Javier Baez appeared in his fourth game Wednesday for Santurce and reached base twice in four at bats. Baez played second base, hit third and scored his team’s only run. Baez went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a strikeout in Santurce’s 2-1 loss to San Juan.
Javier Baez is 5-for-14 in four games with two doubles, one home run, two walks and seven strikeouts, four of the strikeouts in last three games (.357/.412/.714/1.126).
The Cubs are reportedly interested in David Ross and the veteran backstop is reportedly interested in the Cubs, especially with Jon Lester now on the roster.
Theo Epstein said the Cubs are receiving calls on Welington Castillo. It is believed the Cubs are not in a rush to move Castillo, but the Sun-Times reported the Cubs could be close to signing David Ross on Monday.
According to Rob Bradford, Ross is deciding whether to sign with the Red Sox, Cubs or Padres.
It is unclear how long David Ross will wait on the Cubs before inking a contract with another team.
The Blue Jays signed OF Ryan Kalish to a minor league contract that includes a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Kalish beat out Chris Coghlan last spring and made the Cubs’ Opening Day roster. But after struggling, Kalish was sent to Iowa and spent a majority of the year at the Triple-A level.
In 57 games with the Cubs, Kalish batted .248/.295/.347 with four doubles, four triples and a .642 OPS. Kalish batted .251/.322/.404 in 87 games with the I-Cubs. Kalish hit 14 doubles, three triples and eight home runs for a .726 OPS.
The Red Sox selected Ryan Kalish in the ninth round of the 2006 draft and he was one of the good stories surrounding the Cubs last spring.
The Cubs traded OF Justin Ruggiano to the Mariners on Wednesday for minor league right-hander Matt Brazis. Ruggiano thanked the Cubs fans for a wonderful experience in 2014 on Twitter shortly after the trade was announced.
By trading Ruggiano, the Cubs cleared a spot on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39 players with Jason Motte’s contract pending, and freed up payroll at the same time. Ruggiano was due a raise, through the arbitration process from $2 million last year to around $2.6-2.8 million for the 2015 season.
Ruggiano can play all three outfield spots and hits rather well against lefties (.305/.333/.512/.846 in 2014; .266/.329/508/.836 for his career), plus he has a history with Joe Maddon.
Justin Ruggiano struggled with injuries last season and played in only 81 games after a career-high 128 games in 2013 with the Marlins. Ruggiano missed time early in the year (April 15 – May 26) with a left hamstring strain and was lost for the season on Aug. 27 with left ankle inflammation.
Jon Lester’s Jersey
Majestic Athletic made the first Jon Lester jersey and posted a photo of it on Twitter …
News, Notes and Rumors
Wesley Wright signed a one-year, $1.7 million contract with the Orioles according to Rob Bradford.
According to Ken Rosenthal, three teams are showing interest in RHP Jake Peavy. The Marlins, Braves and Giants are viewing Peavy as an option for the backend of the rotation. But Miami would only be interested in Peavy if Dan Haren retires.
The Red Sox traded RHP Aaron Kurcz and cash to the Braves for RHP Anthony Varvaro on Wednesday. Kurcz was the second player Boston received as compensation for letting Theo Epstein out of his contract to become the Cubs President of Baseball Operations. The Sox also took RHP Chris Carpenter and the Cubs received minor leaguer Jair Bogaerts in the transaction. The now 24-year old Kurcz missed the 2013 season with Tommy John surgery and was 3-2 in 34 relief appearances with a 2.14 ERA and 1.29 WHIP for Double-A Portland last year.
John Baker posted on Twitter that adding Jon Lester to Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel is “impressive in a 3/5 playoff scenario, plus the pen is nasty.”
According to the Baseball Savant, Ben Revere saw 1354 fastballs last season and swung and missed at only 20 of them … 1.4 percent, the lowest in the majors.
David O’Brien reported Wednesday that it’s unlikely the Braves trade B.J. Upton before the season starts. Teams don’t want to pick up any of the money owed to B.J. Upton (three years, $46.35 million) and the Braves are not willing to include Evan Gattis in a deal just to get B.J. Upton off the roster.
And speaking of the Upton brothers, the Braves talked to at least five teams about Justin Upton on Wednesday according to Mark Bowman. David O’Brien reported that even with the Padres out of the mix for Justin, the Mariners, Orioles, Reds, Cubs and maybe the Giants are “possible landing spots” for Justin Upton.
Jon Heyman added the Twins and Cardinals to the Mets, Giants and A’s as the teams that have checked in on SS Jung-Ho Kang.
Jon Lester told David Ortiz he’s the greatest hitter the lefty has ever seen. Ortiz bugged Lester on Twitter about wearing his number with the Cubs.
Jim Bowden thinks the Tigers, Giants, Yankees, Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers and Angels are the most likely landing spots for Max Scherzer.
The Royals and RHP Edinson Volquez agreed to terms on a two-year, $20 million contract.
Around the League
While the deal has not been announced or official, a three-team, 11-player trade was agreed to by all parties on Wednesday.
The Washington Nationals will receive RHP Joe Ross and a PTBNL, which is SS Trea Turner. The Padres get OF Wil Myers, RHP Jose Castillo, C Ryan Hanigan and Gerardo Reyes. And the Rays will receive RHP Burch Smith, LHP Travis Ott, 1B Jake Bauers, C Rene Rivera and OF Steven Souza.
The Padres are adding offense and could have Myers and Matt Kemp in the outfield for a while and the Nationals received its shortstop of the future in the deal. Mike Rizzo and the Nationals made out the best of the three team deal.
Ken Rosenthal posted his thoughts on the three-team trade … and he thinks the Nationals could be the big winner in the megadeal.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs signed free agent John Baker
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Tommy Hottovy
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Ryan Kalish
2009 – Cubs acquired Carlos Silva and cash from the Mariners for Milton Bradley
2008 – Cubs signed free agent Andres Blanco
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Todd Hollandsworth
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Jalal Leach
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Bere
1997 – Cubs signed free agent Micah Franklin
1992 – Cubs signed free agent Tommy Shields
1992 – Cubs signed free agent Willie Wilson to a two-year contract
1992 – Cubs granted free agency to Doug Dascenzo, Doug Strange, Jerome Walton and Ken Patterson
1990 – Cubs released Bill Long