Cubs, Reds lock up future ahead of clash
CINCINNATI -- The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, who both made moves impacting their future on Friday, will face each other for the second-to-last time this season on Saturday at Great American Ball Park.
Manager Joe Maddon believes continuity is the key to sustained success for the Cubs franchise. So, he was pleased to see general manager Jed Hoyer and scouting and VP scouting and player development Jason McLeod get their contracts extended through 2021 on Friday.
"It's a great infrastructure," Maddon said. "It's nice to keep the band together. Continuity is very important. There are strong relationships. Everyone trusts one another."
The moves for Hoyer and McLeod came two days after president of baseball operations Theo Epstein's contract was extended. Terms were not disclosed for that deal.
"Jed and Jason are simply the best at what they do and have played fundamentally important leadership roles in helping the Cubs build a healthy and thriving organization," said Epstein. "We feel honored to have the stability and support that we enjoy throughout Baseball Operations and look forward to many years of working together in Chicago."
Hoyer and McLeod joined the Cubs on Nov. 1, 2011, and, along with Epstein, helped lead the organization's overhaul which resulted in a 40-win improvement from year one in 2012 to today. This season, Chicago became just the third team in major league history to win at least 100 games within four years of a 100-loss season.
Also on Friday, Cincinnati made a move to secure its immediate future and bolster its rebuilding process when manager Bryan Price's contract was extended through 2017 with a club option for '18.
"We've been talking about it (a new contract) since the last homestand. It just took some time just working out the terms of the contract." Price said. "There is a mutual desire to stay connected. For me it's been an unbelievable opportunity. It is a storied franchise. I have really enjoyed my coaches and my team."
On Saturday, left-hander Jon Lester will make his final regular season start for the Cubs, and looking to carry some momentum into the playoffs.
With a victory, Lester (19-4, 2.28) will reach 20 wins in a season for the first time in his career. He's 1 1/3 innings shy of 2,000 for his career IP and 2 1/3 innings shy of 200 for the season. All four of his starts against Cincinnati this season have been quality starts.
The Reds will send right-hander Tim Adleman to the mound on Saturday. He's making his 13th career appearance and start, his ninth since being promoted from Triple-A Louisville. Adleman is among 12 Reds players to make their major league debut this season.
With their 7-3 win on Friday night in the series opener, the Cubs (102-57) improved to 14-3 this season against the Reds, including an 8-2 mark at Great American Ball Park.