The roster moves made Thursday figure to just be the beginning of the changes that are on the horizon for the Cubs. Ryan Dempster could be making his final start Friday in a Cubs’ uniform at Wrigley. Several teams are rumored to be interested in Matt Garza but it is unclear if Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would rather keep Garza or trade him away. Alfonso Soriano seems to have created a little interest with the tear he’s been on over the last month. Then there are players such as Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson that could have value to a contender.
On the injury front, while Geovany Soto appears to be close to returning from the DL, Ian Stewart was placed on the disabled list Thursday and he could be looking at season-ending surgery on his nagging left wrist.
Here’s the update that includes more draft signings …
The Cubs have reportedly agreed to terms with several of their 2012 draft picks and the news of the signings is slowly being announced. Theo Epstein said earlier in the week they are waiting for players to pass physicals before making the announcements.
Baseball America reported Thursday that the Cubs signed their fourth round pick, RHP Josh Conway to a $280,000 bonus … $63,200 less than the $343,200 assigned to the Cubs for their fourth round selection.
The Cubs have now signed: RHP Pierce Johnson (1S, 43rd overall); RHP Josh Conway (4th round); LHP Anthony Prieto (5th round); 2B Steve Bruno (7th round); LHP Michael Heesch (8th round); C Chadd Krist (9th round); RHP Corbin Hoffner (14th round); LHP Nathan Dorris (17th round); CF Izaac Garsez (30th round).
The deadline to sign players selected in this year’s draft is July 13.
The Cubs placed Ian Stewart on the 15-day DL Thursday after he was unable to play Wednesday. Stewart has been dealing with soreness in his left wrist all season and the Cubs are concerned he could have nerve damage in the wrist. Stewart is scheduled to see a wrist specialist (Cleveland Clinic) on Monday.
Stewart admitted to ESPN Chicago that surgery on the wrist is a possibility and it could cost him the rest of the season.
Theo Epstein and Ryan Dempster met Wednesday in the grandstand at Wrigley to discuss Dempster’s immediate future. Dempster is on the block and could be moved sooner rather than later. Reportedly ten teams are interested in trading for Dempster … but he must approve any trade and controls where he will finish the remainder of the season.
Some think Ryan Dempster could net the Cubs a top ten prospect and most feel Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will try to acquire quality for Dempster instead of quantity. Epstein and Hoyer will “not be shy in asking for top pitching talent in return for the veteran pitcher” according to ESPN Chicago.
The White Sox could be a destination for Dempster and Paul Konerko and Matt Thornton would welcome Dempster to the South Side.
The Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox are also rumored to be interested in Ryan Dempster.
News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Orioles had one of their top talent evaluators watching Cubs starting pitchers and Alfonso Soriano on Wednesday night.
According to Bruce Levine, the Toronto Blue Jays are also watching the Cubs this week and could be looking for a bundle deal that might include pitchers and hitters.
Geovany Soto could be activated from the DL on Monday for the start of the series on the South Side. Soto caught again Thursday night (seven innings) and the Cubs would like to see how he is after catching a full nine innings Sunday.
Prince Fielder said Dale Sveum could be long-term difference-maker for the Cubs.
Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.
Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO