Cubs News and Notes: Baez’ extension, Happ slams troll, Lester’s serving, Hot Stove, more
Happ is a fun follow on social media (Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports)

Cubs News and Notes: Baez’ extension, Happ slams troll, Lester’s serving, Hot Stove, more

by - Columnist -


Let’s make a deal: According to Jon Heyman, “Javier Baez’s reps and the Cubs are expected to sit down at the winter meetings to see if an extension is possible. Would be a whopper obvs. Cubs still need to figure out who from the core will be dealt.”

I believe this all translates to whether or the not it’ll be Kris Bryant or Willson Contreras who gets shipped off. With the murkiness surrounding KB’s free agent status, Contreras has emerged as the big name on the Cubs’ trading block. Depending on how big Javy’s deal might be, combined with how his yearly payout would be structured, it’s not inconceivable that the Cubs could deal both, but while that’d be an awful big chunk of money off the books, it would also represent an awful lot of talent leaving the team.

The Cubs still have a lot of lofty salary on the books between Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Yu Darvish and others, and until some of that begins to drop off, payroll will be a bit of a tap dance routine.

Happ Slam: If Darvish can blast Twitter trolls, then why can’t Ian Happ? Meet Ted, a CPA and Little League umpire. He decided to call Happ “dumb” and offered hitting advice. Happ replied. Aaaand… this strike goes to Happ.

Jon Lester: Yesterday, Jon Lester teamed up with Advocate Health to provide Thanksgiving meals at shelters in Chicago.

Marquee Sports Network MSN has hired WGN veteran, Bob Vorwald, as a special advisor to the network’s GM, Michael McCarthy. Check out the full story here.

Lofty dreams Without even delving into the story (below), I began picturing an infield with Anthony Rendon standing in Kris Bryant’s spot. Rendon would absolutely change the dynamic of the Cubs’ clubhouse, but how could Theo ever afford him, without dealing away key players for some extra cash, pillaging the farm system again and leveraging Tom Ricketts into luxury tax hell?

Kendall Graveman: After spending 2019 rehabbing in Iowa (Tommy John), Theo and the boys elected not to pick up Graveman’s $3M option earlier this month. Graveman wasn’t out of work long, as the Seattle Mariners have now signed him to a one-year/$1.5M deal. The deal includes a $3.5M club option or $500,000 buyout for 2021.

Dempster preparing: When it come to the Cubs Convention, Ryan Dempster never disappoints.

Cubs’ Birthdays Celebrating yesterday were ex-Cubs Matt Garza (36), Ron Meridith (63), Jay Howell (64), Larry Gura (72), Richie Hebner (72), and posthumously, John Churry (118), Jim Canavan (153), and Hugh Duffy (153).

Baseball Quotes: “I'm always amazed when a pitcher becomes angry at a hitter for hitting a home run off him. When I strike out, I don't get angry at the pitcher, I get angry at myself. I would think that if a pitcher threw up a home run ball, he should be angry at himself.” -Willie Stargell

MLB and the Hot Stove

White Sox: The Sox have outrighted OF Daniel Palka.

Rockies: Despite rumors circulating about the possibility of RHP Jon Gray becoming trade bait, the team says they do not intend to deal him.

A’s: After dealing Jharel Cotton to the Cubs last week, things went berserk in Oakland. The team has recently signed minor league deals with nine players: LHP Lucas Luetge; RHPs Ian Gardeck, Zach Lee, Jaime Schultz and Brian Schlitter; C Carlos Perez and Ifs Eric Campbell, Nate Orf and Ryan Goins. All nine will receive invites to spring training.

Red Sox: Boston has placed LHP Brian Johnson on outright waivers. There is now a two-day window open for teams o claim him.

Can Wheeler meet expectations? Make no mistake, I think I’d take Wheeler for the Cubs without any questions asked, but there may be a caveat. Former Mets’ GM Steve Phillips points out that duration sn’t really part of Wheeler’s repertoire.

Mets: NY has hired Jeremy Hefner to serve as their new pitching coach.

Royals: The KC Royals now have a new owner; area businessman John Sherman. The sale was officially announced yesterday.

Twins: The Twins have signed LHP Blaine Hardy to a minor league deal, as are catchers Juan Graterol and Ryan Garton.

MLB is also investigating Twins’ righty, Sam Dyson, for domestic violence.

Astros: Having lost both Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado to free agency, the Astros have now signed backstop Dustin Garneau to a one-year deal.

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