Cubs Sign Kawasaki to Minor League Deal

Jon Paul Morosi at Fox Sports reports that the Cubs have signed veteran utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a 2016 minor league contract, and Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune further reports that Kawasaki will receive an NRI to Spring Training with the big club.

2016 Hall of Fame Results

Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, receiving 99.32% of the vote. He becomes the 51st player elected in their first year. His percentage of votes is the highest all-time. Mike Piazza was also elected in his fourth year on the ballot. 

With three players (Maddux, Glavine, Thomas) elected in 2014 and four players (Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio) elected in 2015, this now makes a total of nine players elected in a three-year span. This is only the third time that has happened in history, following 1954-56 and 1936-38.

2016 Hall of Fame Predictions

This year’s Hall of Fame ballot has 32 players total, including 15 newcomers, for voters to consider. Last year’s elections saw four worthy candidates elected—Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio—and only one new-comer—Ken Griffey Jr.—is likely to get elected this year. This election is thus a crucial one for down-ballot players, especially given the reduction in the number of years a player can remain on the ballot from 15 to 10 made in 2015.

Opening Day Roster Predictions

The Cubs made flurry of moves at the recent Winter Meetings, including signing Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, and John Lackey and trading Starlin Castro to the Yankees for Adam Warren. The bulk of the roster is now set, and we can already take a look at the potential Opening Day roster and the battles for the few remaining slots on it.

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Winter Meetings (Day Five)

Update 3: The contract has two separate opt-out clauses. The first comes after three years.

Update 2: Rosenthal has it at 8/$184m.

Update: According to ESPN, the Cubs have signed Jason Heyward.

The Winter Meetings come to a close, after a relatively quiet day.

The latest word on Heyward is that the Nats have emerged as a serious bidder to rival the Cards and Cubs. The contract could pass the $200m mark, and it sounds like a decision could come at any minute.

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