Cubs add Chad Tracy to bench mix

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The Cubs did a little more work Tuesday evening toward filling their bench.  According to ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine, the team will announce on Wednesday the signing of infielder Chad Tracy to a minor league contract.

Tracy, 29, batted .237/.306/.389 last season with eight home runs and 39 RBI in 257 at-bats.  He’s struggled with injuries for the past few years, but it seems like a fine deal considering the money exchanged.  Tracy will earn $900,000 if he lands on the big league roster and can gain another $525,000 if he reaches 450 plate appearances.

There’s also a clause in Tracy’s contract that will award him $100,000 for Comeback Player of the Year honors.  That would certainly be a welcome scenario for both sides.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.