Javier Baez played center field for the third time this winter in Santurce’s 2-1 loss to Mayaguez on Sunday. Baez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout at the plate.
Based on the game recap, Baez had a lot of action in the outfield Sunday. Nine balls were hit his way. Baez caught a ball in the second inning that was a sacrifice fly and plated a run. He recorded all three outs in the fifth inning on fly balls hit to center. Baez also caught balls in the seventh and eighth innings that went for outs. In his three games in center, Baez has not been charged with an error.
Baez has played in the infield in his other 10 games for Santurce this winter, seven at second base and three at shortstop.
Offensively, Baez has a five-game hitting streak. He has hit safely in seven of his last eight games and reached base with either a hit or a walk in nine straight games.
Javier Baez asked a question via Twitter to his followers about who was their favorite player growing up. Baez said his of course was Manny Ramirez.
According to Baseball America, the Cubs signed RHP Miguel Mejia to a minor league contract.
Mejia turns 28 in January and pitched last season in Japan for the Seibu Lions. Mejia appeared in four games and pitched a total of 3 2/3 innings. Mejia allowed six runs, all earned, on 10 hits with three walks and four strikeouts (14.73 ERA, 3.54 WHIP).
Baseball-Reference indicates Mejia has not pitched in the States since 2011 when he appeared in 15 games in the Marlins’ minor league system. The last three years he played in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
Over three seasons in the Tigers and Marlins organizations, Mejia was 9-6 in 53 games, two starts, with a 2.91 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. And combined between the minor leagues, winter ball and Japan, Mejia went 13-13 in 145 games, eight starts, with eight saves, a 3.77 ERA and 1.31 WHIP.
Aroldis Chapman is no longer in the NL Central. The Reds moved the hard-throwing closer Monday to the Yankees for four minor leaguers.
The Reds acquired RHP Caleb Cotham, RHP Rookie Davis, INF Eric Jagielo and INF Tony Renda from the Yankees. The Reds received what they could for Chapman, who faces a suspension next season over domestic abuse. Joel Sherman reported that Major League Baseball’s investigation of Chapman is “ongoing.” MLB is gathering facts in the case.
According to John Manuel, Davis and Jagielo were top 15 prospects in the Yankees system, Cotham and Renda did not make it into the 2016 Prospect Handbook as the 30 best prospects in the Yankees organization. The Yankees did not deal any of their top prospects (Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo or Greg Bird) for Chapman.
Ken Rosenthal reported the Reds “view Davis and Jagielo as legitimate prospects.” The Reds think Jagielo “can hit when healthy” and Davis can be a starter in the big leagues with his 92-96 mph fastball and “big curve.”
Brian Cashman addressed his plans for the bullpen in a conference call after the trade was announced. Cashman said they intend to begin the season with Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances to have a “real force” in the backend of the Yankees’ pen.
- Joel Sherman: Why Yankees pulled about-face to stomach Aroldis Chapman
- The Washington Post: In trading for Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees are following the Royals’ blueprint
- Ken Rosenthal: Cashman clearly has plenty left in his bag of tricks
News, Notes and Rumors
• The Cubs, Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta were among baseball’s biggest moments and stories of 2015 according to Sports Illustrated.
• According to Jesse Sanchez, Major League Baseball declared Cuban RHP Yasiel Sierra a free agent. He can now sign with a team. The Cubs have been connected to several Cuban prospects and but not directly to Sierra. One of the players the Cubs are believed to be interested in, RHP Norge Ruiz, has not been declared a free agent by MLB according to Ben Badler.
• C. Trent Rosecrans talked to Walt Jocketty about other possible trades the Reds could make and specifically asked about Brandon Phillips. Rosecrans reported Phillips “said he didn’t want to go to the Nationals, didn’t tell him he would reject any deal.” Rosecrans didn’t think Jocketty sounded optimistic that he could trade Phillips but it is likely Jay Bruce could be dealt.
• While details were surfacing on the deal that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Yankees, Jeff Passan reported the Yankees were close to trading Andrew Miller to the Astros during the Winter Meetings. The Yankees would have received a similar package to the one Houston sent to the Phillies for Ken Giles.
• The Nationals settled for Daniel Murphy’s adequacy according to FanGraphs.
• RotoGraphs asked what happened to Carlos Gomez.
• According to Tim Baffoe, Cardinals’ sour grapes over Jason Heyward are so sweet for the Cubs.
• The Padres have shown interest in free agent shortstop Alexei Ramirez, but according to Bruce Levine, the White Sox have not closed the door on re-signing him.
• Jonathan Mayo polled executives about which player they think is the top prospect in the game entering next season. Corey Seager (Dodgers) was the clear choice for the top position player prospect. And Lucas Giolito of the Nationals edged out the Rays’ Blake Snell for top pitching prospect.
This Day In Cubstory
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Jamey Wright
1998 – Cubs signed free agent David Manning
1997 – Cubs signed free agent Matt Mieske
1982 – Kevin Hart, born
1973 – Theo Epstein, born
1946 – Ken Rudolph, born
1941 – John Upham, born