D-Lee a Yankee?
It's a long shot, but the New York Yankees wouldn't mind seeing either ex-Cub Derrek Lee or former Braves star Chipper Jones come out of retirement to man first base because Mark Teixeira is out with a wrist injury.
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Lee, 37, has not played since 2011, when he had a combined line of .267/.325/.446 with 19 homers between the Orioles and Pirates. For his career, Lee's line is .281/.365/.495 with 331 homers.
The New York Times reported that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Lee is a "Yankee type of player." Cashman said Lee is "intrigued," but there is no offer.
Lee played for the Cubs from 2004 until he was traded to the Braves during the 2010 season.
Jones, by the way, tweeted Monday that he's flattered by the speculation but that he's not coming out of retirement.
Former Cubs utility man Jeff Baker is making a bid to make the Texas Rangers after going to spring training as a nonroster man.
Entering Monday, Baker was 15-for-30 as his line was .500/.531/.633 with 4 doubles and 5 RBI. He was a Cub from 2009 until last Aug. 5, when he was traded to the Tigers, who turned around and dealt him to the Braves at the end of the month. He can play first, second and third bases as well as the outfield corners.
"I think his experience is important," Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters. "He knows what he can do off the bench and what he can't."
Ramirez on the mend:
Aramis Ramirez began taking batting practice again Sunday for the Milwaukee Brewers as he continues his comeback from a sprained left knee, suffered while sliding into second base March 2.
The former Cubs third baseman is expected to miss 1-2 weeks.
"He's coming along really well," manager Ron Roenicke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's been running around. He's going to take some ground balls right at him … we're not going to move him around much.
"But he's coming along fast. He's a pretty tough guy, too, so we need to make sure he's not still sore when we put him back out there in a game. I know the trainers are happy with what's happening with him."
Flaherty looks to stick:
The Baltimore Orioles claimed infielder-outfielder Ryan Flaherty from the Cubs in the December 2011 Rue 5 draft. They had to keep him on the big-league roster all of last year, when he put up a line of .216/.258/.359 with 6 homers in 77 games. He also homered in the playoffs against the Yankees.
The Orioles can send Flaherty to the minor leagues now, but he's bidding to make the team.
Much will depend on the Orioles' injury situation and how competition for jobs plays out the rest of spring training.
"To be honest with you, it really doesn't matter where I play," Flaherty said. "I feel pretty comfortable anywhere. Maybe it just takes an extra day to take a couple extra flyballs, but it's good."
Manager Buck Showalter wasn't counting Flaherty out.
"He's doing the things to put himself in the position to make (the team), just got to continue," Showalter told the paper. "You guys can tell he's got a little different sureness to his step. He knows the level and what's expected and he's playing like a very confident player right now, I think defensively and everything he's doing."
When Tyler Colvin made the Cubs roster in 2010 with a big spring, he did it by hitting the ball hard but not drawing walks.
Entering Monday for the Colorado Rockies, Colvin had a line of .278/.278/.333 on 5-for-18 hitting. He had drawn no walks while striking out five times. That's probably the way it's going to be for Colvin, who has drawn 67 walks in 1,089 plate appearances in 357 big-league games.
Colvin was the Cubs' first-round pick in 2006, and he is 27, so don't look for much of a change in approach. The Rockies will be OK with that as long as he continues to hit the ball hard when he does hit it. Colvin had 18 homers and drove in 72 runs last year with a .531 slugging percentage.
He and infielder DJ LeMahieu were traded by the Cubs to the Rockies for third baseman Ian Stewart after the 2011 winter meetings. LeMahieu entered Monday with a line of .167/.286/.333 on 3-for-18 hitting.