out of the gate to start his professional career with Chicago. The Cubs are in last place in the NL Central division and have a 4-54 record at the break which is good for 12 games behind the first place Milwaukee Brewers. Vice President of player development and amateur scout Jason McLeod received a two year extension this week for his work and success with the likes of Alcantara from Chicago.
7-14-14: Although Arismendy Alcantara was activated on Wednesday in Cincinnati and went 0-for-4 in his major league debut, he has made a tremendous impact on the Cubs the last couple of days. On Thursday, he led the team’s offense with three runs batted in as Chicago defeated the Reds in extra innings. Then on Friday, he scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
7-10-14: A Jay Bruce home run proved to be the difference for the Cubs as they dropped Game 1 of a doubleheader Tuesday 4-2. Billy Hamilton finished off the Cubs in the ninth inning of Game 2 as Chicago was swept away by the Reds 6-5. The Cubs have been swept in all three of their doubleheaders this season and they haven't won a game since trading starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for a bundle of prospects.
7-7-14: With their fourth consecutive
victory on Friday, the Cubs moved to just eight games below .500. Rick Renteria’s squad has not been above .500 all season, but they have a chance at accomplishing that feat for the first time since April 4, 2013. Justin Ruggiano has been hitting the cover off the ball recently. He hit home runs on Wednesday and Friday and is hitting 7-for-14 through three games in July. The Cubs continue to look towards the future, as they dealt Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney, Dan Straily and a player to be named later on Friday.
7-3-14: There were some tense moments for Anthony Rizzo Tuesday night in Boston. He started the ninth with a single, went to third on a double by Starlin Castro and then scored on Luis Valbuena's sacrifice fly off Koji Uehara. He then caught Luis Valbuena's throw from third base to first on a grounder in time to get Dustin Pedroia for the final out and the 2-1 victory. Replay did show that the throw beat Pedroia to the bag.
7-2-14: The Chicago Cubs are the talk of baseball the closer we inch to the July 31 trading deadline. The Cubs tried to extend Jeff Samardzija and failed and he is all but packing his bags and heading out of Chicago. Surprisingly Jason Hammel has been a hotter commodity than Samardzija, or any free agent starting pitcher this season, because of his upcoming free agency. Hammel will also command less in terms of prospects than Samardzija and will be highly sought after this trading season. The Cubs announced at one point a willingness to move more pitching other than these two, most notably Edwin Jackson, but those talks have seemed to die down at least for now. There is no indication if that is because the Cubs are not actively shopping them or if the market for Jackson and others has yet to establish itself.
6-30-14: While it does not look like there will be a postseason appearance for the 2014 Cubs, they are playing .500 baseball at Wrigley Field. Even after losing four of six combined home games against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds this past week, Chicago won the first two games of its series with the visiting Washington Nationals.
6-26-14: Jake Arrieta flirted with a perfect game as he retired his first 18 batters and struck out nine in seven innings of work, leading the Cubs to a 7-3 victory against Cincinnati on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. Overall, Arrieta allowed just two runs and three hits while improving to 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in five June starts. This was his first win of the season at Wrigley. Despite the win, the Cubs still sit 13 games back of NL Central leading Milwaukee.
6-24-14: The Chicago Cubs have been the talk of the trading deadline already, and we’re barely halfway through June, because of the reported availability of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel but Chicago threw a couple more names in the pot this week. The Cubs have expressed a willingness to listen to deals involving pitchers Jake Arrieta and Edwin Jackson as well as Samardzija and Hammel making General Manager Theo Epstein a very busy and popular man these days around the league. Arrieta is under team control through 2017 after being acquired for Scott Feldman last season from the Baltimore Orioles and would be an attractive, although expensive, piece to acquire. Jackson would be expensive as well but only because he is still owed $27.3 million through the 2016 season. This all came about after the Cubs offered Samardzija a contract extension reportedly in the five years and $85 million range that was ultimately declined by Samardzija.
6-18-14: Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs, two earned, in six innings of work but was denied a victory Tuesday as the Marlins rallied against Cubs reliever Brian Schlitter for a 6-5 win. Junior Lake hit his ninth homer of the year and third in five games against the Marlins this year, but the Cubs went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. The lovable losers are 12 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central.
6-17-14: The Chicago Cubs released closer Jose Veras after designating him for assignment last week and Veras latched on with the Houston Astros on a minor league deal. The Cubs hot stove market is heating up as multiple teams have already inquired about their starting pitching, namely Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The San Francisco Giants are said to have the most interest in Samardzija although there are mixed scouting reports on Hammel. Most around the league feel that Hammel is nothing more than a back end of the rotation type starter on a contending team so the Cubs should not expect a huge haul for the right hander. The Cubs do not seem content to sit around and wait for the trading deadline to start selling off players and may start trading earlier than anyone expects them to.
6-10-14: The Chicago Cubs have designated their closer Jose Veras for assignment this week. Veras is still only 33 years old but posted a 8.10 ERA in Chicago this season as he walked nearly 7.5 batters per nine innings. Instead of the Cubs dangling him at the trading deadline he will be free to have for any team for the prorated league minimum salary while the Cubs remain on the hook for his nearly $4.4 million in salary remaining to him including h is 2015 club option buyout. The Cubs will be sellers once again this season but pitchers Jason Hammel and Carlos Villanueva hope to stay with the team and help with the rebuilding that is going on according to an interview with MLB.com. The Cubs selected fourth in the MLB First Year Players Draft and took Indiana’s Kyle Schwarber, a catcher and an outfielder.
6-3-14: The Chicago Cubs have turned their attention away from the field and are likely beginning to court suitors for ace starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs had one of their top talent evaluators in Class-A Ball watching Hunter Harvey, a 2013 draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles that is ineligible to be traded until after this year’s draft. The Orioles are said to have the most interest in Samardzija but it is worth mentioning that the trading deadline is still two months away. The Cubs are also stirring up players in their own clubhouse due to the team dragging their feet on the new renovations at Wrigley Field. The snag has always been with striking a deal with the rooftop owners and players like Anthony Rizzo are growing frustrated after being promised new and updated facilities in the clubhouse, among other things.
5-28-14: The Chicago Cubs and the Ricketts family who own the club and Wrigley Field are working towards a deal that would renovate and expand the historic stadium. The new plan submitted by Tom Ricketts would place more seating in the Budweiser Bleacher seats, would put new lights in the outfield to reduce the shadows, four additional LED signs up to 650 square feet and a 2400 square foot video board in right field bringing Wrigley one step closer to the 21st century. Now if the Cubs could just do something about that constant swarm of seagulls all over the field during day games and finally strike a deal with the rooftop owners I think they would be on to something. The Cubs spent much of their Memorial Day weekend signing Manny Ramirez to a minor league deal to be a player coach in Triple-A.
5-21-14: The Chicago Cubs are going to be one of the most active teams at this year’s trading deadline with plenty of young power arms available in trade. The Cubs could trade Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, Jose Veras, and outfielder Nate Schierholtz as a part of their total rebuilding project. The Cubs would likely trade Edwin Jackson as well if they could find a team to take on his salary for this season and beyond. The Cubs got a fantastic package last summer for a lesser pitcher in Matt Garza who is older and was 10 weeks away from free agency while Samardzija on the other hand is under team control for the 2015 season as well the Cubs will surely be expecting a haul for his services.
5-15-14: The Chicago Cubs have the worst record in all of baseball with a dismal 13-25 record through 38 games. The Cubs are now all but guaranteed to trade ace starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija at this year's trading deadline in July. The Miami Marlins may be the Cubs top suitor for the right hander after losing their ace Jose Fernandez to Tommy John surgery. The Cubs are looking at the Marlins top prospect Andrew Heaney as possibly the centerpiece of the deal. Samardzija should fetch the Cubs a ton since he has one more year of team control after the 2014 season, albeit it will be an expensive 2015 season for his team as he enters his final season of arbitration eligibility. The Cubs also own the fourth overall pick in this year's MLB First Year Players Draft and are said to be looking at adding the best available player regardless of position with the pick.
5-7-14: The Chicago Cubs are in a fight with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the worst record in the National League and all of baseball and talks are already turning towards the July, 31 trading deadline. The Cubs are said to already be exploring trades and are definite sellers in the market unless they drastically improve in the month of May. The Cubs have dangled ace starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija for the past couple seasons and this is likely the year they finally pull the trigger on a deal for the right handed former Notre Dame football star. Matt Garza, former Chicago Cub, made news when addressing Samardzija about the possibility of a trade this summer telling him to "pitch his way out of Chicago" if he could. It sounds like Garza is a bit bitter with his former club but after multiple losing seasons it's hard to blame anyone for wanting to play for a contender.
4-28-14: The Chicago Cubs are once again the "lovable losers" after a month of baseball in 2014 with the worst record in the National League Central division and the entire National League. The future is bright though as the Cubs have a great farm system in on the backs of Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and C.J. Edwards. Speaking of Edwards the Cubs got a bit of good news on Edwards shoulder when an MRI showed no structural damage. The Cubs recently celebrated the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field which is an amazing and historic feat, especially in the modern age of baseball and corporate owned "bigger and better" stadiums and domes. Voting has opened up for the 2014 MLB All Star Game for this July so remember to vote your favorite Chicago Cubs into the game.
Once again the Chicago Cubs are off to a very poor start with a record of 5–12 and in last place of the National League Central division. Last week the cops were swept in New York by the by the Yankees in a day night doubleheader. They did not score a single run in either game. This week the Cubs will kick off a four game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
4-14-14: The season has barely started, yet already, the Chicago Cubs find themselves way out of first place. The Cubbies are just 4-8 thus far, but are still somehow already six games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers. After a dramatic 6-3 win in 11 innings on Friday, Chicago dropped the final two games of their three game series to the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. Anthony Rizzo has been a bright spot for the Cubs, as the young lefty is hitting .319 (.389 OBP) with a couple of bombs thus far.
4-7-14: Coming into the season, many expected the Cubs to lose 100 games, and they’re well on their way. They’ve gotten off to a 2-4 start out of the gates, and avoided a weekend sweep at the hands of the Phillies with an 8-3 victory Sunday afternoon at Wrigley. One bright spot has been the amazing start of newcomer Emilio Bonifacio, who leads all of baseball with 14 hits already, in just 28 at-bats. Chicago is hoping for bigs things out of young third baseman Mike Olt, though the former Ranger is hitting just .077 with one home run (his only hit) to start the year.
4-1-14: While runs were easy to come by in Texas, the opposite was true in Pittsburgh on Opening Day, as the Chicago Cubs fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 in 10 innings. Jeff Samardijza scattered five hits over seven impressive innings for the Cubbies, but Carlos Villanueva allowed a walk-off solo home run to Neil Walker leading off the 10th that sent the Cubs home losers. Emilio Bonifacio had four of Chicago’s six hits on the afternoon, while Travis Ishikawa paced the Pirates with two.
3-27-14: The Chicago Cubs may be on the verge of trading catcher George Kottaras to the Texas Rangers after they lost their own catcher in Geovany Soto for the next three months. The Cubs also traded away infielder Donny Murphy to the Texas Rangers in a waiver wire claim type trade with the Rangers taking on Murphy's $825 K salary as payment. With the trade for Murphy the Cubs have seemingly opened up a roster spot and a 2014 Opening Day start at first basemen for prospect Mike Olt. As the Cubs inch closer to Opening Day in 2014 Forbes has released their annual values for all 30 Major League Baseball teams and the Cubs are one of the five teams valued at over $1 billion coming in at the fourth highest value at $1.2 billion.
3-20-14: The Chicago Cubs sent down eight minor league players in the latest round of spring training cuts including reassigning Arodys Vizcaino, Brett Jackson, and Josh Vitters. Former Pittsburgh Pirate James McDonald lasted two pitches in his last start against the Oakland Athletics before leaving with a case of shoulder tendonitis, the same diagnosis that limited him to just six starts last season. Jake Arrieta finally made his spring training debut against live hitters, his Cubs teammates, on his road back from a stiff right shoulder. Starlin Castro is dealing with fluid buildup in his leg, this on top of the hamstring that has been hampering him, and has been held out of Cactus League games since March 2. Castro is said to be close to returning to games but no date has been set yet on his likely return. Some good news has come out of Cubs camp in recent weeks with the emergence of Javier Baez, possibly the starting second basemen for Chicago on Opening Day, and Mike Olt as a potent one-two punch in the middle of the lineup. Big time Cuban outfield prospect Jorge Soler has been sent down to Cubs minor league camp. The Cubs have a below .500 record in the Cactus League this year and are 4-6 in their last 10 games heading into a season where they are likely to struggle again all season long.
3-13-14: The Chicago Cubs are still the brain child of former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein and are still in the middle of rebuilding and the transition that usually follows. This year the Cubs stayed quiet overall in the offseason with their only major move being Jose Veras signing to be the closer in Wrigley Field. The good news is the Cubs still have guys who sell tickets, put people in the seats, and make the games worth watching in Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Edwin Jackson, and Jeff Samardzija. Maybe the Cubs finally see Anthony Rizzo finally reach his potential, I am sure manager Rick Renteria hopes so. The Cubs play in a tough division that is absolutely stacked right now so it may be another season or two before they compete in the NL Central again.
3-12-14: The five most expensive home games of the Chicago Cubs' 2014 schedule are: July 25th vs St. Louis, July 26th vs St. Louis, May 20th vs the New York Yankees, May 21st vs the Yankees, and June 28th vs the Nationals. The cheapest game on the schedule is April 21st vs Arizona, with an average asking price of $40.
3-5-14: The Chicago Cubs announced that shortstop Starlin Castro is going to miss a minimum of 7 to 10 days because he hurt his hamstring. It is also been announced that the cubs are looking to trade Jeff Samardzija before opening day. Earlier in February Chicago Cubs signed veteran infielder Emilio Bonifacio to a minor-league contract along with an invitation to their spring training.
1-24-14: The Cubs had a dismal 2013 going 66-96 but what they lacked on the field they made up for in experience as they are one of the youngest teams in the MLB. The Cubs have a farm system that will soon help breathe new life into the organization like Anthony Rizzo has done.
1-7-14: The latest news out of the Chicago Cubs camp is that they are finalizing agreement with José Verriste right-handed pitcher to a one-year deal with $4 million. The Cubs have also signed left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez Twin minor-league contract. The Cubs will need a lot more help than that cannot finish in last place once again perhaps they are saving their money for the Tanaka sweepstakes.
12-9-13: At the bottom of the division was Chicago Cubs winning only 66 games and finishing 31 games out of first place. To leave the cubs announced that Javier Baez will be this team starting shortstop season. Despite trading Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees the Cubs are still on the hook for the majority of his contract. Last season the Chicago Cubs finished 28th overall in runs scored and on-base percentage. Hey also had the 27th lowest team batting average at .238.
8/21/13 - The Chicago Cubs are three – seven in the last 10 games and find themselves in last place of the National League Central division. The Cubs have won only 25 games at home and are 20 games out of first place, virtually eliminated. Last night the Cubs fell to Dan Haren and the Washington nationals by score of 4-2. Shortstop Starlin Castro who was benched over the weekend was 0-4 with a strikeout. Third baseman Donnie Murphy hit a home run in the ninth inning off of Rafael Soriano. Over the weekend the coach will fly to the West Coast to face the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers.
8/6/13 - Things haven't gotten better for the Cubs since trading Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees. They've currently lost four straight games and are in fourth place in the National League Central division. With Alfosno Soriano traded to the yankees they will play against the Phillies this week.
7/19/13 - In the National League Central division, fourth place belongs to the Chicago Cubs. At 42-51 they are 15 games out of first place and seem to be headed nowhere fast. The Cubs are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Cubs rank 12th in baseball in terms of team slugging percentage at a clip of .409. Alfonso Soriano leads the team in both batting average and home runs. He is only hitting .259 however, and has 16 homers. After the all-star break the Cubs will face the Colorado Rockies. The Cubs will likely once again be outsiders once October rolls around. 26 year old right hander Travis Wood is 6-6 with a nice ERA of 2.79. Wood has struck out 86 batters this season.
7/7/13 - LHP Travis Wood was the only Chicago Cub selected to the 2013 National League All-Star Team, his first ASG appearance. In 17 starts, Wood is 5-6 with a 2.69 ERA and a WHIP of 0.98.
6/12/13 - Once again the Chicago Cubs find themselves at the bottom of the NL Central division. Losers of two in a row the Cubs will take on The Cincinnati Reds this week. The Cubs have struggled this year hitting the ball with the team batting average of just .243. Alfonso Soriano has the best average of any starter at just .268. Last year the cubs won only 61 games and seem to be headed for a similar result. The lone bright spot on the pitching staff has been right-hander Travis Wood. What has pitched to a 2.65 ERA, clearly a team best. In his last start Travis Wood gave up only one run in six innings pitched. The Cubs are currently 16 games out of first place And 12 games out of the wildcard.