Chicago Cubs

Stadium: Wrigley Field | Manager: Rick Renteria
Team RankingAVGRHRERA
Cubs.2396141573.91
NL Central4th4th1st5th
National League 10th11th2nd12th
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Twins' Byron Buxton named No. 1 prospect by MLB.com
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was named the top prospect in baseball by MLB.com Friday.

Buxton played just 31 games in 2014 due to wrist and concussion issues and finished with a .240/.313/.405 line along with four home runs, 16 RBI and six stolen bases in 121 at-bats with high Class A Fort Myers. He also went 0 for 3 at the Double-A level. Buxton is making his second straight appearance atop MLB.com's top prospect list.

The rest of MLB.com's top-five prospects (in order) are Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Astros shotstop Carlos Correa, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. None of the quartet appeared in the top five of last year's MLB.com prospect list, though all four cracked the top 12.

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Cubs claim Gonzalez Germen off waivers from Rangers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com

The Cubs announced Friday that the team has claimed pitcher Gonzalez Germen off waivers from the Rangers.

Germen was designated for assignment by the Rangers after the team acquired catcher Carlos Corporan from the Astros earlier this week. He posted a 4.75 ERA and 31:14 K:BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings with the Mets in 2014.

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Cubs OF Dexter Fowler settles on $9.5M salary for 2015 season
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Cubs and outfielder Dexter Fowler avoided arbitration Friday, agreeing to a $9.5 million salary for the 2015 season, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. It was $150,000 below the midpoint of the numbers the two sides exchanged.

Fowler was in his final year of arbitration. He made $7.35 million in 2014 with the Astros.

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Cubs' Javier Baez still having issues with strikeouts
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

Cubs infielder Javier Baez is still having issues with strikeouts, according to FoxSports.com.

Baez is currently playing in winter ball, where he's struck out in 21 of his 43 at-bats. Strikeouts were a major issue for Baez once he was promoted last season. The 22-year-old posted a 41.5 percent strikeout rate through 213 at-bats with the Cubs. 

Baez is currently involved in the playoffs, where he's been dropped from second to seventh in the lineup. 

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Cubs infielder Javier Baez working on improving timing
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Cubs have been impressed with how infielder Javier Baez trained this offseason after he hit .169 in 52 games in 2014. Baez, who has been playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, has also lost 15 pounds since the end of the 2014 season.

"His approach to the game and to practice has been really good all winter," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of Baez, per MLB.com. "He's been showing up to the park [in Puerto Rico] early and working to get better. He's been playing the game hard, he's been playing good defense, he's been staying focused and helping his team win."

Cubs hitting coach John Mallee spent five days working with Baez in Puerto Rico.

"My timing was really late, so that's why I wasn't getting to the fastball and other pitches," Baez said of what he learned from film sessions. "I'm working on getting the timing back and we'll see what happens from there."

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGStarlin Castro , SS.292
HRAnthony Rizzo , 1B32
RBIAnthony Rizzo , 1B78
OBPAnthony Rizzo , 1B.386
SLGAnthony Rizzo , 1B.527
RAnthony Rizzo , 1B89
SBArismendy Alcantara , CF8
WJake Arrieta , SP10
ERATravis Wood , SP5.03
WHIPTravis Wood , SP1.53
KJake Arrieta , SP167
SVHector Rondon , RP29
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