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Pitching Coach Search

I promised to provide further thoughts on the Cubs Pitching Coach search after the team announced Jim Hickey was stepping away due to personal reasons just before the Thanksgiving break and so here we go.

It appears that the early front runner for the gig is an internal option. According to Sahadev Sharma Run Prevention Coordinator Tommy Hottovy is being strongly considered for the big job. The former big league hurler (and Boston draft pick under Epstein) has been with the Cubs since 2014 when he was still trying to make it as a pitcher before injuries forced him to retire. The front office moved quickly to keep him in the organization and assigned him to his current post in 2015.

If Hottovy does earn the job, it is a move that would make sense on a number of levels.

First, Hottovy has already worked closely with the staff over the past couple years as well as with the club's highly respected Catching Coach Mike Borzello. The two have actually become a bit of working pair:

“Tommy and I work together, but we’re doing the same job separately,” Borzello once said. “We kind of give ourselves some time and then we match up and see if we agree on a lot of things. He may see something I didn’t or vice versa where you’re like: ‘God, if we had him, we could do this, we could do that.’"

It’s a process that helped unearth the full potential of Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and a handful of other pitchers over the past half decade in Chicago. Whether it’s getting Hendricks to throw his curveball more often, helping José Quintana gain more trust in his changeup or get a veteran to buy into how the Cubs may be shifting (Hottovy also plays a role in how the Cubs defense shifts), Hottovy is there with information. Having gained the pitchers’ trust over the years, it takes less convincing for them to buy into what Hottovy presents than it may with someone with a similar message but who hasn’t been able to build the type of bond Hottovy has with this staff.

The second reason is other top options available may be weary of the current situation in Chicago. Manager Joe Maddon is in the final year of his contract, so there may not be the long term certainty that would attract a Bryan Price type (unless the coach sees getting their foot in the door as a good way to become a candidate as a successor to Maddon). But also the presence of Borzello/Hottovy may be unsettling as well. The team clearly loves Hottovy and sees a big future for him within the team structure, and could be viewed as a threat to job security for the pitching coach should the team hit a rough stretch.

Finally, the one proven candidate that would make the most sense at face value does not seem to be interested. Former Red Sox Manager (and Boston Pitching Coach from 2007-10) John Farrell has numerous connections to the Cubs beyond his relationship with Epstein. His son Shane is an area scout for the organization, his son Jeremy is the Minor League Infield Coordinator. His third son, Luke, spent most of last season on the Des Moines shuttle while pitching for the Cubs in Chicago and Iowa, before being claimed on waivers by the Angels late in the season.

But it is those connections that appear to make him hesitant. He apparently wants his children to be able to carve their own path with the organization outside of his shadow. He is also reticent of the appearance that he would be angling to become Maddon's replacement. According to Ken Rosenthal, Farrell only agreed to work for the Reds as a scout last season because they agreed to not consider him as a potential replacement for Price.

More Coaching Turnover

The Pirates hired the Cubs Minor League Hitting Coordinator Jacob Cruz to be their Assistant Hitting Coach at the Major League level. Cruz was appointed to the coordinator post last offseason. Remember, the Cubs also have yet to fill their Assistant Hitting Coach post after hiring Anthony Iapoce to replace Chili Davis last month.

Decision Time Approaching on Addison Russell

Of the Cubs eight arbitration eligible players the only difficult decision on whether to tender a contract will be with Addison Russell. The deadline to do so is Friday.

I've stated on a couple of occasions this offseason that I do not believe the Cubs should tender Russell a contract and should instead just walk away and allow him to become a free agent. They have said the right things about standing by him and it being their duty to help him grow but I believe that has all been in an effort to preserve what little trade value still remains with the young shortstop. Whether they offer him a contract on Friday or not, I do not believe Russell will ever suit up for the team again.

Clarkin Re-claimed by White Sox

Like Cory Mazzoni last offseason, and David Rollins in 2016-17, Ian Clarkin is being subjected to a bit of waiver wire whiplash courtesy of the Cubs. If the White Sox try to get Clarkin through waivers again, don't be shocked if the Cubs put in another claim if they have roster space at the time. This is a game they've played before.

Additional Veteran Backup Catcher Options Off the Market

Usually it is the reliever market that is the quickest to move during free agency, but this year it is the catchers that appear to be the hottest commodity. With a shortage of quality backstops across baseball teams are jumping on the available options. In addition to the Mike Zunino trade, Kurt Suzuki and Jeff Mathis already secured free agent deals with new clubs. Now, Brian McCann has inked a one year deal to return to Atlanta.

The Cubs have the option to stick with Victor Caratini as their backup, and considering how few catchers in the league are capable at the plate, it wouldn't be a terrible choice. But if they feel the need to add a veteran there is still enough names available that they can probably wait out the market and come away with a player on a favorable deal later in the offseason.

Remaining Free Agent options:

Drew Butera (35)
Robinson Chirinos (35)
A.J. Ellis (38)
Chris Gimenez (36)
Yasmani Grandal (30)
Nick Hundley (35)
Jose Lobaton (34)
Jonathan Lucroy (33)
Martin Maldonado (32)
Devin Mesoraco (31)
Wilson Ramos (31)
Rene Rivera (35)
Stephen Vogt (34)
Matt Wieters (33)
Bobby Wilson (36)

Braves Also Add Donaldson on 1-Year Deal

Former Cubs prospect and AL MVP Josh Donaldson also agreed to a one year deal with the Braves. His $23M salary is slightly larger than the $2M guaranteed to McCann though. It is a prove-it deal after injuries hampered Donaldson in 2018, limiting him to 8 home runs over 52 games. If the 33-year old Donaldson can return to his 30+ HR levels from 2013-16 he could secure himself a two or three year deal next offseason.

Minor League Reserve Lists Set

You can check out the full AAA and AA reserve lists over on the Cub Reporter. There isn't many names on the AA reserve list that I am concerned about losing in the AAA phase of the Rule 5 draft. The Cubs lost three players (C/1B Albert Mineo, UT Andrew Ely, LHP Chris Dunn) last year. The guys that may draw some interest are RHP Jose Rosario (if a team wants to take a chance on a post-TJS recovery), RHP David Garner (if a team is willing to take a chance on a multiple offender of the league's substance abuse policy), LHP Ryan Kellogg and Cs Erick Castillo/Will Remillard.

Coaching Staff Update (11/27 12:56 PM)

According to Jesse Rogers the Cubs could be finalizing deals to fill out their coaching staff.

Hottovy would replace Hickey as Pitching Coach. Denorfia would slide into the Assistant Hitting Coach position alongside Iapoce. Sledge would presumably replace Henry Blanco as the Quality Assurance Coach.

Comments

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  • I agree with your sentiments on Russell, but Theo has to offer him. I don’t believe he ever plays a game for the Cubs again though. Even at his meager value today he is still a 2-3 WAR player on about a $3MM to $4MM contract providing solid monetary value within the game. I still think he could be dumped into a trade with someone taking a chance.

    With Donaldson to ATL I wonder if that eliminates them from Harper as they were said to be a potential destination.

    The fun should be getting geared up now with the first chip falling in Donaldson.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The Donaldson signing set the market on 1 year deals. With teams more hesitant than ever to offer multi-year deals to players in the 30s, and so many guys that got left waiting when spring training began last year, I am expecting several players to opt for similar deals this offseason.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Well, the funny thing is I actually think the signing of Donaldson makes Atlanta more attractive to Harper. He'd arguably, with the addition of a veteran pitcher to their rotation, make them the favorites in the NL IMO. I had thought from the outset that he was a perfect fit there but the Braves seem to want to avoid long term deals. Still I fully expect Boras to try to get them involved, but he doesn't do as well with corporate owners as he does with individuals.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I don't believe ATL is in play after Donaldson. Harper may very well be interested, but the Braves would have to be willing to do something they rarely do.

    Maybe we can reunite Heyward with McCann? :-)

  • Looks like the trend in FA is to grab the 2nd tier guys first and then wait out the big boys (Harper/Machado/Corbin/Keuchel).

    Interesting on the fairly low one-year deals being signed already (except of course, for Donaldson). I see that trend continuing for most players except for the high-end guys.

    Looks like nobody is knocking the door down for JHey's contract.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    You won't see the middle tier sign until the big boys make a decision (or at least narrow the field). No team wants to sign a MOR starter for 5/80 only to later find out one of the big guys is willing to sign there. And few players want to sign with a small market team for mid-tier money until they are sure they can't get the same or similar from a contender.

    Having impact guys like Kluber, Goldschmidt, and Grienke on the market is no doubt slowing things down as well.

    I wouldn't expect much in the way of big news until the owners meetings in December

  • My opinion on the Russell situation is that it would be a mistake for the Cubs to just non-tender him without getting anything back. He still has the chance to turn things around, both professionally and personally.

    I believe in second chances and feel the Cubs should give him a second chance to reform personally (if he is truly sorry and wants to change his pattern of behavior). If he doesn't want to change, then we should get rid of him.

    But I think the team needs some time to figure all that out and the best way to do that would be to tender him a contract for next year and see how it plays out over the summer. His trade value could be much higher by the trade deadline next year than it is right now, and if he truly reforms, then we would have a pretty good SS on our hands.

  • I'm with Michael here, I'd non tender Russell. He's expected to get $4.3 mil in arb and it's not going to be easy to move an underperforming, light hitting IF, with baggage and on suspension. Whether the Cubs go after the big boys in FA (I will refuse to believe they aren't in on Harper until he signs or they very publicly drop out) or not they are likely going to have to take on salary and Russell is a good way to cut some. I sure don't like what Russell did but my issue with him is performance and hey, I'm the guy who thought he'd win an MVP one day. You cannot live with two guys in your lineup that are defensively solid and offensively challenged and Heyward isn't going anywhere not to mention that offensively he's the better of the two. As far as an IF to replace him I kind of like the idea of taking a risk for risk chance on Whit Merrifield. Schwarber and Edwards for Merrifield and an arm, maybe Mills maybe Edwards, probably gets that done with another pen arm coming back as well. With only one season with high OBP numbers under his belt Merrifield is a risk but Schwarber is as well making it a good fit. The arms would balance out the value. Of course you can't trade Schwarber and his power without signing Harper (or Machado but that's less likely) so this could all be moot because outside of Schwarber I don't think they have the pieces to do that.

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    In reply to TC154:

    Schwarber & Edward's could fetch you way more value than Merrifield. Throw in a prospect & Tampa may give us Smith. They need a power bat and we need a lead off guy.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    If you are talking about Mallex Smith of the Rays, he was traded a few weeks ago back to the Mariners in the Zunino deal.

    Maybe there is a trade scenario with Seattle with Cano and Heyward as the starting points. That may be the best way to move JHey, even though I absolutely love the person that he is.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    That's very interesting. Heyward for Cano. Cano's contract will be a problem as far as defense in say 3 years. I like that idea though. Sign Harper and look out.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I have no interest in trading Heyward for Cano. Heyward is valuable in RF and if you get better in the infield offensively you can live with Heyward's bat. What you couldn't live with was two defensive only players in Russell and Heyward. Plus with the contract language Heyward will be easier to move next year by eating $40 mil or so without picking up a 35 year old coming off a PED suspension.

  • In reply to TC154:

    What contract language are you talking about in Heywards contract? I have heard you mention this a few times but have not seen any info on it. i just get worried that Heywards hitting in 2018 may be his Cubs career best. To trade Heyward the Cubs will probably have to eat another bad contract. I am with you on the PED suspension. It seems like guys on PED's do crash hard when they can't take them any longer.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    He has a limited no trade clause in 2019 and 2020. Assuming you could find a team he's willing to go to that no trade clause then applies to them as well. On top of that he has a second opt out after 2019 that kicks in after 550 PA and if he does opt out the signing bonus is immediately paid in full. Say a team picked him up and he had another 6 WAR season like he had in 2016. He's still a relatively young man so it is possible and he could then exercise the opt out, collect $20 mil and be free to sign wherever he wants. Sure he'd be leaving money on the table but the $20 mil which would have been deferred and paid between 2024-2027 will be in his pocket and he can play where he would like. If you're an acquiring club you don't want any part of that and while the Cubs will likely eat money, they likely won't eat the signing bonus as well. I don't put it past Theo to make a great deal, but the smart money is that a far easier deal can be made after next year, and even easier the year after that. Plus without Russell in the lineup you could live with Heyward playing a very good RF and putting up 2-3 WAR. He isn't a worthless player, he's an overpaid one with some difficult contract stipulations.

  • In reply to TC154:

    6 fWAR season in 2016? He has never had a 6 fWAR season. I seriously doubt he ever will. I also believe the fWAR he has is misleading because defense is part of that number and I am not a believer in defensive stats. I also don't see him getting 550PA. Heywards contract may be the second worst ever signed. Just ahead of Chris Davis of the Orioles.

  • In reply to TC154:

    TC- you are very educated on these matters, so maybe I’m missing something, but when you say, “a far easier deal can be made after next year (after 2019 season), and even easier the year after that (after 2020 season),” won’t his 5&10 rights kick in after the 2020 season, so there is no way to trade Heyward in “the year after that.” Am I misreading you somehow? Basically, if we are ever going to be able to trade Heyward, doesn’t it have to happen by the deadline of 2020, or about a year and a half from now?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    You're correct it was a 5.6 WAR season, I was going off of memory. Also while the number is defensive heavy he was also a 121 wRC+ player that year. I could see him getting there again.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Cubber Lang, I think that could be right. I was thinking his 5-10 rights would kick in in April of 2021 but I had thought the Braves broke camp without him his rookie year and I was wrong, he made the team out of ST.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I think you are over valuing Schwarber

  • In reply to TC154:

    I am not a fan of Merrifield as a late bloomer who's numbers this year seem to have some red flags. 7 less HR, a 37% drop, in 100 more at bats and a BABIP of .352 nearly 40 points above his career number. He's a sub 10% walk guy so his value is all wrapped into his hitting. He screams regression to a slightly above average player. Schwarber is certainly more valuable than that. That would be heartache for me to make that deal.

    I believe you have got to make every attempt to rid yourself of Heyward even if you overpay. He is a dreadful black hole in the offense especially as a corner OF. Money + Russell + Quintana to make a deal happen? That is addition by subtraction, lol.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yeah, I'm really not on the Merrifield train. The hype is getting out of hand on him. Plus, you'd be buying on him when his trade value is at his highest point.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Again, I look to trade Heyward next year when the contract language and the limited no trade are gone. Unless something really makes sense I'd rather have his defense in RF.

  • Would the Yankees be interested in Addison Russell for recently DFA'd IF Ronald Torreyes . Torreyes has a lifetime .281/.310/.685 and plays good defense at SS, 2B, and 3B. Supposedly he is caught up in the numbers game but is valued enough to not simply non-tender him.

    And, why we are at it, maybe the Yankees would be interested in expanding the deal to include Sonny Gray for Tyler Chatwood - both need a change of scenery. And how about a swap of pitching coaches : Larry Rothschild for Jim Hickey's unlisted phone number?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Looks like the Cubs got Torreyes for $ ... hopefully the Cubs can get some value for Russell. Good call on the trade idea!

  • Article updated with report that Cubs finalizing deals with Hottovy, Denorfia and Sledge to round out coaching staff.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Also just reported that Jesse Chavez has signed a 2 year 8M deal to return to the Rangers.

    I'm sure the Cubs wanted him back, but another multi-year deal to a mid-30s reliever was not reasonable given they already have lots of money tied up in similar pitchers. Always considered bringing him back a long shot unless Cubs managed to deal one of their other relievers.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Remember the Cubs already have 2019 commitments to:
    Morrow (34) 9M
    Cishek (33) 6.5M
    Strop (34) 6.25M
    Kintzler (34) 5M
    Edwards 1.4M (expected in arb)
    also...
    Chatwood's 12.5M is going to be hanging out in pen unless they find a taker.

    Tough Bringing back Chavez (35) in that light.

    They also have a ton of hard throwing RHRPs that will be hanging out in Iowa next year.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Michael, thought I'd add one more.
    Duensing (36) 3.5M

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I was just covering the RHRP, but yeah, Duensing is yet another mid-30s reliever with money due in 2019.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Oh ok. Gotcha.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Hello Michael,
    With all the talk about the Cubs needing a true lead-off man, ( which I agree they need ) any chance D.J.Wilson will get a look in spring training to try to make the big club?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    You're joking right? LOL I think batting the pitcher first would be a better idea than having D.J.Wilson lead off.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Wilson is still a couple of years away as his bat still lags far behind his glove. He is capable of making a leap in terms of production, and I saw some positive signs despite his struggles last year, but nothing should be expected of him until 2020 at the earliest.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I hate to be a Negative Nellie, but if that is the core of our 2019 bullpen, we are in BIG TROUBLE.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    First, I expect the Cubs to make at least 1-2 changes to that mix before the season begins. And second, the bullpen a team begins a season with is rarely the one they finish with. Relievers are so unpredictable that bullpens tend to be the most difficult part of a roster to "fix" in the offseason, but become the easiest to fix inseason if the need arises.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    The issue with attempting to fix the bullpen once the season begin is that quality relievers do not become available until the trade deadline approaches, that is, the July time frame.

    April, May, and June is a LONG time to rely on our existing bullpen "core", listed in your comments. By the time July comes around, we will be sellers and not buyers.

    Which is why I trust that Theo has a plan to add at least a couple of quality arms to the bullpen NOW.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I agree with what Michael said that he expects 1-2 moves in the pen before the season starts. I would also expect some reclamation projects that will be depth at Iowa. I look at that core and see it as pretty strong and Michael didn't mention Montgomery. I think they need one more late inning guy who can close and another lefty. I don't love Kinzler but if you had to start the season with him, as long as you made those other additions, it would be fine. The Cubs started out last year with the best bullpen on paper, had some adversity and finished pretty well even in the absence of their two best arms in Strop and Morrow. They finished with the 5th best pen in the NL despite those injuries. If there is one thing I never worry about with this FO it's the pen.

  • In reply to TC154:

    To clarify, I don't want to supplant Morrow as closer I just want another guy who can take some workload off of him at times besides Strop. Ideally you'd like to nurse Morrow along early, probably DL him a couple of times and have him strong for September and October.

  • fb_avatar

    Our ole friend Jesse Chavez going back to the Rangers on a 2 yr 8 million dollar deal.

    Personally I think this is a great deal for both sides, and I wish the Cubs would have found a way to keep him. I am sure they didn't want to go for that 2nd year.

    Unfortunately his impact on our team cannot be overlooked and will be surely missed. With the volatility of Middle Relievers yr to yr, its hard to be really upset w him leaving, but I still think the Cubs are a better team in 2019 w Jesse Chavez in our pen.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I saw that bummer I thought he really gave us a nice boost in the 2nd half too bad we have all this money tied to relievers that we don't want. I'm not sure I want to give the guy his age a 2 year deal but despite his pedestrian stuff his numbers and peripherals were outstanding with the cubs. I'm still skeptical that he'll ever match that performance again despite the strong peripherals that was basically a career year for him but I agree with you I feel better about our pen not worse with him around

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Ouch. I suppose he's due for some regression next year, but I sure liked the way he took care of business. Him leaving and Duensing / Kinzler still in the pen does not inspire confidence...

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    He did turn 2 months with the Cubs at $1.75M into a 2 yr $8M contract and great for him. I think we all wanted him back but not for that price. He helped himself as much as he could and I wish him well.

  • I disagree with your thoughts on Russell. He made a mistake and we really have only heard one side of the story. From what MLB did with the 40 game suspension, which was lighter than others, he must have had something come out to lessen the punishment from MLB. He can correct his past mistakes with help in counselling anger management or whatever areas is needed. Throwing him away without at least attempting to correct his problems is not the way to handle such issues in my humble opinion.

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    The issue is that even without the issues you can't have two subpar bats in the lineup with Russell and Heyward. I have no confidence in Russell improving and trading Heyward now is improbable. I'd non tender Russell and save the $4.3 mil and I'd make that decision without the personal issues.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I guess we could just stock iowa with an AAAA type defensive minded shortstop for insurance in case of a prolonged Baez injury. Most Denizons seem to feel the need to see Addison move on and the last month of the 2018 would deem some kind of significant lineup change is due.

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    A couple of things. I cannot agree with you minimizing what he did. This was not “a mistake” — this was multiple transgressions over years with his wife. Anger management classes does not cure his behavior. This is a huge character flaw. Just not a good guy.

    Secondly, the reason he would be non-tendered is because he stinks as a hitter. He is gawd-awful and terrible. He has 4 years of data and it all points to him just sucking as a hitter. That is why he would be let go in addition to his personal issues.

    Thirdly, he lied to Theo. When confronted he said he did not do it. Then without talking to his boss accepted a huge punishment. I am not sure Theo gets past the lies and keeps him on this team.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    He's still really young - 2019 will be his age 25 season. He will have the best support money can buy to change his behavior and get back on track. He SHOULD come back hungry.

    And if he regains his focus, he's not just likely to improve, I'd say it's closer to certain he does. Big 'if', I know, but still... Also, he's not the only one that hasn't improved lately.

    Your third point - None of us have any idea how those conversations actually go down. Theo has to say things. Everyone has to say things.

    I'm actually fine with moving on from Addy but I think they really should wait and let him reset his trade value, at the very least.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I think we have an excellent idea how those conversations with Theo "went down." Had Russell admitted his part when first accused in 2017, he could have served his suspension and benefited from therapy, anger management, etc., having it all behind him for most of the 2018 season. The fact that it took a year for MLB to wrap up its investigation (when the ex provided physical evidence) is proof enough that Russell did not cooperate. His decision to accept the suspension seals the deal, and his claim of "no further statements to protect his family" totally abdicates his grown-up responsibility of accepting accountability and pledging to do better. Any decision to re-tender must include a sincere commitment on Russell's part.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yet it is ok in your book that Chapman helped the Cubs win the WS after 100+ yrs? So if you diss the FO for Russell, you should do the same about the ring. Spousal abuse is WRONG, but everyone should know it happens with players and all the teams care about is money. Cash is king in our sad world we live in nowadays.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I don't know how you missed it, but the difference is that Chapman dealt with his issues, went through the required rehab program, served his suspension and then played for another team with no recurrences before coming to the Cubs. Russell lied and denied until the evidence was put in front of him, then gave a BS statement about not saying anything "for the sake of his family." I have yet to see any sort of accountability or remorse from the guy. It's not as simple as saying that both Chapman and Russell were suspended for domestic abuse, therefore all things are equivalent.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    AND, where did you get the impression that I "dissed" the FO? I'm much more inclined to believe Theo's version of events than Russel's.

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    I'm a firm believer in 2nd chances as well Eastern. IF (and it is an if) he's gotten his head together, figured out a way to cope with his off-field issues, and the management thinks he's worth an arbitration flier, THEN I think their is room for Russell on the 2019 Cubs roster. Unless the Cubs go out and hire a FA guy who can cover SS well, there is not a better option in the Minors.

    Russell's trade value at this stage is low anyway. Anybody else that would look at him is going to want to see the same sort of 'recovery' that the Cubs management is looking for before they send their own trading chips to Chicago for him.

    I'm also (admittedly) curious to know how much of his batting woes the last two seasons were because his head wasn't right and he was partying too much. If he's got his head on right - we might see an offensive recovery closer to what we saw in 2016.

  • The Cubs just traded for Ronald Torreyes from the Yankees (PTBNL). That probably answers the question of will they or won't they keep Russell.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Most likely. It probably also means that LaStella will be gone and Bote will be riding the Iowa shuttle in 2019. Makes perfect sense though if Russell is gone though. That utility role has to be a guy that can play SS.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Can the Cubs copy the Yankee strategy and, instead of non-tendering Russell, DFA him and take the best offer?

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