Cubs sign Dominican RHP Paniagua


Cubs sign Dominican RHP Paniagua

Juan Carlos Paniagua is very familiar with signing deals with MLB teams. He's just not used to them actually going through.

The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic signed with the Cubs Thursday for 1.5 million, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.

This is Paniagua's third deal with a big-league club. He first signed with the Diamondbacks in May 2009 under the name of Juan Carlos Collado for 17,000. That deal was terminated due to fraudulent paperwork and was ineligible to sign for one year.

According to Badler, Paniagua's fastball rose from 92 mph to 98 mph, which enticed the Yankees enough to sign him to a 1.1 million deal. The deal was under his current name, but the league also terminated that deal due to "falsified documents". He was again deemed unable to sign for one year.

That penalty ended today.

Paniagua isn't throwing as hard now -- he's in the 93-95 mph range -- but has impressed scouts with his offspeed stuff.

The signing counts against the Cubs' 2012-13 international draft bonus pool...if his contract is approved.

A sneak peek at Cam Ward's new Blackhawks goalie mask


A sneak peek at Cam Ward's new Blackhawks goalie mask

It's a new year, new team for Cam Ward, who spent his first 13 NHL seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes before signing in Chicago on a one-year deal this summer. That means a newly-designed goalie mask is required to match up with his new team's colors, uniform and Blackhawks logo.

The designer of Ward's goalie masks Steve Nash, whose clients include 2017-18 Vezina Trophy finalist Connor Hellebuyck, two-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick and three-time 30-win netminder Martin Jones, shared a teaser on Twitter of Ward's new Blackhawks-themed mask for the upcoming season and it's sweet.

Check it out:

Bears confirm OLB Leonard Floyd underwent surgery to repair fracture in right hand

Bears confirm OLB Leonard Floyd underwent surgery to repair fracture in right hand

Bears head coach Matt Nagy confirmed to reporters on Monday that OLB Leonard Floyd underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his right hand he sustained in the first quarter of Saturday's 24-23 preseason win over the Denver Broncos.

The good news is, the Bears are optimistic that Floyd will be available to play in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. The bad news is, he'll likely have to play with a cast on until his injury fully heals.

"I don't think it's going to be healed, I think he's going to have to end up playing through it," Nagy said. "It might require something in regards to having a cast or a club-type deal. There's been evidence of guys that have had that and been productive, so that's what we're hoping." 

TE Adam Shaheen, who suffered a right ankle sprain on the first drive of the game, is still being evaluated and it's unclear whether or not he'll be ready by Week 1.

"We're not sure there yet," Nagy said. "We're hoping. We'll probably know more later today after the tests come back."