Cubs looking to bolster back end of bullpen

Cubs looking to bolster back end of bullpen

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Will the Cubs have a new closer in 2017? It's hard to say, general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday.

"I definitely think we'll bolster the bullpen," Hoyer said on the first day of baseball's Winter Meetings. "Whether we do that by adding a number of good relievers or by adding a guy who's a known closer, I'm not sure."

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schwarber to skip winter ball, continue rehab

Schwarber to skip winter ball, continue rehab

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Kyle Schwarber, who made a miraculous recovery from a severe knee injury suffered in the third game of the regular season to play in the World Series, will continue to rehab but not play in winter ball, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday.

Schwarber tore two ligaments in his left knee in early April, and was able to be the designated hitter for the Cubs in the World Series, going 7-for-17 (.412) with two RBIs against the Indians.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baez commits to World Baseball Classic

Baez commits to World Baseball Classic

With the World Baseball Classic just a few months away, the rosters are beginning to take shape. More names surfaced Monday as the World Baseball Classic released an initial list of 30 players who are confirmed to be participating in the 2017 tournament.

Spanning 16 countries, the players include 24 Major League All-Stars, but the upcoming WBC, which will take place in March, provides a global stage for veterans and rising stars alike.

Continue Reading

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs announce ticket price increase for 2017

Cubs announce ticket price increase for 2017

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Coming off their first World Series championship since 1908, the Cubs announced Monday they will increase ticket prices for 2017.

Season-ticket holders will receive an email on Monday with the details. The team said the average ticket price increase will be 19.5 percent, with a range by section from six to 31 percent, and the highest-priced tickets will be for the best seats.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Play Ball' charity auction features Cubs items

Fans can bid to meet broadcasters, play catch on the field and watch BP on the field

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Want to meet Cubs broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies plus attend a game? How about play catch in the outfield at Wrigley?

You can do that and support a good cause. Major League Baseball and all 30 teams have organized a Play Ball charity auction benefiting youth baseball and softball in Little Ferry, N.J., the hometown for Shannon Forde, a director of media relations for the Mets who lost her battle against breast cancer. The money raised from the auction will help renovate a field in Forde's name.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lindsay Berra

Maddon: 'Now we have the experience'

At Yogi Berra Museum, Cubs skipper discusses whirlwind season, World Series win, what's next

Maddon: 'Now we have the experience'

LITTLE FALLS, NJ -- There's never a dull moment with Cubs manager Joe Maddon, and Friday night's program at my grandfather's museum -- the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J. -- was certainly no exception.

The event began with a cocktail hour, during which 100 lucky guests got to chat and mingle with Maddon and his wife Jaye. A lively and revealing Q&A with the World Series champ followed, moderated by Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and Fox Sports. The interview was Maddon's first since winning the World Series on Nov. 2.

Continue Reading

Lindsay Berra is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arrieta among 4 Cubs headed to arbitration

Rosscup and 3 others are non-tendered, now free agents

Arrieta among 4 Cubs headed to arbitration

As expected, the Cubs on Friday tendered contracts to all four of their arbitration-eligible players, including Jake Arrieta. But they non-tendered four pre-arbitration players to make room on the 40-man roster ahead of next week's Winter Meetings.

Beginning Monday, MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fowler, Chapman keep tabs on talks from afar

Free agents, who aren't ruling out return to Cubs, letting negotiations play out

Fowler, Chapman keep tabs on talks from afar

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- Straight from the euphoria of being part of perhaps the most historic championship team of all-time to the reality of free agency, closer Aroldis Chapman and center fielder Dexter Fowler are having some fun in the sun this weekend at David Ortiz's Celebrity Golf Classic.

While it seems more likely than not that both cornerstone players will be employed by a new team next season, they are both at least keeping a return to the Cubs as a possibility.

Continue Reading

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs sign lefty Duensing to 1-year contract

Cubs sign lefty Duensing to 1-year contract

The Cubs signed lefty reliever Brian Duensing to a one-year deal, the club announced on Friday.

The team did not announce terms of the free-agent deal, but MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported it was worth $2 million.

Continue Reading

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LeBron James wore a full Cubs uniform to Chicago

|
LeBron James wore a full Cubs uniform to Chicago

LeBron James is a man of his word. 

Before the World Series, he and his old pal Dwyane Wade planned to place a friendly wager on the outcome, since it pitted their two cities (Cleveland and Chicago) against each other.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Cubs' Meetings to-do list starts with bullpen

Cubs' Meetings to-do list starts with bullpen

CHICAGO -- While Cubs fans fulfill their holiday shopping lists with World Series-themed T-shirts and mugs, the front office is assessing what it needs to do to repeat as champions.

Heading into the Winter Meetings, which open Monday, the Cubs are focused on finding complements for their young players, which include National League Most Valuable Player Award winner Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Chicago already added one such player in free-agent center fielder Jon Jay, who signed a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday and joined the team's deep crop of outfield options.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jay excited to mentor Almora, join Cubs

Jay excited to mentor Almora, join Cubs

After striking an agreement with the Cubs on a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday, outfielder Jon Jay fit in his daily workout, then spent some time car shopping. He traded in his sports car for what he called a "dad car," because his wife, Nikki, was pregnant with twins.

Jay just left the dealership when he got the call that Nikki was having contractions. Before noon on Wednesday, they were parents of two baby girls.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

Continue Reading

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoyer: Cubs not closing door on Fowler return

GM says don't rule out free-agent center fielder, even after 1-year deal with Jay

Hoyer: Cubs not closing door on Fowler return

Even after sealing a one-year deal with free-agent center fielder Jon Jay, the Cubs are not quite ready to mark the end of the Dexter Fowler era in Chicago.

"Dexter has been such a wonderful member of the Cubs for the last two seasons, and he's always welcome here," Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said on Wednesday, a day after signing Jay for $8 million. "Obviously, last offseason we didn't anticipate him returning, and he did. So we would never close the door on a reunion with Dexter.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lester tweets his CBA wish: No throws to first base

|
Lester tweets his CBA wish: No throws to first base

MLB's players and owners reached a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on Wednesday night, but one individual's top priority went unaddressed: Jon Lester. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

In-market deals? Chicago clubs address report

GMs Hoyer, Hahn won't rule out trades between North and South Siders

In-market deals? Chicago clubs address report

The Cubs have made no secret that they are open to adding another premier starting pitcher, so is a trade for crosstown ace Chris Sale on the table?

No, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, who wrote Tuesday that "the White Sox have told the Cubs they won't deal with them." Presented with that assertion on Wednesday, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer and White Sox GM Rick Hahn each painted a more nuanced picture.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Epstein's 'simple' Draft strategy continues to pay off

Epstein's 'simple' Draft strategy continues to pay off

Avert your eyes, Alex Jackson. Nobody is saying you won't still develop into a Major League player. The trade that sent you from the Mariners to the Braves could jump-start your career.

But it's not too soon to see what the top of the 2014 Draft -- when Seattle made the conventional choice with the sixth overall pick and selected Jackson, a widely praised high school catcher with the ability to hit -- says about how the game is changing. It also reveals a little bit about how Theo Epstein put together his World Series champions.

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schwarber returning to IU to be honorary captain

|
Schwarber returning to IU to be honorary captain

Before he made his presence felt on the Cubs by mashing homer after ridiculous homer and being a postseason hero despite nearly missing an entire season's worth of games, Kyle Schwarber was a Hoosier. 

And now, after the Cubs' cathartic World Series victory over the Indians last month (and subsequent media tour), he's headed back to school -- specifically to be honorary captain of the men's basketball team (ranked No. 13 nationally) for its anticipated showdown with North Carolina (No. 3) on Wednesday night. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Todd Ricketts nominated for deputy commerce secretary

Todd Ricketts nominated for deputy commerce secretary

CHICAGO -- President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Todd Ricketts -- brother of Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and a member of the team's board of directors -- as deputy commerce secretary.

"The incredible job he and the Ricketts family did in the purchase and turnaround of the Chicago Cubs -- one perfect step after another, leading to the World Championship, is what I want representing our people,'' Trump said in a statement on Wednesday. "I am very proud to have him on our team."

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Fowler re-sign with Cubs?

Beat writer Carrie Muskat answers questions from Chicago fans

Inbox: Will Fowler re-sign with Cubs?

What are the chances Dexter Fowler re-signs with the Cubs? He was such a key member in 2016, it would be sad to see him go.
-- Max C., Anthem, Ariz.

The Cubs are staying in touch with Fowler's agent about possibly returning, but this is a great time to be a free-agent center fielder. The Cardinals, Rangers, Nationals, Giants and Yankees are all reportedly in the market for an outfielder. Fowler is an attractive option coming off a season in which he compiled a slash line of .276/.393/.447, while also being named to the All-Star team for the first time. With the Cubs' signing of Jon Jay, and with Jason Heyward, Jorge Soler, Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber already around, Fowler most likely won't surprise Cubs players and show up in Mesa, Ariz., for Spring Training in February. But general manger Jed Hoyer wouldn't rule it out.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs sign outfielder Jay to 1-year contract

Cubs sign outfielder Jay to 1-year contract

With incumbent center fielder Dexter Fowler weighing his options in free agency, the Cubs on Tuesday plucked another player off the open market, agreeing with veteran Jon Jay on a one-year contract worth $8 million.

Jay, 32 in March and coming off a season with the Padres shortened by a broken right arm, gives the Cubs yet another versatile defender in a deep outfield corps.

Continue Reading

Adam McCalvy has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baez reportedly to play for Puerto Rico at Classic

Molina, Lindor also expected to play in tournament

Baez reportedly to play for Puerto Rico at Classic

Cubs infielder Javier Baez plans to play for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.

MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi had reported on Monday that Baez was expected to play in the tournament. World Baseball Classic rosters are not yet official.

Continue Reading

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

One year made big difference for Montgomery

After being traded by Mariners, lefty helps Cubs win WS title

One year made big difference for Montgomery

SEATTLE -- A lot can happen in the course of a baseball season.

Just ask Mike Montgomery, who came to Spring Training with the Mariners in 2016 out of Minor League options and a long shot to land a spot on the 25-man roster ... yet he found himself on the mound recording the final out and picking up his first career save in the Cubs' dramatic 8-7 victory over the Indians in Game 7 of the World Series.

Continue Reading

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

The Next Big Leaguers: Cubs' Jimenez

Five experts weigh in on who will be baseball's next sensation

The Next Big Leaguers: Cubs' Jimenez

For a quarter-century, the Arizona Fall League has helped the top Minor League talent in the game get ready for the big leagues. It's done so with remarkable consistency, sending more than 60 percent of its alumni to the highest level.

The AFL has produced 247 players who have earned roster spots in the All-Star Game, including 33 in last year's Midsummer Classic. There have been 16 MVPs (Mike Trout is a two-time winner), seven Cy Young Award winners and 27 Rookies of the Year to come through the league since it started in 1992.

Continue Reading

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Here's Wrigley Field as a 400-pound gingerbread house

|
Here's Wrigley Field as a 400-pound gingerbread house

Cubs fans love Wrigley Field a lot. Really a lot. And, after the team's long-awaited championship run, those feelings have been, let's say, taken up a notch.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Cubs aim to build around nucleus at Winter Meetings

Chapman, Fowler, Hammel among 'significant free agents,' Epstein says

Cubs aim to build around nucleus at Winter Meetings

CHICAGO -- Now that the Cubs have won the World Series, ending the longest championship drought in professional sports, what do they do for an encore? Could the Cubs be the first team since the 1998-2000 Yankees to repeat as champs?

The focus shifts to the 2017 season at baseball's Winter Meetings, which begin Monday at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Piniella to learn Hall of Fame fate on Sunday

16-member committee to decide on Selig, Steinbrenner among 10 hopefuls

Piniella to learn Hall of Fame fate on Sunday

The Today's Game Era ballot for induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be voted upon this Sunday at the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md. Five former Major League players, three executives and two managers will be considered, and the results of the voting will be announced on MLB Network's "MLB Tonight" and streamed live on MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET.

The players named on the ballot are Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser and Mark McGwire. The three executives are John Schuerholz, Allan H. "Bud" Selig and George M. Steinbrenner. The two former managers are Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella.

Continue Reading

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyRsports This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.