(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Cubs have invited three additional non-roster players to major league Spring Training: outfielder Matt Murton, right-handed pitcher Ryan Williams and left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos, who today cleared waivers and will report to major league Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.
Murton will wear uniform No. 21, Williams will wear uniform No. 87, and Olmos will wear uniform No. 62. Left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser, who was claimed off waivers last week, will wear uniform No. 60.
Including players previously announced, here are the 21 non-roster invitees for the Cubs this spring:
12 pitchers: right-handed pitchers Stephen Fife, Brandon Gomes, Jean Machi, Felix Pena, Jonathan Pettibone, Armando Rivero, Drew Rucinski, Duane Underwood Jr. and Ryan Williams, as well as left-handed pitchers Luis Cruz, Jack Leathersich and Edgar Olmos.
Three infielders: Jesus Guzman, Munenori Kawasaki and Kristopher Negron.
Four outfielders: Albert Almora, John Andreoli, Matt Murton and Juan Perez.
Two catchers: Taylor Davis and Tim Federowicz.
(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
The Cubs claimed left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser off waivers from the Orioles Friday. To make room for Riefenhauser on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos has been designated for assignment.
Riefenhauser, 26, has spent parts of the last two seasons at the big league level with the Rays, going 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA (14 ER/20.0 IP) in 24 relief appearances. He was acquired by the Mariners as part of a six-player trade on Nov. 5, 2015, and acquired by the Orioles as part of a three-player deal on Dec. 2, 2015. He was designated for assignment on Feb. 4.
With Triple-A Durham last season, Riefenhauser went 4-2 with one save and a 2.86 ERA (11 ER/34.2 IP) in 29 relief appearances. He struck out 34 while walking only seven batters in 34.2 innings pitched, turning in a 0.92 WHIP.
The 6-foot, 195-pound southpaw was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 20th round of the 2010 Draft.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
ESPN continued its team unit rankings Tuesday, moving on to major league bullpens. And if the site’s estimations are any indication of how the 2016 season will play out, the Cubs and their fans should be quite pleased. The North Side organization came in at No. 5 on the list, tops among National League teams.
The bulk of the ninth inning work for the Cubs last season was done by Hector Rondon, who had 30 saves, but seven different relievers registered saves. The Cubs should again have bullpen depth, with holdovers Pedro Strop (81 strikeouts in 68 innings), Trevor Cahill, Justin Grimm, Travis Wood and Neil Ramirez and newcomers Adam Warren and Rex Brothers. Teams like the Yankees might have more dynamic options at the back end, but the Cubs might have more depth than any other team in baseball.
Much like the 2015 starters—as noted in yesterday’s post—advanced metrics rank the Cubs relievers quite favorably compared to their NL counterparts. The Cubs bullpen finished the year with a 5.0 WAR, according to fangraphs.com, tops in the league and fourth in all of baseball. Manager Joe Maddon didn’t plug players into specific roles, but more often favored matchups, even in the latter stages of games. The ‘pen’s 3.38 ERA and 1.23 WHIP were both good for fourth best in the NL. The sheer quantity of arms at Maddon’s disposal entering the season will benefit the club as they will have a deep pool of talent to choose from.
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty)
The Chicago Cubs today claimed left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles and released infielder Brendan Ryan from the roster. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina has been claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The club’s 40-man roster remains at 40 players.
Olmos, 25, was claimed off waivers by Chicago from Seattle on Dec. 4 before he was claimed off waivers by Baltimore on Dec. 10.
Olmos went 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA (7 ER/14.0 IP) in six appearances with the Mariners last season, including two starts. He spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Tacoma where he went 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA (13 ER/33.0 IP) in 20 games (two starts). The southpaw has a career 1-1 record with a 5.21 ERA (11 ER/19.0 IP) in 11 major league contests, as he made five appearances with the Marlins in 2013, his only other major league stint.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Olmos was originally selected by the Marlins in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California. He is 16-38 with a 4.44 ERA in 199 career minor league games (73 starts) over eight professional seasons.
Ryan, 33, was acquired from the Yankees on Dec. 17 to complete the trade in which the Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Adam Warren and a player to be named for infielder Starlin Castro.
Medina, 27, was designated for assignment on Dec. 17. He went 1-0 with a 4.71 ERA (11 ER/21.0 IP) in 17 relief appearances between Seattle and the Cubs last season.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
The Chicago Cubs today named John Baker to the role of baseball operations assistant.
Baker, 34, recently retired after 14 professional seasons as a catcher (2002-15), including the 2014 campaign with the Cubs. Overall, Baker played seven major league seasons with the Florida Marlins (2008-11), San Diego Padres (2012-13) and Cubs (2014).
In his new role, Baker will contribute to all elements within the club’s baseball operations department, including player development and scouting with an eye toward catching and mental skills. He will visit the club’s affiliates to work with the minor league players on and off the field, evaluate amateur players leading up to the draft, and spend time around the major league club among additional responsibilities and opportunities.
Baker was originally selected by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round of the 2002 draft out of the University of California, Berkeley and made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2008. He batted .247 (266-for-1,076) with 14 home runs and 120 RBI in 359 big league contests and went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/1.0 IP) in one career major league relief appearance.
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
The Cubs today acquired infielder Brendan Ryan from the Yankees as the player to be named in last week’s trade that sent infielder Starlin Castro to the Yankees for right-handed pitcher Adam Warren.
To make room for Ryan on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina has been designated for assignment.
Ryan, 33, is a career .234 hitter (603-for-2,578) with 116 doubles, 19 home runs and 203 RBI in 879 games with St. Louis (2007-10), Seattle (2011-13) and New York (2013-15). He batted .229 with the Yankees last year after being limited to 47 games due to multiple stints on the disabled list.
The versatile Ryan has seen action at every position in his big league career except for center field and catcher, seeing his most playing time at shortstop (705 games), second base (104 games) and third base (45 games). He led his league in defensive WAR in 2009 (3.2) and 2012 (3.6). Ryan won a Fielding Bible Award in 2012 as the best shortstop in the majors.
He was originally selected by St. Louis in the seventh round of the 2003 draft.
Medina, 27, went 1-0 with a 4.71 ERA (11 ER/21.0 IP) in 17 relief appearances between Seattle and the Cubs last season.
The Chicago Cubs today announced the club’s minor league coordinators for the 2016 season.
Tim Cossins returns for his fourth season as the organization’s minor league field and catching coordinator following 10 years in the Miami Marlins farm system, including the final six as the minor league catching coordinator. He was also a manager in the Marlins minor league system from 2003-07. Cossins began his coaching career in 2000 and in 2001-02 was the major league bullpen catcher for Kansas City. The former catcher played eight minor league seasons (1993-2000) in the Rangers, Yankees and Expos organizations.
Jim Brower enters his first year as the Cubs minor league pitching coordinator after spending the last three seasons as the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals Double-A affiliate, Northwest Arkansas. He served in the same role for two seasons at Single-A Kane County prior to joining Northwest Arkansas. Brower appeared in nine big league seasons, going 33-32 with a 4.67 ERA (298 ER/574.0 IP) and 397 strikeouts in 354 major league games (28 starts). The right-hander led the majors with 89 appearances in 2004 with San Francisco.
Andy Haines enters his first year as the Cubs minor league hitting coordinator after spending the last two years as manager of the Marlins Triple-A affiliate, New Orleans. In 2012, Haines led Single-A Jupiter to the Florida State League Championship Series, falling one game short of capturing the title. All told, Haines was a manager in the Marlins system for seven years, compiling a 449-467 (.490) record. Prior to joining the Marlins, he was the manager of the Windy City Thunderbolts of the independent Frontier League, going 68-28, in 2007.
Jose Flores returns for his fourth season as minor league infield coordinator and his 16th year as a coach or manager. Flores spent two seasons as manager of the Puerto Rico National baseball team (2011-12) and was a bench coach for Ponce Leones in the Puerto Rico Baseball League (2010). He handled similar duties for the Gaguas Criollos baseball club in 2008, the same year he managed the Cleveland Indians Dominican Summer League team. After playing six seasons in Houston’s minor league system (1990-95), he began his coaching career in the Puerto Rico Winter League (2001-06).
Doug Dascenzo begins his second year as the organization’s minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator. Dascenzo has 17 years of coaching experience following a career that saw him play in parts of seven seasons in the majors, including five with the Cubs from 1988-92. Prior to joining the Cubs, Dascenzo spent the previous three seasons with Atlanta, including serving as the third base coach for the major league club in 2014. After retiring from baseball, he coached in the Padres farm system from 1999-2011, including six seasons as a minor league manager.
Dave Keller enters his 31st season as a minor league coach or manager, his 13th year in the Cubs organization and his second as minor league Latin America field coordinator. He managed Single-A Daytona in 2013-14 and led the club to the 2013 Florida State League title after he served as Iowa’s hitting coach in 2012. In 2011, he was the Cubs major league staff assistant after seven years (2004-10) as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator. Keller was a major league staff assistant and bullpen catcher for Cleveland from 2001-03 following two years as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator. He managed in the minor leagues in the Cincinnati (1987-89), Cleveland (1990-94) and White Sox (1996) organizations, and was named the 1993 Carolina League Manager of the Year with Single-A Kinston. The former first baseman played in the Reds organization for three seasons (1982-84).
Mike Mason begins his third season as assistant pitching coordinator after spending the previous six years as Triple-A Iowa’s pitching coach. He has 24 years of coaching experience following a seven-year big league playing career with Texas (1982-87), the Cubs (1987) and Minnesota (1988). Prior to joining the Cubs, he served as Kansas City’s minor league pitching coordinator (2004-07), while also handling interim pitching coach duties at the major league level in 2004. Mason served as pitching coach for Philadelphia’s Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre club in 2002-03 after serving as Kansas City’s minor league pitching instructor the previous two seasons (2000-01). He began his coaching career in Kansas City’s minor league system from 1991-99.
Tom Beyers returns for his 17th season with the Cubs organization and his second as the minor league assistant hitting coordinator, following two seasons as Single-A Kane County’s hitting coach. He was the short-season hitting coordinator in 2012 following one season as the minor league hitting coordinator in 2011. Beyers joined the Cubs in 2000 and was a minor league manager or coach for 11 seasons, including manager of Single-A Boise in 2004, a season in which he led the club to the Northwest League title and earned league manager of the year honors. A former outfielder, he spent his first 21 seasons in professional baseball with the Dodgers as a player, coach or manager after he was selected by Los Angeles in the 15th round of the 1979 draft.
Josh Lifrak returns for his second season with the Cubs as the club’s director, mental skills program. He is tasked with the development, implementation and supervision of the Cubs mental skills training program for all levels of the organization. Prior to joining the Cubs, he spent 10 years as the Senior Mental Conditioning Consultant for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Lifrak earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island in 1994 and earned a Masters of Science, Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Psychology from Ithaca College in 2005.
Rey Fuentes begins his fourth season with the organization and second as Latin Coordinator, Mental Skills Program, following two years as cultural programs coordinator. In this role, he oversees all educational classes and mental skills programs for the Cubs Latin American players. Prior to joining the Cubs, he coached and taught physical education in the Orlando area. Fuentes graduated from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, in 2002 with a degree in Exceptional Student Education.
Darnell McDonald begins his second season as the organization’s mental skills program coordinator and will work with players throughout all levels of the farm system. McDonald served as a Cubs baseball operations assistant in 2014 following his retirement after 16 professional seasons. He was selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1997 draft and played for the Cubs in 2013.
Doug Jarrow begins his ninth season as Chicago’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. He previously spent five years in the Dodgers organization, including 2003-05 as the minor league strength and conditioning coordinator and 2006-07 as the major league strength coach. Jarrow began his career as a minor league strength and conditioning coach with Tampa Bay in 1998 and Pittsburgh in 1999.
Nick Frangella begins his 13th season with the organization and his third as head minor league athletic training and performance coordinator. He spent the previous two seasons as Triple-A Iowa’s athletic trainer.
Chuck Baughman enters his 16th year with the Cubs organization, his third season as assistant athletic training coordinator. He spent the previous eight seasons as a rehabilitation coordinator and joined the organization as Single-A Boise’s athletic trainer in 2001. His career in professional baseball began in 1999 when he was the athletic trainer for Single-A Clinton in Cincinnati’s system.
Rick Tronerud returns for his 21st year with the Cubs and his third as minor league rehab pitching coordinator. He spent the previous 13 seasons with Rookie League Mesa, serving as the club’s rehab pitching coach. Tronerud joined the organization in 1996 as the pitching coach at Rookie League Fort Myers after pitching (1972-81) and coaching (1982-89) in Oakland’s farm system.
The Chicago Cubs today announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for the 2016 season.
Team: Triple-A Iowa
Manager: Marty Pevey
Pitching Coach: Rod Nichols
Hitting Coach: Brian Harper
Assistant Coach: Leo Perez
Athletic Trainers: Shane Nelson, Sean Folan
Strength Coach: Ryan Clausen
Marty Pevey begins his fourth season as Triple-A Iowa’s manager after serving as Chicago’s catching coordinator for three seasons from 2010-12. Pevey served as the Single-A Peoria manager in 2009, his first season with the organization. He has a combined 32 years of professional experience (13 years as a player and 19 years as a manager, coach or coordinator) and was named the 2009 Midwest League co-Manager of the Year. Joining Pevey at Iowa will be newly hired pitching coach, Rod Nichols, who spent the last three years as the Philadelphia Phillies major league bullpen coach. The 2016 campaign will mark Nichols’ 17th season as a coach. Originally selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 1985 draft, he appeared in seven big league seasons, going 11-31 with a 4.43 ERA (203 ER/412.2 IP) in 100 games (48 starts). Brian Harper returns for his fourth season as Iowa’s hitting coach after managing Double-A Tennessee in 2011 and Single-A Daytona in 2012. A former catcher, Harper played 16 seasons in the majors with seven teams. Rounding out the coaching staff is former Cubs farmhand Leo Perez, who begins his eighth season as a coach in the organization and second with Iowa. Shane Nelson joins Iowa as the team’s athletic trainer after handling the same responsibility in Tennessee the past two seasons. Sean Folan is the club’s assistant athletic trainer after last year serving as Mesa’s minor league rehab athletic trainer and strength coach, while Ryan Clausen enters his third season as Iowa’s strength and conditioning coach.
Team: Double-A Tennessee Smokies
Manager: Mark Johnson
Pitching Coach: Terry Clark
Hitting Coach: Desi Wilson
Assistant Coach: Osmin Melendez
Athletic Trainer: Jon Fierro
Strength Coach: Mike Megrew
Mark Johnson begins his first season as Tennessee’s manager after last season guiding Myrtle Beach to its first Carolina League Championship since 2000. Under Johnson, the Pelicans finished the regular season with an 81-57 mark, the best record in the Carolina League. In 2014, Johnson helped the Kane County Cougars win 91 games and record a .650 winning percentage, the highest winning mark of any full-season team. The 2016 season will mark Johnson’s sixth in the Cubs organization. Terry Clark begins his first season with the organization after spending the last two as the minor league pitching coordinator for the Seattle Mariners. In 2002, he guided the Double-A Akron pitching staff to an Eastern League-leading 3.09 ERA. Clark appeared in parts of six big league seasons, going 10-23 with one save and a 5.54 ERA (143 ER/232.2 IP) in 91 games. Desi Wilson, entering his ninth season with the organization, returns as the hitting coach for a fourth year after handling the same duties at Daytona in 2012. Osmin Melendez joins as an assistant coach after serving in a similar role last season with Single-A South Bend. Jon Fierro, in his fifth year with the organization, is the team’s athletic trainer, and Mike Megrew enters his third season as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
Team: High-A Myrtle Beach
Manager: Buddy Bailey
Pitching Coach: Anderson Tavarez
Hitting Coach: Mariano Duncan
Assistant Coach: Juan Cabreja
Athletic Trainer: Toby Williams
Strength Coach: Jason Morriss
Buddy Bailey takes over as the manager of Single-A Myrtle Beach after spending the last four seasons as Tennessee’s manager, going 290-266 (.521). Bailey spent three years as Daytona’s skipper prior to joining the Smokies and helped the team to the 2011 Florida State League championship. Next season will mark Bailey’s 28th year as a manager and his 11th with the organization. Handling pitching coach duties at Myrtle Beach will be Anderson Tavarez, who served as Single-A Eugene’s pitching coach last season. Prior to joining Eugene, Tavarez spent two years with Rookie League Mesa. Tavares played in the Cubs system from 2000-05 and worked as a pitching coach with the Cubs Dominican Summer League team from 2007-12. Mariano Duncan returns for his fourth season as the club’s High-A hitting coach after serving the previous two campaigns as Tennessee’s hitting coach (2011-12). The 12-year major league veteran (1985-87, 1989-97) joined the Cubs in 2011 after spending the previous five seasons (2006-10) as the Dodgers major league first base coach. Juan Cabreja is the team’s assistant coach after serving as the Dominican Cubs manager in 2014-15. Toby Williams begins his third year as a trainer in the Cubs organization and his first with Myrtle Beach after serving as the trainer in Mesa last season. Jason Morriss enters his fourth season in the organization, second with Myrtle Beach, as a strength and conditioning coach.
Team: Single-A South Bend
Manager: Jimmy Gonzalez
Pitching Coach: David Rosario
Hitting Coach: Guillermo Martinez
Assistant Coach: Ricardo Medina
Athletic Trainer: Mike McNulty
Strength Coach: Ed Kohl
Jimmy Gonzalez begins his third season as a manager in the organization and his second with Single-A affiliate South Bend. Gonzalez made his managerial debut in 2014 with Rookie League Mesa after serving as hitting coach with the club in 2013. A former catcher, he played 14 minor league seasons after he was selected in the first round of the 1991 draft by Houston. Handling pitching coach duties at South Bend will be David Rosario, who begins his 12th year in the Cubs system. Rosario served in the same role with Myrtle Beach last season. Guillermo Martinez begins his third season as a coach in Chicago’s organization and first as a hitting coach with South Bend. He spent last season as a coach with Double-A Tennessee. Ricardo Medina joins South Bend as the team’s assistant coach and has been with the Cubs organization since 1999 as a coach, manager or scout. Mike McNulty joins South Bend as the team’s athletic trainer after serving in the same role last season with Eugene. Ed Kohl enters his sixth year in the organization and his second as South Bend’s strength and conditioning coach.
Team: Low-A Eugene
Manager: Jesus Feliciano
Pitching Coach: Brian Lawrence
Hitting Coach: Ty Wright
Assistant Coach: Gary Van Tol
Athletic Trainer: Logan Severson
Strength Coach: Ryan Nordtvedt
Jesus Feliciano begins his third season as a coach in Chicago’s organization and his first as a manager with Eugene. He spent last season as South Bend’s hitting coach and enjoyed a 16-year playing career from 1998-2013, including action in 54 games with the Mets in 2010. Joining the staff at Eugene will be pitching coach, Brian Lawrence, who enters his first season as Eugene’s pitching coach after serving in the same role with South Bend in 2015. Lawrence made his coaching debut in 2012 in the Independent Frontier League and spent 2013 as the pitching coach of Single-A Lake Elsinore in the Padres system. The former right-hander went 50-63 with a 4.19 ERA during a six-year big league career with the Padres and Mets. Ty Wright, who spent seven years as an outfielder in the Cubs minor league system, is the team’s hitting coach after serving as a coach with Mesa last year. Gary Van Tol will serve as a coach after spending the last three seasons as Eugene’s manager. Logan Severson begins his first season as the athletic trainer in Mesa after interning with Triple-A Iowa in 2012. Ryan Nordtvedt enters his fourth season in the organization and his second as Eugene’s strength and conditioning coach.
Team: Mesa Rookie League
Manager: Carmelo Martinez
Pitching Coach: Ron Villone
Hitting Coaches: Jeremy Farrell, Chris Valaika
Athletic Trainer: TBD
Rehab Coach: Lance Rymel
Carmelo Martinez enters his 19th season in the organization and begins his second-straight season as manager with Mesa after also serving in the role from 1999-2003, and again in 2006. Martinez previously served as the Cubs Latin America field coordinator for six seasons and played in the majors from 1983-91 with the Cubs, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Royals and Reds. Ron Villone begins his fifth season as a coach in the Cubs organization and second with Mesa. A former left-handed pitcher, he played in all or part of 15 major league seasons from 1995-2009 with 12 teams. Jeremy Farrell and Chris Valaika are the team’s hitting coaches. Farrell, the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell, begins his first season as a coach after a seven-year minor league career. Valaika, who played in 99 major league games with the Reds (2010-11), Marlins (2013) and Cubs (2014), begins his first year as a coach in the organization. Lance Rymel, a former catcher selected by the Cubs in the 28th round of the 2012 Draft, is in his first season as Mesa’s rehab coach.
Team: Dominican Rookie League 1
Manager: Claudio Almonte
Pitching Coach: Eduardo Villacis, Jose Cueto
Hitting Coach: Carlos Ramirez
Assistant Coach: Antonio Valerio, Jovanny Rosario
Athletic Trainer: Jose Alvarez
Strength Coach: Tomas Sanchez, Amaury Gonzalez
Claudio Almonte is the manager of the Cubs first of two Dominican League teams after serving as the team’s hitting coach the previous two seasons. Eduardo Villacis is the team’s pitching coach after serving in the same role with the Venezuela League team last year. Jose Cueto, who spent four seasons in the Cubs farm system from 1999-2001 and 2004, joins the organization as the team’s assistant pitching coach. Carlos Ramirez joins the organization as the team’s hitting coach, while Antonio Valerio and Jovanny Rosario will serve as assistant coaches. Jose Alvarez begins his third season as the club’s athletic trainer, and Tomas Sanchez enters his third season as the team’s strength coach. Sanchez will be joined by Amaury Gonzalez, who joins the organization as a strength coach.
Team: Dominican Rookie League 2
Manager: Pedro Gonzalez
Pitching Coach: Armando Gabino
Hitting Coach: Franklin Blanco
Assistant Coach: Carlos Rojas
Athletic Trainer: Arnoldo Goite
Strength Coach: Manny Estrada
Pedro Gonzalez is in his first year at the helm of the second Dominican League club after managing the Venezuela Cubs the previous two campaigns. Armando Gabino enters his second season as a pitching coach in the organization after a playing career that saw him pitch in seven games over two seasons with the Twins and Orioles. Franklin Blanco will be the club’s hitting coach and is in his 10th season with the organization. Carlos Rojas joins the organization as an assistant coach following a 10-year minor league career as an infielder from 2003-12, including 2003-07 in the Cubs farm system. Arnoldo Goite enters his third year in the organization and his first as an athletic trainer for the Dominican club. Manny Estrada enters his second full season as a strength and conditioning coach in the organization.
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The Cubs and outfielder Jason Heyward have agreed to terms on an eight-year contract through the 2023 campaign.
Heyward, 26, joins the Cubs as a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and 2010 National League All-Star and Rookie of the Year runner-up who has qualified for the postseason in four of his first six major league campaigns with the Braves (2010-14) and Cardinals (2015). The left-handed batter and thrower has averaged 31 doubles, four triples, 19 home runs, 68 RBI, 72 walks and 17 stolen bases per 162 games, turning in a .268 batting average with a .353 on-base percentage, .431 slugging percentage and .784 OPS in 835 major league games.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Heyward has consistently ranked as one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball. He won Gold Glove Awards in 2012, 2014 and 2015 and has made multiple top 10 finishes in outfield assists (including leading all right fielders in 2012 and 2014), putouts as a right fielder (first in 2012 and 2014), fielding percentage and defensive WAR.
Heyward set career highs in several offensive categories last year with St. Louis, including a .293 batting average, 33 doubles, 160 hits and 23 stolen bases in 154 games, his most since playing in a career-best 158 games in 2012. He posted a .359 on-base percentage, his best mark since his career-best .393 on-base percentage in his rookie season, while his .797 OPS was his best since 2012. His 6.5 WAR ranked fifth among all National League position players, and he captured his third Gold Glove in the last four years.
Selected by Atlanta in the first round (14th overall) of the 2007 draft, Heyward made his major league debut three years later, connecting for a three-run homer in his first-career plate appearance against the Cubs on Opening Day, April 5, 2010. His rookie campaign featured an All-Star selection, though he did not play due to injury, and an .849 OPS, the second-best OPS by a National League rookie since 2010 (behind only Kris Bryant’s .858 mark in 2015). Heyward was named NL Rookie of the Month in April and May and ranked fourth in the league with a .393 on-base percentage.
Heyward set a career high with 27 home runs, 82 RBI, 93 runs scored and six triples in 158 games with the Braves in 2012, also winning his first Gold Glove Award. He capped his Braves career in 2014 with another Gold Glove before being traded to St. Louis on Nov. 17, 2014 as part of the four-player deal that sent pitcher Shelby Miller to the Braves.
Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, Heyward graduated from Henry County High School in McDonough, Georgia and turned down a scholarship from UCLA to sign with the Braves out of high school. Heyward’s father, Eugene, played basketball collegiately at Dartmouth University.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
The Cubs and right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill have agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
Cahill, 27, went 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA (4 ER/17.0 IP) in 11 relief appearances with the Cubs last season after signing a minor league deal with the club on Aug. 18 and having his contract selected on Sept. 1. While with the Cubs, he limited batters to a .143 average, a .226 on-base percentage and a .268 slugging percentage for a .494 OPS against. Cahill turned in a 0.76 WHIP and struck out 22 batters in 17.0 innings, for an average of 11.6 per nine innings. In the postseason, he saw action in six games and went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA (2 ER/5.1 IP), fanning eight in 5.1 frames.
The right-hander broke into the big leagues with Oakland in 2009 and was an 18-game winner a season later, going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 30 starts while earning AL All-Star honors along the way. Overall, Cahill won 10 or more games in four straight seasons (2009-12) and is 65-72 with one save and a 4.13 ERA in 212 major league outings (39 in relief) with Oakland (2009-11), Arizona (2012-14), Atlanta (2015) and the Cubs.
Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.