Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post is hearing that Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is “definitely” on the Cubs’ wish list for their vacant general manager position. We’ve heard a ton of names surface as potential candidates since Jim Hendry was fired two weeks ago, so I’m beginning to think the Cubs just love everyone.
Anyway, Rizzo grew up in Chicago and still has some family in the area, but shot down any speculation that he could be interested in the job.
“I grew up on Waveland Avenue for 30 years, right down the street from the ballpark,” Rizzo said. “And there’s nowhere I’d rather be than the Washington Nationals right now, with where we’re at and what we’re doing and the commitment that the Lerners have shown to me. They’re my hometown team. They were my team growing up. I went to many, many games there. But this is the place I need to be.”
Rizzo signed a five-year extension last offseason, so this probably isn’t a realistic scenario in the first place, but he would be out of his mind to leave now. The National League East doesn’t figure to be an easy place to win any time soon, but after being lucky enough to draft Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in consecutive seasons and spending over $17 million in bonuses in this year’s draft class, Rizzo has laid the groundwork for a perennial contender. You know, as long as you can overlook the Jayson Werth thing.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.