Theo Epstein bought a $3.25 million house blocks from Wrigley Field

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Theo Epstein is putting his five-year, $20 million contract to work already, as Bob Goldsborough of the Chicago Tribune reports that the new Cubs president paid $3.25 million for a 7,800-square foot house “just blocks from Wrigley Field.”

Goldsborough writes that Chicago Blackhawks player Patrick Sharp had “signed a contract to buy the house” back in September, but backed out of the deal. Epstein stepped in and bought it for about $250,000 more than the original list price.

Epstein’s new place is a block away from Ryan Dempster’s house, which the right-hander bought for $2.7 million in 2008. Maybe they can carpool to work.

(And this concludes my TMZ impersonation. Sorry.)

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.