David Price plays catch for second consecutive day

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David Price is suddenly making steady progress.

According to beat writer Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, the ace left-hander played catch for a second straight day this afternoon at Tropicana Field. He made 35 throws Monday morning from 60 feet and then threw another 35 from 65-75 feet on Tuesday, reporting no problems in either workout.

Price was placed on the disabled list May 16 after suffering a left triceps strain in the third inning of his May 15 start vs. Boston. He wound up allowing four runs in that outing and currently owns a 5.24 ERA on the season. The hope is he’ll be able to return in mid-to-late June and begin chipping away at that number.

Price won the American League Cy Young Award in 2012 after posting a 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205/59 K/BB ratio across 211 innings. The 27-year-old owns a 3.29 ERA in over 841 career major league frames.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”