Latest news and rumors: Theo on the off-season, Darvish rehab, and more


by - Columnist -
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
Jake Roth - USA Today Sports

It’s been kind of a quiet weekend, although the Brew Crew was back to dealing, and although the Cubs remained quiet on the trade and signing fronts, and Theo Epstein found some time to make some encouraging, although ambiguous, statements.

Cubs’ news and notes

Cubs’ Opening Day: 82 days.

Pitchers/Catchers Report: 37 Days.

First Spring Training game: 50 Days. (Saturday, February 23, Brewers vs. Cubs at Sloan Park)

Theo Epstein: In an interview with Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, Theo talked a little of the Cubs’ slow off-season. “There are times to be aggressive and times to be patient, and there are times when you can be aggressive and times where you have to be patient,” Epstein said. “Every offseason is unique. We’re working hard, and there are a lot of things we’re trying to do behind to the scenes to make sure we have a successful season next year. I know thus far we haven’t added the big names that get the fans excited. I understand that’s part of the expectations in the offseason.”
This morning, on 670 The Score, Epstein also said that the Cubs did not fear going over the luxury tax threshold if “makes economic and player addition sense.”

When if fans should or shouldn’t continue to dream about a big-name free agent signing by the Cubs, Epstein replied, “I’m not going to tell the fans how to consume their off-season. Lots of very vague replies today, I’m afraid.

Yu Darvish: During Epstein’s visit to 670 The Score today, Theo announced that Darvish is in “really great shape” with regard to his elbow and shoulder rehab and will be a “full-go” for spring training.

Latest news and rumors from around the league

Manny Machado: Baseball insider, John Heyman has tweeted the following with regard to Machado: “Yankees are working on pen as they await word on Machado. Chicago White Sox and Phillies also waiting. No team is believed at 300M. If all are in 200-250 range and that’s possible (perhaps Philly is a little higher, though that is unknown), for what it’s worth, most around game still believe Machado picks NYY.”

Brewers: Milwaukee has acquired RHP Bobby Wahl, RHP Adam Hill and INF Felix Valerio from the New York Mets in exchange for OF Keon Broxton.

Dodgers: LA has signed outfielder, Paulo Orlando to a minor league deal.

Orioles: Baltimore has claimed RHP Austin Brice off waivers from Angels, and in turn, has designated infielder, Breyvic Valera for assignment.

Pirates: The Pirates today hired David Eckstein as a Special Assistant, Baseball Operations. Eckstein, the younger brother of Pirates hitting coach Rick Eckstein, played in the big leagues for 10 seasons from 2001-10 with Anaheim, St. Louis, Toronto, Arizona and San Diego.

Rangers: Texas now being linked to both Adam Ottavino and Zach Britton.

Royals: KC has signed RHP Kyle Zimmer to a one-year deal and has designated infielder Cheslor Cuthbert for assignment.

Yankees: NY has signed former Rangers’ center-fielder, Billy Burns, to a minor league deal. The Yanks are also in continued talks with both Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino. Finally, although once considered trade bait, it also looks like Sonny Gray may be with the Yankees on opening day.

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