james russell cubsAs I mentioned yesterday, I am in Chicago for a few days this week roadtripping with a buddy who is interviewing at a residency program up here. To that end, I’m going to crowd-source a request if you don’t mind: if and when he’s considering neighborhoods (probably in Chicago, not the suburbs), what are some of the nicer, but still affordable, areas he should be checking out? I could give him a rough sense, but I don’t know the ins and outs as well as you locals. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

  • The Cubs made their long-awaited Wesley Wright signing official yesterday. The lefty, who has been particularly good in his career against lefties, will get $1.425 million for 2014, and is under control through 2015 by way of arbitration. Unless something changes, Wright will presumably pair with James Russell as the second lefty in the bullpen, with Zac Rosscup, Brooks Raley, and possibly Chris Rusin as rostered lefties down at Iowa. The Cubs also reportedly have interest in Jonathan Sanchez and Clayton Richard, who would compete for a lefty reliever spot as well, making Russell expendable. If the Cubs’ minor league deal with Tsuyoshi Wada is a real thing (last week, a Googly Translated article out of Japan made it sound like the two sides had a deal, whereas more recent reports suggest Wada is still mulling things over), there will be yet another lefty in the mix, although Wada would likely remain a starter. Eric Jokisch will also likely be starting at Iowa. Too many lefties, most of whom can be shuffled to Iowa, is not a bad thing. But it’s a healthily sized group to watch, and the only one guaranteed to open the year in the big league bullpen with the Cubs at this point is Wright.
  • Jay Jaffe writes a long, tribute-esque piece about Greg Maddux, who will be voted into the Hall of Fame this year, even though it won’t be unanimous. After reading Jaffe’s piece, it is all the more insane to know that it won’t be.

  • Buried in the latest piece on what to expect at this year’s Cubs Convention is word that Ted Lilly – THE Ted Lilly – will be in attendance this year after recently retiring. I must warn you in advance: do not try to fight Ted Lilly just so you can say that you did. He will take you out.
  • In his Bears Bullets this morning, Jay notes the biggest news of all: the Lions lost last night, leaping the Bears into first place.
  • Baseball Reference knocked it out of the park with a player card for Rudolph. Decent speed, decent discipline, but not much pop. Very good leadoff hitter potential. He just needs the Abominable Snowman mashing behind him.

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