Chicago Cubs: News and rumors, latest from the Hot Corner


by - Columnist -
No news lately from Epstein and crew (Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports)
No news lately from Epstein and crew (Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports)

To say this was a slow news day in the world of MLB, and more specifically slow in Wrigleyville, would be an understatement. Instead of worrying about Bryce Harper and Manny Machado for a change, it seems that Buster Olney’s Twitter account is the talk of the town, but more on that later.

Here’s the latest from the Hot Corner:

2019 Opening Day: Now 134 days away. Yes, I’ll be counting it down every day.

Rookie of the Year Awards: This year’s National League honors go to Ronald Acuna, Jr. of the Braves, and for the AL, it’s Shohei Ohtani from the Angels. Congratulations to both.

MLB vs Japan: Samurai Japan toppled the MLB All-Stars again early this morning by a score of 5-3. Japan now leads 3-1 in the best of six series.

Things remain quiet in Wrigleyville: They say, “no news is good news,” and Theo Epstein has given us just that- NO news. There’s still no definitive word on the future of Jim Hickey, and the Cubs have now gone eleven days without adding or subtracting from the team. Their last transaction was on November second when they claimed Jack Reinheimer (SS) off waivers from the Mets. The Cubs are also yet to name a replacement for assistant hitting coach Andy Haines, who is now the Brewers hitting coach. Something may be brewing in Arlington though, read on…

Texas Rangers: The Rangers have announced that they have parted ways with pitching coach, Doug Brocail. Brocail had spent three years with Texas, but after new manager, Chris Woodward, was named, the Rangers re-evaluated their coaching staff and elected to part ways with the former MLB pitcher. Brocail spent a total of 17 years in MLB, although he was out for two seasons (2002-2003) due to injury. The Cubs and Rangers work well together with trades, leading me to wonder if the Cubs might look to Brocail as a replacement for Hickey.

Buster Olney: Apparently Olney doesn’t want to let his comments about the Cubs being open to a Bryant trade just die off quietly. Olney issued a challenge of sorts today, when he tweeted, “Still waiting for someone to dispel the information in the piece, that the Cubs have communicated to other teams they are prepared to listen to offers for Bryant -- and that's a shift from previous off-seasons, not some general GM operating philosophy.”

Jacob deGrom: How’s this for a run of bad luck? Do you know the name Brodie Van Wagenen? Don’t worry, most don’t, but he used to be Jacob deGrom’s agent. This would be the guy who, not too long ago, demanded that the Mets either sign deGrom to a long-term deal or that they trade him. Van Wagenen recently resigned as a baseball agent in order to take a new job; he will now be the Mets new GM. I’m not sure how this will work out for deGrom, but I’m pretty certain there’s a conflict of interest here.

Qualifying offers: Of the seven players to receive qualifying offers this year (Harper, Corbin, Pollock, Keuchel, Grandal, Ryu and Kimbrel), only Ryu accepted the offer. Ryu will receive a one-year, $17.9M contract and will play with the Dodgers in 2019. Ryu is only the sixth player out of eighty to accept a qualifying offer since 2012.

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