From Bob Nightengale of USA Today comes word that Jim Hendry’s job as the Cubs’ general manager is safe, barring a sudden change of thinking on the part of ownership.
Hendry has dished out poor contract after poor contract since taking the helm in Chicago back in July of 2002, but he’s apparently gained the trust of the Ricketts family and will remain the Cubs’ primary decision-maker heading into what should be an active free agency period.
Over $30 million in salary will be dropped from the Cubs’ payr0ll when the 2011 regular season ends. It was widely assumed that the Ricketts, who bought the team last year, would inject fresh faces into the front office to handle the spending of that freed-up cash. But now it appears as though Hendry will remain in power.
Hendry did share a hug in May with this winter’s most coveted free agent, current Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. Perhaps the Cubs are planning a hard charge for baseball’s best hitter.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.