Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports

Cubs announced David Ross is returning as a special assistant. Three agree to terms and winter league playoffs.

David Ross named special assistant, Arrieta earns $15.6 million in arbitration, Rondon and Grimm agree to terms, and a winter league playoff update

David Ross named special assistant

The Chicago Cubs have named David Ross to the role of special assistant to baseball operations. Ross, 39, retired following last season after helping lead the Cubs to the 2016 World Championship, his second and final year as a catcher with the organization. Overall, Ross enjoyed a 15-year major league career (2002-2016) with seven organizations, winning a pair of World Series titles with the Cubs and the Boston Red Sox (2013). In his new role with the organization, Ross will contribute to all elements within the club's baseball operations department, including major league operations, player development, pro scouting and work within the front office. He will also assist in evaluating amateur players leading up to the draft among additional responsibilities and opportunities throughout the year.  

Avoid arbitration

The Cubs avoided arbitration with three pitchers on Friday, agreeing to terms with Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm. In his third and final year of arbitration, Arrieta and the Cubs agreed to a $15,637,500 contract for the 2017 season. Rondon will receive $5.8 million and Grimm signed for $1,825,000. The Cubs and Pedro Strop exchanged numbers. Strop is asking for $6 million and the Cubs countered with $4.6 million. If the two sides can’t reach an agreement in the next few days, an arbitrator will decide Strop’s 2017 salary.

Venezuelan Winter League

Caribes even their series at a game apiece with a 7-1 win over Zulia. Lara scored four five times in the sixth and added four more in the seventh as they beat La Guaira 9-5 to even the best-of-seven series.

Dominican Winter League

Aguilas (11-2) continues to roll with a 6-0 win over Licey (6-8). Gigantes (5-8) beat Escogido 5-3. 3B Chesny Young was 0-for-4 for Escogido (5-9).

Mexican Pacific Winter League

No games scheduled. Mexicali leads Hermosillo 2-0 and Los Mochis holds a 2-0 advantage over Culiacan.

Puerto Rican Winter League

The finals begin Jan. 14 with Caguas facing Santurce.

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