Cubs News and Rumors
The Cubs have signed two more players to minor league deals as they add depth to the organization and fill roster spots lost to free agency over the winter. Chris Valiaka, who spent ’14 between AAA Iowa and Chicago, has re-signed with Cubs and they also added RHP Andres Santiago. Valaika showed the ability play numerous positions at Iowa (.278/.344/.423, 102 G, 10 HR) and in 44 games after getting called up in August, the 29-year-old hit .231/.344/.423.......A season after no-hitting the Tennessee Smokies, Santiago is now joining the organization. A former Dodgers farmhand for the past eight seasons, the 25-year-old made 24 starts in AA last year, going 6-8 with a 4.47 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. The Puerto Rican native fanned 12 Tennessee hitters in his Aug. 28 no-no, his final start of the year.
Hot Stove News
The Oakland A’s interesting off-season continues as they traded C John Jaso along with minor league prospects SS Daniel Robertson and OF Boog Powell to Tampa for utility man Ben Zobrist and SS Yunel Escobar. Here’s the story from Oakland Clubhouse.
Venezuelan Winter League
La Guaira downed Aragua 6-1 and both teams are 2-4. In La Guaira’s win, Joseph Ortiz allowed a hit in two-thirds of an inning of scoreless relief, recording the first two outs of the 8th.
Dominican Winter League
Gigantes (10-2) defeated Aguilas (4-8) 7-1 and clinched a spot in the final series. Manny Ramirez (.244) went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the loss....Estrellas (6-6) moved closer to the final series with a 8-2 win over Toros (4-8). Junior Lake doubled in a run in the three-run third and finished 1-for-5 with a stolen base.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Based on overall record, Obregon is the lucky loser and despite dropping the 7th game in the opening round again Mexicali, faces Jalisco in the semi-finals. Mexicali meets Culiacan in the other best-for-seven series. Games begin on Sunday.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Carolina (2-4) vs. Mayaguez (4-2) as well as Santurce (5-1) against Caguas (1-5) were rained out.