Cubs Jan. 17 Notebook

The Cubs signed pitchers Daniel Bard and Francisley Bueno to minor league deals and also announced at the Cubs Convention that the bleachers would most likely not be ready for opening night. Plus your daily winter league playoff update.

Cubs News and Rumors
The Cubs have signed pitchers Daniel Bard and Francisley Bueno to minor league deals with an invite to spring training. Not the first go-around for Bard, who was claimed off waivers in Sept. of 2013 and released a few months later. The 29-year-old pitched in the Rangers system last year but allowed nine walks and hit seven batters in two-thirds of an inning (4 games). Cubs may be hoping Bard can regain his 2010 form when he sported a 1.93 ERA in 73 relief appearances for Boston but that ship may have sailed............The Cubs also added left-handed reliever Francisley Bueno, who has spent 2014 in Kansas City but was not part of the playoff roster despite a line of 30 G, 32.1 IP, 7 BB, 20 K, 4.18 ERA, 1.33 WHIP. The 33-year-old from Cuba provides more left-handed bullpen help for the Cubs and relies on a sinker and slider..........Big news out of Cubs Convention was the announcement that the bleachers would not be ready for opening day and may not open until May. Fans with season tickets will be given the option of a refund or seats within the ball park. Cubs officials cited a problem with the city‘s water line for the delay............My favorite line of the Cubs Con came from new catcher Miguel Montero, “I don’t frame pitches.” This coming from the guy who led baseball in pitch framing last year.

Venezuelan Winter League
La Guaira beat Magallanes 4-2 and Zulia whipped Aragua 12-6. Caribes (9-3) had the day off and hold a one game lead over Magallanes, are up four games on Zulia and both La Guaira and Aragua are five out.......Joseph Ortiz gave up a single to the only batter he faced, allowing one of the three inherited runners to score in La Guaira’s win.....C Willson Contreras saw his first action of the playoffs, going 0-for-4 for Aragua. Teammate Rubi Silva was 1-for-4 with a RBI.

Dominican Winter League
Estrellas beat Gigantes 11-2 to take the first game of the DWL best-of-nine series. No Cubs saw action.

Mexican Pacific Winter League
Day off as Jalisco leads Obregon 3-2 and Mexicali has a 3-2 advantage over Culiacan.

Puerto Rican Winter League
Mayaguez (7-5) beat first-place Santurce 2-1 in 11 innings to pull within a game. Carolina (7-5) is back in the hunt after a 4-0 win over Caguas. No Cubs players saw action.

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