The Rundown: 19 Non-Roster Players Invited to Spring Training, Cubs Tampering Charges Ongoing, Maddon In Favor of Signing Shields

With Spring Training creeping ever closer (in a good way; not a bad, stalker way), the Cubs have announced 19 non-roster invites to join the major-league squad.

Nine pitchers:
* Daniel Bard
* Corey Black
* Francisley Bueno
* Anthony Carter
* Hunter Cervenka
* Jorge De Leon
* Pierce Johnson
* Armando Rivero
* Donn Roach

Five infielders:
* Kris Bryant
* Jonathan Herrera
* Addison Russell
* Chris Valaika
* Logan Watkins

Three outfielders:
* Albert Almora
* Mike Baxter
* Adron Chambers

Two catchers:
* Kyle Schwarber
* Taylor Teagarden

Last year it was fun to watch Javier Baez and Kris Bryant in Spring Training games. This year we’ll have Addison Russell, Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber to entertain us. I’m also really looking forward to seeing Pierce Johnson in action.

Other notes

* The whole Rays tampering accusation thing is still ongoing, new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN. The Rays have a beef with manager Joe Maddon opting out of his contract in November and then shortly thereafter signing a new deal with the Chicago. The Cubs have adamantly denied any tampering. I’m still not worried about this situation, and figure nothing major will come of it, even if the Cubs are found to have tampered. But it would still be nice to be resolved.

* Speaking of Joe Maddon, he was on MLB Network Radio yesterday and mentioned that Theo Epstein spoke with him about the possibility of the Cubs adding James Shields. Maddon seems to like the idea.

* Former highly regarded Cubs prospect Josh Vitters has signed a minor-league deal with the Rockies, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. Vitters was the third overall pick in 2007, but wasn’t able to break through with the Cubs. It’s too bad, and just a reminder that a lot of prospects — even high draft picks — fizzle out.

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