The family and I are in Louisville for the weekend, checking out some Christmas-y things and visiting with additional family. I’m thinking about checking out the Louisville Slugger Museum/Factory today. I’ve heard it’s pretty cool, and I’ve never been.
- So, the Cubs’ break from StubHub was a short one, as the Tribune reports the Cubs are signed back on with the ticket reseller service, as are all other MLB teams except the Angels and Yankees. The Cubs briefly considered trying to set up their own service, but, apparently upon the concession that Cubs ticket sales will end six hours before the event (in theory, reducing some of the superduper low prices), the Cubs came back to StubHub. And there was much ambivalence.
- The Cubs have signed first baseman Brad Nelson to a minor league deal, per Matt Eddy. The soon-to-be 30-year-old was a top 100 prospect in back-to-back years! … in 2003 and 2004. Since then, he’s languished in the minors – mostly AAA – with a career line (.269/.350/.451) that is pretty reflective of how he’s performed. This doesn’t look like a Bryan LaHair situation where a veteran masher finally gets a shot and shows what he can do (for a very brief time). Instead, it looks like Nelson is true first base depth, and will play a lot of first base at AAA this year, with an occasional start in a corner outfield spot. He might not even get a look in the event of a serious Anthony Rizzo injury, as the Cubs could instead opt to go with someone already on the 40-man roster.
- We’ll get more formal word from the Cubs at some point, but Jesse Rogers describes Nate Schierholtz’s role with the Cubs as one where he will “compete” for time in right field. I really think it’s going to depend on the caliber of additional outfielder the Cubs bring in, and on what the Cubs do in the trade market with Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus. I don’t think they signed Schierholtz with a certain feeling that he’d be THE guy in right field, but they probably had an inkling that he might be.
- The Pirates signed Francisco Liriano to a two-year, $12.75 million deal, which makes me feel even better about the Cubs’ pitching signings. I’m fairly certain I would choose Carlos Villanueva (two-years, $10 million) and Scott Baker (one-year, $5.5 million) over Liriano (maybe even if the money was the same), and possibly Scott Feldman, too (one-year, $6 million). There were rumors early in the offseason that the Cubs had made a two-year offer to Liriano, and I bet they weren’t willing to go over two years and $10 million, at the most. And, once they gave that money to Villanueva, Liriano accepted his (probable) highest offer.
- A profile on third base prospect Jesse Hodges, a 2012 undrafted free agent signee.
- This is random, but, for those of you regular commenters who wish you had one of those nifty pictures with your name, here’s how you do it: go to gravatar.com, and set up an account there using (1) the email that you use here when you comment, and (2) the picture that you’d like to appear here when you comment. That’s it. Gravatar is a service that basically displays an image for you wherever you comment on the web with that same email address, so it’s a convenient way to do things.