Cubs News and Notes: Ross and Rizzo speak, Bryant rumors, Beltran fired, Hot Stove


by - Columnist -
Two important Cubs icons for 2020 (Jim Young - USA Today Sports)
Two important Cubs icons for 2020 (Jim Young - USA Today Sports)

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

Next Game: Next Game: 36 days – Saturday, February 22, 2020: Athletics vs Cubs (Sloan Park)

Opening Day: 69 days – Thursday, March 26, 2020: Cubs vs. Brewers (Miller Park)

David Ross: While I’m feeling 100% sure that the Cubs will move KB if they find the right deal, David Ross disagrees.

"Any manager would advocate for time with KB," he said. "I'm excited. As things stand right now, coming into camp, KB's on the roster. I expect him to be there. I think the fans should expect him to be there. It's an exciting time to be a Cubs manager because there's a lot of talent. There's no ceiling for this team. I really think this team can win the World Series. That's the way I'm looking at things."

Ross says that he’s excited that the roster hasn’t changed much, and that he’s looking forward to managing the group of guys on the current roster. I’d like to see some minor changes, but I’d agree with Ross; this team can win.

“If you’re looking for a negative mindset, it’s not going to be me.” -David Ross

Rizz: When asked about not being extended by the Cubs, Anthony Rizzo said, “It would be naive of me to think I might not play the rest of my career as a Cub,” but he did express a desire to remain in Chicago.

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Rizzo says that you can rest easy, the Cubs haven’t been involved at all in the cheating scandal.

Third base watch: According to Jon Heyman, a decision on Kris Bryant’s grievance “is expected by the end of the month, possibly next week. ( Finally! )

I predicted that the Cubs would have their answer by January 22, to give teams a full month before Spring Training games, to decide whether or not they want to move on Bryant.

The pool of interested parties for KB may have gotten a little shallower yesterday, as the Braves signed Adeiny Hechavarria to a one-year/$1M deal. Hechavarria played second, short and third for Atlanta last year, but it’s unclear if the Braves will rely solely on him at third.

"I have talked to him a couple of times in the offseason. He is excited that he and his wife Jess are having a baby. I think he is in a good place. He knows too that it's a rumor until a trade happens. He is the MVP of the league a couple of years ago. We know we want him on our side, that is for sure.” Anthony Rizzo on Kris Bryant.

Community service: Several members of the Cubs were on hand yesterday to help package equipment for 50+ Chicago youth programs and schools.

Steve Cishek: Cishek says he knew the White Sox were looking to do something big this year. The former Cubs’ sidewinder says that within five minutes of the end of the 2019 World Series, his manager received a call from the South Siders.

Cubs’ Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday were ex-Cubs Moe Morhardt (83) and posthumously, Bob Ramazzotti (103), Jay "Dizzy" Dean (110), and Jim Murray (132).

Baseball Quotes: “I foul off borderline pitches intentionally. I try to get the pitcher to make a mistake.” -Ichiro Suzuki

How many of you are old enough to remember “The Mad Hungarian”?

MLB and the Hot Stove

Cheating scandal: The sign-stealing scandal has now claimed another career, as Carlos Beltran has stepped down from his new job as the Mets manager. Rob Manfred’s report deeply implicated Beltran as a participant in the scandal, causing Beltran to approach the Mets to submit his resignation.

Both Beltran and Alex Cora still face punishment by MLB.

I’m quite confident this quote was given before the start of MLB’s investigation into sign stealing, but Beltran is apparently a man of his word.

Too soon?

Astros: As their managerial search continues, the Astros interviewed Buck Showalter on Wednesday.

The team has also avoided arbitration with George Springer, signing him to a one-year/$21M deal.

Olympic Baseball: According to Jon Morosi, the Dominican Republic is expected to ask permission to add Rays’ shortstop Wander Franco and Braves’ outfielder Cristian Pache to join their roster.

Drew Smyly: The Giants have signed former Cubs’ pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year deal. Smyly will get $4M in guaranteed money, with a ton more available in incentives.

D-Backs: Arizona has claimed infielder Pat Valaika off waivers from Baltimore.

White Sox: Chicago has signed RHP Bryan Mitchell to a minor league deal.

Giants: The Giants have completed their coaching staff with the hire of Alyssa Nakken. She will be the first woman ever to coach in MLB.

Mets: Veteran MLB outfielder Carlos Gomez says that once his time is up in the Dominican Winter League, he plans to retire.

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