Chicago Cubs: Latest news and rumors: Russell awaits decision, Harper, Machado and more

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Chicago Cubs: Latest news and rumors: Russell awaits decision, Harper, Machado and more

We’re in the quiet before the storm it would seem, as news of trades and signings has been slow so far this morning. With tonight’s deadline looming, look for multiple deals to be struck over the next several hours.

Cubs’ news and notes

2019 Cubs Opening Day: 118 days.

Seven Cubs still awaiting contracts: Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Carl Edwards, Jr., Mike Montgomery and Addison Russell.

Addison Russell: Today’s the day that we learn the fate of Addison Russell… well, maybe. Obviously, if the Cubs fail to tender him a contract, he’s done in Chicago and becomes a free-agent, and there could always be some surprise, last-minute trade, but both scenarios are highly unlikely.

While the likely outcome is that the Cubs tender a contract to Russell, that piece of paper doesn’t necessarily mean that Russell stays with the team. While a growing number of writers seem to think that he may end up a non-tender, the popular vote still says the Cubs will give him a contract to buy more time for a trade.

Alec Mills: Happy birthday, Alec! The Cubs’ up-and-coming right-hander turns 27 today.

Oscar De La Cruz: The Cubs #10 prospect, Oscar De La Cruz is pitching in the Dominican Winter league. De La Cruz has logged four games in the DWL, collecting a 4.50 ERA (2 ER/4.0 IP) with two walks and five strikeouts. De La Cruz is joined by ten other former Iowa Cubs who are trying to stage comebacks.

Cool Music concert series: The Cubs have announced Dead & Company will return to perform at Wrigley Field Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15. There is a four-ticket limit per household, credit card and/or email address. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CST Saturday, December 8.

Trades and signings from around the league

Today marks the deadline for teams to either tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players or release them into free-agency. There’ll be a ton of news today, so stay tuned throughout the day for updates.

Cano-Diaz trade: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, “The blockbuster trade that would send Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the New York Mets for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and at least two top prospects is expected to be completed [today], league sources familiar with the deal tell Yahoo Sports.”

Mariners: Seattle grants RHP Casey Lawrence a release to allow him to pursue an opportunity in Japan.

Rangers: RHP Edinson Volquez signs one-year, $2M contract with Texas.

Royals: KC signs third-baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and RHP Jesse Hahn to 1-year deals, avoiding arbitration.

Red Sox: Boston avoids arbitration with RHP Tyler Thornburg by reaching a one-year, $1.75M deal, with another $400k available in incentives.

News and rumors from around the league

Harper/Machado: According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, baseball execs share a consensus that Machado will go to Philly, while Harper may stay with Washington.

Craig Kimbrel: As teams continue to whine and dine Kimbrel looking to land the closer, it is now being reported that he is looking for a six-year deal. With an injury-plagued Brandon Morrow, Cubs could certainly use him, but Theo Epstein has a history of not spending big or long-term on closers. Favorites thus far to land Kimbrel include Boston, the Yankees and the Phillies, with the Braves now showing increased interest.

Mets: New York is moving closer to completing their coaching staff. Former Cubs’ manager and interim Reds’ manager, Jim Riggleman was hired as the bench coach last week, and now it would appear as though former Cubs’ coach Chili Davis will join the Mets as their new hitting coach.

Orioles: Baltimore has fired farm director, Brian Graham; he assumed the role in 2013. Orioles now need a farm director, scouting director, a manager, coaches and scouts.

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