Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

old stove featureI have now seen the new ‘Star Wars.’ In service of my own policy against spoilers until folks have had a fair chance to see it, I won’t comment on the movie beyond the mere confirmation that I’ve seen it (and am relieved that I can once again resume using the Internet as usual … which is good, because it’s kinda my job).

Also, some rumor and transaction stuff around baseball to steer you into your Friday night …

  • It sounds like the Brandon Phillips trade is going to go down at some point, with Bill Ladson reporting that a source says there’s an 85 to 90 percent chance Phillips will waive his no-trade clause to come over.
  • The Pirates have nabbed their latest reclamation project in the form of 38-year-old Ryan Vogelsong. He was actually with the Pirates some ten years ago before he headed off to Japan, found success, and then re-emerged as a successful starter for the Giants in his 30s. Although he was decent in 2014, Vogelsong bookended that season with terrible campaigns in 2013 and 2015 (must be that even year Giants thing). If he’s got anything left, the Pirates will be able to get it out of him.

  • Perhaps not unrelatedly, the Pirates’ last reclamation project is headed out the door – the Pirates grabbed Allen Webster from the Diamondbacks earlier this offseason, and many thought the Pirates would be the team to turn him back around, given his relative youth and upside. Instead, he’s been released, and it sounds like he could be headed to Korea to make some money.
  • And one more Pirates move, as they picked up Jason Rogers from the Brewers in a minor trade, and he could factor into their first base mix for 2016. Rogers, 27, hit a very solid¬†.296/.367/.441 in limited big league duty for the Brewers in 2015,
  • The Cubs are not on Jonathan Papelbon’s no-trade list (Jerry Crasnick), which will probably¬†never be relevant.
  • Henderson Alvarez was one of the hottest non-tender targets, given his upside, and it’ll be the A’s that try to extract it on a one-year, $4 million deal with some incentive built in (Chris Cotillo).
  • If you were wondering where Junior Lake was going to wind up after the Orioles DFA’d him, it’ll be Toronto (Bruce Levine). Lake could bounce around the waiver wire a bit more this offseason as a guy that teams will try to get through and stash at AAA.

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