Javier Baez was among a group of current and former players that were in Puerto Rico this weekend to honor Roberto Clemente with a goodwill tour called “Peloteros por Puerto Rico.” Jose Altuve, Chris Archer, Alex Colome, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina, Oliver Perez, Edwin Diaz and Jose Quintana participated in the festivities.
The MLBPA, with cooperation from Major League Baseball, put the “Peloteros por Puerto Rico” together. The goodwill tour ended Saturday “with a gala honoring the legacy of Roberto Clemente and celebrating the future of baseball on the island” according to Jesse Sanchez.
There was a clinic for 150 young players at Estadio Roberto Clemente on Friday. And the players held a baseball clinic for “almost 200 kids in Salinas” on Saturday afternoon.
Javier Baez will play for Puerto Rico in the upcoming WBC this spring. Baez is the only Cubs’ player committed to playing in the World Baseball Classic to this point. Anthony Rizzo said last week he will not play in the WBC this year.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Miguel Cabrera had the most batted balls of 100-plus mph last season according to Daren Willman. Cabrera (192), Nelson Cruz (174), Manny Machado (163), Robinson Cano (162) and Mark Trumbo (160) made up the top five. The first Cubs’ player … Kris Bryant was No. 40 with 116. Anthony Rizzo (113), Ben Zobrist (79), Jason Heyward (73) and Addison Russell (70) were in the top 150 players with batted balls of 100-plus mph during the 2016 season.
• Buster Olney reported the “speculation is rampant in the industry that eventually Matt Wieters will land with the Nationals.”
• Even with losing out on Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, the Marlins should have a “pretty good bullpen behind a suspect rotation” according to Buster Olney. The Fish signed Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa to add to A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps.
• According to John Perrotto, the White Sox are excited about Yoan Moncada’s potential. And teams have stayed away from RHP Sonny Gray of the A’s this off-season because of his struggles last season.
• RHP Bronson Arroyo plans to give his career one last go in 2017 according to a report from the Score.
• Jon Heyman reported the Indians “have been making offers” to right-handed power bats. The Indians are “seeking a deal” and have talked to Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Napoli and Chris Carter.
• Jon Heyman confirmed an earlier report from Joel Sherman that the Yankees would have to trade a player or two (Chase Headley, Brett Gardner) to free up money to sign another free agent this off-season.
This Day in Cubstory
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Motte
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Adron Chambers
2014 – Cubs selected Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Dodgers
2014 – Cubs selected Shane Peterson off waivers from the A’s
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Mitch Maier
2013 – Cubs signed free agent Jonathan Sanchez
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Bobby Scales
2007 – Cubs signed free agent Esmailin Caridad
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Marquis
2003 – Cubs signed free agent Kent Mercker
2003 – Cubs acquired Jose Macias from the Expos for Wilton Chavez
2003 – Grant DePorter, the managing partner of Harry Caray Restaurants, submitted the winning bid of $106,600 to acquire the foul ball deflected in Game Six of the 2003 NLCS by Steve Bartman.
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Moises Alou to a three-year, $27 million contract
2001 – Cubs traded Michael Tucker to the Royals for a PTBNL. Kansas City sent Shawn Sonnier to the Cubs on March 15, 2002 to complete the trade.
2000 – Cubs signed free agent Todd Hundley
1995 – Cubs re-signed Mark Grace
1989 – Cubs signed free agent Greg Booker
1979 – Rafael Soriano, born
1945 – Geoff Zahn, born
1944 – Rob Gardner, born
1935 – Tony Taylor, born