Results tagged ‘ cubs ’

Mariners sign John Baker to Minors deal

The Mariners have signed veteran catcher John Baker to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Baker, 34, provides depth and should compete for a backup role with Seattle. He hit .192 in 68 games with the Cubs last season. Baker has also played for the Marlins and Padres over a seven-year career in the big leagues.

The Mariners have three catchers on their 40-man roster in Mike Zunino, John Hicks and Jesus Sucre.

Pitchers and catchers report to Mariners camp Feb. 20.

–Austin Laymance

Geovany Soto to White Sox

The White Sox have signed catcher Geovany Soto to a Minor League deal, tweets Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. It’s not clear if Soto has an invite to Major League Spring Training.

Soto, 32, appeared in 24 games last season, split between the Rangers and A’s. He was an All-Star in 2008 with the Cubs and has played parts of 10 seasons in the Majors.

The White Sox have four catchers on their 40-man roster: Tyler Flowers, Adrian Nieto, Rob Brantly and Kevan Smith.

–Austin Laymance

Dexter Fowler to the Cubs?

The Cubs appear close to trading for Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler, according to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. The proposed deal includes Major League players going to Houston, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

It’s not clear yet who all is involved in the proposed trade, aside from Fowler.

Fowler, 28, hit .276 with eight home runs, 21 doubles and four triples in 116 games with the Astros in 2014. He has a career .375 on-base percentage over seven seasons with the Rockies and Astros. He filed for salary arbitration and is eligible to become a free agent after the season.

Fowler would be a huge upgrade for the Cubs, as their current center field options include Arismendy Alcantara, Ryan Sweeney and Matthew Szczur.

–Austin Laymance

Cubs sign Doubront, avoid arbitration

The Cubs and left-hander Felix Doubront have agreed to a one-year, $1.925 million contract for 2015, avoiding salary arbitration, reports Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.

Doubront, 27, was arbitration-eligible for the first time in his career. He was acquired from the Red Sox in a trade in July for Minor League infielder Marco Hernandez. Doubront made four starts for the Cubs and went 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA.

The Cubs have six remaining players eligible for arbitration: Travis Wood, Luis Valbuena, Chris Coghlan, Pedro Strop, Jake Arrieta and Welington Castillo.

Chicago has until Friday’s deadline to exchange binding salary figures with these players, after which, they can continue to negotiate contracts until the case is presented to an arbitration panel in February.

– Austin Laymance

D-backs change course, not interested in adding another catcher

Though the Diamondbacks have been tied to rumors involving both the Blue Jays’ Dioner Navarro and the Cubs’ Welington Castillo, among others, the club is no longer looking to acquire another catcher, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

D-backs general manager Dave Stewart confirmed that the team is content with its current catching situation, thanks primarily to the development of prospect Peter O’Brien, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Martin Prado deal this past summer. The 24-year-old O’Brien, who checks in as the D-backs’ No. 8-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, posted a .271/.316/.594 batting line with 34 home runs over just 106 games between Class A and Double-A this past season.

“I’ve decided that I’m not going to pursue another catcher,” Stewart said, according to the report. “I talked with my people and my coaching staff. They believe that O’Brien is going to be around sooner than later. If that does happen, there’s no need to go out and get another guy.”

With O’Brien not quite ready for the Majors, however, Arizona is set to enter the season with the catching duo of Tuffy Gosewisch and Oscar Hernandez, who was taken in last month’s Rule 5 Draft. Gosewich racked up a .225/.242/.310 batting line over 132 plate appearances in 41 games last season, while serving as Miguel Montero’s backup. Montero, of course, was traded to the Cubs last month.

Though the D-backs had been linked to a number of rumors involving catchers in the aftermath of trading away Montero, the team has instead decided to stand pat at the position for the time being. As for Navarro and Castillo, both players remain possible trade chips with each of their respective clubs having upgraded behind the plate earlier this offseason.

– Paul Casella

Rays to move Zobrist this offseason?

Though it seems to be nothing more than speculation at this point, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi writes that there is a “decent chance” the Rays will trade second baseman Ben Zobrist at some point this offseason.

On the surface, trading Zobrist would certainly make sense for a Rays team that has already had a busy offseason. The versatile infielder is set to turn 34 years old in May and is due to make $7.5 million in 2015 before hitting the free agent market after the season. A number of teams would likely be interested in Zobrist, something that could lead to the Rays moving him this offseason before watching him walk away in free agency next winter.

While nothing has materialized quite yet, Morosi lists the Mets, Nationals, Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, Reds, and Twins as potential fits for Zobrist. Again, there is nothing concrete to report on this front as of right now, but it simply seems to be the next logical step for the Rays and is something worth monitoring into the New Year.

– Paul Casella

Moncada could start workouts within two weeks

Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada is still awaiting clearance from the Office of Foreign Asset and Control (OFAC), but is widely expected to begin private workouts within the next two weeks according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.

The 19-year-old is one of the game’s top international prospects right now and is expected to garner significant interest once he’s officially available. Though his market will continue to develop as teams make more offseason moves, the clubs that were represented at Moncada’s “batting showcase” earlier this year were the Braves, Red Sox, Yankees, Giants, Rays, Padres and Cubs.

Given his age, position and switch-hitting ability, Moncada doesn’t figure to be short on offers as the process continues. There are no clear frontrunners at this point, but it’s certainly a situation worth monitoring in the coming weeks.

– Paul Casella

Report: Ross to Cubs

David Ross and Jon Lester may be together again.

The Cubs have reportedly signed Ross to a two-year, $5 million contract, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.

In 13 seasons, Ross has a .233 career batting average. What’s key is that in 29 games over two seasons catching Lester with Boston, the lefty pitcher has a 2.77 ERA with 192 strikeouts over 195 innings.

And, in case you forgot, the Cubs just signed Lester to a six-year, $155 million contract.

Ross caught five of Lester’s first seven starts this past season, and the lefty posted a 2.19 ERA with 43 strikeouts and had walked five.

“When you mix his stuff with my brains, it’s awesome,” Ross said at the time.

– Carrie Muskat

Cubs claim Lavarnway, Peterson

The Cubs claimed catcher Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Dodgers and outfielder Shane Peterson off waivers from the Athletics. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Donn Roach and infielder Logan Watkins were designated for assignment.

Lavarnway, 27, has spent the last seven seasons in the Red Sox organization, batting .299 in 25 games on the 2013 World Championship team. He was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers on Dec. 5 but designated for assignment on Dec. 10. He missed more than two months last season with a left wrist strain and spent most of the year with Triple-A Pawtucket, batting .283 with three homers, 20 RBIs and a .389 on-base percentage in 62 games.

Theo Epstein knows him well. Lavarnway was a sixth-round pick out of Yale in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Red Sox.

Peterson, 26, batted .308 with 40 doubles, 11 homers and 90 RBIs with Triple-A Sacramento last season, and earned Pacific Coast League midseason and postseason All Star honors. A left-handed hitter, he posted a .381 on-base percentage and a .460 slugging percentage. Peterson led the league in hits and doubles and ranked second with 101 runs scored.

– Carrie Muskat

Reports: Cubs claim Peterson

According to reports, the Cubs have claimed first baseman/outfielder Shane Peterson from the Athletics. Peterson, 26, a left-handed hitter, has played in two big league games in 2013. In seven Minor League seasons, Peterson has a .284 batting average, including .308 last year at Triple-A Sacramento where he hit 11 home runs, 40 doubles and drove in 90 runs. The Cubs have not confirmed.

– Carrie Muskat

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