The Chicago Cubs are expected to introduce their newest member, outfielder David DeJesus, at their weekly press conference today at 11 am CT, and there is plenty more to say about the signing later today. Until then, the Bullets…
- One quick note on DeJesus first: he closed on a house in Wheaton, Illinois (just west of Chicago) over a month ago. Yes, his wife hails from Wheaton, so they could have been looking to move there anyway. But, like, come on – dude was clearly going to consider the Cubs from the get-go, and yet we only just started hearing rumors about him within the last week. Again I say: so far, this front office knows how to keep a secret.
- With the addition of DeJesus, there is presently no longer a spot in the outfield for up-and-down lefty Tyler Colvin. GM Jed Hoyer isn’t ready to say Colvin no longer has a spot on the roster, though. “He’s certainly not out of the picture,” Hoyer said. “He’s got to come to camp and look to bounce back from [last season]. We signed DeJesus to round out the lineup and do everything we can to put a competitive lineup on the field. But to say [Colvin's] out of our plans would be wrong.”
- Colvin has huge power from the left side, plays solid corner OF defense, and is cheap. But, he is undisciplined at the plate, frequently has trouble making contact with anything but a belt-high fastball, and no longer has the look of a starting-caliber player. The Cubs could keep him as a fourth outfielder, but they could also see if another team is ready to take a chance on the 26-year-old. There are suggestions he could go to the Red Sox as compensation for Theo Epstein, but I’m not sure how much the Red Sox would want him – they’ve already got a number of decent outfield options, and are expected to add another in free agency.
- Kerry Wood on the possible return of Carlos Zambrano to the Cubs in 2012: “I think it’s something that he’s going to have a lot of new teammates that haven’t been through the history with him. I think Z has got to worry more about the guys he’s done this to a few times. He can have a better impression on the new teammates. The ultimate result is we need him to be a part of this team and help us win. He can be a big part of that …. It’s going to be something he’s going to have to address when he comes in and talks to guys and obviously we go from there. But if he wants to be a part of this team and help us win, if he can do it the right way, guys will be willing to have him back in there.” Everyone continues to say the right things. I’m still not counting on Zambrano being a Cub next year.
- FanGraphs discusses Josh Vitters’ golden opportunity at third base for the Cubs, but lays out the reasons he’s not taking advantage of that opportunity. Vitters comes in for criticism on the offensive side, the defensive side, and the mental side. Eek.
- Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak concedes that he can’t do much in the way of offseason moves until the Albert Pujols issue is resolved. So, I guess, even if the Cubs don’t actually want Pujols: mission accomplished.
- Noted briefly last night, Texas Rangers’ first baseman Mitch Moreland underwent wrist surgery, which will keep him out for the next 8 to 12 weeks, putting his Spring Training in jeopardy, if not Opening Day. This, of course, is relevant to the Cubs as Moreland’s name has come up in trade rumors, including in a possible Matt Garza deal. The surgery wouldn’t preclude Moreland being traded, but it’s an added risk (it’s purportedly the kind of wrist surgery that doesn’t harm a player a the plate, long-term).
- Rafael Palmeiro, up for a Hall of Fame vote for the second time, is in deep denial about the reason he got so few votes last year. In his final season, 2005, Palmeiro was suspended (for a now-humorous 10 games) under MLB’s drug policy (and that was afterhe had testified infamously before Congress that he had “never used steroids, period.”), which forever tarnished his name and his numbers. And yet he has the naivety - or temerity – to say this: “I thought I would get more votes,” Palmeiro said of last year’s vote. “But I’m grateful for what I received, and that keeps me on the ballot for another year. Voters are putting too much weight on the one incident. I wish they would look at my whole career. If they want, why don’t they just throw out the last season of my career? I would still have Hall of Fame numbers. I’ve put up my numbers, and they aren’t going to change.” You just don’t get it, dude. And you don’t get in, either.
- This has nothing to do with the Cubs or baseball whatsoever. Whither versus wither. I’ve always loved the headline “Whither Person X?,” but I frequently struggle with the decision of whether to use “whither” or “wither.” The former means, effectively, “where is this guy going to be?” The latter means, effectively, “is this guy done?” As you can see, both are often apt. But which is most appropriate in a given situation? Is the question here “is Tyler Colvin done?” or is it “where is Tyler Colvin going to go?” These are the kind of things I spend far too much time worrying about.