Happy Friday to everyone. Let’s take a look at the latest news and notes.

Wellington Castillo may need to update his business card – If you believe rumors, there are a lot of them that have the Cubs spending “significant money on a free agent catcher this winter”, which means Wellington may need to add “backup” in front of “catcher” on his business cards. This, according to MLB Trade Rumors, is what agents have been saying as we get close to free agency. Personally I don’t see any substance to the rumors. Castillo is still under team control at a cheap price was was good last year behind the plate.

Yankees Will Play Hardball – If your choice for the new manager is Joe Girardi, you’ll have to wait for news between him and the Cubs until after he becomes a free agent. Reports came out yesterday that the Yankees refuse to allow the Cubs permission to talk with Girardi. The Yankees want him back and will have an exclusive discussion window until the end of the month.

Ex-Cub Factor Has Been Cancelled – It case you missed this, the Dodgers chose to try to nix the ex-Cub factor curse by leaving both Carlos Marmol and Jerry Hairston  Jr off their playoff roster. Marmol was pretty good for the Dodgers since being traded so his lack of inclusion was a little bit of a surprise. They have the ability to add him next series should they make it to the NLCS, but I can’t imagine they would since he’d be away from game action for a few weeks at that point and may not be very sharp.

Cubs Claim Mat Gamel Off Waivers From Milwaukee – Gamel is a former BA top prospect, but at this point he’s a lottery ticket. He’s suffered two ACL injuries and was being placed on waivers in an attempt to remove him from the 40 man roster. In fact, the Brewers were actually a little surprised he didn’t clear waivers. What that tells us is that the Cubs continue to want to stock up at that position in an effort to get someone to be a regular producer. Gamel, assuming he’s healthy, will compete for the starting job in spring training with Luis Valbuena, Josh Vitters and Mike Olt.

Dale Sveum Is Employed Again – The Royals signed the recently fire Cubs manager to be a part of their coaching staff. Good to see him catch on quickly. Best of luck.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail