Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon are late-night poker pals

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Here’s an amusing little tidbit from Philadelphia Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross:

Before the Phillies left for Houston, Cliff Lee brought fellow pitcher Jonathan Papelbon to Harrah’s in Chester to play poker. Lee’s a regular at Harrah’s poker room, usually playing late at night.

That’s legal, of course, as opposed to Alex Rodriguez’s appearances at underground poker games last year, although I’m sure MLB isn’t exactly thrilled about players gambling legally either.

I’m guessing Cliff Lee is pretty good at poker. Probably has a lot of patience, probably very precise, probably knows the math and strategy well.

I’m guessing Jonathan Papelbon re-raises everything pre-flop, goes all-in constantly for like 10 times more than he needs to bet, and then flips over the table whenever he doesn’t win a big pot.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.