Cubs News and Notes: Cubs sign infielder, Castellanos, third base watch, Hot Stove, more


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Asuaje will battle for the final roster spot for the Cubs in 2020 (Jake Roth - USA Today Sports)
Asuaje will battle for the final roster spot for the Cubs in 2020 (Jake Roth - USA Today Sports)

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

Next Game: Next Game: 46 days – Saturday, February 22, 2020: Athletics vs Cubs (Sloan Park)

Opening Day: 79 days – Thursday, March 26, 2020: Cubs vs. Brewers (Miller Park)

Another MiLB deal: Before you get too excited, it’s only a minor league deal, but hey – at least it’s something to show there’s still a pulse at 1060 W. Addison. Yesterday, the Cubs signed infielder Carlos Asuaje to a minor-league pact, with an invite to Spring Training, according to Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic.

The 28-year old has had limited MLB time, playing 175 games, all with the Padres, and is a career .240 hitter. During the 2017 campaign, Asuaje did manage a .270 average in 89 games, while smacking four homers and tallying 21 RBI.

All and all, this amounts to another low-rent, low-risk move for the Cubs, but if there is an upside, Asuaje is controllable through 2024.

Goodbye, Nick? According to Jon Morosi, Nick Castellanos had “a good meeting” with the Texas Rangers, and they are now among the finalists to sign him. If there’s any encouraging side to this story, I guess it would be that the word “finalists” is plural. Are the Cubs still in?

Third base watch: As Josh Donaldson’s decision looms, it looks like the Atlanta Braves may once again be the frontrunner. Recently, Minnesota was reported to take a step back after learning that Donaldson wanted four years and $110M.

I’ve maintained that Kris Bryant would be a Brave on Opening Day. Still, with Atlanta’s newfound interest in re-signing Donaldson, Theo may have to find another avenue to pursue if he wants to deal KB. The Nationals pulled back when Victor Roble's name was mentioned, but I think they may remain players in the Bryant sweepstakes, especially if Donaldson stays in Atlanta.

The Dodgers and Phillies also had an early interest in KB, but of the two, the Dodgers may be the team that can offer talented prospects to the Cubs. Minnesota still needs a third baseman, but to date, there’s been no mention of the Twins vying for KB.

Cubs History: Yesterday marked eight years ago that the Cubs acquired this guy from the San Diego Padres.

Cubs’ Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday, were ex-Cubs Lee Walls (87) and Clyde Beck (120).

Today, Big Jon Lester celebrates as he hits age 36.

Baseball Quotes: “I want productive at-bats. I don’t want to just single with two outs and nobody on ... I want to do some damage.” -Scott Rolen

MLB and the Hot Stove

NL Central News:

Reds: Cincinnati has signed Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama to a three-year/$21M deal.

Then, there’s this…

From the Rest of MLB:

Giants: SF has signed catcher Tyler Heineman to a minor league deal.

Orioles: Baltimore has signed former Reds’ shortstop Jose Iglesias to a one-year/$3M. It includes a $2.5MM salary for 2020, along with a $500K buyout of a $3.5MM club option.

Nationals: Washington is finalizing their two-year deal ($11M, another $1M available in performance bonuses) with reliever, Daniel Hudson.

The Nats have also agreed to terms with former Milwaukee slugger and 1B, Eric Thames. It’s a one-year, $4MM pact that includes a $1MM buyout on mutual option.

Angels/Marlins: The Halos have acquired RHP Kyle Keller from the Marlins in exchange for catcher Jose Estrada.

Rockies: Colorado has signed infielder Kelby Tomlinson to a minor league deal. The team has also signed former Pirates’ backstop, Elias Diaz to a minor league deal.

Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone says after a disappointing end to 2019, the Yankees will have an “extra edge” going into 2020.

Tigers: Detroit has avoided arbitration with RHP Michael Fulmer, as the parties agreed to a one-year/$2.8M deal.

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