Matt Murton, my once-great man-crush, had his rights sold (boy, that sounds sinister, doesn't it?) to the Hanshin Tigers over in Japan's NPB league. There, I expect Murton should flourish and the power that never translated in the majors will likely explode in Japan's small and homer-friendly stadiums. Farewell, sweet prince.
Yesterday, Corey Patterson signed with Mariners. His fielding -- even during his days with the Cubs -- has always been excellent, but, sadly, that is all the Mariners should expect from ol' Corey. However, my father once rightly observed that Patterson likely possesses the greatest chin in the major leagues. Patterson was our top pick in the 1998 draft and was expected to become our Sammy Sosa, II. Now, it almost seems like a good thing that he ended up not being Sammy Sosa.
Meanwhile, the Cubs begrudgingly left the Winter Meetings with Milton Bradley still in tow (hooray, say I, and get over yourselves, fans) and nabbed a young (starting) pitcher, Michael Parisi, in the Rule 5 draft, meaning he has to stay with us all year, or ends up back in St. Louis. Who knows? Maybe he makes the rotation and plays the part of Rany Wells, part 2?
More info on Mike Parisi:
a) Hardball Times pre-draft article about Rule 5 pitcher possibles.
b) Cubs f/x's nifty interview with Mr. Parisi himself. (Note: the rest of the site seem to be having issues.)
c) Parisi's Fangraphs page. I smell limited info, but great potential.
Update: The Cubs again say they are close to trading Bradley (probably to the ever crafty Tampa Bay Rays). But who knows what they say tomorrow, or even later today?
Update, Update: My man, Marc Hulet, reviews the Cubs top 10 prospects over at Fangraphs. It's similar to what I summed up here.