Report: Cubs “on the fringes” for free agent outfielder Michael Bourn

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UPDATE: So much for that. Carrie Muskat, who covers the Cubs for MLB.com, writes that Bourn to the Cubs is “not happening.” Could this be a case of Bourn’s agent, Scott Boras, making a last-ditch effort to create a market for his client?

8:06 PM: There’s been plenty of chatter over the past couple of weeks about a possible match between the Mets and Michael Bourn, but otherwise the market for the free agent outfielder has been eerily quiet. However, it seems there is one potential landing spot that has flown under the radar.

The Cubs currently project to begin the season with Alfonso Soriano in left field, David DeJesus in center field and a platoon of Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston in right field. If the Cubs were to swoop in and sign Bourn, they could move DeJesus into a corner and try to find a suitor for Soriano, who still has two years and $36 million left on his contract. Of course, they’d have to eat a big portion of his remaining contract to make that happen and Soriano has the ability to veto any deal.

While FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has also listed the Cubs as a possibility, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times doesn’t see Bourn coming at a steep enough discount to be a realistic fit.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.