Cubs News and Rumors
The Cubs have turned a waiver wire acquisition into a minor league pitcher. On Wednesday, the Cubs traded LHP Mike Kickham to Seattle for minor league right-hander Lars Huijer. Kickham was claimed off waivers from the Giants on Dec. 23 and then designated for assignment on Jan. 9 to make room for OF Chris Denorfia. The Cubs received Huijer, who was 8th in Seattle minors with 124 IP between Clinton and High Desert, both Class A affiliates. Signed as a free agent in in 2011, Huijer went 6-9 with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. He’s primarily a ground ball pitcher but had control problems with 4.4 BB/9 between the two levels. Interesting to see if Huijer can make one of the rotations or the Cubs will use the 6-foot-4 righty out of the bullpen to start his sixth minor league season.
Venezuelan Winter League
Magallanes (7-3) moved into a first-place tie with Caribes (7-3) after a 10-4 win over La Guaira (3-6). Zulia (4-6) beat Caribes 6-2. No Cubs players saw action.
Dominican Winter League
Estrellas (9-6) moved closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 4-2 win over Aguilas (6-9). CF Junior Lake (.286) delivered a RBI single and also walked and scored in the win. Manny Ramirez was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored in the loss......Toros (5-10) beat Gigantes (10-5) 5-3.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Jalisco took a 2-1 lead in the series with a 4-2 win over Obregon. 3B Christian Villanueva was 0-for-2 with a walk in the loss. In the other series, Mexicali had a walk-off win in the 10th to take a 2-1 seise lead.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Santurce (7-3) moved back into first with a 4-1 win over Caguas (2-8). SS Javier Baez was 0-for-4 in the win. Carolina (5-5) beat Mayaguez (6-4) 5-2.
Hot Stove News
The Atlanta Braves have been busy this off-season. That continued on Wednesday when they shipped catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis to the Astros for minor league pitching prospects Mike Foltynewicz, Andrew Thurman and 3B Rio Ruiz.........The A’s traded SS Yule Escobar to the Nationals for relief pitcher Tyler Clippard. The A’s acquired Escobar from Tampa in the trade that brought Ben Zobrist to Oakland.