Cubs News and Notes: Cubs still want Castellanos, Cole Hamels, Hot Stove, more

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Castellanos was a solid offensive player with the Cubs (Daniel Bartel - USA Today Sports)
Castellanos was a solid offensive player with the Cubs (Daniel Bartel - USA Today Sports)


Roster moves: After non-tendering Addison Russell and Danny Hultzen, the Cubs will tender deals to 25 men on the 40-man roster yesterday. All other arbitration-eligible players will now go through the arbitration process (Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Albert Almora Jr., Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Ryan, and Willson Contreras).

The Cubs also reached a one-year deal with RHP Jharel Cotton, and 19 other players not yet ready for arbitration were re-signed.

Time to start moving: Believe it or not, the offseason is now half over (and I still don’t know how I’m going to get the Marquee Network next year…). Now that the non-tender deadline has passed, the baseball execs are getting ready for the Winter Meetings, which start in less than a week. Trades are coming; the only questions are who leaves, who comes to Chicago, and when.

Nicholas Castellanos: Good news for fans of Castellanos – the Cubs are reportedly still pursuing him, despite their payroll situation and questions surrounding his defense. The Cubs won’t be alone, as others want him as well.

Cole Hamels: Hamels may be staying in Chicago, but if things go as he expects, he’ll be playing for the Sox.

"They have reached out. That was great to be able to hear. I know with the few guys that they've signed, I think that was kind of their focus. When they did talk to my agent, it was, 'Hey, we're putting something together. We have a few guys that we want to try to get first,' which I think that's what they've been doing, 'but we really have some good interest and would like to talk further down the line.' And I think that's always really good to see.

"And then you see that they're actually making moves, and that's when you pay attention a little bit more, just because you have to see where you might actually fit into the situation." – Cole Hamels on the White Sox

Treinen to Chicago? With the Cubs’ budget this winter, signing Blake Treinen seems like a stretch, but then again, who’d have thought that the A’s would non-tender him?

Kevin Pillar: As the Cubs continue to seek a center fielder, the Giants surprised fans by non-tendering CF Kevin Pillar after just a year of service – a move almost as surprising as the A’s letting Treinen walk.

Pillar, who turns 31 in January, stroked .259/.287/.432 with 21 dingers and 88 RBI last season while committing just five errors over 1,353 innings of defense.

Cubs’ Birthdays Celebrating today, were ex-Cubs Manny Corpas (37), Damon Berryhill (56), Gene Nelson (59), and posthumously, Bennie Tate (118) and Patrick "Cozy" Dolan (147).

Baseball Quotes: “I can't blow the ball by guys. I have to pitch. I have to outthink guys. It's about moving the ball around the zone. It's about cutting the ball. It's about sinking it. It's about putting the ball where I want it to be.” - Dan Haren

MLB and the Hot Stove

Yankees: The Yanks have set their sights on signing Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg as well. The team will meet with both by tomorrow.

Blue Jays: Congrats to my buddy (and former Cub) Anthony Bass who avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays, landing a guaranteed one-year/$1.5M deal. According to MLB Trade Rumors: “Recently plucked from the waiver wire, Bass had projected to earn $1.7MM. The 32-year-old is coming off a season in which he threw 48 innings of 3.56 ERA ball with 8.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. It was his most extensive MLB action since 2015.”

Cubs should have kept him…

Anthony Rendon: Unlike the waiting game played by both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado last winter, some baseball execs are insisting that Anthony Rendon will be the first big signing, following his meetings with interested teams. Rendon has recently met with both the Dodgers and Rangers.

Zack Wheeler: According to MLB Trade Rumors, the bidding for former Mets’ righty, Zack Wheeler has now reached the nine-figure mark. For $100M+, you can bet Wheeler isn’t going to land on the North Side; but the South Siders are interested.

Mets: The Mets are looking to ditch payroll this winter and reports say that they’ll be looking to offload Jeurys Familia and Jed Lowrie, who both had disastrous seasons in 2019.

According to Ken Rosenthal, “No other club is going to have interest in paying Familia ($22MM through 2021) and Lowrie ($13MM through 2020) what they’re still owed. But the Mets are floating a “concept,” per Rosenthal, by which they’d attach some of those unwanted payroll obligations to an otherwise positive-value player-asset. Say, Dominic Smith, and his five remaining seasons of team control.”

A’s: Oakland has reached a deal to re-sign LHP Jake Diekman; two-years/$7.5M, with an option for a third year.

White Sox: They won’t get every free agent out there, but the Sox are certainly tied to a bunch of them. Now, they’ve talked to Joc Pederson (as have the Dodgers).

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