Cubs GM Jim Hendry is releasing a book!

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OK, maybe not, but someone wants you to think he is.

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, somebody circulated a fake press release promoting a book claimed to be written by Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. The title? “How to Finish Near Last Place with the Highest Payroll in the League.”

It gets better. Here are just a few of the chapter highlights:

– Why I signed Milton Bradley.

– Why I released Casey McGehee only to see him hit 20 home runs and drive in nearly 100 runs for a division rival.

– Why I signed players to long-term contracts with limited trade options.

Here’s the photo evidence. Sullivan called the fake release “tacky,” while Carrie Muskat of MLB.com described it as “tasteless.” Both reviews are sure to make it on the fake book flap.

According to Muskat, Brewers’ VP of Communications Tyler Barnes said the team is trying to determine who left the fake release in the press box.

“It’s an unfortunate incident and lousy attempt at a practical joke.”

Really? I thought it was pretty successful. 

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.