Joey Votto still hasn’t decided if he’s playing in the World Baseball Classic

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World Baseball Classic games begin this weekend, yet Joey Votto still hasn’t made a decision about whether he’ll play for Team Canada.

Votto’s status for the tournament is in question because of the pair of knee surgeries he had last season, but he’s healthy enough to have played in five spring training games for the Reds already.

Votto explained the delayed decision to Barry Bloom of MLB.com:

I don’t think it would be fair to anybody to make a commitment like that and then back out right beforehand. I just want to make sure I’m healthy.

Which is fine, except if his health is truly still in question just days before the start of the tournament it would seem like a no-brainer to skip the WBC. And the Reds would probably prefer that too.

Team Canada workouts begin Monday and they have an exhibition game Wednesday … against the Reds. However, even if Votto decides to play for Canada he’s unlikely to see any WBC action until the games actually count.

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.