Cubs News and Notes: Roster moves, Cubs on ESPN, Yasmani Grandal, MLB Hot Stove, more


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Ross is working towards having a successful 2020 season (Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports)
Ross is working towards having a successful 2020 season (Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports)

Ross getting busy: David Ross isn’t taking the winter off. Instead, he is making “regular offseason visits” to the Wrigley Field office building to met with research and development personnel, as well as his coaching and scouting staff.

According to Patrick Mooney, “His voice will be heard as the Cubs pursue free agents and trade talks.”

Roster moves: Ahead of the Rule-5 Draft deadline, the Cubs have added C Miguel Amaya, RHP Tyson Miller, RHP Manuel Rodriguez, and INF Zack Short. Their 40-man roster now stands at 36 players.

Cubs/ESPN: ESPN is set to televise two of the first four Cubs’ games of 2020. The first 'Sunday Night Baseball' game will be Cubs vs. Brewers at 6 p.m. CT on March 29 at Miller Park. The following day, the sports channel will air the Cubs home opener at 3:10 p.m. CT on March 30 against the Pirates.

Nico's winter home:

Cubs’ Birthdays: Quintin Berry (34), Mike Mason (61), Alan Hargesheimer (65), Tony Balsamo (82), and posthumously, Dick Bertell (84), Warren Hacker (95), Freddie Lindström (114), and Billy Clingman (150).

And yours truly turned 54 yesterday. #OldMan #OverTheHill #ReadyForTheRestHome

Baseball Quotes: “I’ve always liked doubles. When you scald the ball on a line to the gap, I think that's about as close to a perfect swing as you can get. -Lance Berkman

MLB and the Hot Stove

For the complete list of Rule-5 roster moves, check out my latest Odds and Ends column.

NL Central Hot Stove:

Brewers: The Crew and the Tribe did a little horse-trading yesterday, as Milwaukee picked up IF Mark Mathis from Cleveland in exchange for catcher, Andres Melendez. Also, the Brewers have selected the contracts of outfielder Corey Ray and RHP J.P. Feyereisen

Cardinals: St. Louis has selected the contracts of RHPs Jake Woodford, Alvaro Seijas, INF Elehuris Montero, and have designated RHP Dominic Leone for assignment.

Pirates: Ahead of selecting Rule-5 contracts, the Bucs have designated RHP Cody Ponce, RHP Blake Cederlind, IF Ke’Bryan Hayes IF Will Craig and IF Oneil Cruz.

According to Jon Heyman, “Twins bench coach Derek Shelton is among those getting an interview for manager with new Pirates GM Ben Cherington, so he should be considered a very serious candidate. Cherington was said to be impressed with the Pirates’ original list.”

Reds: Cincinnati has selected the contracts of RHP Tejay Antone, RHP Ryan Hendrix, Tony Santillan, and catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds have also acquired RHP Jose De Leon from the Rays for cash and a payer to be named later.

From the Rest of MLB:

White Sox: The White Sox have scored the first, big free agent signing of the year: Yasmani Grandal has signed a four-year/$73M deal.

There is a definite downside for Cubs’ fans: Willson Contreras’ trade value just went through the roof, as our beloved backstop is now the best catcher available on the market.

Chicago is also reportedly in the “leading group” to acquire Mets’ ace, Zack Wheeler.

Athletics: In addition to making roster moves before the Rule-5 deadline, Oakland has also designated RHP Jharel Cotton for assignment.

Royals: In the wake of their Rule-5 selections, KC has designated the following players for assignment: OF Jorge Bonifacio, catcher Nick Dini, RHP Conner Greene, and RHP Arnaldo Hernandez.

Blue Jays: Toronto has designated RHP Justin Shafer for assignment and has outrighted LHP Tim Mayza to triple-A Buffalo.

Padres: The Padres have issued a DFA to OF Nick Martini.

Phillies: In addition to the Rays and Brewers swapping players yesterday, Tampa sent LHP Christopher Sanchez to Philly in exchange for MiLB infielder Curtis Mead.

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