Play resumed Saturday in Puerto Rico and Javier Baez was in the starting lineup for Santurce. Baez batted fourth and played shortstop in the 4-0 win over Caguas.
Javier Baez went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, a RBI and a run scored in four trips to the plate. Baez did not strikeout for the first time in five games.
In 12 games this winter, Baez is 9-for-40 with two doubles and a home run (.225/.340/.350) for a .690 OPS. Baez has walked seven times with eight strikeouts.
Defensively, Baez has played center field in two of the 12 games. In the other 10 games, Baez has played either shortstop or second base.
Late Saturday night, a report from The Huffington Post linked several athletes to performance-enhancing drugs. Former Cubs’ catcher Taylor Teagarden is listed in the report along with the Phillies’ Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals.
The biggest name in the report is Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
The report states a number of athletes “received Delta-2, a hormone supplement that is steroidal in nature but is not an anabolic steroid.” Delta-2 is “designed to stay ahead of drug tests.” The report also claims there is a video of Teagarden “openly discussing his use of PEDs.”
Peyton Manning issued a statement Saturday night strongly denying the allegations.
More information will surface Sunday and in the coming days. Teagarden is currently a free agent and has not signed with a team this winter based on the transactions pages.
Cuban prospect Lazarito has a showcase scheduled in the Dominican Republic for Jan. 8 at the Padres facility. Cash Kruth reported Christmas that interest is intensifying in the 16-year prospect Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, “known simply as Lazarito in International baseball circles.
Jesse Sanchez tweeted a link to Lazarito’s Showcase Video … enjoy.
News, Notes and Rumors
• The Cardinals are eyeing the Rockies’ outfielders according to a report from Hardball Talk citing the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as its source. The Cardinals could turn to a free agent such as Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon or Dexter Fowler. But the Rockies’ trio of Carlos Gonzalez, Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon “intrigue the Cardinals.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted the Rockies would “likely ask for first baseman Matt Adams and a pitching prospect in a potential trade.”
• The Yankees are one of six teams that have not signed a Major League free agent yet this off-season. Joel Sherman explained why the Yankees are not spending money this winter and will still have a payroll north of $230 million next season.
• USA Today posted its sports predictions for 2016: The silly, serious and sublime … and of course the Cubs are included.
• Jon Heyman posted the breakdown on Mike Leake’s contract. And he could get paid $93 million over the next six years. Mike Leake receives $12 million in 2016, $15 million in 2017, $17 million in 2018, $16 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020. The option for 2021 is $18 million and includes a $5 million buyout … $80 million guaranteed.
• Former top Cubs’ prospect RHP Jay Jackson was granted his release by the Padres so he can play in Japan next season. Jackson will sign a contract with the Hiroshima Carp. The Cubs selected Jackson in the ninth round of the 2008 draft. Jackson made his Major League debut with the Padres last September. Jackson did not have a decision in the six games he pitched in and allowed three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings (6.23 ERA, 1.84 WHIP).
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – Starlin Castro was questioned by police in the Dominican Republic following a shooting at a local night club. Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer addressed the situation with the media clarifying he was near but not involved in the shooting.
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Jose Veras
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Hisanori Takahashi
2005 – Cubs signed free agent Mark DiFelice
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Bill Selby
1981 – David Aardsma, born
1939 – Cubs purchased Bobby Sturgeon from the Cardinals
1939 – Cubs traded Gene Lillard, Steve Mesner and cash to the Cardinals for Ken Raffensberger
1913 – Joe Tinker jumped from the Reds to the Chicago Federals