Now that Theo Epstein is officially the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, he can formally begin the process of getting two of his buddies to join him in Chicago.
According to Dan Hayes of the North County Times, the Cubs have received permission from the Padres to speak with general manager Jed Hoyer and assistant general manager Jason McLeod. They are expected to take on the same roles in Chicago while Josh Byrnes will be promoted to GM in San Diego.
As for compensation, Hayes hears that the Padres have a “pre-agreed” list of players to choose from for losing Hoyer and McLeod. There will also be an agreement in place to prevent any further raiding of the Padres’ front office, which is similar to an agreement with the Red Sox two years ago when Hoyer left for San Diego.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
As the D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.