If you're looking for a road map as to how the Philadelphia Phillies decayed into such a dreadful state following five straight National League East titles, the team's annual January seminar for some of its most valued minor-leaguers is a pretty good one.
While the Cubs all have been able to enjoy satisfying their long quest for a championship for the last 21/2 months, manager Joe Maddon still is being questioned about the controversial moves he made in Games 6 and 7 of the World Series.
Jeff Bagwell spent a career putting up huge stats, the kind that often get posted on plaques in Cooperstown. In a few days, the former Astros slugger might well hit the big number he needs to reach the Hall of Fame.
Third baseman Yangervis Solarte agreed to a $7.5 million, two-year contract with San Diego that includes club options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, one of four players to avoid arbitration with the Padres,
Third baseman Nick Castellanos agreed to a $3 million contract and shortstop Jose Iglesias reached a $4.1 million deal as the Detroit Tigers avoided arbitration with all of their remaining eligible players.
The Texas Rangers avoided salary arbitration with all seven of their eligible players Friday, topped by closer Sam Dyson getting a $3 million raise after making just over the major league minimum last season.