Ramirez drawing interest from Brewers

577474.png

Ramirez drawing interest from Brewers

As the world turns, waiting to see if Albert Pujols would ever give any actual thought to coming to Chicago -- and whether Theo Epstein and Co. would ever give any actual thought at inking the slugger to a nine-year megadeal -- the Cubs could still face some bad blood in the NL Central.

Reports have come out that the Brewers and Aramis Ramirez are entertaining interest in each other.

FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted Thursday:

embedly_twitter_1492938background:url(http:a2.twimg.comprofile_background_images54604124Foxsports_background.png) C0DEED; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_1492938 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_1492938 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_1492938 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_1492938 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_1492938 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_1492938 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_1492938 p a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_1492938 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_1492938 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_1492938 a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_1492938 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_1492938 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_1492938 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_1492938 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_1492938 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_1492938 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_1492938 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @Ken_Rosenthal
Ken RosenthalSources tell me and @jonmorosi: A. Ramirez visited Angels, offer likely coming. Brewers have also inquired. MLB
Dec 02 via Twitter for MacFavoriteRetweetReply

And now Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is getting in on the act:

embedly_twitter_70002473background:url(http:a0.twimg.comimagesthemestheme1bg.png) C0DEED; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_70002473 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_70002473 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_70002473 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_70002473 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_70002473 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_70002473 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_70002473 p a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_70002473 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_70002473 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_70002473 a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_70002473 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_70002473 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_70002473 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_70002473 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_70002473 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_70002473 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_70002473 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @Haudricourt
TomBrewers Doug Melvin on his interest in Aramis Ramirez: "He has expressed interest in us, too. Thats something I always like to hear."
Dec 02 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

The apparent talk is of having Ramirez play third in Milwaukee with former Cub prospect Casey McGehee splitting time with Mat Gamel at first base in place of Prince Fielder.

Ramirez would fill some of the hole left in the offense by Fielder's departure and provide "protection" (you know that, always-popular term that sabermetricians generally hate) in the lineup for NL MVP Ryan Braun.

If this really happens, should the Cubs respond by signing Fielder?

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

tysonross12916.png
AP

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces of the offseason puzzle as the Cubs try to defend their World Series title while still planning for the future.

The Cubs left this week’s winter meetings in Maryland still involved in the Ross talks, sources said, monitoring an intriguing pitcher they had targeted before the 2015 trade deadline.

The San Diego Padres didn’t really buy or sell during that pennant race and made another curious decision last week when they didn’t offer Ross a contract for 2017. MLB Trade Rumors projected Ross would have made $9.6 million during his final year in the arbitration system.

After issues involving his right shoulder wiped out almost his entire season, Ross underwent surgery in October to address thoracic outlet syndrome.

Ross was San Diego’s Opening Day starter during a 15-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but didn’t pitch again, clouding a future that once had him looking like a trade-deadline chip and one of the best pitchers in the free-agent class after the 2017 season.

That’s when Jake Arrieta will be looking for his megadeal and John Lackey might be in retirement and Jon Lester will be turning 34. That’s why the Cubs are so focused on pitching this winter and trying to balance out an organization tilted toward hitters.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your World Series champions gear right here]

Kyle Hendricks proved he will be a pitcher to build around – and the Cubs believe Mike Montgomery can evolve from a swingman into a fifth starter and maybe something far more valuable – but depth is a real issue.

Ross made 30-plus starts in 2014 and 2015, when he earned an All-Star selection and accounted for almost 400 innings combined. He will turn 30 in April and is seen as a positive force within the clubhouse. He has a 6-foot-6 frame, a second-round-pick pedigree and a Cal-Berkeley education.

Reports have already linked the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates to Ross and not completely ruled out a return to San Diego. During an offseason where the free-agent market is essentially devoid of reliable frontline starters, there could be sticker shock, even with a rehabbing pitcher.

Trading for Wade Davis meant the Cubs were out of the bidding for Greg Holland, another All-Star closer who helped turn the Kansas City Royals into World Series champions. Holland spent this year recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but he will still be in position to capitalize after Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman and eventually Kenley Jansen reset the market for closers.

With Ross, the Cubs will have to get a better sense of the medical picture and the price for all that upside.

Beyond a winning culture, the Cubs can sell the pitching infrastructure that helped turn Arrieta into a Cy Young Award winner and transform Hendricks into an ERA leader and keep the rotation remarkably healthy.

“Those really talented pitchers are going to be in demand, even those that are coming off an injury,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said this week at National Harbor. “We’ll stay engaged on some of those guys, but they’ll have to be just the right talent.

“We’ll have to feel good about the medical and the return to play. And the fit on the club would have to be right, too. But the true elite guys have a real market, even if they’re coming off down seasons.”

Cubs' MVP Kris Bryant signs multi-year extension with Adidas

kbryantcubs.png
USA TODAY

Cubs' MVP Kris Bryant signs multi-year extension with Adidas

Kris Bryant just keeps on winning in 2016.

Two months after leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years, Bryant signed a multi-year extension with Adidas.

"It's a phenomenal time to be partnered with Adidas with all the energy and momentum that the brand has right now," Bryant said via a press release. "Adidas embraced me as part of the family from the start."

Bryant was named National League MVP after hitting .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs. He hit .308 with three homers and 8 RBIs in the postseason.

Bryant first signed with Adidas in 2014 after the Cubs made him the No. 2 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.