The Rundown — 12/3/16: Cubs Sign Duensing, Non-Tender Four Players

Here are today’s headlines for the Cubs and from around the MLB:

  1. The Cubs signed Brian Duensing to a 1 year $2 mil, contract. He is a lefty pitcher who has spent time with the Royals and Orioles organizations.
    • This is your typical low risk, low reward move; Duensing is okay as a LOOGY and has held LHH to a .614 OPS and .236 AVG throughout his career,
    • Duensing will be 34 on opening day and is coming off a year where he spent more time in the minors than majors.
  2. Yesterday was the deadline to tender contracts to players; the Cubs tendered contracts to Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop and Justin Grimm. They chose not to tender contracts to Zac Rosscup, Gerardo Concepcion, Conor Mullee and Christian Villanueva. The 40-man roster now sits at 35.
    • Some surprises on the non-tender side, but there is hope that they may be able to re-sign those players to minor league deals.
    • Concepcion was decent in limited appearances with the big league club and Christian Villanueva is so deeply blocked that he is better off seeking employment elsewhere.
  3. There were a few big names that were non-tendered that may interest the Cubs: Tyson Ross of the Padres and Welington Castillo and Rubby De La Rosa of the D-Backs.
    • Ross was one of those names that the Cubs were previously attached to in their pursuit of young pitching. He did have shoulder surgery (thoracic outlet), but it appears he may be ready by opening day or shortly thereafter. He should have a robust market though if teams feel he will be healthy.
    • I doubt a reunion is in order for the Cubs and Castillo, but De La Rosa is another young-ish pitcher (27 years old) who might benefit from a change of scenery and tutelage under Chris Bosio.
  4. LeBron James paid up on his bet with Dwyane Wade and showed up at the United Center in a full Cubs uniform.
  5. The Nationals brought back former catcher Derek Norris via a trade with the Padres. The Nats gave up 19-year-old righty Pedro Avila.
    • Norris was dreadful last year (.186/.255/.328) and the Nats are trying to replace Wilson Ramos (.307/.354/.496), who was a top offensive catcher in 2016. Who knows, maybe a return to a familiar place with help Norris.

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