Bobby Abreu wants to play in 2014

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Bobby Abreu spent all winter looking for a team but couldn’t find one. He’s not retiring, though. As Jerry Crasnick notes in his feature, Abreu wants to come back in 2014.  He plans on spending this season attending to business interests but will play winter ball in Venezuela and try to latch on to a major league team next year.

Good luck. Abreu is 39. He hit .242 with a .350 on-base percentage in 100 games for the Angels and Dodgers, which isn’t hay, but he has no defensive value at all and a one-year layoff isn’t going to help him.  I’d be shocked if we saw him playing again.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.