Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Happy Halloween, kiddies. Remember: let an adult check your candy first. And if they take a little for themselves, well, that’s just the cost of doing business. Best Halloween candy? For me, it’s too close to call between the Take Five bar and the Nutrageous.

  • Justin Germano has refused his assignment to AAA Iowa, and is now a free agent. I mentioned last week when the Cubs outrighted a number of players off the 40-man roster that some of the more veteran types (who’ve accumulated a certain amount of service time, or who have been outrighted once before in their career) might elect to refuse the assignment, as Manny Corpas did. Germano, 30, had a weak stretch to close the year in the Cubs rotation after a decent start. In all, he made 12 starts with the Cubs, putting up a 6.75 ERA and a 1.563 WHIP (2.37 K/BB) over his time with the Cubs. He’ll look for a minor league deal with another team this offseason (or possibly return to the Cubs) where he feels he’ll have a shot to break back through to the bigs next year.
  • Darwin Barney was ever humble when interviewed about his first Gold Glove last night, while still offering genuine excitement. “You don’t expect to pass a guy like Brandon Phillips,” Barney said. “He’s exceptional at what he does. He was the best in the game for a long time, and I can’t sit here and say I’m better than him or anything like that. I had a good season and I think either of us could’ve won it. Fortunately for me, I did. He very easily could have won just as easily as I could.”

  • Barney’s win is likely to continue to inspire Starlin Castro to become a better defender.
  • Although the Cubs have added Derek Johnson as the new minor league pitching coordinator, they’re still looking for a hitting counterpart. That role used to be filled by James Rowson, who is now the Cubs’ hitting coach. Tom Beyers filled in for Rowson, but he’ll be a minor league hitting coach next year.
  • The Cubs just lost (or let go?) one of their top international scouts. Tim Kissner has departed as a crosschecker with the Cubs in favor of the Director of International Operations job with the Mariners. Given all the turnover of late, it’s fair to guess that this departure was mutual, though it’s obviously a promotion. Kissner was involved in the Cubs’ efforts in the Pacific Rim.

  • Doug Padilla says all indications are that Javier Baez will open the 2013 season in Daytona, which is what I’ve been expecting as well. He’ll have the opportunity to make the jump to AA early if he shows that he’s ready.
  • The MLBullets at BCB dig into the Gold Gloves, and a ridiculous article about the Giants’ success being built solely on the back of scouting.

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