The Chicago Cubs started their 2015 off season with a bang. Three members of the Cubs organization were nominated for awards, and all three of them walked away with some hardware. Kris Bryant was named the National League Rookie of the Year, collecting all the first place votes. Joe Maddon walked away with the National League Manager of the Year award as well, collecting 18 first place votes, 11 second place and one third place vote. Then we have Jake Arrieta who won the National League Cy Young award after a historic second half.
After collecting all the hardware the Cubs were given the chance to win, they now turn their attention to putting together their championship roster, which includes preparing their 40 man roster for the Rule 5 Draft.
While the Cubs have made a few minor moves, nothing significant has been done; at least not yet. They still have their sights set on a big name pitcher.
Arrieta was asked about recruiting Greinke to Cubs by @BillShaikin. Short answer: “A phone call will likely be made. We’d love to have him.”
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) November 19, 2015
Maddon is also ready to do his best to recruit players to the Cubs
“Of course, I’ll be involved in any kind of discussions that are going on,” Maddon said. “If I’m able to help in any way, of course, I’ll attempt to do that. I really haven’t had any conversations to this point. The guys (in the front office) have just been putting their thoughts together right now. “I love being involved. I love making those phone calls. (And) if you’re trying to recruit guys to Wrigley Field, it’s not a bad recruiting situation to be in.”
Two players most expect him to try and talk into joining the team are David Price and Ben Zobrist. Before you get too excited, I would not expect the Cubs to get both Grienke and Price no matter how compelling the recruitment speech is, that is just not financially feasible.; especially not with Arrieta himself nearing an extension. Either one though would be a welcome addition to the team. Theo Epstein also has interest in bringing back Jeff Samardzija back to the Cubs if the price is right, the two were seen together Wednesday night.
Not too many Cubs fans are too excited about this, for a few reasons. First he will cost the Cubs their first round pick (number 28), along with he had a very subpar season with the Chicago White Sox and that he made some rather disparaging comments about the Cubs which were obviously tongue in cheek.
In case you need reminding, at SoxFest he was asked why White Sox fans are better than Cubs fans. His response was
“Well, they actually pay attention to the games, right?”
What Cub fans need to remember is that he was at a White Sox Fan Fest, and he was playing up the rivalry and the stereotypes. To show that it was nothing more than a fun rivalry jab, he also said
“I’m just really happy and thankful to have a part in both (the Cubs and the Sox), to see how both of them work in the same city, and see the rivalry, see people that like both teams,” said Samardzija, who pitched for the Cubs for parts of seven seasons. “… It’s a great experience. I’m very blessed.”
Fans also think he is greedy for turning down the Cubs offer, but I am glad he did. Had he not, the Cubs would not have Addison Russell right now, and maybe not even Jon Lester. But I would welcome him back with open arms; at the right price of course.
Whether or not the Cubs are able to land either Price or Greinke, and maybe add on Samardzija, they grab at least one top pitcher this offseason, and maybe a second tier one as well.
This offseason just started, and things are already off to a great start. I have a feeling things are only going to get better from here on out. Opening Day cannot come soon enough!