Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cubs busy as baseball's Winter meetings end; Anthony Rizzo, Kerry Wood and David DeJesus' fundraisers

The Winter baseball meetings have ended and there was some activity on the Cubs' part.  First off, the Northsiders signed right-handed Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa to a 2-year, $9.5 million contract.

Kyuji Fujikawa posed for photos at Wrigley Field after his signing was officially announced (photo from @Cubs on Twitter)
WGN-TV and the Cubs agreed to a four-year contract with Jim Deshaies to be their TV analyst, replacing Bob Brenly and joining Len Kasper in the broadcast booth.  You can find them on Twitter as @LenKasper and @LenandJ.  Deshaies is a former Houston Astros pitcher and was their TV analyst since 1997.

Jim Deshaies is welcomed to the Cubs and Wrigley Field by Len Kasper
The Cubs also signed right fielder Nate Schierholtz to a one-year, $2.25 million deal.  David DeJesus will move to play center field from right field.

Third baseman Ian Stewart re-signed a one-year, $2 million deal with $500,000 in incentives with the Cubs.  However, the money isn't guaranteed and Stewart can be released if he doesn't make the team in spring training.  Stewart tweeted, "Glad to be healthy and back with the Cubs. The support from the Cubs organization and the fans has been incredible. Thank you all so much" on December 6th.  Even former Cubs starter Paul Maholm tweeted, "Congrats on heading back with the cubbies. Good luck."

The Cubs selected RHP Hector Rondon from the Cleveland Indians in the Rule 5 Draft on December 6th.  Rondon was Cleveland’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009.  The Cubs also lost RHP Starling Peralta, OF Michael Burgess, IF Matt Cerda and RHP Alvido Jimenez.

Former Cubs starting pitcher Randy Wells signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training with the Texas Rangers last week.  Wells underwent elbow surgery in July 2012 and didn't seem appreciated by the Cubs' front office and management. 

Randy Wells is now part of the Texas Rangers (Reuters photo)
Former Cubs starter Ryan Dempster rejected a two-year, $25M offer from the Boston Red Sox, as well as two-year comparable deal from the Kansas City Royals.  Dempster is reportedly looking for a three-year deal, possibly with the Cubs or Milwaukee Brewers.  I personally would love to have Demp back on the team.

Ryan Dempster could return to the Cubs (Chicago Tribune photos)
Anthony Rizzo hosted his first 'Walk Off for Cancer' 5K today in his hometown of Parkland, Florida this morning. Over 800 people participated in the walk, including Rizzo, who is a cancer survivor.  Rizzo was diagnosed with limited state classical Hodgkins' lymphoma in April, 2008 while he was in the minor leagues in the Red Sox organization.  Rizzo was able to beat the cancer and is now trying to inspire and help others in their battles against the disease. 

Hall of famer and former Cub Andre Dawson was also on hand to show his support.  "Beating cancer and overcoming everything -- it's all hitting me right now," Rizzo said, pausing to collect himself.  "It's crazy -- I'm usually never like this."

Hall of famer and former Cub Andre Dawson was on hand to support Anthony Rizzo's 5K for cancer (photo from @Cubs on Twitter)
Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Miami health system, as well as Livestrong, which also helped Rizzo when he was fighting cancer.

Anthony Rizzo held a 5K in Parkland, Florida to help cancer patients (photo from
Although it's the offseason, Cubs players are gearing up for their upcoming fundraisers which will be held during the week just before the Cubs convention kicks off.

Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood will host his second annual "Woody's Winter Warm-Up" at Harry Caray's Navy Pier on Friday, January 18th, 2013.  Cubs players and local celebrities will serve as bartenders throughout the night and proceeds will benefit the Wood Family Foundation.  The night will also feature opportunities to meet and mingle with Cubs players, a silent auction, premium open bar, dinner buffet, and a raffle, as well as a concert, for which details will be announced soon,

I was at their inaugural event in January 2012 and it was definitely worth attending, so I hope to see some of you there!  Tickets are limited and can be purchased at: 

David and Kim DeJesus will host the inaugural "Strike a Pose" fundraiser on January 17th, 2013 at the River East Arts Center.  Current and former Cubs players and their spouses will walk the runway and the show will feature fashion by 900 N. Michigan Shops.  There will also be a live auction and raffle, as well as heavy appetizers provided by some of Chicago's hottest restaurants, including Chicago q, RPM Italian, Bull and Bear, Shaw's and Glazed & Infused.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

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