Cubs

Cubs: Kris Bryant named NL rookie of the month

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Cubs: Kris Bryant named NL rookie of the month

Kris Bryant is starting to roll in the accolades in the big leagues.

The Cubs phenom was named the National League rookie of the month for May Wednesday. Bryant hit .265 in the month with a .369 on-base percentage and .510 slugging, hitting seven homers with 22 RBI in 28 games.

Bryant beat out Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson (nine homers, .860 OPS in May), among others, for the monthly honor.

"The awards are cool and all, but you don’t play the game for those," Bryant said.

[RELATED - Cubs tab Kyle Schwarber as minor league player of the month]

Bryant leads all MLB rookies in RBI and OBP this season and is in the Top 5 among NL rookies in average, homers, runs, hits, total bases, walks, steals and slugging percentage.

The 23-year-old is hitting .273/.387/.468 with seven homers, 33 RBI and 27 walks in 42 games in 2015.

“I’m just making adjustments pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat," Bryant said. "I’m really feeling comfortable right now, just getting used to the break of the pitches, the speed behind ‘em, the size of the stadiums. All that stuff is just starting to feel more natural to me."

 

Cubs free agent Nick Castellanos reportedly agrees to deal with Reds

Cubs free agent Nick Castellanos reportedly agrees to deal with Reds

Yesterday, it was reported that the Reds were the favorite to ink Cubs free agent right fielder Nick Castellanos. On Monday, it appears those two sides have reached an agreement on a multi-year deal, per The Athletic's C. Trent Rosencrans and Ken Rosenthal: 

Given the Cubs' desire to steer clear of the luxury tax in 2020, the odds of a reunion with Castellanos were always low. The club's recent signing of outfielder Steven Souza only furthered that belief.

To lose him to a divison rival, though, undoubtedly stings, especially considering the gumption with which the Reds have approached the offseason. Cincinnati has also notably added Mike Moustakas, Shogo Akiyama and Wade Miley this winter.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the deal is for $64 million over four years and added that the deal includes at least one opt-out.

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Reds are favorite to sign Cubs free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, report says

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USA TODAY

Reds are favorite to sign Cubs free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos, report says

The odds of a Cubs-Nick Castellanos reunion happening have seemed slim all offseason. Although they've been connected to him at various points this winter, bringing back the fan favorite right fielder would require some serious financial gymnastics for the North Siders.

With the Cubs cognizant of the luxury tax, the division rival Reds have emerged as the favorite to sign Castellanos, according to MLB insider Jon Morosi.

The Reds have emerged as the frontrunner to sign free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, one source said Sunday, and there are indications the sides have made progress over the past several days. While Cincinnati is now the favorite to sign Castellanos, the Giants also have negotiated with the 27-year-old in recent weeks.

Because of their desire to stay under the luxury tax in 2020, the Cubs have only made low-cost acquisitions this winter. They were penalized $7.6 million for eclipsing the threshold in 2019; if they do so in 2020, they'll be taxed 30 percent on their overages —  and see their 2021 draft pick drop 10 spots, if they go over the figure by $40 million.

At this point, the only realistic scenario where the Cubs re-sign Castellanos is if they shed salary. However, they've reportedly signed outfielder Steven Souza to a one-year deal, giving them five outfielders (along with Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward). That might be the biggest indicator of a reunion not being in the cards.

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