Latest news and rumors: Cubs prospects, Hendricks’ control, Girardi talks to CubsHQ, more

by - Columnist -
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

Cubs’ news and notes

Cubs’ Opening Day: 59 days. (March 28 vs Rangers)

Pitchers/Catchers Report: 16 Days.

First Spring Training game: 27 Days. (Saturday, February 23, Brewers vs. Cubs at Sloan Park)

Prospects on the rise: Cubs’ prospects Miguel Amaya (catcher) and Nico Hoerner (SS) have now entered MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 List. Amaya is currently ranked 94 and Hoerner is sitting at 100.

Kyle Hendricks:Tony Andracki (NBCS Chicago) made an interesting observation regarding the Professor’s control: “The last time Kyle Hendricks threw a wild pitch, Miguel Montero was his catcher, Jorge Soler hit cleanup, and these were the Cubs RPs: Felix Pena, Joe Smith, Jake Buchanan. Oh yeah, and the Cubs hadn't yet won the World Series...”

Junichi Tazawa: The Cubs deal with recently signed Tazawa is for $800k (major league) and a chance to earn up to $2M.

Joe Girardi: Every time that speculation begins about Joe Maddon’s future in Chicago after this coming season, two former Cubs’ catchers’ names surface as possible replacements: Joe Girardi and David Ross. While Grandpa Rossy seems content in the broadcast booth, Joe Girardi has told that he wishes to manage again.

In ten seasons with the Yankees, Girardi amassed a record of 910-710 (.562) and earned a World Series Championship in 2003.

Latest news and rumors from around the league

Blue Jays: Toronto has signed former Marlins righty, Javy Guerra to a minor league deal which will include an invite to MLB spring training.

Giants: Former Safeway magnate and longtime Giants owner Peter Magowan, who spearheaded construction of what is now called Oracle Park, has died at 76.

Mets: The Mets have designated infielder Gavin Cecchini for assignment, per a club announcement. His roster spot will go to former Cubs’ reliever, reliever Justin Wilson.

Nationals: Washington added infield depth with the signing of free-agent infielder, Luis Sardinia. Although the switch-hitting Sardinia had limited plate appearance for the Orioles in 2018 (20 total), he batted his way to a 285/.318/.369 slash line in 1,466 attempts at the minors’ highest level.

Orioles: Baltimore has claimed INF Jack Reinheimer off waivers from the Rangers and has designated RHP Austin Brice for assignment.

Pirates: Reports say many of the Pirates’ players aren’t particularly happy with ownership over a lack of spending this winter (sounds familiar). Unlike the Cubs, whose payroll is expected to be in the $220M range, Pittsburgh is currently projected to be as low as $75M this season. The team was connected to free-agent shortstop, Freddy Galvis, but ownership says a deal will not come together.

Rays: The Rays have signed veteran utilityman Emilio Bonifacio to a minor-league deal, per a club announcement. He has received an invitation to participate in MLB camp this spring.

Reds: I keep telling people to watch out for The Big Red Machine in 2019, and if they weren’t already strong enough, they are on the verge of being stronger. Reports say the team is nearing a deal with the Marlins for JT Realmuto.

Royals: KC has signed an extension with 2B Whitt Merrifield. The deal will buy out Whit Merrifield’s final pre-arbitration year and three seasons of arbitration. The total deal is for $16.25M with an additional $2M n bonuses.

Twins: Minnesota has signed middle-infielder Mike Olt to a minor league deal. Olt saw no major league action in 2018.

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