It was a good night at the plate for the Cubs’ second baseman. Javier Baez went 2-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout hitting third for Santurce. Baez was the designated hitter in his second game action of the winter.
Javier Baez followed up his 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a sac fly RBI with a solid performance.
Baez is expected to play four to five times a week over the last month of the season while seeing time at second base and shortstop.
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The Cubs made the two-year contract, with a club option, official Friday with Jason Hammel. Hammel is back with the team that made him feel very comfortable. Hammel was re-introduced Friday and spoke with the beat writers.
Hammel admitted when he was traded to Oakland last July that the Cubs would be his No. 1 spot in free agency. And Theo Epstein told Hammel after dealing him to Oakland last July “that he would make re-acquiring him a top priority.” Epstein reached out to Hammel when free agency began and kept his promise the Cubs would be the first team that called him.
Theo Epstein is looking forward to Hammel being part of the Cubs revamped rotation. Hammel should slot in behind Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta in the third spot, pushing Kyle Hendricks to fourth in Joe Maddon’s starting staff.
Jason Hammel admitted he works great with Chris Bosio, despite the fact he can be grumpy at times, and he said Bosio also called when free agency started.
Hammel said, “I can speak for everyone here. We’re kind of tired of the old Cubs. These are the new Cubs. We want to change the feel.”
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A Winner at the Meetings
The Cubs were one of the winners at the Winter Meetings according to Buster Olney. The front office signed two off-season targets in Jon Lester and Jason Hammel and traded for Miguel Montero.
Olney thinks the Cubs will be “the most talked about team in baseball into next Spring Training, and right through the start of the 2015 season.” Olney said the organization that has been treated as a punchline, and a punching bag, is being “taken very seriously by other teams.”
RHP Kyuji Fujikawa agreed to terms on a one-year contract that includes a club option with the Texas Rangers according to multiple reports. Fujikawa will be on the same pitching staff as his good friend Yu Darvish. Terms of the contract have not been leaked and the deal is pending a physical.
The Cubs declined Fujikawa’s $5.5 million club option for 2015 on Oct. 30 and paid the $500,000 buyout instead which made him a free agent.
Kyuji Fujikawa signed a two year, $9.5 million contract with the Cubs in December 2012 but pitched only 12 games before undergoing season ending Tommy John surgery in 2013. Fujikawa was less than effective after he worked his way back to the majors at the end of last season.
News, Notes and Rumors
Jason Hammel thinks the Cubs got Jon Lester cheap according to Bruce Levine.
LHP Brett Anderson is believed to be on the Cubs list of possibilities to add a low-risk/high-reward starter to the mix. Buster Olney said the lefty is drawing a lot of interest. Anderson is looking for a one-year contract to build his value and re-enter the market next off-season.
Jon Lester re-discovered his strikeout stuff according to David Golebiewski.
Chicago provided the heat at the Winter Meetings according to John Manuel.
Jim Bowden gave the Cubs an ‘A+’ on his mid-Winter grades and said they’ve had the best winter of any team so far.
According to Bob Nightengale, it appears the Orioles will be awarded the 2016 All-Star Game. The 2017 Mid-Summer Classic will go to either the Marlins or Padres. If Nightengale is correct, the earliest the Cubs could host the All-Star Game will be 2019.
Dave Stewart told the Diamondbacks beat writers the front office has discussed pursuing James Shields and Max Scherzer.
The Cardinals have noticed the big moves the Cubs have made according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
Joe Maddon returned to Tampa for ‘Thanksmas.’
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – Cubs claimed Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Twins
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Cory Wade
2004 – Royals selected Andy Sisco from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Robert Machado
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Scarborough Green
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Wainhouse
1999 – Athletics selected Bo Porter from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft
1999 – Cubs acquired Augie Ojeda from the Orioles for Richard Negrette
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Mark Dalesandro
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Kevin Tapani
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Rob Dibble
1993 – Cubs selected Alan Newman from the Reds in the Minor League Draft
1989 – Cubs released Pat Perry
1984 – Cubs signed free agent Lary Sorensen
1974 – Cubs released Carmen Fanzone
1964 – Steve Wilson, born
1963 – Cubs acquired Dick Scott from the Dodgers for Cuno Barragan and Jim Brewer
1942 – Ferguson Jenkins, born
1936 – J.C. Martin, born
1923 – Braves purchased John Kelleher from the Cubs
1905 – Cubs acquired Pat Moran from the Beaneaters for Jack O’Neil and Big Jeff Pfeffer
1873 – Jack Taylor, born