(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Joe Nathan have agreed to terms on a 2016 major-league contract.
Nathan has been placed on the 60-day disabled list as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery that took place in April 2015.
Nathan, 41, is a six-time All-Star who has earned 377 saves, eighth most in major-league history, during his 15 seasons with San Francisco (1999-2000, 2002-03), Minnesota (2004-09, 2011), Texas (2012-13) and Detroit (2014-15). He surpassed 30 saves in nine of 10 seasons from 2004-14, including four seasons with more than 40 saves, and recorded 35 saves with Detroit in 2014, his last full big-league campaign. He made only one appearance with the Tigers last year before enduring his elbow injury in April and missing the rest of the season.
Overall, the right-hander is 62-34 with 377 saves and a 2.89 ERA (294 ER/917 IP) in 777 major-league appearances, all but 29 in relief.
The Chicago Cubs today placed right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez on the bereavement list and recalled right-handed pitcher Spencer Patton from Triple-A Iowa.
Patton, who will wear uniform number 40, will be available for the Cubs Thursday as they begin their four-game series against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.
The 28-year-old Patton has turned in 10 scoreless appearances covering 10.0 innings this season with Iowa, posting no record with four saves in as many chances. He has walked only four hitters while striking out 17, good for an average of 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Patton has limited opponents to a .147 batting average and a 0.90 WHIP.
Patton broke into the big leagues with Texas in 2014 and went 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA (1 ER/9.1 IP) in nine big-league relief appearances before splitting the 2015 campaign between the Rangers and Triple-A Round Rock. He was acquired by the Cubs from Texas last November. Overall, Patton is 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA (25 ER/33.1 IP) in 36 major league relief outings, averaging more than one strikeout per inning with 36 strikeouts in 33.1 frames.
The right-hander is a native of Urbana, Ill., and was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 24th round of the 2011 Draft out of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He was acquired by Texas for right-hander Jason Frasor on July 16, 2014.
Ramirez, 26, has no record and a 4.50 ERA (3 ER/6.0 IP) in six relief appearances with the Cubs this season.
The Cubs today placed outfielder Matt Szczur on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain and selected the contract of outfielder Ryan Kalish from Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Kalish on the 40-man roster, infielder Christian Villanueva was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Kalish, who will wear uniform No. 51, will be available for the Cubs tonight as they continue their three-game series at the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 28-year-old Kalish returns to the Cubs after spending part of the 2014 campaign with the club. He batted .248 (30-for-121) with four doubles and four triples in 57 games that year, his most recent big-league action. He did not play during the 2015 season and signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs in March.
Kalish joins the Cubs after batting .368 (21-for-57) with four doubles and two triples in 20 games with Iowa. He posted a .471 on-base percentage and a .509 slugging percentage, good for a .980 OPS.
The left-handed batter and thrower was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the ninth round of the 2006 draft and made his big-league debut in 2010. In 146 big-league games with the Red Sox (2010, 2012) and Cubs (2014), Kalish is a career .245 hitter (93-for-380) with 18 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 34 RBI.
Szczur, 26, is batting .367 (11-for-30) with nine runs scored, one double, two homers and 10 RBI in 21 games with the Cubs this season.
Cubs at Angels — Angel Stadium
First Pitch: 9:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jon Lester, LHP
Angels Starter: Andrew Heaney, LHP
TV: CSN+; Radio: 670 The Score
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Kris Bryant, 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Jorge Soler, DH
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. Matt Szczur, LF
9. David Ross, C
The Chicago Cubs have assigned nine players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 45 to 36 players.
Nine non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: Right-handed pitchers Brandon Gomes, Jean Machi and Ryan Williams; infielders Jesus Guzman and Kris Negron; and outfielders Albert Almora, John Andreoli, Matt Murton and Juan Perez.
Chicago’s spring roster of 36 players consists of 19 pitchers (two non-roster invitees and one DL), four catchers (one non-roster invitee), eight infielders (one non-roster invitee) and five outfielders (one non-roster invitee).
The Chicago Cubs have assigned 11 players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 56 to 45 players.
Right-handed pitchers Carl Edwards Jr. and Pierce Johnson; left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser; infielder Arismendy Alcantara; and catcher Willson Contreras have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Infielder Jeimer Candelario has been optioned to Double-A Tennessee.
Five non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: right-handed pitchers Stephen Fife, Felix Pena and Drew Rucinski; left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos; and catcher Taylor Davis.
Chicago’s spring roster of 45 players consists of 22 pitchers (five non-roster invitees and one DL), four catchers (one non-roster invitee), 10 infielders (three non-roster invitees) and nine outfielders (five non-roster invitees).
The Cubs have assigned seven players to minor league camp, reducing their spring roster from 63 to 56 players.
Right-handed pitcher Andury Acevedo, left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch and infielder Dan Vogelbach have been optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
Four non-roster invitees have been assigned to minor league camp: Right-handed pitchers Jonathan Pettibone, Duane Underwood Jr. and Armando Rivero; and left-handed pitcher Jack Leathersich.
Chicago’s spring roster of 56 players consists of 29 pitchers (nine non-roster invitees and one DL), six catchers (two non-roster invitees), 12 infielders (three non-roster invitees) and nine outfielders (five non-roster invitees).
The Cubs have agreed to 2016 contract terms with 21 players on their 40-man roster with zero-to-three years of major-league service.
The following players have agreed to 2016 contract terms:
Right-handed pitchers Dallas Beeler, Aaron Brooks, Carl Edwards Jr., Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Spencer Patton and Neil Ramirez.
Left-handed pitchers Eric Jokisch, C.J. Riefenhauser and Zac Rosscup.
Catchers Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber.
Infielders Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jeimer Candelario, Tommy La Stella, Addison Russell, Christian Villanueva and Dan Vogelbach.
Outfielder Matt Szczur.
The Chicago Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler have agreed to terms on a 2016 contract with a mutual option for the 2017 campaign. To make room for Fowler on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Zac Rosscup has been placed on the 60-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.
Fowler, who turns 30 next month, returns to the Cubs after batting .250 (149-for-596) in 156 games and setting career highs in many offensive categories, including 102 runs scored, 17 home runs, 149 hits and 84 walks, which contributed to his .346 on-base percentage, 96 points above his batting average. He batted .272 (73-for-268) with a .389 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage, good for an .852 OPS, in 71 games after the All-Star Break to help lead the Cubs to the National League Championship Series.
The switch-hitter is a career .267 hitter with a .363 on-base percentage in all or part of eight major league seasons with the Colorado Rockies (2008-13), Houston Astros (2014) and Cubs (2015). Per 162 games, Fowler has averaged 29 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers, 20 stolen bases, 82 walks and a .418 slugging to contribute to a career .781 OPS. Including a .326 average (44-for-135) and .399 on-base percentage last year, Fowler is a career .303 hitter with a .392 on-base percentage when batting from the right side of the plate.
Fowler has exclusively played center field since his first full season in the big leagues in 2009, when he finished eighth in National League Rookie of the Year voting, and his 65 triples since 2009 lead all major leaguers covering the last seven seasons. He set the Rockies record for triples in a single season in 2010 (14) and again in 2011 (15), when he also recorded a career-high 35 doubles.
A native of Atlanta, Fowler was originally selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 14th round of the 2004 draft out of Milton (GA) High School.
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)
The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks from the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Chris Coghlan.
Brooks, 25, has pitched part of the last two seasons in the big leagues with Kansas City (2014-15) and Oakland (2015) after being selected by the Royals in the ninth round of the 2011 draft out of Cal-State San Bernardino. He was acquired by Oakland on July 28, 2015, as part of the trade that sent Ben Zobrist to the Royals. Brooks has gone 3-5 with an 8.38 ERA (54 ER/58 IP) in 15 big league appearances, including 10 as a starter.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander combined to go 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA (47 ER/118.2 IP) in 20 appearances, all but one as a starter, between Triple-A Omaha and Nashville last season. He struck out 103 batters and walked only 21 in 118.2 innings pitched, an average of 7.8 strikeouts and only 1.6 walks per nine innings. He turned in a 4.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Brooks has gone 43-32 with four complete games, one shutout, one save and a 4.18 ERA (302 ER/618 IP) in 113 career minor league appearances, 108 as a starter in five professional seasons. He is a native of Montclair, California.
Coghlan, 30, batted .250 (110-for-440) with 25 doubles, 16 homers and 41 RBI in 148 games for the Cubs last season. The former Rookie of the Year joined the Cubs prior to the 2014 campaign and has batted .268 (602-for-2,244) in 666 games with the Marlins (2009-13) and Cubs (2014-15).