The Cubs are close to signing Marlon Byrd

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Chicago had been waiting to move Milton Bradley before bringing in someone else to take his place in the outfield. Now they’ve moved Bradley, and according to Dallas Morning News blogger Evan Grant, they’re close to signing Marlon Byrd.

Grant says what a lot of others have said: the Cubs were interested in both Byrd and Mike Cameron, but lost out on Cameron to the Sox while trying to peddle Bradley. Why they didn’t just go after Cameron as a first priority makes no sense to me, because he’s better than Byrd by just about every measure, most especially in terms of defense and, you know, not being a creation of the Ballpark at Arlington like Byrd is.

And with Carlos Silva in town, aren’t you gonna want someone in the outfield to chase down all of those liners off the wall?

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.