Cubs re-sign Kawasaki and two others
According to Baseball America, the Cubs have re-signed infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league deal for the 2017 season. The Cubs also added C Carlos Corporan and 1B/3B Chris Dominguez to minor league contracts.
Kawasaki signed as a free agent last year and was part of the 40-man roster before electing for free agency after the season. Kawasaki appeared in 14 games for the North Siders (.333/.462/.429, 21 AB) and spent most of his year in Iowa (.255/.352/.312, 102 G). Kawasaki, who made his MLB debut in 2012 for Seattle after 11 years in Japan, provides middle infield insurance in the minors.
A veteran of 232 big league games from 2011-15 for the Astros and Rangers, Corporan spent 2016 in AAA with the Rays and the Marlins organizations. A former draft pick of the Brewers in 2003, the Puerto Rican native sports a career slash line of .218/.280/.342 with 20 homers in 780 plate appearances. He’s thrown out 23 percent of base runners in his career. Corporan give the Cubs needed depth behind the plate and is more than likely to make an appearance in Chicago during the 2017 season—not unlike Tim Federowicz and Taylor Teagarden have the past two years.
A versatile corner infielder who can also play the outfield, Dominguez was originally drafted by the Giants and after spending most of his minor league career at third, the former Louisville Cardinal made his pro debut with the Giants in 2014 (8 G, 1-for-17) and spent the 2015 season in the Reds organization after signing as a free agent. With the Red Sox last year in AAA, the 30-year-old hit .241/.275/.439in 77 games. Dominguez should see plenty of time on the corners in Iowa.
Cubs fans won’t have to wait until Iowa starts its season to see these three as they’re likely to get plenty of action in spring training games. Corporan will be reporting on Feb. 14 with the rest of the players starting camp on Feb. 18.
Around the Minors
With ticket prices at Wrigley Field on the rise, the minors continue to be the best buy in baseball and the Iowa Cubs have three plans for the 2017 season. All three plans give you the option of sitting down the first and third base lines in club box seats or reserved grandstand seats on the first and third base side. They also include a parking pass for each game as well as access to the Cubs Club restaurant. The Mini Plan is eight games for $98, the PCL pass is $165 for 15 games, and the Sunshine Sampler is $300 for 24 games.
Venezuelan Winter League
RH Jhondaniel Medina recorded one out and allowed a hit in the eighth inning of Lara’s 2-1 16-inning loss to Margarita, who took a 3-2 series lead. Caribes ripped seven doubles and took a 3-2 series lead over La Guaira with a 13-2 win.
Dominican Winter League
3B Chesny Young was 0-for-2 with a run scored and two walks while C Taylor Davis finished 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly RBI but Escogido fell to Gigantes 7-6 in the only game of the night. Aguilas leads robin-robin play at 8-1 and with the win, Gigantes improved to 3-5. Licey is 3-5 and Escogido is 3-6.
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Los Mochis clinched a spot in the semi-finals with a 4-3 win over Mazatlan to take the series 4-1. Culiacan grabbed a 3-2 series lead with a 6-2 win over Hermosillo while Navojoa beat Mexicalli 8-6 to fight off elimination in Game 5.
Puerto Rican Winter League
1B Yasiel Balaguert went 1-for-3 but Santurce took a 2-1 series lead with a 11-0 win over Carolina. Caguas beat Mayaguez 5-4 for their first win of the series.