For the second straight year, the National League bested the American League in the All-Star Game (after not winning in any of the previous 13 tries). The final score, 5-1, was mostly driven by a three-run homer by Prince Fielder. Prince: please stop increasing your value. Kthxbye.

  • Starlin Castro had an up-and-down first All-Star Game experience. He went 0-1, stole a couple bases (which is being touted as an AS record, clearly one of the lamest “records” in the annals), was thrown out at home, and had a throwing error in the 9th inning.
  • The Brewers have traded for Francisco Rodriguez, which would be more terrifying if (a) it were 2008 or (b) the Cubs had any shot at all in the Central this year. The Mets are covering Rodriguez’s salary for the year, so the Brewers are likely paying a fair bit in terms of prospects (the trade was for two PTBNLs, who will be selected later this season). The interesting bit? Rodriguez has a HUGE 2012 option ($17.5 million) that becomes guaranteed if he finishes 55 games in 2011. He’s already finished 34 games. With John Axford and his ridiculous facial hair, the Brewers could easily prevent Rodriguez from finishing another 21 games – but Rodriguez had a no-trade clause, which Scott Boras said Rodriguez would use to block a trade to any team that planned to use him as a setup man. The upshot? Maybe the Brewers aren’t giving up that much in terms of prospects, and instead, have resigned themselves to allowing Rodriguez’s huge option to kick in. I know this is a really long bullet, but it’s a pretty fascinating set of circumstances.
  • Cubs’ 30th round draft pick Arturo Maltos-Garcia will undergo Tommy John surgery, which I can only assume was known to the Cubs before they signed him.
  • The Cubs haveĀ signed undrafted free agent catcher Taylor Davis out of Morehead State. While undrafted free agent signings rarely amount to much, it looks like Davis still had another year of eligibility at MSU, and put up huge numbers last year. So, shrug, he might be something.
  • Toosh

    The Brewers weren’t on K-Rod’s no-trade list and he actually said he’d waive that clause to be the set-up man for a contender, but this trade should give Cub fans some idea of what to expect in return if Hendry manages to trade any one. 2 prospects. Possibly to be named later.

    • Brett

      K-Rod was permitted to list 10 teams to which he could refuse a trade – hard to imagine him not listing the Brewers, given their entrenched closer, unless he was assured he would get some save opportunities. Also, I think it’s way too early to assume that the two PTBNLs won’t be quality prospects (as they sometimes are), because the financial aspect of this deal is still unknown. If, for example, the only way the Mets could trade K-Rod is if it was to a team who would agree to let him be the closer, then yes, the prospects are probably shit (because the acquiring team was essentially agreeing to take on a huuuuuge salary in 2012. On the other hand, if the plan was to bury K-Rod in a setup role, then the prospects should be pretty darn good because the Brewers are getting K-Rod for just the $3.5 million buyout he’s owed at the end of the year. That’s cheap.

      • Toosh

        Per Rosenthal and Morosi, the Brewers were NOT on K-Rod’s no-trade list. Also, I never intuited that the PTBNL would not be quality prospects. I wrote that the trade should give Cub fans some idea of what to expect if Hendry makes any trades before the deadlines.

        • Brett

          I know the Brewers weren’t on his list; I was just saying we can’t be certain when the list was created. And, if the list was created after Boras got in K-Rod’s ear (“don’t worry, the Brewers would let you close”), then perhaps either Boras was trying to dupe K-Rod into becoming a free agent rather than getting the huge option year, or the Brewers were trying to dupe K-Rod into believing they’d let him close.

          It’s also possible, as you’re suggesting, that the list was made out at the beginning of the season or earlier. I’m just saying I don’t think we can know for sure.

    • CubFan Paul

      the Mets are getting PTBNLs because its a salary dump to avoid the vesting option & his $3.5million buyout ..not all trades are created equal. Hendry is ‘GM-ing’ for his job, so u better believe he’ll get some value (more than DeWitt) & no PTBNL

      • CubFan Paul

        The Mets will choose the players from a list of five Brewers minor leaguers by a date in September, tweets’s Anthony DiComo. <–from

  • CubFan Paul

    ..stealing 2 bases & then getting thrown out at home when u could of waited or went back to 3rd base (because there was no one on 2nd) kinda sums up the Cubs season, doesn’t it?

    • Ron Swanson

      Exactly what I was thinking. He was flat-footed when the ball was hit too. Just as Tim McCarver was watching the replay extolling Castro’s “good jump”.

  • Toosh

    The K-Rod trade also means the Mets are pulling the plug on the ’11 season. Hendry and Ricketts should do the same.

    • Brett

      Yup, though it was expected. Still, you don’t want to be beat to the market (or maybe you do; maybe teams will get even more desperate if they aren’t the one to land Beltran, et al).

  • chode

    Let the “Fire Sale” begin!

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Better look out for that team in wrigleyville north..they are for real…the phillies bull pen is suspect..even the Cubs exposed them..Hendry needs to fix the holes we have now..Doug Melvin is going for it this year ..Brewers arnt scare of the of the phillies they took 2 of 3 in philadelphia this year

  • Caleb

    17.5 Million next year? Holy shit.

    I’ll take Marmol first.

  • die hard

    signing of catcher to plug hole in minors after shift of catchers following Soto to Giants

    • Brett

      I like your effort, but this is just one of a dozen catchers in the organization.