Cubs News—Eight elect free agency
Outfielders Chris Denorfia, Dexter Fowler, and Austin Jackson along with right-hander pitchers Trevor Cahill, Dan Haren, Tommy Hunter, Jason Motte and Fernando Rodney all elected for free agency on Monday. Fowler should get a qualifying offer and the Cubs could end up with a first-round pick if he signs with another team. Haren has announced his retirement while Cahill and Motte are the best bets to be back in a Cubs uniform next year. The Cubs currently have 15 pitchers, 2 catchers, 8 infielders and 4 outfielders on the 40-man roster. Quinten Berry, Jonathan Herrera and Taylor Teagarden were sent to Iowa and all three declared for free agency.
Arizona Fall League
C Willson Contreras and P Corey Black have been selected to play in the Arizona Fall League All-Star game for the East squad on Nov. 7. Contreras is hitting .302/.380/.605 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in 11 games for Mesa. Black has appeared in six games for the Solar Sox and is 1-0 with a 7.11 ERA with 5 K in 6.1 innings. 3B Jeimer Candelario is in a “vote-off” for a roster spot despite hitting .350/.381/.725 with 3 HR and 10 RBI in 10 games.
Dominican Winter League
No games scheduled.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
3B Christian Villanueva (.343) was 2-for-4 with a run scored in Obregon’s 7-2 win over Culiacan.
Puerto Rican Winter League
No games scheduled.
Here’s more of the 2015 draft picks.
Daniel Spingola, OF, 31st Round, Georgia Tech
Selected by the Cubs in the 24th round last year, Spingola went back to Georgia Tech but suffered an ankle injury late in the season and had his consecutive game streak snapped at 96. The left-handed hitting outfielder batted .262/.345/.350 with 6 SB after hitting .319/.384/.451 with 15 stolen bases as a junior. After getting re-drafted by the Cubs and rehabbing his ankle, the 22-year-old made his pro debut Aug. 12 vs. the Rangers in the Arizona Rookie League. Spingola doubled in a run in his first at-bat and finished the day 2-for-4 with a walk. He hit .529 (9-17) in six games with seven RBI before being promoted to Eugene. He played two games with the Emeralds (1-for-8) and the finished up his first pro season in the final four games at South Bend (1-for-10). Because of his age and advanced approach at the plate, look for Spingola to make a crack at the South Bend lineup out of spring training.
Tyler Payne, C, 30th Round, West Virginia State University
Drafted out of a Division II college, the 23-year-old backstop displayed his defensive prowess, throwing out 8-of-15 base runners in 15 games behind he plate in the Arizona Rookie League. The 23-year-old made his pro debut on July 5 and went 0-for-4 with walk against the Diamondbacks. He collected his first pro hit, a double, two day slater vs. The Padres. In 16 games in the AZL, the right-handed bat backstop hit .192/.333/.212 with 11 BB and 8 K in 52 at-bats. At West Virginia State, Payne was a two-time second team All-Mountain East performer and hit .354/.413/.571 in 50 games as a senior. He left the school with a .355 career average with 15 HR and 86 RBI in 146 games in three seasons. The former West Virginia Gatorade High School Player of the Year, Payne only committed two errors his final two years in college and threw out 14-of-31 his senior season. Payne could take his defensive skills to South Bend to start the 2016 campaign.