Tag: NL Central

Neftali Feliz to Brewers: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Free-agent closer Neftali Feliz is on the move once again, as he signed Thursday with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. SB Nation's Chris Cotillo confirmed Passan's reports and added that it is a one-year deal worth $5.35 million (with a max of $6.85 million with incentives). Feliz has been no stranger to free agency. He was granted free agency from the Texas Rangers in July 2015 and joined the Detroit Tigers, only to hit the market once again after that season. He then signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates during the winter prior to the 2016 season.  The 28-year-old has been unable to maintain the level of play that made him one of baseball's best young arms out of the bullpen upon his arrival to the majors.  During his second season in 2010 as a 22-year-old, Feliz posted a 2.73 ERA and 40 saves, earning his first and only All-Star selection. The following ...




Cubs Spring Training 2017 Preview: Predictions, Players to Watch and More

The Chicago Cubs will enter the 2017 season as marked men, looking to undertake the uphill battle that is repeating as World Series champions. Just three times in the last 30 years has a team managed to win consecutive titles, as the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000 and the Toronto Blue Jays won it all in 1992 and 1993. The Cubs have the talent to join that exclusive club. Even with the departures of Dexter Fowler, Aroldis Chapman, Jason Hammel, Jorge Soler, Travis Wood and a handful of others, it's hard to find a hole in the roster without nitpicking. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will once again anchor a dynamic young offense, while the trio of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks atop the rotation stacks up to any staff in baseball. The bullpen lost one of the game's best closers in Chapman and replaced him ...




World Series Champion Chicago Cubs Visit President Obama at the White House

For the first time since 1888, the Chicago Cubs visited the White House on Monday to meet President Barack Obama and celebrate the team's first World Series title since 1908. "They said this day would never come," Obama said to open his remarks, per the ESPN broadcast, amid laughter and applause in the White House. "Here is something my predecessors never got to say: Welcome to the White House the World Series champion Cubs." He added: I will say, it took you long enough. I've got four days left. Eight years ago, I made a lot of promises, some of which we've accomplished. But not even I was crazy enough to promise that the Cubs would win the World Series. But I did say there's nothing false about hope. The audacity of hope. The president spoke more about hope and how it brought together fans of the Cubs throughout the years, per CBS News: He ...




Cubs in Prime Position to Use Checkbook to Magnify Future Dominance

The rich get richer. The good get better. It doesn't always work that way, but sometimes it does. Just ask the Chicago Cubs. One year after winning their first World Series since the debut of the Model T Ford, the Cubs are positioned for another deep postseason run. Their potent lineup remains intact. They expect a full, healthy season from Kyle Schwarber. They plugged the hole in the back of their bullpen by acquiring closer Wade Davis and signing veteran setup man Koji Uehara. FanGraphs projects a 95-67 record for Chicago in 2017, but that feels more like the Cubs' floor than their ceiling. That's this year. But here's a blood-curdling thought for MLB's other 29 franchises: The Cubs are positioned to get even better in the near future. I'm not just talking about the growth of the club's young core, though that's part of it. Kris Bryant (age 25), Javier Baez (age 24), Schwarber (age ...




Alex Reyes Will Emerge as MLB’s Newest Ace in 2017 Rookie Season

Alex Reyes' journey has already taken him from New Jersey to the Dominican Republic to the top of prospect rankings and finally to the major leagues in 2016. Next stop: the top of the St. Louis Cardinals starting rotation. OK, so that's not set in stone. With a healthy Lance Lynn set to rejoin Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Mike Leake and Michael Wacha in 2017, the Cardinals have five proven starters for five spots. That's a tough nut for a 22-year-old with only 46 major league innings to crack. The Cardinals did remove a key barrier in Reyes' way when they traded Jaime Garcia in December, however. After that, Mike Matheny declared the young right-hander would get his shot. "He should be a starting pitcher," the skipper said, via MLB.com. "We'll see how it plays out through spring training. There are certain guys who have slotted innings set for them, and Alex is going ...




World Series Champion Cubs Reveal Date for White House Visit

The Chicago Cubs will be the last team to visit President Barack Obama in the White House before he leaves office on Jan. 20.  According to NBC 5 Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern, the Cubs—who hail from Obama's hometown—will meet with the 44th president on Monday, Jan. 16.  Although Obama is a noted Chicago White Sox fan, he publicly supported the Cubs during their come-from-behind World Series run as they took down the Cleveland Indians in seven thrilling games: First Lady Michelle Obama also tweeted her support of the Cubs in the midst of their historic championship run: In December 2016, the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan reported the Cubs were working to try to arrange a meeting with Obama before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.  "Because of the respect the organization has for the White House and for the president, it's something you'd like to see if we can make it happen," Cubs spokesman Julian Green said, per Sullivan.  And ...




Jordy Mercer Contract: Latest News and Rumors on Negotiations with Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates "had preliminary discussions about a contract extension" with shortstop Jordy Mercer, per Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review. Continue for updates. Deal Isn't 'Imminent' Sunday, Jan. 8 Biertempfel cited a source who said "no deal seems imminent." According to the source, there was "a little, but not a lot of talk" regarding a potential multiyear contract. Biertempfel noted Mercer made $2.075 million in the 2016 season and is in the second of three years for salary arbitration eligibility. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors projected in October that Mercer would make $4 million in 2017. While there are bigger names on the Pirates roster, Mercer was solid during the 2016 season. He appeared in 149 games, which tied his career-high mark, and brought some timely power with 11 home runs and 22 doubles. He also finished with career highs in hits, RBI and walks as a regular in the Pittsburgh order: However, Mercer's defense took a ...




Drew Storen to Reds: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Cincinnati Reds reached an agreement Tuesday with veteran relief pitcher Drew Storen on a contract for 2017.  The Reds officially announced Storen signed a one-year deal on Twitter. Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reported the deal is worth $3 million with a $1.5 million performance bonus and a $500,000 bonus if he's traded. Storen struggled with the Toronto Blue Jays, posting a 6.21 ERA and 1.59 WHIP across 38 appearances, after getting shipped north of the border by the Washington Nationals last offseason. A second trade in seven months, this time to the Seattle Mariners in July, helped him get back on track. The 29-year-old reliever finished with a 3.44 ERA and 0.87 WHIP while striking out 16 batters in 18.1 innings down the stretch for the Mariners. Those numbers were more in line with what the former Nats closer accomplished during his time in the nation's capital. Bob Dutton of the News Tribune ...




How Good Can Cubs Offense Be If Jason Heyward Returns from Dead in 2017?

Last winter, the Chicago Cubs signed Jason Heyward to an eight-year, $184 million contract. Less than 11 months later, they won their first World Series since the Teddy Roosevelt administration. Here's the rub: They did it as much in spite of Heyward as because of him. Heyward played 142 games in his first season on the North Side and won a Gold Glove for his work in right field. His exploits in the batter's box, however, defined abysmal. He hit .230 and set career lows in on-base percentage (.306) and slugging percentage (.325). It's not as if his stat line was undone by one cold stretch, either. Heyward spread his mediocrity across the season, hitting above .250 in only one calendar month (June, when he hit .257) and posting an especially anemic .213/.270/.308 slash line after the All-Star break. He did little to redeem himself in the postseason, going 5-for-48 with 13 strikeouts and starting ...




Ivan Nova Re-Signs with Pirates: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced they have re-signed starting pitcher Ivan Nova on a three-year contract on Tuesday. Robert Murray of FanRag Sports, citing sources, first reported the three-year deal was worth $26 million, with a $2 million signing bonus on Dec. 22. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, citing a source, confirmed Murray's report and noted the deal is still pending a physical.  Nova watched his stock drop considerably across his final two-plus seasons with the New York Yankees. With his contract set to expire, the club traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in August, and the move seemed to provide the spark the Dominican Republic native needed. The 29-year-old right-hander posted a 3.06 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP with 52 strikeouts in 64.2 innings across 11 starts after the move. It represented a significant improvement after putting up a 4.90 ERA in 21 appearances for the Yankees. John Perrotto of Today's Knuckleball noted the veteran starter credited ...




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