Cubs don't tender qualifying offers to four free agents
Baker may return; Wrigley to host Northwestern women's lacrosse April 26
CHICAGO -- As expected, the Cubs did not make qualifying offers on Monday to any of their four free agents: Scott Baker, Kevin Gregg, Matt Guerrier and Dioner Navarro. Now the team has to decide whether to bring any of them back.
Baker, 32, may be interested in returning after spending all of the 2013 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. When he signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Cubs last November, the team held a news conference at Wrigley Field and made it clear the right-hander was the type of pitcher they'd like to have in the rotation.
Guerrier, 35, was acquired from the Dodgers in the Carlos Marmol deal, and his season ended Aug. 8 after 15 games because of right elbow soreness. He could sign a Minor League deal.
Gregg, 35, posted his third career 30-save season, stepping in when Carlos Marmol struggled and Kyuji Fujikawa was injured. However, Gregg's season ended on an ugly note after some miscommunication about his role and the Cubs' desire to look at Pedro Strop in save situations.
Navarro, 29, batted .300 with a career-high 13 home runs, and filled the No. 4 spot in the batting order after Alfonso Soriano was traded. Navarro accepted his role, but may try to take advantage of his season and lobby for more playing time. The Cubs are committed to Welington Castillo as their regular catcher.
• In a procedural move on Monday, the Cubs activated pitchers Fujikawa and Arodys Vizcaino and infielder Mat Gamel from the disabled list. The Cubs' roster is now at 37.
Fujikawa underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June. Vizcaino has been slow to recover from the procedure on his right elbow, which he had March 20, 2012. The Cubs claimed Gamel off waivers from the Brewers at the end of the regular season. Sidelined with a torn ACL in his right knee, he has not appeared in a Major League game since May 1.
• Wrigley Field will be the site of a women's lacrosse match when seven-time NCAA champion Northwestern plays host to USC on April 26. The match will be played at 7 p.m. CT, and is part of a reciprocal marketing partnership announced by the Cubs and Northwestern earlier this year.
This will be the first women's college match ever played at Wrigley Field, and the first women's sporting event since the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League played a doubleheader in 1944.
Last spring, Northwestern and USC met at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a match.
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased starting Thursday online at tickets.com or by contacting the Cubs or Northwestern ticket offices.
The Northwestern baseball team played at Wrigley on April 20 this year and the Wildcats played the first college football game at the ballpark in 2010.
Obama wants Cubs title before he leaves office
President Barack Obama put a little pressure on the Cubs to win a World Series in the next three years. During the Blackhawks' visit to the White House on Monday to celebrate their 2013 Stanley Cup championship, Obama invited the other Chicago teams to the nation's capital.
"To the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, White Sox -- I am term-limited, so you guys have got to get moving," Obama said. "I need to see you here soon. Championships belong in Chicago."
Obama's term in office runs through 2016.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.