The embrace that will start a million rumors.
CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports that Albert Pujols and Cubs GM Jim Hendry shared a hug prior to Tuesday’s Cardinals-Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
And he has the picture to prove it.
A simple bro hug it wasn’t.
No word yet on whether Hendry whispered “$300 million” into Pujols’ right ear. And we can’t imagine that there’s anything to the rumors that the Cubs inflicted Tony La Russa with shingles so that Hendry and Pujols could have some time alone.
Pujols, of course, is a free agent at season’s end, and the Cubs are viewed as a top candidate to sign him if he opts to leave St. Louis.
“I can’t win,” Hendry said, stating the obvious (he works for the Cubs after all). “I like Albert. We’ve always gotten along. He’s a great, great player. I admire the heck out of him. He plays the game the right way every day.”
Hendry tried to deflect attention by saying he also hugged Ryan Theriot, though we’ve seen no photographic evidence of such an event.
(Pic: Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro informs Pujols of where he’ll be standing when he’s playing first base for the team next year.)
In a column published on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres are “aggressively shopping” third baseman Yangervis Solarte. The 29-year-old is entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $2.7 million next season.
This past season, Solarte hit a solid .286/.341/.467 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances. It’s quite impressive factoring in that he plays in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Given that Solarte is team-controlled for three more years and he offers lots of versatility with previous experience playing first and second base as well as corner outfield, the Padres should receive a fair amount of interest.
Update (6:52 PM EST): The deal is expected to be one year for $13 million, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms the report.
The Yankees are close to signing veteran free agent Matt Holliday, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports.
Holliday, who turns 37 years old next month, was limited to 110 games in 2016 with the Cardinals due to a fractured left thumb suffered in the second half. He finished the season hitting .246/.322/.461 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 426 plate appearances.
Holliday is likely looking at spending the majority of his time in the DH role. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann handled the DH role for a majority of the time last season but all three have moved on — Rodriguez was released in the second half, Beltran just signed with the Astros, and McCann was traded to the Astros last month.