Cubs give minor league deals to Brent Lillibridge and Darnell McDonald

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According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, the Cubs have signed utility man Brent Lillibridge and outfielder Darnell McDonald to minor league contracts. Both will get invites to major league spring training.

Lillibridge, 29, batted just .199/.250/.274 with three homers, 13 stolen bases and a .524 OPS in 209 plate appearances last season between the White Sox, Red Sox and Indians. However, he’s capable of playing everywhere and socked 13 homers as recently as 2011.

McDonald batted .214 (18-for-84) with two homers in 38 games with the Red Sox last season and went 0-for-4 in a brief stint with the Yankees. The 34-year-old owns a .778 OPS over 431 plate appearances against left-handed pitching in the majors and clearly still has a fan in Cubs president Theo Epstein.

Mets, Orioles have discussed a Matt Harvey trade

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Orioles and Mets have discussed a trade for Matt Harvey.

Rosenthal says the discussions have involved a reliever going back to New York and observes that that Harvey and Brad Brach are projected for similar salaries in their final arbitration years which could make a financial match.

There have been a handful of Harvey rumors over the past couple of days, with a report coming out yesterday that the Mets have spoken with at least two teams about their fallen ace. Jon Heyman said today that the Rangers may have been one of those teams. Maybe the Orioles are the second or, perhaps, the third?

All if this has to be pretty deflating if you’re a Mets fan, given the promise and dominance Harvey showed before injuries waylaid him the past two seasons. Harvey is still just 28 but he made only 18 starts and one relief appearance last year, posting a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92.2 innings.

If the Mets can’t find a trade partner this winter, they’ll clearly hope for him to rebound at least a little bit in 2018, allowing him to regain some trade value.