Tis the season to say ‘Thank You’ for a tremendous year and to wish all of our readers, the Cubs faithful, a very Merry Christmas
It was relatively quiet Thursday around the game outside of Daniel Murphy agreeing to terms with the Nationals on a three-year deal. Speculation continued on where the rather long list of remaining free agents will sign. And for the Cubs it was more chatter about the possibility of the front office moving Jason Heyward to right field if Jorge Soler is traded for pitching.
I hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas and that Santa hit the ball out of the park when he visited your homes.
Javier Baez lined up in center field Wednesday in Santurce’s 3-0 victory over Caguas. Baez went 1-for-4 at the dish with a double, a run scored and a strikeout. Wednesday was the second time this winter Baez played center, his other nine games have been spent in the infield at either short or second.
Baez had five balls hit his way Wednesday. Baez forced a runner at second in the second inning on a ball hit to center. Baez caught fly balls in the fourth, eighth and ninth innings.
Offensively, Javier Baez is 8-for-37 in 11 games this winter with a double, a home run, six walks and eight strikeouts for a .216/.326/.324 line with a .650 OPS.
Christian Villanueva just keeps on hitting. Villanueva went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and three RBI on Wednesday. Obregon topped Jalisco 9-4.
Villanueva has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and has reached base in each of the last 10 games he’s played in. For as good has he’s been at the plate this winter, Villanueva is batting .361/.478/.389 with a .867 OPS during his 10-game on-base streak.
For the winter, Christian Villanueva is hitting .336/.444/.502 with nine doubles and nine home runs for a .946 OPS. Villanueva has 38 walks with 30 strikeouts and 38 RBI in 61 games, 217 at bats.
• Christian Villanueva’s MiLB Page
News, Notes and Rumors
• Neil Ramirez and his wife made a life changing trip to Haiti.
• According to Paul Sullivan, the Cubs and White Sox are hoping to make 2016 a special season.
• Daniel Murphy is no longer a free agent. The former Metropolitan is staying in the NL East. Murphy agreed to terms with the Nationals on a three-year, $37.5 million contract. The deal is pending a physical.
• If there was a doubt, free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will not be returning to the Mets. According to Jon Heyman, the signing of Alejandro De Aza closed the door on Cespedes re-signing with the Mets. Sandy Alderson would like to add a right-handed hitting outfielder to “compliment the three lefty bats that will man left field, right field and first base.” The Mets are interested in Steve Pearce according to Heyman. The Mets are believed to have offered Cespedes a short-term deal (two to three years) and he should sign a contract for much longer (five or six years). The Giants, Tigers, Angels and White Sox have been connected to Cespedes this off-season.
• Buster Olney asked if the Pirates are committed to keeping Andrew McCutchen for the long haul.
• The Dodgers are interested in Kenta Maeda according to Jon Paul Morosi and are “in ongoing contact with his representatives.” The Dodgers are the only team to really emerge as a suitor for Maeda as questions continue to mount if he can be at least a fifth starter in the majors. Morosi included in his report that Maeda is viewed by some scouts “as being comparable to Mike Leake.” And it could cost a team $100 million to sign him counting the $20 million release fee.
This Day In Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agents Jaye Chapman and Zach Putnam
1968 – Scott Bullet, born
1962 – Marty Pevey, born
1962 – Bruce Walton, born
1961 – Rick Renteria, born
1950 – Manny Trillo, born
1881 – Joe McCarthy, born
1881 – Jim Doyle, born