CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 25: Theo Epstein, the new President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, poses in front of the marquee following a press conference at Wrigley Field on October 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago Cubs Offseason: Cubs, Red Sox Agree To Terms On Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer Compensation

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to send RHP Chris Carpenter and a player to be named later to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for the Cubs hiring away Theo Epstein.

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Bryan LaHair could be headed to Japan

LaHair was a 2012 NL All-Star but his production dropped dramatically after the All-Star break.

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Cubs cut 1B/OF Bryan LaHair

2012 National League All-Star possibly heading to Japan

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2012 Cubs Offseason: Jed Hoyer Compensation Narrowed Down To Low-Level Prospects

The Chicago Cubs, having pillaged GMs from both the Boston Red Sox and the San Diego Padres in the 2012 offseason, reportedly settled the terms of their second offseason compensation matter, this time agreeing on a group of low level prospects in exchange for GM Jed Hoyer, according to Scot Miller of CBS Sports:

The Cubs acquired the then-Padres-GM Jed Hoyer from San Diego shortly after they had consummated a contract to bring then-Red-Sox-GM Theo Epstein in as the team's President of Baseball Operations.

Chicago -- with assistance from the league commissioner, Bud Selig -- complete their compensation package to the Red Sox on Tuesday, sending once-top-prospect SP Chris Carpenter and a player to be named later to Boston. The Hoyer compensation is widely believed to be even less impressive.

For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.

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2012 MLB Rumors: Chicago Cubs Exploring Matt Garza Extension

MLB Trade Rumors and the Chicago Sun-Times are reporting the Chicago Cubs have interest in extending RHP Matt Garza:

‘‘We focused really hard on getting the one-year number done a few weeks ago,’’ general manager Jed Hoyer said of the $9.5 million deal struck the day of Garza’s scheduled arbitration hearing. ‘‘We didn’t have any kind of long-term discussions before that, but certainly there was some dialogue about possibly having some long-term discussions at some point maybe this spring. . . . I think we probably will sit down and talk.’’ (Sun-Times)

The Cubs acquired Matt Garza in the 2011 trade that sent top minor league prospects SS Hak-Ju Lee and SP Chris Archer to the Tampa Bay Rays, but with the Cubs in rebuilding mode, rumors have swirled about the Cubs potentially seeking a trading partner for the 28-year-old hurler.

Garza, a six-year veteran, is arbitration eligible and settled to terms with the Cubs for a $9.5 million, 1-year contract. He emerged as the Cubs' ace in 2011, pitching 198 innings of 3.32 ERA, 2.95 FIP ball.

For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.

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Cubs Spring Training 2012 Preview: Chicago Starts Camp On Saturday With Pitchers And Catchers

The Chicago Cubs finished the 2011 MLB season with 71-91 record, good for 5th place in the NL Central Division. They promptly underwent a massive personnel overhaul in the offseason, hiring former Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and former San Diegos Padres GM Jed Hoyer.

The team has since traded for an almost entirely new pitching staff and begun to transition into a defense-focused team. Their reporting schedule looks as follows:

2012 Chicago Cubs Reporting Dates

Organization Pitchers & Catchers First Workout Position Players First full workout
Chicago Cubs Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb. 23 Feb. 24

The Cubs will get their first look at the new rotation on Saturday, a rotation expected to look like this:

Project Starting Rotation

1) Ryan Dempster
2) Matt Garza
3) Travis Wood
4) Chris Volstad
5) Paul Maholm

The team will also have open competition between Randy Wells, Casey Coleman and a number of other potential starters for the fifth starter and long man roles. Meanwhile, the team should have a trio of new faces in their starting lineup:

Projected Cubs Lineup

C Geovany Soto
1B Bryan LaHair
2B Darwin Barney
3B Ian Stewart
SS Starlin Castro
LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Marlon Byrd
RF David DeJesus

And here's a gander at the first week of Cactus League schedule for the Cubs:

Date Time Opponent Location
March 4
1:05 p.m. Oakland
Mesa
March 5
1:05 p.m. Oakland
Mesa
March 6
1:05 p.m. Colorado
Mesa
March 7
1:05 p.m. Kansas City
Surprise
March 8
1:05 p.m. Seattle
Mesa
March 9
1:05 p.m. White Sox
Glendale
March 10
1:05 p.m. Milwaukee
Maryvale

For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.

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2012 Chicago Cubs Offseason: Red Sox, Cubs Submit Cases To Bud Selig For Compensation Negotiations

The Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox have submitted their arguments to league commissioner Bud Selig for the compensation debate, according CBS's Jon Heyman:

Selig's office will act as an arbiter in the ongoing compensation negotiations. Last October, the Chicago Cubs acquired then-Boston-GM Theo Epstein from the Red Sox, agreeing to offer Boston some form of compensation. The two teams are reportedly far apart, as the Red Sox anticipate an MLB player, while the Cubs appear to want to give much smaller compensation -- a low-level prospect or cash.

The MLB commissioner elected to intervene in January, reportedly asking for lists of players the teams would be willing to offer for fair compensation..

For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.

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Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors 2012: Prospect Anthony Rizzo Acquired From San Diego Padres

The Chicago Cubs continued to make off-season moves Friday, making a trade for first basemen Anthony Rizzo and right-handed pitcher Zach Cates from the San Diego Padres, who acquired right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner and outfield Kyun-Min Na in exchanged. The news was broke by FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal via Twitter.

Here's a brief scouting report on Rizzo via HardBallTalk.com's D.J. Short (Dec. 17):

"Rizzo, who was acquired from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade last December," writes Short, "made his major league debut this past season and batted just .141 with one home run and 46 strikeouts in 128 at-bats. However, it’s way too soon to call the 22-year-old a bust, as many still like him for his patience and power potential. In fact, Baseball America ranked him as the organization’s top prospect earlier this week. Of course, it’s possible new GM Josh Byrnes views him differently than Jed Hoyer did."

Meanwhile, Cates, 22, was the Padres third-round pick (91st overall) in the 2010 MLB Draft.

For more updates on Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue. Also, check out MLB Daily Dish for Cubs rumors and transactions.

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Carlos Zambrano Trade Details: New Marlin Forced To Give Back Salary To Cubs

Now, that starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano has been traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Chris Volstad and some cash, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal is slowly leaking out more details of the deal via Twitter.

According to Rosenthal, Zambrano, 30, had to waive his no-trade clause and his $19.25 million option for 2013 that would have kicked in if he finished in the top four of the CY Young vote. Zambrano also needed to give back 24 days worth of salary from his 30-game suspension that he served during the summer after he reportedly retired after a bad outing.

There's a bit of incentive for Zambrano to do well for the Marlins, who will pay the right-hander $100,000 bonus if he wins Comeback Player of the Year in 20012. What also could help Miami is that fact that Zambrano is a free agent after next season.

For more updates on Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue. Also, check out MLB Daily Dish for Cubs rumors and transactions.

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Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins Agree To Trade Carlos Zambrano, Chris Volstad

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to trade pitcher Carlos Zambrano to the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Chris Volstad, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel adds that the Cubs are paying $15.5 million of the remaining $18 million on Zambrano's contract, which runs through next season. The deal is still pending the approval of the commissioner's office given that the transaction involves more than $1 million.

Zambrano, 30, joins a Miami rotation with Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco. The Marlins are paying little to acquire him other than Volstad, given that removing Volstad's salary from their payroll essentially offsets what they'll add by having to compensate Big Z.

For the Cubs, Volstad gives them a cheap, young starting pitcher with at least a touch of upside. MLBTR projects Volstad's 2012 salary at $2.7 million, which isn't a whole lot to pay to a 25-year-old with three years of starting experience under his belt. With a career ERA of 4.59, Volstad isn't exactly an impact player, but he's sure to be useful and could even develop into a solid mid-rotation starter.

For more updates on Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue. Also, check out MLB Daily Dish for Cubs rumors and transactions.

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Chicago Cubs Officially Trade Sean Marshall To Cincinnati Reds For Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes

The Chicago Cubs have officially announced a trade that will send relief pitcher Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Red in exchange for Travis WoodDave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes. Details of the trade broke earlier today, but it didn't take the Cubs long to announce the deal via their official twitter account:

Marshall is a 29 year-old pitcher converted by the Cubs from a starter to a reliever in 2010, who has been very effective out of the bullpen and has posted a 2.45 ERA over 150 innings in the last two seasons combined. The Cubs may look to replace Marshall in the bullpen with prospect and the organization's 2011 minor league pitcher of the year, Jeff Beliveau. The 24-year old pitcher produced  a combined 6-2 record with five saves and a 1.57 ERA in 53 relief appearances between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee in 2011.

Travis Wood is a 25-year-old left-handed starting pitcher who split the past two seasons between Cincinnati and the organization's Triple-A affiliate. He posted a 4.84 ERA in 106 innings with the Reds in 2011, but was much better in 102 innings with the Reds in 2010, posting a 3.51 ERA. He was named the 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year in the Reds' organization and the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher as well after posting a 13-5 record and a 1.77 ERA. It is projected with with his current service time he will not reach free agency until 2016.  Here is what Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue has to say about the deal with Wood as the primary return:

I like the Sean Marshall deal. Travis Wood isn't a No. 1 starter, but he could become a solid No. 3, and at age 25 does have upside. And the Cubs haven't had a regular LH starter since Ted Lilly was sent to the Dodgers a year and a half ago. With two prospects coming in the deal, it looks like a win for the Cubs. I was a fan of Marshall's, but this is the perfect time to deal a guy like that. The angst I've heard from some Cubs fans about Marshall's departure is misplaced.    

Wood likely became expendable for the Reds after the team acquired starting pitcher Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres last Saturday. In an interesting connection, Wood actually made his major league debut against the Cubs at Wrigley field on July 1, 2010, a game in which he gave up only two hits over seven innings.

Sappelt is a 24-year old outfielder and former 9th-round pick in the 2008 amateur draft who stands 5'9" and hits right-handed. In 33 games with the Reds in 2011, he hit .243/.289/.318. In 74 games played in 2011 for the organization's Triple-A affiliate, he hit .313/.377/.458. As for Torreyes, he is a 19-year old infielder who hit  .356/.398/.457 in Single-A ball over 67 games in 2011.

For more updates on Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue. Also, check out MLB Daily Dish for more MLB rumors and transactions.

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Chicago Cubs To Sign Manny Corpas

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to sign free agent reliever Manny Corpas to a one-year, Major League contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Corpas has spent his entire career with the Colorado Rockies but will be moving to Chicago to offer them some depth as they're expected to finish off a trade of Sean Marshall to Cincinnati soon. 

Corpas, 29, has been up with the Rockies for the past few seasons. He was one of the key arms in the Colorado bullpen in 2007 and 2008, but he struggled in 2009 and ended up having Tommy John surgery near the end of the 2010 season. He didn't pitch last season while rehabbing from the injury, but apparently the Cubs think that he's healthy enough to warrant a spot on their 40-man roster.

In his last appearances on the mound, Corpas posted a 4.62 ERA over 62 innings with the Rockies. His 4.19 FIP was slightly better, but he hasn't been particularly effective since the 2007 season. In that breakout season, Corpas posted a 2.08 ERA in 78 innings and eventually spent some time in the closer's role, saving 19 of 22 opportunities. He's really struggled in the role since then, though, converting just 15 of 30 save opportunities.

For more updates on Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue. Also, check out MLB Daily Dish for more MLB rumors and transactions.

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Chicago Cubs To Trade Sean Marshall To Cincinnati In Four-Player Deal

The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds have agreed in principle to a four-player deal that will send Sean Marshall to Cincinnati, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. The Cubs will receive lefty starter Travis Wood and two minor leaguers in exchange for Marshall, and the deal is pending physicals.

Marshall, 29, has spent his entire career with the Cubs. Once a starter, Marshall was converted to relief full-time in 2010 and immediately broke out as one of the top relievers in the National League. Over the past two seasons, Marshall has posted a 2.45 ERA over 150 innings. His 5.0 WAR figure over that time period is the highest WAR of any reliever in the game, according to FanGraphs.

It's unclear who the Cubs will receive at this point other than Wood, a 25-year-old lefty pitcher that's split the past two seasons between Cincinnati and Triple-A. He posted a 4.84 ERA in 106 innings with the Reds in 2011, but was much better in 102 innings with the Reds in 2010, posting a 3.51 ERA in that stint. His fastball generally sits in the upper 80's to lower 90's, but he has a good mix of pitches.

Whether the Cubs decide to place Wood in the rotation or try him out in the bullpen is uncertain, but their desire to add some cost-controlled pitching is understandable. 

For more updates on Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue. Also, check out MLB Daily Dish for more MLB rumors and transactions.

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Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors 2011: Randy Wells Reportedly A Trade Candidate, Prince Fielder Being Courted

The Chicago Cubs may be willing to trade more than just Matt Garza this offseason. According Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports, the Cubs have reportedly made RHP Randy Wells available for trade. Wells, who turns 30 next August, had a down year for the Cubs, pitching 135 and 1/3 innings while sporting a much-worse-than-average 4.99 ERA and 5.11 FIP.

In 2009 and 2010, the Cubs received fairly strong production from Wells, as he pitched over 350 innings of 3.70 ERA, 3.91 FIP ball. Wells, who is under team control for several more years, could be an inexpensive starter for many teams in the league willing to bet that he can get past his 2011 struggles.

Morosi also reports that the Cubs appear to be one at least four teams bidding on first base slugger Prince Fielder. The Cubs may have an opening at first base following the recent announcement that Carlos Pena expects to decline arbitration and seek a multi-year contract.

Fore more coverage of all MLB hot stove action, check out MLB Daily Dish. For more coverage of all matters Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago.

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Cubs Trade Rumors 2011: Dale Sveum To Keep Rudy Jaramillo As Hitting Coach

The new Chicago Cubs manager has begun sifting through his staff decisions, announcing today that they Cubs will retain the services of widely-respected hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.

Jaramillo served as the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers from 1995 through 2009 when the Cubs signed him away, making him one of the highest paid coaches in the MLB.

In 2011, the Cubs score 654 runs, good for 8th best in the NL, while only walking in 6.9% of their plate appearances -- second-worst in the NL and MLB. The Cubs young shortstop Starlin Castro led the NL in hits last year despite sporting an only above-average .307/.341/.432 split.

Sveum, however, did not renew the contracts of first-base coach Bob Dernier and third-base coach Ivan DeJesus.

Fore more coverage of all MLB hot stove action, check out MLB Daily Dish. For more coverage of all matters Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago.

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Chicago Cubs Pitcher Carlos Zambrano Hit In Face By Line Drive

The Chicago Cubs veteran right hander took a line drive off the face on Friday, but appears to be okay.

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Carlos Zambrano May Stay With Chicago Cubs In 2012

Nick Collias of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting Chicago Cubs right hander Carlos Zambrano spoke with the Venezuelan media about meeting with new Cubs exec Theo Epstein:

[The meeting with Epstein will] be quick - to meet each other. Talk in person. That's very important. I'd like to build a relationship from scratch with the new GM. Erase everything and start over.

Carlos Zambrano, who has had previous non-performance-related issues with the Cubs (including a smashed Gatorade machine and a brief in-season retirement), struggled on the field last year too, posting a career high ERA (4.82) and FIP (4.59):

Carlos Zambrano Stats


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA FIP
2011 - Carlos Zambrano 9-7 25 24 0 0 0 0 145.2 154 80 78 19 56 101 4.82 4.59

Epstein, the new Cubs President of Baseball Operations, has previously suggested the Cubs may explore keeping Zambrano at least one more year as the team looks to rebuild, so Zambrano's comments may suggest mutual interest in the possibility.

If the reunion does not go through, however, the Kansas City Royals and Miami Marlins have already expressed interest in trading for Zambrano -- at a considerable discount.

For more breaking news on the Chicago Cubs 2012 Hot Stove, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago.

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