Haven't done one of these for a few weeks so this will be a hodgepodge of Cubs info, including some spring training stuff. While spring training doesn't officially start until Feb. 14, several players, both minor and major leaguers, have been utilizing the new facility in Mesa.
Non-roster spring invites
While everyone will be fixated on the Big Four this spring, the Cubs have an interesting collection of players that will be battling for roster spots and a trip to Pittsburgh for the March 31 season opener. The Cubs are inviting 24 players to Spring Training camp as non-roster players.
Other prospects on the Cubs' 40-man roster include Arismendy Alcantara, Dallas Beeler, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur, Brett Jackson, Josh Vitters, Zac Rosscup, Mike Olt, Logan Watkins, and Christian Villanueva.
Pitchers and catchers can report on Feb. 13 with the Cubs breaking in their new facility on Feb. 14. Position players are invited to report on Feb. 18, with the first-full squad workout set for Feb. 19.
Ruggiano, acquired from the Marlins for OF Brian Bogusevic in January, will receive $2 million in 2014. The Cubs were offering $1.6 while Ruggiano was asking for $2.45. The 31-year-old hit .222/.298/.396 with 18 homers and 50 RBI in 2013 for the Marlins.
Wood and the Cubs reached terms on Jan. 24 as the left-hander received a one-yea $3.9 million deal. Wood was asking for $4.250 million and the Cubs were offering $3.5. An All-Star in 2013, the left-hander went 9-12 with a career-low 3.11 ERA in a career-best 200 innings.
Darwin Barney and Jeff Samardzija are the only two players left to settle their contract for 2014. If an agreement can't be reached, the settlement swill be decided by an arbitrator during February. The Cubs have also reached deals with Luis Valbuena, Pedro Strop, Nate Schierholtz, and James Russell.
Ryan Searle made his last start in the Australian Baseball League on Jan. 25 allowing two unearned runs on five hits and seven strikeouts. Searle, who missed most of 2013 with an injury, has made eight starts in the ABL with 50 K in 55 IP.
The Cubs have signed free agent first baseman Lars Anderson, a former Boston Red Sox minor leaguer. Anderson was drafted by Boston in the 18th round in 2006 and made his way quickly through the organization, making his pro debut in 2010. Anderson spent three years between AAA and Boston before he was released in April of 2013. Anderson spent last season as the White Sox's AAA first baseman at Charlotte but hit .194/.302/.251 in 66 games before being released in June. The 26-year-old was added to the organization to provide depth at first as the Cubs didn't resign Brad Nelson (AAA-Iowa) and lost Justin Bour (AA-Tennessee) to Rule 5 minor league draft.