Minor Information

Deals are being signed all over baseball as the one-month mark nears to when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. Most of the contracts being signed however are more of the Minor League variety. The Cubs made a signing of their own on Friday by inking utility man Tomas Perez. Several reports have indicated that Perez signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training to compete for a backup middle infielder spot on the roster.

The surprising news on Friday came from a report that ran on Inside the Ivy. Adam Harben underwent Tommy John Surgery this past off-season after being ineffective in the AFL. Harben was the player to be named later in the trade with the Twins for Phil Nevin.

Here is the rest from around the league, more on Adam Harben, a couple of former Cubs ink new deals, the latest on Darin Erstad and a few tidbits of useless info as well an upcoming date in Cubs’ History.

Adam Harben…. After making 3 starts for the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL this past fall Harben was “shut down as the result of elbow soreness” and had Tommy John Surgery in November. Harben was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and will attend camp as a part of a deal he made with the Cubs. Obviously Harben will just be rehabbing from surgery. The Cubs signed the 23-year old to a 1-year Minor League contract.

Darin Erstad…. According to a report on Rotoworld.com (their source being the official MLB site of the A’s) and discussed at length on XM Radio, the A’s have offered Erstad a 1-year contract. According to XM Radio, Erstad is supposed to make his decision about the A’s offer before the end of the weekend. Rotoworld stated Erstad may have the option to returning to Angels but probably on a Minor League contract.

Signings from around the league….

Richard Hidalgo signed a Minor League contract with the Houston Astros on Friday with the hopes of making the big league team out of Spring Training. The Cubs were rumored to be interested in Hidalgo earlier in the off-season.

Jerome Williams signed a 1-year deal with the Washington Nationals on Friday. Williams was acquired, along with David Aardsma, in the deal with the Giants that involved LaTroy Hawkins in 2005. Williams was released last season and picked up off the waiver wire by the Oakland A’s. The first-round pick has never fulfilled the promise he had entering the 1999 draft.

Alex S. Gonzalez inked his 1-year deal with the Kansas City Royals on Friday. The Minor League contract includes an invitation to Spring Training.

Juan Cruz avoided arbitration with the Diamondbacks by signing a 1-year deal on Friday.

This Week in Cubs History

January 16, 1916 – William Wrigley, Jr. became a minority shareholder in the Cubs ($50,000) when Charles Weeghman purchased the team from Charles P. Taft at the Majestic Club dinner held at Chicago’s Great Northern Hotel.

Look for This Week in Cubs History to return on Sunday after the Cubs Convention.

Useless Information

  • On August 21, 1975, while pitching for the Cubs, Rick and Paul Reuschel became the only brothers to pitch a combined shutout, 7-0 over the Dodgers.
  • On Opening Day, April 14, 1925, the first Cubs regular season game was broadcast on the radio, the Cubs beat the Pirates 8-2.
  • Babe Herman was the first Cub to hit 3 home runs in a game at Wrigley Field on July 20, 1933.

“Critics who spurn baseball as slow and tranquil, out of step with the violence which mars our times, fail to grasp its enormous impact on the masses. Baseball’s solitary grace is not obscured in a bedlam of bodies, or in a jarring crash near the goal, or in a madcap scramble near the backboard. Its grace exists to be seen, not clouded, and those who excel on the field or in the broadcast booth magnify that artistry.” – Curt Smith

Daily Transactions from ESPN

Daily Transactions from CBS SportsLine

Well, that’s the news and a bunch of other stuff, and I’m sticking to it!!

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver