Cubs manager David Ross gets extension through 2024

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MESA, Ariz. – Chicago Cubs manager David Ross and the team agreed Friday to a contract extension through the 2024 season that includes a club option for 2025.

In the two years since he was hired to replace Joe Maddon, Ross is 105-117 with one playoff appearance.

He helped the team wade through the challenges brought on by the pandemic in 2020, leading Chicago to a 34-26 record and the NL Central championship in a shortened season before getting swept in two games by Miami in the wild-card series. Last season, the Cubs were in first place before going into a slump that led to the dismantling of their core and a 71-91 record.

Chicago went from leading the division at 42-33 after Zach Davies and the bullpen combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24 to dropping the next 11 games. That convinced president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to break up the group that helped lead Chicago to a World Series championship in 2016 and its first title in 108 years.

Kris Bryant was traded to San Francisco, Anthony Rizzo was sent to the New York Yankees and Javier Baez was dealt to the New York Mets prior to the July 30 deadline rather than risk losing them as free agents. And Chicago finished with its worst record since winning 66 games in 2013.

Ross, who turns 45 next week, was entering the final guaranteed season of a three-year deal that included a club option for 2023.

A catcher, Ross played 15 seasons in the majors. He was on championship teams with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 and the Cubs three years later.

Mariners add depth acquiring IF/OF Nick Solak from Reds

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE – The Mariners acquired infielder/outfielder Nick Solak from the Cincinnati Reds on Friday for cash.

Solak was designated for assignment by the Reds on Thursday. Seattle had an open spot on its 40-man roster and assigned Solak to Triple-A Tacoma.

Before this season, the 28-year-old Solak spent his entire big league career with Texas. He appeared in 253 games over parts of the past four seasons with the Rangers. Solak’s most productive season came in 2021 when he appeared in 127 games and hit .242 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs. Solak spent almost all of that season at second base but also played left field, center field and third base in his time with the Rangers.

Solak was a second-round pick by the New York Yankees in the 2016 amateur draft. His acquisition is likely a depth move for Seattle to stash a player with experience in the majors at Triple-A in case injuries arise.