Chicago Cubs Wiretap

Cubs Meet With Joe Torre To Discuss Issues In Baseball

Jul 2, 2015 6:47 AM

A group of Chicago Cubs players met with Joe Torre on Wednesday afternoon to discuss important issues in baseball.

One topic that was discussed was the ever changing strike zone -- especially an expanding lower half.

"He gave me an option of talking to the whole team or choosing a smaller group and I chose the smaller group," Joe Maddon said. "Had the hitting coaches, the catchers and some other players."

Torre is Major League Baseball's executive vice-president of baseball operations.

They also discussed instant replay and other game-related issues but at least one player wanted Torre to look at video to assess the ball/strike calls.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Mets Aren't In Hurry To Trade Jon Niese

Jul 1, 2015 5:10 PM

The New York Mets are expected to trade Jon Niese in the near future.

The Mets haven't engaged in serious talks with the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers about Niese, according to two sources.

New York could stick with a six-man rotation for a few weeks to help limit the innings of their young starters.

David Lennon/Newsday

Tags: New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Joe Maddon Entertains Cubs With Magician To 'Lighten Things Up'

Jul 1, 2015 6:37 AM

Joe Maddon brought in a magician to perform for the Chicago Cubs before Tuesday's game against the New York Mets.

"Joe started talking about [baseball] magic and the next thing I know there was a magician there," Addison Russell said.

Maddon thought of the idea "on the plane or bus" after the Cubs' weekend series in St. Louis, where they were swept. They were on a season-high five-game losing streak, having fallen 11½ games behind the Cardinals going into Tuesday's games.

"It was about time," Maddon said. "Tough series in St. Louis. I don't want our guys to get all distraught for the wrong reasons. We played a good game. They beat us. Let's keep moving it forward."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Joe Maddon Lashes Out At Replay System After Loss

Jun 25, 2015 9:25 AM

Angry with a call on the final play of the Chicago Cubs' loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, Joe Maddon lashed out at the replay system, calling for an overhaul that includes "nerds" well versed in analyzing video on the fly.

"I think it screams for an independent group back there to research the video," Maddon said. "That's what I think it screams for as opposed to working umpires that are actually on the field. I think you should get a bunch of nerds back there that know how to look at a videotape and then come to a conclusion. I think it would be much more interesting that way."

All reviews are administered at MLB headquarters in New York by umpires who make the final call.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Misc Rumor

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Should Cubs Trade Starlin Castro?

Jun 23, 2015 8:05 PM

Starlin Castro has hit for the Chicago Cubs, but his defense at shortstop has been below average.

The Cubs have been slowly adding young offensive talent to their Major League roster, which may eventually make Castro's bat less important than his glove.

Chicago could easily move Addison Russell from second to shortstop.

"If the Cubs' front office is for maxing out the situation at hand, it will take advantage of Castro's friendly contract, his offensive potential and his friendly team demeanor and look to move him for pitching," writes Jesse Rogers.

"Despite the game-winning hits, his value isn’t as high as it once was, according to two scouts who have watched the Cubs this year. The miscues on defense have been glaring, and it takes more than a few late-inning hits to impress other teams. Overall, Castro is hitting .267 with a .301 on-base percentage. Those numbers won't net the Cubs pitcher Cole Hamels. Either way, I feel the Cubs will eventually choose this option and package Castro while moving Russell to shortstop."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Cubs Looking For Starting Pitching

Jun 23, 2015 1:32 PM

The Chicago Cubs are looking to add a starting pitcher well ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The club is looking into a wide range of options, according to a source.

Chicago has reached out to a number of clubs, among them the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels, in search of a match.

Gordon Wittenmyer/Chicago Sun-Times

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Schwarber Happy To Help Cubs, Not Disappointed By Demotion

Jun 22, 2015 7:58 AM

Kyle Schwarber finished his six-game stint with the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, finishing his brief Major League debut 8-for-22 with a home run and six RBI.

"I'm glad I got to help the team win a couple games," Schwarber said. "Now it's time to go down and start working on all the stuff I need to work on and hopefully I'll get back up here.

"I knew what my role was coming in," he added. "I'm not disappointed at all. I knew the day was going to come."

The Cubs promoted Schwarber for a six-game trip to American League ballparks so he could serve as designated hitter.

"He knew regardless of how well he did he was going back," Joe Maddon said. "As we can see, there are different things to work on yet. He definitely helped us. He contributed and helped us win a couple games. … He did an outstanding job for us."

Dane Mizutani/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Cubs Expected To Sign Big Name Pitcher This Winter

Jun 19, 2015 2:54 PM

Folks around Major League Baseball fully expect the Chicago Cubs to sign a big-name free agent pitcher this coming winter.

David Price and Jordan Zimmermann appear to be the leading candidates at this point.

Price has a longtime connection to Joe Maddon stemming from their many years together with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jon Heyman/CBS Sports

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Joe Maddon's Group Texts Bring Cubs Together

Jun 19, 2015 2:41 PM

Joe Maddon and first-base coach Brandon Hyde send a mass text to Chicago Cubs players letting them know the upcoming game's lineup well ahead of time.

"Guys are programmed for it," Hyde said. "If I'm late with it, I'll get a sarcastic response from various guys. 'How can I prepare if I don't know if I'm playing?' Stuff like that. Then someone else will bust that guy. And they go back and forth a little."

Maddon believes strongly in letting regulars know the night before if they won’t be playing. He doesn't want them to be surprised and it allows for a mental break.

"If you don't tell a player the day before he has the day off, then he doesn't have a day off," Maddon explained. "He';l get up and go through this whole routine and get ready and then find out he's not in the lineup. He actually might be mad. I think it's great we do it this way."

Maddon also values the team sending group messages amongst one another.

"[Anthony] Rizzo and [Dexter] Fowler are the main responders," Hyde said. "And a sneaky one, you would never guess, is Addison Russell. He might send a little jab toward the older guys, and I love it. They love it, too. You don’t expect it because he’s so quiet."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Kyle Schwarber Will Join Cubs For Week

Jun 16, 2015 6:35 AM

Kyle Schwarber will join the Chicago Cubs from Double-A Tennessee for the next six games, which include five games in American League parks in which he can be used as the designated hitter.

The Cubs took Schwarber in the first round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

"Kyle has had a tremendous developmental year so far behind the plate, with the bat and as a leader," Theo Epstein said. "His next stop is to continue his development as a catcher at Triple-A. First, however, he is going to join the Major League team for six days to contribute as a designated hitter, as a bat off the bench and as a third catcher. He will also use the time in the big leagues to experience firsthand all that goes into being a major league catcher. Regardless of how this week goes, Kyle will head to Triple-A after Sunday's game."

Schwarber joins fellow first-round picks Kris Bryant and Addison Russell on the team. Both made their major league debuts earlier this season.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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Right-Field Bleachers Open At Wrigley Field
This was the third unveiling, after the April 5 season opener and the May 11 left-field bleachers opener.

Paul Sullivan/Chicago Tribune

Oklahoma Leads All Schools With 11 Drafted Players
The University of Oklahoma had 11 players selected in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft this week, the most of any school.

RealGM Staff Report

Pitchers Represent 52 Percent Of 2015 Draft Picks
Overall, pitchers made up more than 52 percent of the selections. 633 hurlers were drafted (462 right-handers and 171 lefties). Positions players were taken with 582 picks.

RealGM Staff Report

Blue Jays, Cubs Have Discussed Papelbon With Phillies
The Phillies are prepared to trade Jonathan Papelbon and have discussed the closer with the Blue Jays and Cubs, according to a report.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Cubs Seeking Further Bullpen Help Via Trade
Despite adding Rafael Soriano on a Minor League deal Tuesday, the Cubs are seeking more bullpen help via trade, according to a report.

Bruce Levine/670 The Score

Cubs Close To Deal With Rafael Soriano
The agreement would be a Minor League deal.

Gordon Wittenmyer/Chicago Sun-Times

Position Players Dominate First Round Of MLB Draft
The first round of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft was dominated by shortstops, who went 1-2-3, but position players were a hot commodity overall.

RealGM Staff Report

First Round Nearly Split Between College, High School Players
Of the 36 first-round selections, 19 were out of college and 17 were from high school.

RealGM Staff Report

2015 MLB Draft Slot Values
Major League Baseball informed teams of the slot values assigned to the first 315 picks of the 2015 draft back in April.

Baseball America

First-Round 2015 MLB Draft Results
We are reporting live from the 2015 MLB Draft in New Jersey. Follow along for news, rumors and selections. Arizona selected Dansby Swanson first overall.

Andrew Perna/RealGM

Cubs Lose Prospect Javier Baez For Four To Eight Weeks
Javier Baez suffered a non-displaced fracture of the ring finger after being injured on a steal attempt in a Triple-A game on Sunday.

ESPN.com

Joe Maddon's Propensity To Bat Pitcher Eighth Began With Rays
Joe Maddon has batted his pitcher in the eighth hole in every game this season, his first at the helm of the Cubs.

Jayson Stark/ESPN

Kris Bryant: HR Derby 'Would Be Pretty Cool'
Kris Bryant would be a willing participant in next month's Home Run Derby.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Cubs Enjoying Success In One-Run Games
The Cubs have had issues with their bullpen and defense, but are enjoying a recent run of success in one-run games.

Doug Padilla/ESPN

Cubs Expected To Pursue Ben Zobrist
Ben Zobrist is under contract for $7.5 million this season. He'll be a free agent this coming fall.

Gordon Wittenmyer/Chicago Sun-Times

Jon Lester Remains Hitless In Major League Career
After going 0-for-2 against the Nationals on Wednesday, Jon Lester is now 0-for-59 at the plate during his Major League career.

David Schoenfield/ESPN

Cubs Plan To Keep Kyle Schwarber At Catcher
The Cubs selected Kyle Schwarber in the first round of last June's Major League Baseball draft.

Tommy Birch/Des Moines Register

Joe Maddon Upset Over Memorial Day Schedule
Joe Maddon wasn't happy the Cubs played an early-afternoon game on Memorial Day after playing a day game in Phoenix on Sunday and then traveling through "two time zones" to get home.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Welington Castillo Was 'Shocked' By Trade
Welington Castillo was surprised when the Cubs traded him to the Mariners earlier this week.

Ryan Divish/Seattle Times

Mariners Acquire Welington Castillo From Cubs
The Cubs have traded Welington Castillo to the Mariners in exchange for reliever Yoervis Medina.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

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