As Spring Training nears, first-year Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is beginning to get hands-on work with some of his players. The new Cubs skipper headed south to Puerto Rico this weekend to work with slugging infield prospect Javier Baez, who struggled in his first big league season last year.
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On the other side of Chicago, players and fans alike are excited about the changes made to the Chicago White Sox, a team that added free agent closer David Robertson, while also acquiring former Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija. Added to the likes of reigning American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu, Robin Ventura‘s team will look to dethrone the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
In other news around the league, the Seattle Mariners re-signed veteran outfielder Endy Chavez to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Last season, Chavez batted .276/.317/.371 while manning all three outfield positions for a surprisingly competitive M’s club.
The Cleveland Indians could still make a play for major free agent pieces, according to general manager Mark Shapiro. Among other teams that could still add before reporting to camp next year are the Cubs’ division rival – the Milwaukee Brewers – who traded right-hander Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers last week.
Here’s more from around the world of Major League Baseball:
“Dan Vogelbach listed on top 1B prospect list” – Cubbies Crib
“Blue Jays end negotiations for Dan Duquette” – SportsNet Canada
“Mariners bring back Chavez for 2015” – The News Tribune
“White Sox rave about Hahn’s additions” – CSN Chicago