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Chicago Cubs

  1. Theo Epstein is sick of talking about Jeff Samardzija

    Apr 1, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    Jeff Samardzija

    Whether it’s about a potential long-term contract extension or a possible trade if a contract can’t be worked out, the offseason in Chicago has been filled with Jeff Samardzija talk.

  2. Expanded Instant Replay used for the first time in a regular season game

    Mar 31, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

    instant replay picture

    Actually, it’s been used two times this afternoon, with one call upheld, one call overturned.

  3. Indians sign George Kottaras to a minor league deal

    Mar 30, 2014, 10:40 PM EST

    george kottaras royals

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Indians have signed catcher George Kottaras to a minor league deal. He adds that there is a “seemingly good chance” for him to join the big league club soon. At the moment, third baseman Carlos Santana is the back-up to Yan Gomes behind the plate in…

  4. Cubs hand fifth spot in rotation to Carlos Villanueva

    Mar 28, 2014, 8:55 PM EST

    carlos villanueva getty

    Carlos Villanueva didn’t exactly impress in his 17 2/3 innings in the Cactus League, but the Cubs’ other options didn’t fare any better. That’s why, as Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports, the Cubs have given the fifth spot in the rotation to Villanueva. Villanueva posted a 5.60 ERA during the spring. Chris Rusin,…

  5. The Rangers have been scouting Darwin Barney

    Mar 26, 2014, 8:20 AM EST

    Darwin Barney Getty

    There is a pretty big demand for middle infielders among contending teams these days. The Yankees, the Tigers and now the Rangers either have age, injury or simple lack of quality to contend with among their infielders. And with Stephen Drew seemingly radioactive, there aren’t a lot of candidates around baseball to fill these holes.…

  6. Starlin Castro to take at-bats in minor league game today

    Mar 22, 2014, 12:31 PM EST

    Starlin Castro Getty

    Starlin Castro hasn’t played in a Cactus League game since March 2 due to a strained right hamstring, but he’s finally ready to return to action. Sort of. According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, Castro is expected to take several at-bats today in a minor league game. They might keep him on the minor league…

  7. 2014 Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

    Mar 17, 2014, 6:02 PM EST

    Towers Gibson AP

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2014 season. Next up: The Arizona Diamondbacks. The Big Question: Can the Diamondbacks withstand the injury to Patrick Corbin and get over the .500…

  8. Cubs will have Javier Baez start at second base soon

    Mar 15, 2014, 11:05 PM EST

    Javier Baez

    The Cubs will start Javier Baez at second base on either Monday or Tuesday, according to Cubs manager Rick Renteria. The report comes from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Baez, rated the fourth overall best prospect by Baseball Prospectus, has played exclusively at shortstop throughout his three-year professional career. As Wittenmyer notes, it would…

  9. 2014 Preview: Chicago Cubs

    Mar 11, 2014, 12:03 AM EST

    theo epstein getty

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2014 season. Next up: The Chicago Cubs. The Big Question: Is the wait almost over? It has been 105 long years since the north…

  10. Edwin Jackson sidestepped game plan, threw all fastballs on Friday

    Mar 8, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

    Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals

    Edwin Jackson gave up three runs on four hits in his start against the Indians on Friday, but that wasn’t the shocking part of what happened. Unbeknownst to manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Chris Bosio, Jackson threw all fastballs in his outing — 50 of them. Via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat: “I think maybe, as…

  11. Starlin Castro out 7-10 days with hamstring injury

    Mar 3, 2014, 11:49 AM EST

    starlin castro getty

    Starlin Castro left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and the Cubs shortstop is expected to miss 7-10 days after being diagnosed with a “mild” strain, the team announced. Manager Rick Renteria told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com that “it shouldn’t set him back for the regular season,” but realistically any multi-week injury at this point…

  12. Starlin Castro suffers right hamstring strain

    Mar 2, 2014, 7:51 PM EST

    starlin castro getty

    Mark D. Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro suffered a right hamstring strain Sunday in a 5-3 Cactus League loss to the Royals. The strain is being labeled as “mild,” but it could cost Castro around a week of action. Castro sustained the injury while sliding into second base on…

  13. Wanna see Mike Trout hit a spring training grand slam? Of course you do.

    Feb 28, 2014, 9:30 PM EST

    mike trout getty

    The return of baseball also means the return of Mike Trout, two-time defending AL Most Valu — ahem — two-time runner-up for the AL Most Valuable Player award. Trout appears to be in top form already, as he took James McDonald deep to left field for a grand slam in the fourth inning of this…

  14. Mike Olt says his vision is just fine

    Feb 23, 2014, 9:40 PM EST

    Texas Rangers v Boston Red Sox

    Cubs prospect Mike Olt had a rough 2013. He posted a meager .739 OPS with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock. Then the Rangers traded him to the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal. With Triple-A Iowa, Olt posted a .551 OPS in 152 plate appearances. He was bothered by vision issues, a symptom…

  15. Jeff Samardzija on extension talks with Cubs: emotional attachment “only goes so far”

    Feb 14, 2014, 10:10 PM EST

    samardzija getty

    The Cubs and starter Jeff Samardzija recently agreed to a salary of $5.345 million for the 2014 season to avoid arbitration. It offered nothing in the way of progress between the two sides, who have been discussing a multi-year contract extension. The Cubs reportedly offered the right-hander $55 million over five years back in December,…

  16. Jake Arrieta expected to miss start of season after bout with shoulder soreness

    Feb 13, 2014, 8:41 PM EST

    6cb813838aa31dedb6c3b6c8dd7c4d00

    Jake Arrieta was expected to compete for a rotation spot with the Cubs this spring, but it sounds like he’ll have to wait to get his opportunity. According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said today that Arrieta felt shoulder tightness over the winter and is not expected to be ready…

  17. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs settle, avoid arbitration

    Feb 8, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    jeff samardzija getty

    Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, starter Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs have agreed on a $5.345 million salary for 2014, avoiding arbitration. Samardzija had filed for $6.2 million while the Cubs filed for $4.4 million. Their agreed-upon salary is ever so slightly above the $5.30 million midpoint between the figures submitted by the two sides. Samardzija’s…

  18. Ranking the bullpens: 2014 edition

    Feb 7, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves

    We tried this with the rotations the other day. Once again, I’ll be dipping into my 2014 projections here to rank the bullpens. To come up with the following bullpen ERAs, I simply combined each team’s seven highest-IP relievers, according to my projections. AL Royals – 2.93 Red Sox – 3.14 Athletics – 3.16 Rangers…

  19. Cubs, Darwin Barney avoid arbitration for $2.3 million

    Feb 6, 2014, 1:45 PM EST

    Darwin Barney Getty

    Second baseman Darwin Barney and the Cubs have agreed to a one-year, $2.3 million contract to avoid arbitration. Barney is one of the worst-hitting regulars in baseball, batting just .208 with seven homers and a .569 OPS last season and .246 with a .628 OPS for his career, but the Cubs love his defense at…

  20. The Mets are willing to spend to add a “closer type”

    Feb 3, 2014, 8:33 PM EST

    Mets logo

    The Mets signed veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league contract today, but they aren’t done attempting to improve their bullpen. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York was told by a source unaffiliated with the team that the Mets “have allotted dollars” to add a closer-type. Bobby Parnell is the incumbent at closer, but…

  21. Rangers sign Daniel Bard to a minor league deal

    Jan 31, 2014, 9:05 PM EST

    Daniel Bard

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Rangers have signed pitcher Daniel Bard to a minor league deal. Bard, 28, spent the last five seasons with the Red Sox, showing promise in 2010 and ’11 out of the bullpen, but has battled control issues more recently. He is currently on his way back from…

  22. Sounds like Bob Pollard’s no-hitter was of the Edwin Jackson variety

    Jan 30, 2014, 4:24 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 1.01.36 PM

    Yesterday I posted that news article from the late 70s about Guided By Voices leader Bob Pollard’s no-hitter when he played for Wright State University. It was news to me and baseball fans who only casually follow GBV (or don’t really follow much at all) but it’s something that was apparently well-known by serious GBV…

  23. Cubs avoid arbitration with Justin Ruggiano at $2 million

    Jan 29, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

    justin ruggiano getty

    As first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Cubs have avoided salary arbitration with outfielder Justin Ruggiano by reaching a one-year, $2 million contract for 2014. Ruggiano asked for $2.45 million and was offered $1.6 million when arbitration figures were exchanged earlier this month. The Cubs acquired Ruggiano from the Marlins…

  24. Mariners sign Scott Baker

    Jan 29, 2014, 1:48 PM EST

    Scott Baker

    Scott Baker, who missed all of 2012 and most of 2013 following Tommy John elbow surgery, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mariners. Baker signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Cubs last offseason, but experienced multiple setbacks in his recovery and ended up making just three starts in September. Before blowing…

  25. Twins sign Matt Guerrier

    Jan 29, 2014, 12:34 PM EST

    St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs

    Matt Guerrier, who spent 2004-2010 in Minnesota’s bullpen, has returned to the Twins on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. Guerrier was one of the most underrated setup men in baseball during his first go-around with the Twins, which earned him a three-year, $12 million deal from the Dodgers as a free…

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Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
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