The Rundown: Fowler Open to Extension, Early Draft Look, Guillermo Heredia Leaves Cuba
With only one year left on his contract, new Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler may merely be a rental. But would the Cubs consider signing Fowler to an extension?
He, for one, would be open to the idea, as Fowler said on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday.
Obviously, Fowler saying he’d be “open” to an extension doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. We’ll have to wait and see how he fares this season, but if he has a great year I could see the Cubs keeping him around — or at least extending a qualifying offer that could net a compensatory draft pick if he goes elsewhere.
The development of Theo Epstein’s first Cubs draft pick, outfielder Albert Almora, also could play a role.
For now, Fowler does sound genuinely excited to be on the Cubs, which is cool.
Looking at the draft and Moncada
Is it too early to be excited for the 2015 draft? Probably. But Patrick Mooney takes a very early look at who the Cubs could be looking at, with some good quotes from Cubs president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod.
McLeod said the draft appears to be heavy on pitching, and specifically mentions LHP Brady Aiken, who Houston drafted No. 1 overall last year out of high school but was unable to sign.
Mooney says the Cubs had Aiken at the top of their draft board last year, so I’d assume they’d still be interested if he’s available when the Cubs draft ninth in 2015. It’s not clear where Aiken will be playing this spring, McLeod said, with an academy in Florida and a San Diego junior college as possibilities.
Mooney also touches on the Cubs’ interest in Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada, detailing much of what we’ve heard before: The Cubs are very interested, but won’t be able to sign him until July 2. June 15 is the magic date though — if the exciting 19-year-old Cuban infielder hasn’t signed by then, the Yankees and Red Sox will be out.
* Peter Gammons tweeted yesterday that MLB could move the draft from early June to July 1. This would be an interesting change that would better align the draft with the end of the college season. However, Baseball America’s John Manuel says these talks are preliminary, and such a change would have to be collectively bargained.
* Guillermo Heredia, a Cuban center fielder known for his defense, will be seeking an MLB contract, according to Ben Badler. Heredia was teammates with outfielder Jorge Soler in 2009.