Cubs management announced after Sunday evening's 15-inning loss to the Padres that the team successfully avoided the outgoing mayor of San Diego during their entire weekend series in the Southern California city.
"The Padres went 71-91 this year, which is the exact same record the Cubs had," said Epstein. "You can't teach that kind of symmetry. So we see no reason to believe there will be a drop-off in when Jed and Jason join our club."
After trading for Roberto Alomar in 2003 and again in 2004, the White Sox are reverting to old, reliable means to improve their output at second base. Wednesday afternoon, the White Sox traded for Roberto Alomar on the same day the retired player was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.
The Padres re-upped on Tuesday with pitcher Mark Prior on a one-year minor league deal that can earn the injury-plagued right-hander up to seven figures in salary in 2009. The unique contract requires Prior -- who signed with the Padres before the '08 season for $1 million, but did not pitch in a single game before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery -- to wear a ski mask to the mound every time he pitches.