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The Cubs are close to re-signing Munenori Kawasaki

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As far as signings go this is about as minor as it gets, but the player in question is fun, so that’s worth noting.

Sports Hochi reports that the Cubs are close to re-signing Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league contract. Kawasaki is a utlilityman who played some second and third in 14 big league games for the Cubs last year. He played a a lot of shortstop for Triple-A Iowa last season and a little shortstop at the big league level when he was with the Blue Jays. His bat is nothing to write home about. He’ll be organizational depth.

But hopefully he’ll have his moments in the spotlight. Like when a spring training crowd in Mesa chanted his name and he responded with a big homer, all coming on the day he was cut from the big league squad. Or when he sang Aerosmith’s “I don’t want to miss a thing” for his teammates. He’s a fun dude.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.