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Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts to be the deputy Secretary of Commerce under Trump

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President-elect Donald Trump is reported to have offered Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts the job of Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Assuming everyone gets confirmed, Ricketts will report to Wilbur Ross, Trump’s choice for Commerce Secretary.

Ricketts is the younger brother of Tom Ricketts, who is the Cubs Chairman and principal owner. Besides Todd and Tom, other co-owners include Ricketts siblings Peter and Laura and their parents, Joseph and Marlene Ricketts. Todd has run a conservative political action committee for some time and father Joseph Ricketts, the billionaire founder of Ameritrade, is a conservative activist who runs his own PAC. Sister Laura, on the other hand, was a supporter and fundraiser for Hillary Clinton and is a leader of Lambda Legal, which advocates and litigates for gay rights. I’m guessing Thanksgiving dinner conversation was lively at the Ricketts residence yesterday.

Given that Tom is the MLB control person for the Cubs this shouldn’t impact the ball club. One assumes, however, that Major League Baseball — itself run by politically active folks — will be pleased to have one of their own serving in the new administration.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.