The Cubs had intended to shut down Sheffield Avenue outside the ballpark for nine days — nine days! — to have a big street fair with bands and food and all kinds of hubub, beginning this weekend to coincide with the Yankees coming to town. Due to local displeasure at the disruption of traffic and stuff, however, they’re moving the thing off Sheffiled and into a parking lot nearby.
In other news, there are parking lots near Wrigley Field. Who knew?
The thing that stood out in the Chicago Sun-Times article about this all, however, were the comments from the head of a local merchants’ association, explaining the reasoning behind the street fair idea:
“They’re trying to entertain their fans and have an exciting event around the ballpark, even if the team doesn’t win. I don’t think they want to be doing this. The Cubs are not in the street fair business. But, this is what they have to do to stay relevant.”
Ouch. But hey, enjoy the party!
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.