Cubs News and Rumors
The Cubs and left-handed pitcher Felix Doubront avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.925 million. The Cubs acquired Doubront from Boston in July and sent SS prospect Marco Hernandez to the Red Sox after the winter meetings. Doubront, 27, pitched at Tennessee and Iowa after being acquired and then made four starts for Chicago (2-1, 3.98 ERA, 20.1 IP, 7 BB, 8 K, 1.43 WHIP). Doubront will be in the mix for the fifth starting spot and could end up on the opening day roster working out of the bullpen as the Cubs are short on left-handed relievers. ..........The Cubs and outfielder Chris Coghlan have agreed to a deal worth $2.505 for 2015. Coghlan started 2014 in Iowa but worked his way to the big lead club and finished the year in left field and hitting leadoff (125 G, .283/.352/.452, 9 HR, 41 RBI).........Other players eligible for arbitration are pitchers Travis Wood, Pedro Strop, and Jake Arrieta along with IF Luis Valbuena and C Wellington Castillo. The two sides have until Friday to exchange figures and then if an agreement can’t be reached, hearings will be held Feb. 1-21. I expect the Cubs to reach agreements with the remaining six players before Feb. 1.
Pitch clock in AA and AAA
According to reports, minor league clubs have been informed a pitch clock will be used at AA and AAA stadiums this season. Finalized at the owners’ meeting on Wednesday, other rule changes will include inning break limits and pitching change time limits. Three timers will be used in each park, two behind home and one in outfield. Clubs will be responsible for hiring and paying a timer operator and MLB will purchase the equipment. In the games I watched during AFL, the pitch clock seemed to give pitchers trouble but they were allowed to step-off the rubber, which re-set the clock. It really becomes a problem when runners get on base so it should be interesting to see how players adapt during the season and if it even lasts the year.
Venezuelan Winter League
Magallanes (8-3) blew a 10-4 lead and needed 10 innings to beat Aragua 12-10. Caribes (8-3) kept pace for first with a 4-2 win over La Guaria on a walk-off two-run homer by Alexi Amarista. No Cubs players saw action.
Dominican Winter League
Estrellas (10-6) clinched a spot in the DWL finals with a 10-4 win over Gigantes (10-6). Junior Lake was 0-for-4 with a run scored. Robinson Cano was 4-4 with two runs scored.....Aguillas beat Toros 5-3 as Manny Ramirez went 0-for-2 with a walk.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Obregon tied its series with Jalisco with a 5-1 win while Mexicali took a 3-1 lead with a 3-2 14 inning win over Culiacan. No cubs players saw action.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Had the day off. Round-robin standings are Santurce (7-3), Mayaguez (6-4), Carolina (5-5), Caguas (2-8).