Junior Lake in Center Field? and Other Bullets

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Junior Lake in Center Field? and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs
Photo By Scott Jontes

The world is ending tomorrow, according to silly people, so make sure you do something fun for yourself and your friends/family today. The something fun for yourself? How about checking out the BN Podcast? Hi-yo! Self-promotion-pocalypse!

  • Yes, we’re all mostly waiting on Edwin Jackson/Carlos Villanueva news, so you can consider these Bullets a bit of lighter fare. If you missed this morning’s Jackson/Villanueva update, here it is. Further, here’s the latest on Villanueva, specifically (looks like a two-year, $10 million deal). ESPNChicago, citing Buster Olney, is calling a four-year, $52 million deal with Jackson “close.”
  • Junior Lake has been starting in center field a fair bit in the Dominican Winter League, which, yes, is almost certainly as much about just finding a spot for him and getting his bat in the lineup as it is about the Cubs wanting to see him in center field. But, here’s the thing to keep in mind: the Dominican Winter League isn’t just some developmental league – it’s actually a competitive league where the teams very much want to win. The team wouldn’t keep putting him in center field unless they  saw some ability there. Center field hasn’t really been a plausible long-term suggestion for Lake, but it suppose it’s just as likely as any other position for the athletic but inconsistent youngster. His bat would obviously play a whole lot better in center field than a corner spot. Very few think he can stick at shortstop, and he’s blocked there by Starlin Castro anyway. I think he spends most of 2013 at AAA (if he’s still with the Cubs), regardless.
  • Yesterday, 11 years ago, the Cubs signed Moises Alou to a “big-time” three-year, $27 million contract. I remember thinking it was a shock that the Cubs actually went out and got a big free agent and spent a lot of money on him (seems quaint now). I wonder how I would greet the signing today. He was 34 at the time, and coming off some huge seasons in Houston. It was a fair bit of money at the time, but it was still an era where guys were performing well into their late 30s (indeed, Alou struggled his first year with the Cubs, was just OK his second year, and then was enormously awesome in his final year with the Cubs, at age 36/37).
  • The Tribune offers a couple videos on former Cubs: Ryne Sandberg on his role with the Phillies, and Ryan Dempster being introduced as a member of the Red Sox.
  • Jed Hoyer is the 5th sexiest GM in MLB, per a jovial list on Big League Stew. He is, indeed, a handsome man.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.