Spring Schedule announced, Updates on Free Agent Contest, and other Cubs notes

Spring Schedule announced, Updates on Free Agent Contest, and other Cubs notes

Here are some quick afternoon news and notes for today...

The Cubs announced their spring schedule today and the first game will be on February 27th vs. the Diamondbacks in Mesa.  Here is the complete schedule...

2014 Cubs Spring Training Schedule

(Date, Opponent, Site)

Feb. 27: vs. Diamondbacks, Mesa

Feb. 28: at Angels, Tempe

March 1 (ss): vs. Giants, Mesa; at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale (7:10 p.m.)

March 2: vs. Royals, Mesa

March 3: at Brewers, Maryvale

March 4: vs. Athletics, Mesa

March 5: vs. Rockies, Mesa

March 6: at Indians, Goodyear

March 7 (ss): vs. Indians, Mesa; at Angels, Tempe

March 8: at Reds, Goodyear

March 9: vs. Brewers, Mesa

March 10: at Giants, Scottsdale

March 11: vs. Rockies, Mesa

March 12: at Mariners, Peoria

March 13: Off day

March 14: vs. Dodgers, Mesa

March 15 (ss): at Royals, Surprise; vs. Mets, Las Vegas

March 16 (ss): vs. Indians, Mesa; vs. Mets, Las Vegas

March 17 (ss): vs. Angels, Mesa; at Athletics, Phoenix

March 18: at Rangers, Surprise (7:05 p.m.)

March 19: at Rockies, Scottsdale (6:40 p.m.)

March 20: vs. Mariners, Mesa

March 21: at White Sox, Glendale

March 22: vs. Reds, Mesa

March 23: at Athletics, Phoenix

March 24: vs. Padres, Mesa (7:05 p.m.)

March 25 (ss): vs. Angels, Mesa; at Padres, Peoria (7:05 p.m.)

March 26: at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale

March 27: vs. White Sox, Mesa

March 28: at Diamondbacks, Chase Field

March 29: at Diamondbacks, Chase Field

Free Agent Prediction Contest

You may have remembered that we had a free agent guessing contest where the winner can win two tickets to Opening Day courtesy of reader Michael Canter and reader Ptown Tom was kind enough to put all the guessess in a spreadsheet for us. I added it to Google Docs as a public document so that you can keep track of them and we will update on our site as news happens.  This is the link to the Google doc.  It was my first time using it, so hopefully I did it correctly!

In the meantime, here are some interesting stats from the contest,

71 of you chose to enter and there are a total of 702 picks, almost 10 per entry and a total of 144 different players picked.

Most guessed free agent signings:

  1. Scott Baker (50)
  2. Masahiro Tanaka (42)
  3. Chris Young (33)
  4. Josh Johnson (22)
  5. Dionner Navarro (21)

None of you guessed Tim Hudson, which is a good thing since he just signed with the Giants (2 years/$23M).  The same goes for catcher Carlos Ruiz, who re-signed with the Phillies (3 yrs/26M).   Three of you guessed Skip Schumaker and he just signed with the Reds.

Remember, though, that you do not get penalized for wrong guesses though, of course, it is one less chance for a correct guess.

And what?  Nobody guessed Chris Valaika or Eli Whiteside?  You guys are slacking.

It's just like Opening Day.  Everyone is tied for first.

Odds and Ends

  • Some talk on Jeff Nieman, but EMartinez reminds me he had shoulder surgery last year.  At 30 years old and a guy whose stuff was always pretty average, it's probably too much of a risk on anything that's not a minor league deal at this point.
  • Peter Gammons with an interesting tweet for those who want the Cubs to spend big, "In the previous four free agent off-seasons, 8 players changed teams for contracts greater than $100M. None have a ring." (h/t @mrubio52)




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  • fb_avatar

    Hey - let's play two! Everyone's tied for first!

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Ha! I'm waiting to see who takes the early lead on this.

  • fb_avatar

    I was considering a weekend visit to spring training this year. I've never been before. Anyone have tips or advice?

    Any guesses on which young guys get invites? I know last year Soler and Baez stuck around for a while.


  • In reply to Theo Einstein:

    Soler is on the 40 man roster and Alcantara will be added soon, so they are locks. You'll also see Javier Baez and I'd be surprised if Kris Bryant doesn't get an invite considering he is more advanced than Baez was last February.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Loved seeing the 3 stolen bases by Bryant in Arizona. Hope that translates to him getting to more balls at 3B then with his soft hands, the future looks bright. We may have a star on the way, carries himself so well. Can't wait to see more of Kris, especially next spring.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I'm looking forward it to as well! Could see a lot of fun players this spring. Might be more fun than the season!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm definitely renewing my MiLB subscription -- 50-50 on

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Absolutely. I just have a running subscription. Can't imagine I'm ever going to want to cancel it! Especially with these guys in charge.

  • In reply to Theo Einstein:

    Go see the rookie camp in morning, enjoy the afternoon spring training games...they are a heaven to a Cubs fan, then every evening is free to try some of the tremendous restaurants in the area...

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Agreed on the rookie/minor league camp. Probably my favorite part.

  • fb_avatar

    I wonder if the Giants will have a rebound year? If Hudson or the former freak can contribute they might. Someone posted Schumaker's numbers compared to Brandon Phillips and shockingly they were identical other than RBI's. You wonder if the Reds will get any takers for Brandon.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Offensively, the difference might not be huge between Phillips and Schumaker, but once defense is added to the equation it's obvious no contending team would consider Schumaker a good replacement for Philips. Schumaker is a well below average defender while phillips is well above average.

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    Clearly the Giants are in a win now mode but I just don't understand the contracts Brian Sabean is handing out. Hunter Pence - 5yrs - $90M, Tim Lincecum - 2yrs - $35M, & now 38 yr old Tim Hudson - 2yrs - $23M! I think Sabean has lost it .... At least two of these three deals are just 2yr agreements but nonetheless he's way overpaying IMO.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Pepitone8:

    I actually thought the Giants would pursue Garza.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Pepitone8:

    The Hudson contract isn't a bad contract. He's very underrated.

  • Also Nick Punto, Bryan Pena, Randy Messenger, Brendan Harris, and Clayton Mortenson crossed names off of some lists. I made a quick excel sheet as well. I kept all 71, but only about 50 made it within the time deadline. I don't think it really affected the choices at all though.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Sorry, calculated the deadline incorrectly only a couple missed. But I don't think it affects anything either way, no moves had happened yet.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    A couple extra got through, but they got in before we got all the info together, so I let it slide.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah - at this stage - too early for anybody to get a head start. If there's a vote - I say roll on as is.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I'm not disputing, no moves were made for days after the submissions.

  • In other news, Daniel Bard has not yet given up a hit, but he's given up 7 earned runs on 9 walks, 3 hit batters and 4 wild pitches. Beeler, there's your roster spot.

    Also, Valbuena has been playing mostly second base in Venezuela. Interesting.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I thought it was a good move at the time signing Bard, but he hasn't showed anything to be offered arbitration.

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    I thought so too. So much upside. But he is set to make 2MM through arbitration, so that's not going to happen. Maybe he agrees to a deal to stay.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I wouldn't read too much into his position for winter ball. He was primarily a SS/2B with occasional OF/3B prior to landing with the Cubs.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I knew that he played primarily 2B in the Indians system, but I just found it strange that an MLB player, after clearly establishing a position, would move his position in the Venezuelan league. But I admittedly don't know much about the league, so it could be a normal thing.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    He's fully established as a Utility player. He was never supposed to be our everyday 3B. But Ian Stewart just gift wrapped the job for him. But even then, we had to platoon him.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I know, but why is he playing mostly second? In the past two years he has started 7 games at second, and 157 at third. In my opinion this is establishing a position. I just think it is interesting that he is playing the majority of his games at a different position. I'm not saying it is a definite sign of something, just that it gives me reason for pause. I think a platoon at second in whatever capacity may be a realistic option rather than 500 ABs of a .560 OPS. That's all.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Maybe the Cubs asked him to work out at second base in case they decide to go into 2014 without Darwin Barney.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    That's what I'm trying to get at. I do think Barney will be on the roster, but he won't have a 500+ at bat season again if his offense continues as was last season.

  • fb_avatar

    Go away, GoCubsGo

  • fb_avatar

    Looks like we have our troll of the month. Not a particularly good one though.....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    He's been banned before. That one was repugnant, though. Hope someone that wasn't John deleted that.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I deleted it and banned the user. It's easy to do. Takes me about...oh, 5 seconds. He's just trying to get a rise out of someone. Yawn.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It has been removed before I saw who it was or what was said - not that I need to know, I don't but I feel like the regular posters have become friends and I recognize their names. I should probably post more but it's just so fun to read everyone's comments after great articles by John and Felzzy. Keep up the great work gang.

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