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Cubs' Kris Bryant: At full strength
Bryant (shoulder) has been taking batting practice since Dec. 1 and his shoulder is at full strength, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Bryant played a season-low 102 games in 2018 after dealing with a shoulder issue for a good portion of the season. He's emphasized that his shoulder is completely healthy and that he won't face any restrictions in spring training, however.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Yu Darvish: To throw from 120 feet
Darvish (elbow) is slated to throw 20 pitches from 120 feet Saturday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
Darvish remains on track for a normal spring training, and it's good to see him ramp up his throwing activity already. He's slated to toss his first bullpen since Jan. 18 next Friday, assuming Saturday's throwing session goes as planned.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Rob Scahill: Signs minor-league deal with Cubs
Scahill agreed to a minor-league deal with the Cubs on Friday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Scahill spent 2018 with the White Sox but threw just five innings at the big-league level, the fewest in his seven-year career. His 5.64 ERA in 60.2 innings for Triple-A Charlotte doesn't make a good case for him earning a larger major-league role this season, though he did have a 3.23 FIP at that level, suggesting that there may still be some more good innings in the 31-year-old's arm. He'll face an uphill battle to win an Opening Day roster spot but could be called upon when injuries strike the Cubs' pen.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Ian Clarkin: Heads across town again
Clarkin was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the White Sox on Wednesday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Clarkin was a roster casualty on the South Side when the Sox signed Kelvin Herrera. He's changed teams three times this offseason without ever leaving town, heading from the White Sox to the Cubs and back in November and going back north again now. The 23-year-old is coming off a season in which he posted an unimpressive 4.98 ERA at the Double-A level, so it's no surprise that his roster spot isn't secure.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Kris Bryant: Earns small raise from Cubs
Bryant and the Cubs agreed to a one-year, $12.9 million contract Friday, avoiding an arbitration hearing, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
Bryant will earn a relatively small raise for a player of his stature after making $10.85 million last season. He didn't have a great case for a bigger contract after a shoulder issue limited him to just 13 homers and a career-low 125 wRC+ in 102 games.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Javier Baez: Avoids arbitration hearing
Baez and the Cubs avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.2 million deal Friday, Jon Heyman of FancredSports.com reports.
Baez finished second in NL MVP voting last season after hitting 34 homers, stealing 21 bases and posting a .290/.326/.554 slash line, but baseball's economic setup will keep him a bargain for the Cubs due to his relative lack of service time. He lines up as the Cubs' Opening Day shortstop with Addison Russell suspended for the first month of the season and could play almost anywhere on the diamond once Russell returns.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Addison Russell: Comes to terms
Russell (suspension) agreed to a one-year, $3.4 million deal with the Cubs, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
He is going to miss the first month of the season (28 games) to complete the 40-game suspension he received last year for violating MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Russell can earn $600,000 worth of bonuses if he is on the roster for 150 days.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Carl Edwards Jr.: Reaches agreement with Cubs
Edwards signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Cubs on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Patrick Mooney of The Athletic reports.
Edwards posted a career-best 2.60 ERA in 52 innings for the Cubs last season, with a strong 30.2 percent strikeout rate offsetting a high 14.4 percent walk rate. He'll fill a high-leverage relief role for the team again this season.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Mike Montgomery: Avoids arbitration with Cubs
Montgomery signed a one-year, $2.44 million deal with the Cubs on Friday to avoid arbitration, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Montgomery had a 3.99 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 86:39 K:BB over 124 innings as he bounced between the bullpen and starting rotation in 2018. The 29-year-old's flexibility has been valuable for the Cubs over the last few years and he seems likely to fill a similar role in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Kyle Schwarber: Signs one-year deal with Cubs
Schwarber and the Cubs reached agreement on a one-year, $3.39 million contract Friday, avoiding arbitration, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Schwarber slimmed down prior to last season and improved his ability to get on base, with his OBP jumping from .315 to .356. He had a small drop in power though, hitting four fewer homers (26) than the previous season despite coming to the plate 24 more times. His defense also graded out positively according to both DRS and UZR for the first time in his career, giving confidence that he can stick in left field for several years, but his continued struggles against lefties will likely keep him confined to a platoon role.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Kyle Hendricks: Reaches deal with Cubs
Hendricks agreed to a one-year, $7.405 million contract with the Cubs on Friday to avoid arbitration, Jon Heyman of FancredSports.com reports.
Hendricks will have at least one more season in Chicago as he currently is slated for free agency in 2020. The 29-year-old has been one of the most reliable starting pitchers in baseball over the last five years with a 3.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 2.1 BB/9 in 132 starts. Hendricks will once again be a key piece of the Cubs' starting rotation in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Colin Rea: Lands with Cubs
Rea signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs which includes an invitation to spring training Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Rea has a mediocre 4.69 ERA in 134.1 career major-league innings, none of which have come since 2016. Tommy John surgery cost him the entirety of his 2017 campaign, while a strained lat kept him out for the first half of last season. He spent the remainder of the year struggling to get back on track in the minors, finishing with a 5.73 ERA in 75.1 innings at the two highest levels. The 28-year-old has swingman upside at best and significant injury concerns cast doubt on him reaching even that low ceiling.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Brandon Morrow: Likely to open season on shelf
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein acknowledged Saturday that Morrow (elbow) is unlikely to be ready to pitch when the 2019 season begins, 670 The Score Chicago reports. "If you asked [Morrow], he'd probably say he's going to be ready for Opening Day," Epstein said. "But, probably, that's unrealistic. If we do the right thing and build him up slowly, he'll probably miss it by a few weeks. But we'll see."
Epstein noted that while Morrow is progressing as anticipated in his rehab from Nov. 6 arthroscopic surgery for his throwing elbow, the 34-year-old won't be ready for the start of spring training. He could be ready for mound work by the time the Cactus League season winds down, but since he'll be behind the rest of his fellow pitchers, Morrow may need some additional rehab time. Once healthy, Morrow, who posted a 1.47 ERA and went 22-for-24 in his save opportunities last season, should serve as the Cubs' primary closer, but the team could take a committee approach to the ninth inning while they await his return.... See More ... See Less
Cubs' Yu Darvish: Gains clearance for spring
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Saturday that Darvish (elbow) is in "really great shape" and will be "full go on a normal schedule in spring training," 670 The Score Chicago reports.
Darvish has spent the early portion of the offseason recovering from an arthroscopic debridement procedure for his throwing elbow, which he underwent in September. The procedure apparently hasn't delayed Darvish's preparation for the upcoming campaign in a meaningful way, as Epstein noted that the right-hander has had a traditional buildup of his throwing program. Heading into the second season of the six-year, $126 million deal he inked with the Cubs last winter, Darvish has some intriguing bounce-back potential if he can avoid any further health setbacks coming out of the spring.... See More ... See Less