The Cubs are following in the Red Sox’ footsteps

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We know they’ve hired Theo Epstein and are looking at the same managerial candidates, but one other way in which the Cubs are aping the Red Sox is in their approach to their historic old ballpark:  they wanna make it a cash cow.

We’ve talked about that a lot over the past couple of years, but this story in the New York Times from over the weekend outlines and updates that nicely enough.  Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is even quoted in their saying that Epstein’s experience with the renovation in Boston was a plus for him being hired in Chicago.  I’m assuming it’s because he knows how to do drywall or something, because otherwise I presume renovations will be handled by building professionals, not baseball executives.

Anyway, the Cubs are going to be interesting to watch over the next five years. I don’t think Epstein is a god or anything, but I really get the feeling that something new is happening and that the Cubs aren’t going to continue to be an easy punchline for organizational ineptness going forward.

Red Sox place Sandy León on waivers

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The Red Sox have placed catcher Sandy León on waivers, WEEI’s Evan Drellich reports. León hit .233 in 30 at-bats this spring, but he did draw seven walks.

León, 30, was quite productive in 2016, racking up an .845 OPS, but followed that up with back-to-back disappointing campaigns the last two seasons. He mustered a meager .511 OPS in 288 plate appearances last season. León, however, is under team control through the 2020 season and is well-regarded for his defense, so it seems probable that the Red Sox find a trade partner and send him to be a back-up elsewhere.

Christian Vázquez will handle the bulk of the catching duties this season with Blake Swihart backing him up now that León will be out of the picture. Swihart had been used more as a utilityman in recent seasons.