Cubs Notes from the First Day of Baseball’s Off-Season

It was a busy first day of the off-season throughout baseball. Several teams picked up players’ options while some teams passed on picking up options on a few notable players. Nearly 150 players became free agents on Monday and are eligible to sign with any club beginning Saturday, November 3 at 12:01am EST (Friday – 11:01 CDT).

The Cubs would like to bring back their only free agent, Shawn Camp, but until they re-sign him, the Cubs 40-man roster officially stands at 32 players.

Javier Baez will miss the remainder of the AFL season after injuring his thumb over the weekend. Baez left Saturday’s game in the sixth inning with a broken thumb. Baez underwent tests on Monday to determine the severity of the injury to the tip of his thumb which is not expected to keep him from missing the beginning of Spring Training.

Darwin Barney
The Cubs’ second baseman is one of three finalists for the National League Gold Glove. Darwin Barney, Aaron Hill of the Diamondbacks and the Reds’ Brandon Phillips are in the running for Rawlings’ annual award.

Darwin Barney set a National League record this past season for the most consecutive games played by a second baseman without an error (141) and tied the all-time single-season record held by Placido Polanco.

Barney is the only Cub in the running for a Rawlings’ Gold Glove. Alfonso Soriano put together the best fielding season of his career. Soriano was charged with only one error in 266 chances. Ryan Braun, Martin Prado and Carlos Gonzalez are the three finalists for the NL left fielder gold glove.

The Fielding Bible named Darwin Barney the best defensive second baseman in the Senior Circuit last week.

Managers and coaches vote on Gold Gloves and it will be interesting to see if Barney is able to take home the award and not Brandon Phillips, who is considered to be the best second baseman in the National League.

The awards will be announced on Tuesday night on ESPN2 beginning at 8:30pm CDT.

News and Notes
Baseball America released their tentative schedule for when each team’s prospect list will be published during the off-season. The Cubs’ top 10 list for 2013 is set to hit the world wide web on January 7.

Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin confirmed Monday that Derek Johnson has left the university to become the Cubs’ Minor League Pitching Coordinator.

The first of three broadcasts of Arizona Fall League games on the MLB Network is Saturday night. Paul Severino and Tom Verducci will call all three telecasts beginning with the Rising Stars Game. The seventh annual contest begins at 7:00pm CDT on Saturday night from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The full rosters for the Rising Stars Game have not been released but the Solar Sox’s Jarred Cosart (Astros) and Kyle Gibson (Twins) of the Peoria Javelinas have been named as the starting pitchers. The MLB Network will also air the Military Appreciation Game between the Scottsdale Scorpions and Surprise Saguaros on November 10 and the AFL Championship Game on November 17.

Click here for list of MLB free agents and players with options for 2013.

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Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt